Which is more likely to drive people from their homes — floods or heat waves?

Floods get a lot of attention in our warming world. They can kill people and livestock, inundate crops, destroy infrastructure and homes — and they make great photo ops. Less attention — and less international aid — is directed to victims of intense heat waves that are also linked to climate change.

But it is these heat waves that are most responsible when Pakistanis leave their villages, new research suggests.

Continue reading at Grist … http://grist.org/news/which-is-more-likely-to-drive-people-from-their-homes-floods-or-heat-waves/

Climate fiscal framework on cards to coordinate use of funds

21 Jan, 2014

Syful Islam

The government is formulating a climate fiscal framework to coordinate spending in the climate change-related activities, official sources said.

The move is taken to ensure appropriate and effective use of funds in offsetting the impacts of climate change on Bangladesh, one of the countries most vulnerable to global warming.

Officials said presently a significant amount of money is being spent for different types of climate change-related projects. The government, non-government organisations, foreign sources, and even private households are also spending money in this connection.

They said since there is no coordination in the spending, repetition and duplication of projects is frequently occurring. Several bodies are embarking on the same types of projects, while many areas remain unattended.

Joint chief of the general economics division under the Planning Commission, Rafiqul Islam, told the FE that funds were being spent in a scattered way for offsetting the impacts of climate change.

“In the fiscal budget, funds are being allocated for climate change-related projects for almost all the ministries. There is no coordination in spending. We are formulating the climate fiscal framework to bring about coordination between them,” he said.

Once the framework is formulated and properly followed, agencies concerned would be able to know easily about how many and what types of projects are in place and how much money is involved with them, Mr Islam said.

He said countries like Cambodia and Indonesia have formulated climate fiscal frameworks.

Mr Islam also said changes have been brought to the format of development project proposal (DPP), in which the issue of climate change has been incorporated.

“While preparing a DPP for a project, it has to be mentioned from now on if any climate change-related components are there or not. That will help in keeping track on how much money is being spent in what types of climate change-related projects,” he said.

The climate fiscal framework is being formulated under a project titled ‘Poverty, Environment and Climate Mainstreaming,’ funded by the United Nations Development Programme.

Prof Dr Rezai Karim Khondker of Dhaka School of Economics, the team leader of the climate fiscal framework study, told the FE Monday that there was no calculation on how much money was being spent and from which sources.

The framework aims at coordination of the climate change-related spending, he said.

Mr Khondker said a large amount of money was needed to combat the impacts of climate change on Bangladesh, a low-lying country.

The framework will keep a tally of the sources of funds and also of where those are being spent for what purpose, he added.

Presently, Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) and Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) are funding major climate change-related projects.

The BCCRF is a financing mechanism operated by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), development partners and the World Bank to address the impacts of climate change. On the other hand, BCCTF is being solely financed by the GoB from public exchequer to carry out activities to offset the impacts of climate change.

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2014/01/21/14725

Get ready for more “extreme” El Niños

Batten down the worldwide hatches. Scientists say baby Jesus’ meteorological namesake will become a thundering hulk more often as the climate changes.

The latest scientific projections for how global warming will influence El Niño events suggest that wild weather is ahead. El Niño starts with the arrival of warm water in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and it can culminate with destructive weather around the world. It was named by Peruvian fishermen after the infant Jesus because the warm waters reached them around Christmas.

Continue reading at Grist

Nepal maintains low greenhouse emission

OM ASTHA RAI

KATHMANDU, Dec 27: In a reassertion of the fact that Nepal´s contribution to the world´s total greenhouse gas emission is still negligible, a yet-to-be published report states that the Himalayan nation emits less than 0.1 per cent of what scientists say causes climate change.

Nepal´s new report on National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, being finalized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), confirms that Nepal, the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), emits mere 0.027 per cent of global greenhouse gas emission.

Earlier, when Nepal submitted its first national communication report to the UNFCCC in 1998, its contribution to global emission was jut 0.025. Although the new report shows a slight increase in Nepal´s contribution to global emission, experts say it is still negligible.

“This means that we have done virtually nothing to increase the rate at which the Earth is warming up,” says Prakash Mathema, Chief of the Climate Change Division at the MoSTE. “It gives us more rights to seek financial support from the developed world to adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

Mathema adds, “It is an irony that a country, whose role in global emission is virtually non-existent, is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”

The report, which is likely to be submitted to the UNFCCC within the next few months as Nepal´s second national communication report, has taken into account just three major greenhouse gases and five major sources of their emissions.

According to Nitesh Shrestha, project manager of ADAPT Nepal, an NGO hired by the MoSTE as a consultant to prepare the country´s new greenhouse gas inventory, only carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emitted from sectors like energy (fossil fuel) consumption, industrial process, agriculture (livestock), land use change (deforestation) and waste generation were taken into account for the report.

As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines-1996, which were followed to prepare the new inventory, it would be sufficient for the LDC countries to take into account just three major gases emitted from five major sources. The LDC countries also enjoy flexibility in time to prepare the inventory – a reason why Nepal has yet not finalized its second national communication report that was supposed to be submitted to the UNFCCC a couple of years ago.

The new report shows Nepal generated 24,856 Gg (gigagram) greenhouse gas during the period studied for preparation of the inventory. However, with forests sequestrating as much as 12,776 Gg greenhouse gas, Nepal´s net emission stands at just 12,080 Gg. When the first report was prepared, Nepal´s gross emission was 24,525 Gg. As a result of sequestration of 14,778 Gg gas, Nepal´s net emission stood at just 9,747 back then.

A careful analysis of two reports shows a slight decline in forest´s capacity to sequestrate carbon, hinting at rampant deforestation being reported from across the country. Nevertheless, irrespective of how forest´s sequestration capacity seems to have declined between the periods of two reports, the new inventory suggests that Nepal is very close to being carbon-neutral.

Nepal´s new inventory status may not just be a matter of pride. It also reveals how the country´s economy has been stagnant over one and half decade. “Carbon emission increases only when more fossil fuel is consumed,” says Ngamindra Dahal, an expert on climate change. “The fact that Nepal´s carbon emission was more or less the same between the reports of two reports shows how stagnant our economy is.”

Dr Bal Krishna Sapkota, a professor of Environment Science at the Institute of Engineering, says, “If we had gone for green economy and the indicators were same, it could have been a reason to rejoice.”

Published on 2013-12-27 06:24:33

Out to pasture: Kashmir’s livestock-livelihood link threatened

Be it the famed Pashmina shawls or the meat Kashmiris so love, the grasslands of Ladakh and the alpine pastures of the Kashmir Valley have long been a livelihood resource in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. But the vital livestock-livelihood link, a way of life for centuries in the Himalayan region, could come undone as natural processes and human activity combine to threaten the pasture lands as never before.

The pastoral lands of Ladakh, a cold desert, and the Kashmir Valley – the two regions along with Jammu in the plains comprise the border state of Jammu and Kashmir – have played host to a variety of livestock and been a critical driver of the local economy since time immemorial.

More at:  http://www.thethirdpole.net/out-to-pasture-kashmirs-livestock-livelihood-link-threatened/

Tourists’ toilet habits flush Himalayan town dry

Tanzin Dorje can remember a time he could drink straight from the stream that runs through Ladakh’s main town Leh.

“Today, such a sight has become a dream,” he sighed. The huge number of tourists Ladakh receives now has not only changed peoples’ outlook, but both water quality and availability.

In Ladakh, often referred to as the land of freezing winds and burning sunlight, people once lived on livestock-rearing and farming. But after they found out the road to quick money lay in creating infrastructure for tourists, that was what they started doing everywhere.

More:  http://www.thethirdpole.net/tourists-toilet-habits-flush-himalayan-town-dry/

Climate change to hit yields of India’s rice, wheat & maize, help soyabean, groundnut and potato

India’s agriculture ministry has projected a decline in yield of crops such as rice, wheat, maize and sorghum……increase in output of soyabean, groundnut and potato

Sandip Das

New Delhi, Dec 19:

With wide variations in climatic conditions becoming a frequent phenomenon, the agriculture ministry has projected a decline in yield of crops such as rice, wheat, maize and sorghum. However, it expects output of soybean, groundnut and potato to rise by 2030 and beyond.

Under the ‘National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture’, scientists project that while the yield of rice grown under irrigated areas is likely to decline by 4%, 7% and 10% by 2020, 2050 and 2080, respectively, the yield of maize, which has seen a quantum jump in production in the last few years, would see a sharp fall of 18% by 2020 and 2050, and about 23% by 2080.

“Rainfed rice yield in India is likely to be lower by close to 6% by 2020 but, in 2050 and 2080 scenarios, the output is projected to decrease only marginally,” a report by Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has stated.

“Overall, temperature increases are predicted to reduce rice yields. An increase of 2- 4ºC is predicted to result in a reduction in yields.The eastern regions are predicted to be the most impacted by increased temperatures and decreased radiation, resulting in relatively fewer grain and shorter grain-filling durations,” a scientist with Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), a premier body under the ministry of agriculture, noted.

The country produced 104.4 million tonne (mt) of rice in 2012-13, with around 44 million hectare of land under cultivation. This year, the storm that lashed many districts of Punjab in September and the severe cyclonic storm, Phalin, which hit Orissa and Andhra Pradesh’s coast, impacted paddy cultivation in three states, an agriculture ministry official told FE.

In the case of wheat, the report projects a 6% reduction in irrigated wheat by 2020 from the existing levels.

“Increases in temperature by about 2ºC reduce potential grain yields in most places. Regions with higher potential productivity, such as northern India, were relatively less impacted by climate change than areas withlower potential productivity, such as eastern India,” the study stated. The country produced 92 mt of wheat in 2012-13.

Similarly, for maize, agricultural scientists have projected an 18% reduction in yield of kharif output by 2020 and 2050, and a huge 23% cut by 2080 due to climate change.According to agriculture ministry data, the country produced a record 22 mt maize in 2012-13.

ICAR, which functions under the ministry of agriculture, conducted climate- change impact analysis on crop yields using crop simulation models incorporating future projections for 2020, 2050 and 2080. However, the study projected increases in kharif soybean yield of 8% and 13% by 2030 and 2080, respectively. Even the output of groundnut is projected to increase by 4% and 7% in 2020 and 2050, respectively.

Climate change is likely to benefit potato-growers in Punjab, Haryana and western and central Uttar Pradesh, with 3-7% increase in output by 2030.

To deal with the impact of climate change, agricultural scientists have carried out extensive screening of the germplasms of wheat, rice, maize and pulses for developing drought-, heat- and flood-tolerant varieties of seed, the report noted.

National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) focusses on strategic research on adaptation and mitigation of important grain and horticulture crops, livestock and fisheries, demonstration of best technologies in 100 most vulnerable districts to cope with current climate variability and capacity-building of researchers, planners and farmers.

low visibility on roads and motorways in Pakistan

Now a days if one goes on Motorway from Islamabad to Peshawar or to Lahore he experiences low visibility and high mist or fog. The problem persist in Pakistan but now it is very common and irritates the public. One of the cause for this is going back to fossil fuel i.e.,diesel and petrol from natural gas.The problem of natural gas and load shedding is mainly due to bad management and is also attributed to corruption.
Going through all the available material on the natural gas problem and carrying the research on the issue of gas availability it was observed that the problem is very complicated. Actual data is not shown any where and not available.Pakistan is a resourceful country and has many huge deposits of gas and petroleum.
In Capital city of Pakistan Islamabad there is no CNG available for running vehicles and gas station are closed.The vehicles are run by petroleum and diesel which is causing and emitting green house gases and APHS,sulfur and other metals which form aerosol in the air and when temperature comes down in the evening dense fog is forme and the visibility is reduced to the range between 10 to 30 meters and in some areas it is zero.
This is also effecting the climate of the region.
The problem is multidimensional and needs due attraction.

Key words, visibility, CNG , Fog