Arctic a hot topic at global climate talks
The World Meteorological Organization issued a “Provisional Statement on the State of Global Climate in 2012” highlighting the record crash of Arctic sea ice this year. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said “The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere. Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records.”
While the WMO noted present Arctic impacts, the United Nations Environment Programme was looking ahead at the potential for thawing Arctic permafrost to release large amounts of warming gases into the atmosphere, speeding up global climate change. WWF is at the climate meetings offering solutions to wrenching Arctic and global change, and pushing nations at the talks to take up those solutions.
“We’re hopeful that countries will respond to the wave of extreme weather impacts that hit the planet this year,” said WWF’s Samantha Smith. “We expect the EU to deliver on a second commitment period for Kyoto; we expect rich countries to have credible plans for how they’ll keep their promises on climate finance; and we expect developing countries to do their part, bearing in mind that most are primarily low income countries still. The real test is whether folks are ready to talk about bigger cuts, in line with what every credible scientist and institution is telling us.”