News / Asia

Global Warming Trend 'Unmistakable' UN Says

Smoke from a bushfire billows over beach goers at Carlton, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Hobart, Australia, January 4, 2013.
Smoke from a bushfire billows over beach goers at Carlton, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Hobart, Australia, January 4, 2013.
Phil Mercer
The United Nations' chief science body is meeting in Tasmania as climate scientists urge Australia to prepare for rising sea levels that could put about $300 billion worth of commercial property, infrastructure and homes at risk.  The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summit in Hobart is the latest round of talks before the release of its fifth major paper in September.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insists its methods are both vigorous and reliable. The United Nations' main climate agency says the global warming trend is "unmistakable" and it is defending the science behind its assertion. 

More than 250 scientists who will contribute to the September report, have promised to deliver "scientifically defensible" conclusions when the study is released.

Global warming trend

The IPCC meets as Australia confronts a record-breaking heat wave that has sparked widespread wild fires across the country’s southeast.
IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has no doubt that the extreme heat is part of a global warming trend.

Pachauri hopes that the international community will rally behind the issue of climate change as it did with previous global efforts designed to stop the depletion of the ozone layer.

“Yes, I am concerned no doubt, but I also have a high opinion of human wisdom that I think, at some stage, we will bring about change," Pachauri said. "I mean, the world did act on the Montreal Protocol, the whole problem of depletion of the ozone layer and it happened very fast.

Now, I expect that perhaps this, as is the case, is going to take a little longer, but hopefully we will get action across the board.”

Rising sea levels

Australia’s government-appointed climate commission is also warning that global warming is increasing the risk of scorching heat waves becoming more frequent.   
There are concerns too that rising sea levels could threaten the country’s famous beachfront lifestyle.

More than 75 percent of Australians live near the ocean.

But Alan Stokes, the head of the National Sea Change Task force, which represents many coastal councils and communities, says severe flooding in the state of Queensland two years ago has shown how vulnerable low-lying areas can be.

“People all around Australia want to live near the coast," explained Stokes. "They’d like to live as close to it as they can but there is a risk involved, and we don’t want to find ourselves in the position in the next 20, 30 or 90 years of facing frequent extreme flooding events such as those we that saw in Queensland, which could destroy those properties and place people in harm’s way.”  

Climate scientists are concerned that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could pose serious problems to vulnerable areas elsewhere, including low-lying island nations in the South Pacific that rise barely a few meters above sea level.

The leaders of Kiribati have warned that its entire population of 100,000 people could be forced to migrate if their homes are swamped by the ocean.

Climate change is an issue that divides Australia, a nation that relies on cheap supplies of coal.  Although many people think that society’s reliance on fossil fuels is causing temperatures to rise, others believe that a shifting climate is simply part of a natural cycle and is not caused by man’s excesses.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Niyomugabo from: Nigeria ,YOLA
January 17, 2013 5:40 PM
Global warm is due to atmospheric pollution. Every second the CO2 as main cause is produced. However, the important thing should be one world as one Hill, find the solutions, protecting our Ozone by limiting uncontrolled combustion,every citizen of nation may plant one tree and you will see how the green world will become!Take example of Rwanda environment protection strategies.Some countries undergo the consequences alone.Here we need Global thinking. Nowadays, there is Ices for melting, but in future there maybe no more water; I mean some lac have disappeared, Deserts expended ...

by: NVO from: USA
January 16, 2013 11:30 PM
The UN is an absolute SHAM, and the whole thing is a DECEPTION!!!! Since 1998 the global temperature has continued to cool every year!! Professor Phil Jones, head of the UK’s prestigious Climate Research Unit, was quoted in the Daily Mail, Feb. 14, 2010: “…in the last 15 years there had been
no ‘statistically significant’ warming.” Remarkably, the continued cooling was not predicted by any of the UN’s IPCC computer climate models and has
virtually erased the entire global warming that occurred during the last century returning global temperatures to the 1900 level.
It is certainly time to pause and re-evaluate our climate science assumptions and proposed energy policies.

by: Tom Harris from: Ottawa, Canada
January 15, 2013 9:46 PM
What a strange article. Did the author not look at the actual global temperature statistics? We have been in a period of relative temperature stability for 16 years, according to the UK Met Office and they forecast no significant rise for another five years at least.

January 15, 2013 8:12 PM
A proposal: I readed in the United Nations Oficial Website -P.N.U.M.A.- that there is a Programe for the plantation of new 1000 millions of trees around the world, if we everybody wanted the reduction of global emissions of carbon dioxide, as human race, our governments, from large economies just as small economies, more than 150 countries can implemented it, you and I, my friends dont know, the most practical, cheaper, and natural way to ashort the climate change, than the implementation of a global plan like that. i beg God and global leaders to put the United Nations plan aproved and on the move. For instance the replanting of large and medium cities streets, where it shows surfaces of grasses to mull, i believe all on there the County governments can plant thounsands of trees, in the fact of U.N.O. green plan, but in tho whole world. Thanks very much. Billy

by: Richard from: Philippines
January 15, 2013 6:41 PM
I have live in Leyte, Philippines for the last 24 years. I have heard about the rising sea levels, as far as I can see they are exactly the same as in 1988.
In Response

by: Leslie Graham from: Brisbane
January 16, 2013 6:49 AM
That's such a relief to know that the continuous measurements from thirty thousand tide gauges confirmed by the latest sattelite technology are all wrong because you took a walk down the beach and it looks the same to you.Great. There will be rejoicing all over the world that you have proved that sea level rise is a hoax and climate change isn't really happening.
You should be on for the Nobel Prize at least. The whole global population owes you an immense debt of gratitude.

by: Charlie Wyatt from: UK
January 15, 2013 11:10 AM
The Greenland ice sheet isn't melting and neither is Antarctica. The only melting we hear about is natural summer melt, hyped up.
I don't believe Australia's record temperature of 50.7C set in 1960 has been broken yet and so the current summer heat wave is not outside of the expected.
There has been no global warming since 1997 and the UK MET Office are not expecting any before 2017 either.
Be it Global Warming or Climate Change, it is all based on the highly taxable CO2, 96% naturally occurring.
The UK has squandered a fortune on useless wind turbines, as had Australia on desalination plants, all driven through green hysteria.
If you want to know the truth just follow the money. A good place to start would be Algore's new wealth!
Meanwhile the UK freezes.
In Response

by: Leslie Graham from: Brisbane
January 16, 2013 6:57 AM
The Greenland Ice sheet is melting at a record rate - three times faster than just 20 years ago.
Antarctica is losing mass at twince the rate expected just ten years ago.
Maximum winter ice extent has increased by 1% over the last decade due to warming weather leading to increased rain and snowfall which has in turn led to a reducttion in salinity.
As we all know salt helps to melt ice.
Also the kiribatic winds are incresing helping to spread the ice further.
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about - and it shows.
By the way - wind is now cheaper than coal in China and they are scaling back their original plans for more coal plants and massively increasing their windmills. The plan for 2050 is 1000GW from wind with pumped water storage.
1000GW is 15 times what the UK currently generates from all sources.
It's a similar picture in India. They have scaled back their plans for coal to a mere 78GW over the next five years and are going for wind and solar because it's cheaper.
So much for useless windmills.
You know nothing about power generation - and it shows there too.
In Response

by: Charlie Wyatt from: UK
January 15, 2013 8:40 PM
In Antarctica you are talking about natural Summer ice melt after record ice extent just last September.
If you want a good example of how the Greenland Ice shelf has grown; just check out the story of 'Glacier girl!' (P38 aircraft)
No global warming since 1997...Fact.
In Response

by: Michael Jones
January 15, 2013 1:04 PM
The Greenland ice sheet is melting at a record pace shown by the film "Chasing Ice". Also, West Antarctica is melting at a record rate, largely by the warming of the ocean waters.
This is not hyped, but fact.

by: delmar jackson from: miami
January 15, 2013 10:56 AM
reducing massive 3rd world immigration to western countries which have a much higher carbon footprint would help reduce global warming . there is no good reason for the USA population to double from importing cheap labor from 3rd world countries.
In Response

by: Ripon from: Bangladesh
January 15, 2013 10:11 PM
Besides, western countries should take preventive measures so that for their own huge carbon emission events, the 3rd world countries shouldn’t go under water & affected in many ways, unnecessarily.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs