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Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about

Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about

Science
Cement is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet.But, while cement - the key ingredient in concrete - has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint.Cement is the source of about 8% of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House.If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world - behind China and the US. It contributes more CO2 than aviation fuel (2.5%) and is not far behind the global agriculture business (12%). Cement industry leaders were in Poland for the UN's climate change conference - COP24 - to discuss ways of meeting t...
Climate change: COP24 deal to bring Paris pact to life

Climate change: COP24 deal to bring Paris pact to life

Science
Negotiators in Poland have finally secured agreement on a range of measures that will make the Paris climate pact operational in 2020.Last-minute rows over carbon markets threatened to derail the meeting - and delayed it by a day.Delegates believe the new rules will ensure that countries keep their promises to cut carbon.The Katowice agreement aims to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C. "Putting together the Paris agreement work programme is a big responsibility," said the chairman of the talks, known as COP24, Michal Kurtyka."It has been a long road. We did our best to leave no-one behind." Climate change: Where we are in seven charts What is climate change? Rich nations often reduce emissions by paying for car...
Climate change also wiped out life on Earth 252 million years ago

Climate change also wiped out life on Earth 252 million years ago

Science
Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Some 252 million years ago, nearly all live on Earth vanished. The fossil record suggests some 96 percent of all marine life disappeared, and scientists suspect the magnitude of losses on land was similar. But until now, scientists weren't sure what exactly caused the massive Permian Period extinction, an event known as the Great Dying. Researchers knew a series of volcanic eruptions set off a devastating chain of events, including deadly and disruptive climatic and environmental changes, but scientists couldn't agree on a smoking gun. Was it the sudden rise in ocean acidity? Did sulphur and other toxic metals poison the seas? Or did sudden rises in ocean temperatures wipe out almost all marine life? New models designed by scientists at the University of Washington and S...
Climate change: Failure to tackle warming 'suicidal'

Climate change: Failure to tackle warming 'suicidal'

Science
The UN secretary-general has warned negotiators at a major meeting that failing to increase efforts on climate change would be "not only immoral but suicidal" for the planet. Antonio Guterres has flown back to Poland to try and push COP24 to a successful conclusion. At the UN talks, a group of countries have said they will enhance their climate plans before 2020.The EU and others say they are responding to the urgency of science.Some observers believe that the return of Mr Guterres to these talks is a sign that significant progress is not being made. In his remarks to the conference, he underlined that fact, imploring the delegates to speed up the pace of negotiations and to be open to compromise.He said that key political issues...
Study considers how climate change, shifting winds will impact migratory birds

Study considers how climate change, shifting winds will impact migratory birds

Science
Dec. 11 (UPI) -- New research suggests migratory birds in North America will be more likely to encounter headwinds as they fly southward each fall. However, changing wind patterns will make their springtime return less strenuous. Scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology used radar observations collected at 143 weather stations to measure the altitude, density and direction of birds migrating during spring and fall. The most up-to-date climate models allowed researchers to determine how global warming and its affect on wind patterns will impact birds on the move. "We combined these data to estimate how wind assistance is expected to change during this century under global climate change," Frank La Sorte, a Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientist, said in a news release. "This matters for ...