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Climate Change Index for week ending 13 Dec. 2009

global-warmingGreenbang’s weekly Climate Change Index tracks research findings and events directly attributable to global warming. Our aim is to provide a numerical, week-to-week indicator of climate change developments.

Items that qualify for listing in each week’s index include new climate data published in peer-reviewed academic journals and extreme weather incidents or other natural events that are likely directly linked to the global warming trend.

The Climate Change Index for this week, ending 13 Dec. 2009 (details below): 5

13 December: Fishermen in Taipei have seen their annual catch of grey mullets fall from a peak of 2.7 million to 100,000 over the past 10 years, Agence France Presse reports. The president of the National Taiwan Ocean University blames the decline on warming ocean waters and construction of China’s Three Gorges Dam.

10 December: Ocean acidity has increased by 30 per cent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the rate of acidification will accelerate in the coming decades, according to a new guide launched at the UN Copenhagen Climate Change summit. Researchers say the results could “spell disaster for critical parts of the marine food chain, with knock-on consequences for fishing communities and the global fishing industry, and wide-scale destruction of marine reefs.”

8 December: New satellite data reveals shows Greenland is experiencing the greatest shrinkage of ice mass of any region on the planet and is losing between 165 and 189 cubic kilometres of ice per year — far more than in the 1990s.

8 December: Both the World Meteorological Organisation and the UK’s Met Office release findings indicating that this decade has been the warmest on record since instrument measurements were first taken.

7 December: In a new report, “Species Feeling the Heat: Connecting Deforestation and Climate Change,” the Wildlife Conservation Society profiles more than a dozen animal species and groups impacted by changing land and sea temperatures, shifting rain patterns, exposure to new pathogens and disease, and increased threats of predation. They include flamingoes, the Southeast Asian Irrawaddy dolphin, the musk ox and the Hawksbill turtle.

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