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Climate Change Index for week ending 18 Oct. 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 18 Oct. 2009 (details below): 8

12 October: The largest glacier in Indian Kashmir has shrunk by nearly 24 per cent over the past 30 years, according to a study from the University of Kashmir. The Kolahoi glacier is the largest source of meltwater for Kashmir’s main river, the Jhelum.

12 October: A little ocean warming is proving to be a good thing for scallops in British waters, scientists have found — but continued warming could reverse that benefit.

13 October: Biodiversity loss driven by climate change is making it unlikely the world will meet the 2010 targets based on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, scientists attending the Diversitas Open Science Conference said.

14 October: The pace of climate change is accelerating, with many of the upper-range forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report becoming increasingly likely, according to an analysis by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) of more than 400 major studies published since the last report. The analysis concludes that that the buildup of greenhouse gases “has most likely committed the world to a warming of 1.4−4.3 °C (by 2100), above pre-industrial surface temperatures.”

15 October: Last month’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the second-warmest September on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

15 October: Record flooding in the Philippines, a delayed monsoon in India and extreme drought in Australia — all possible effects of climate change — are threatening the world’s rice harvests this year, according to a study from the International Rice Research Institute.

15 October: The Arctic Ocean is likely to be mostly ice-free during the summer within the next 10 years, according to new data from the Catlin Arctic Survey. The data, collected earlier this year by researchers on a 450-kilometre trek across the northern part of the Beaufort Sea, indicates the survey area is made up almost exclusively of first-year ice.

15 October: A Swiss study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology reports that melting glaciers in the Alps are posing a threat to “pristine mountain areas” because they are releasing pollution-based toxins that had long been stored in the ice.

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