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So it is getting warmer

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James Hansen, the top scientist at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and one of the first to warn world leaders of climate change, back in the 1980s, has said that the global temperature over the last 12 months reached its warmest on record.

Last winter was cold in Europe and North America, leading those who 'question' climate change to accuse people like me of alarmism.  But a single event or year means little in climate terms, and Europe and North America are not, despite what their inhabitants often think, the entire globe.  Now James Hansen, the top scientist at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and one of the first to warn world leaders of climate change, back in the 1980s, has said that the global temperature over the last 12 months reached its warmest on record. The mean surface temperature in the year through April was about 0.65 of a degree Celsius (1.17 degree Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean.That makes it a fraction warmer than the previous peak in 2005 (See Businessweek article).  Of course, that is still only one year, so not conclusive, but it is consistent with what the great majority of scientists now think: that the world is on a warming trend.  Hansen has co-authored a paper saying precisely this.

South Asia is feeling the full effects, in the form of a heatwave which has already killed more than 1,000 people in Pakistan and India (See Guardian article).

The quickest way to control climate change is to stop cutting down forests.

The Indonesian government has said that it will put a two-year moratorium on new concessions to clear natural forests and peatlands.  It said in a joint statement with the Norwegian government that "sufficient non-forest lands exist for Indonesia to accommodate the growth of its vitally important plantation industries, a major source of livelihoods in Indonesia."

Norway will invest $1 billion in forest conservation projects in Indonesia (See 'Times of India' article).  This is part of a wider Norwegian forest initiative.  Last week fifty nations met in Oslo and agreed a global partnership aimed at speeding up the funding of  $3.5bn for forest protection announced by the US, France, Britain, Japan, Norway and Australia at Copenhagen.

This has now gone up to $4bn, with most of the extra money coming from Germany, and some also from  Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the EU.

The partnership will be administrated by the environment ministers of France,  Brazil, Japan and Papua New Guinea. Norway also agreed a Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation on climate and forest issues with Mexico.

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Climate Answers
climate answers

Climate change is the most serious issue ever to have faced humanity. Rightly, it is now high on the public, political, media and business agendas. However, too much of the discussion is still about what we should not be doing or what we should be against. There is not enough discussion or information on solutions - what we can and should do to minimise dangerous climate change, and what should be done to make us not only safer and more secure, but also richer and happier.


Stephen Tindale photoStephen Tindale (29 March 1963 – 1 July 2017) was a British environmentalist who was Executive Director of Greenpeace UK from 2000 to 2005. He was Director of The Alvin Weinberg Foundation, co-founder of the organisation Climate Answers, Associate Fellow at the Centre for European Reform and co-author of Repowering Communities with Prashant Vaze.