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File Global warning: early warnings on adaptation
Climate change is the ever growing reality faced by the inhabitants of the Arctic regions. They must adapt to the changing landscapes, increasing temperatures, disappearing species, new hunting techniques. In this video, several leaders of indigenous peoples' organizations, represented in the Arctic Council, share their thoughts and concerns about the changes in their lifestyles brought on by the changing climate.
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Living with Climate change
Global warming is happening. Temperatures have already risen by 0.76 degrees since the industrial revolution and are projected to rise further by 1.8 - 4 degrees by the end of the century. The last time climate change happened at this pace was 125,000 years ago and led to a 4-6 metre sea level rise. Global warming at the upper end of the scale predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would have catastrophic consequences for Europe. Up to 30% of plant, animal and bird species would be wiped out and the threat of natural disasters such as landslides, floods and mudslides would increase significantly.
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Europe leads the fight against climate change
The Earth is rapidly getting warmer, threatening serious and even catastrophic disruption to our societies and to the natural environment on which we depend. Over the course of the 20th century the average temperature increased by around 0.6 C globally, by almost 1 C in Europe and by no less than 5 C in the Arctic. This man-made warming is already having many disruptive effects around the globe. Sea levels are rising as a result of melting glaciers and ice sheets, threatening to flood low-lying communities. Extreme weather conditions; floods, droughts, storms are becoming more severe, more frequent and more costly in some parts of the world. And many endangered species may be pushed to extinction over the coming decades as climate change affects their traditional habitats.
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Emissions trading - putting a price on carbon
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a world first and a major weapon in Europe's fight against climate change. The innovative system has turned carbon dioxide emissions into a tradeable commodity. They can now be bought and sold like any other of the thousands of products traded on world markets today. The scheme works by placing a limit or a 'cap' on the amount of carbon dioxide participating installations - currently around 10,500 across the European Union - can emit every year. If an installation emits more than its allowance, it must either pay a very hefty fine or buy surplus allowances from companies that have managed to stay below their limit. The system ensures that overall CO2 emissions from the plants covered are cut in the most cost effective way.
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Reducing climate impacts from international aviation: Europe leads the way
The European Commission is proposing legislation to bring the aviation sector into the European Union's pioneering emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) in order to control the rapid growth in CO2 emissions from air travel. Until now airlines have not been subject to the constraints on energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions that other businesses have to live with. Emissions from domestic flights are covered by the Kyoto Protocol's emission targets for developed countries, but international aviation - which makes up the vast majority of flights - is not. In addition, jet fuel for international flights has historically been exempted from taxation. Hence the need for policy action.
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Emissions trading
(This video has audio) An explanation of emissions trading. Source: EU Emissions Trading - An Open Scheme Promoting Global Innovation to Combat Climate Change (Nov. 2004), by the EU Publications Office
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Effects of climate change
In the past 100 years, the number of cold and frost days has decreased in most parts of Europe, whereas the number of days with temperatures above 25°C and the number of heatwaves have increased. The frequency of very wet days has significantly decreased in recent decades in many places in southern Europe, but increased in mid and northern Europe. Cold winters are projected to disappear almost entirely by 2080 and hot summers are projected to become much more frequent. This will have a continuing effect on mountain regions. For every 1°C increase in temperature, the snowline rises by 150 metres. And by 2050, three-quarters of today's glaciers in parts of the Alps are expected to have disappeared. Source: State of the Environment Report No 1/2005 "The European environment - State and outlook 2005" (published 29 Nov 2005)
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File PostScript document Rising snowline in the Alps
(This video has no audio.) It is estimated that, as global warming proceeds, regions currently receiving snowfall will increasingly receive precipitation in the form of rain. For every 1ºC increase in temperature, the snowline rises by about 150 metres. As a result, less snow will accumulate at low elevations. As a consequence, nearly half of all ski resorts in Switzerland, and even more in Germany, Austria and the Pyrenees, will face difficulties in attracting tourists and winter sport enthusiasts in the future. Source: EEA Report No 2/2004 "Impacts of Europe's changing climate" (published 18 Aug 2004)
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File text/texmacs Carbon uptake by forests
(This video has no audio.) The uptake of carbon from the atmosphere by natural vegetation, soils, forests and agricultural land ('terrestrial biosphere') is an important part of the carbon cycle. Carbon uptake by vegetation can lessen the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and in Europe can be increased by planting forests and other land management measures. But the additional potential storage capacity for the EU in forestry and agriculture is estimated to be relatively small, and climate change may cause more fires, pests and storm damage as well as increasing water stress, particularly in the Mediterranean area. These conditions would curtail plant growth and reduce the amount of carbon stored in the biosphere. Source: EEA Report No 2/2004 "Impacts of Europe's changing climate" (published 18 Aug 2004)
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
File Water and hydroelectric power
Although hydroelectric power stations create power from a reusable resource, there are some concerns about their impact on water. They alter the flow and temperature regimes that destroy fish spawning areas, handicap fish migration, kill fish in turbines and dry out wetlands. They can also capture sediment and nutrients behind dams, which can reduce the fertility of the waters downstream and may also increase erosion of river banks. For instance dams have reduced the sediment carried into Lake Geneva by some 50 %. Climate change could also make many hydroelectric power plants less reliable in future as water availability changes. While some plants in northern Europe could generate more power, hydroelectric dams in Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine could reduce output by 20-50 % because of declining rainfall. Source: State of the Environment Report No 1/2005 "The European environment - State and outlook 2005" (published 29 Nov 2005)
Located in Environmental topics Climate change Multimedia
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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