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Published: Monday 02 September, 2013

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An area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according the UN weather agencys annual climate report.

In a report released at UN climate talks in Doha, the World Meteorological Organisation said the Arctic ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and recordbreaking weather events to hit the planet in 2012.
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Droughts devastated nearly twothirds of the United States as well western Russia and southern Europe. Floods swamped west Africa and heat waves left much of the Northern Hemisphere sweltering.

But it was the ice melt that seemed to dominate the annual report, with the UN concluding ice cover had reached a new record low in the area around the North Pole and that the loss from March to September was a staggering 11.83 million square kilometres an area bigger than the United States.

The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the farreaching changes taking place on Earths oceans and biosphere, WMO SecretaryGeneral Michel Jarraud said.

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.

The dire climate news following on the heels of a report on Tuesday that found melting permafrost could significantly amplify global warming comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled for a third day to lay the groundwork for a deal that would cut emissions in an attempt to ensure that temperatures dont rise more than 2C over what they were in preindustrial times. Temperatures have already risen about 0.8C, according to the latest report by the IPCC.

Discord between rich and poor countries on who should do what has kept the twodecadeold UN talks from delivering on that goal, and global emissions are still going up.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with former US Vice President Al Gore, urged delegates to heed the science and quickly take action.

When I had the privilege in 2007 of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC, in my speech I asked the rhetorical question, Will those responsible for decisions in the field of climate change at the global level listen to the voice of science and knowledge, which is now loud and clear, he said.

I am not sure our voice is louder today but it is certainly clearer on the basis of the new knowledge.

Delegates in Doha are bickering over money from rich countries to help poorer ones adapt to and combat the impacts of climate change, and whether developed countries will sign onto an extension of a legally binding emissions pact, the Kyoto Protocol, that woul shoes online shopping d run until 2020.

A pact that once incorporated all industrialised countries except the US would now include only the European Union, Australia and several smaller countries which together account for less than 15 per cent of global emissions.

And the US is refusing to offer any bolder commitments to cut its emissions beyond a nonbinding pledge to reduce e shoes online shopping missions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

For developed country parties like the United States and the European Union, the pledges and commitments . put forward on the table are far below what is required by the science, Su Wei, a member of the Chinese delegation, told reporters.

And far below what is required by their historical responsibility.

Developing countries have said they are willing to take steps to control emissions, but that they must be given space to build their economies. Although China is the largest carbon polluter and India is rapidly catching up, both countries lag far behind the industrial countries in emissions per person and still have huge populations mired in poverty. shoes online shopping

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