Prime Minister Manuel Valls has shown his unflinching resolve by declaring that France will go ahead with the Paris Climate Change Conference 2015 despite the wave of deadly terror attacks that swept the nation last Friday, killing 127 people. Valls has asked world leaders to show their solidarity with France and has also branded the conference as a “meeting for humanity.”
The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) that will be held from Nov. 30 - Dec. 11 in Le Bourget, France, will see a global deal among world leaders to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions. Around 118 world leaders and 20,000-40,000 delegates are expected to attend the summit. It is also the Conference of the Parties' 11th session, which serves as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11).
Aside from this, the Global Climate March has also been organised and it will be held from Nov. 28-29 on the eve of the Paris Climate Change Conference. The success of the "People's Climate March" in New York on Sept. 21, 2014, which attracted thousands of people protesting against global warming appears to have inspired the said march.
Apart from the Paris attacks, the recent dramatic glacier melt in northeast Greenland has set alarm bells ringing. The melt is expected to raise global sea levels by a foot and half or more than 18 inches, according to a study from the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
"A disaster is unfolding in slow motion with important sea level rise implications," Jason Box, professor of Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said in a report from The Sydney Morning Herald.
The glacier has reportedly lost more than 95% of the ice shelf that helped stabilise it.
In another part of the planet, top scientists Dr. Philip Hughes of The University of Manchester, Professor Neil Glasser of Aberystwyth University and Dr. David Fink of The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), have joined hands to study the dynamic glacial process that shaped Earth’s alpine landscape which is visible today.
The scientists used cosmic rays in rocks or “cosmogenic exposure dating” and ANSTO’s accelerator mass spectrometry to study the rapid thinning and last retreat of the Welsh Ice Cap in northern Wales about 19,500 years ago. They believe that the study will be most helpful in predicting future climate variability and providing answers to global warming.
Dr. Fink explained that by measuring the cosmogenic radionuclides concentration, including aluminium-26 and beryllium-10, they can tell how big the glacier was in the past. It’s like the rocks have clocks.
The study is part of BRITICE, a UK university consortium that was commissioned to model the thickness, extent and retreat of British Ice Sheet because of global warming.
Cosmogenic dating and accelerator mass spectrometry make it possible to pinpoint when the climate warmed and exposed the deposits during glacial retreat. Dr. Fink also added that they can date several retreat moraines upvalley. This can help them find out the time and speed of climate warming by determining the glacier retreat rate.
In 2014, Dr. Fink received the first set of samples which showed that the Welsh Ice Cap lost ~350 metres of ice thickness about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago, which resulted in a collapse just when the world was moving out of the Ice Age.
Additional samples were reportedly collected from Moelwyns, Rhinogs and Arenigs mountains in northern Wales. Thankfully, this new data validated the earlier finding.
Dr. Fink, Dr. Philip Hughes and Professor Neil Glasser’s research work will be published by the prominent scientific journal, Quaternary Science Research.
Aside from global warming, greenhouse emissions, melting glaciers and the People's Climate March, the COP21/CMP11 United Nations Conference on Climate Change will also have other events including the Conference of Youth (COY11) from Nov. 26-28, the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting from Nov. 27-29, Paris De L'Avenir from Nov. 30-Dec. 11, the Climate Change Concert / Patti Smith Thom Yorke on Dec. 4 and the Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
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