Paris: French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday expressed optimism about striking an “ambitious” agreement by the end of this year to curb global warming.
“The goal is ambitious, but I’m confident. We are all aware of the challenge and resolutely focus on seeking essential solutions,” Xinhua quoted Fabius as saying.
Fabius said in a press release that the first informal ministerial consultations on climate “have made a progress towards the adoption of an ambitious climate agreement in Paris” in December by strengthening “the political momentum on key issues of the future agreement”.
Hailing it as a “constructive meeting”, Fabius said the 40 delegations taking part in the preparatory talks discussed “several sensitive issues”, such as ways to forge a global plan to reduce greenhouse emissions and limiting differences between countries in the battle against climate change.
“Each country has reiterated its commitment to doing its utmost to… build a new legally binding global agreement to remain below 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius, enhance adaptive capacity and mobilize the resources of implementation (finance, technology, capacity building) that will help achieve these goals,” the French minister said.
Permafrost in Northern Arctic can potentially become a permanent source of Carbon
It was previously thought to be safe from the effects of Global Warming
Rising temperature in the Arctic can cause severe carbon emissions
Permafrost in the coldest northern Arctic — formerly thought to be at least temporarily shielded from global warming by its extreme environment — could thaw enough to become a permanent source of carbon to the atmosphere in a few decades, warns a NASA-led study. This will happen in this century, with the peak transition occurring in 40 to 60 years, said the study.
Permafrost is soil that has remained frozen for years or centuries under topsoil. It contains carbon-rich organic material, such as leaves, that froze without decaying, NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.
As rising Arctic air temperatures cause permafrost to thaw, the organic material decomposes and releases its carbon to the atmosphere in the form of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.
The researchers calculated that as thawing continues, by the year 2300, total carbon emissions from the coldest northern Arctic will be 10 times as much as all human-produced fossil fuel emissions in 2016.
Warmer, more southerly permafrost regions will not become a carbon source until the end of the 22nd century, even though they are thawing now, said the study led by scientist Nicholas Parazoo of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
That is because other changing Arctic processes will counter the effect of thawing soil in these regions.
The finding that the colder region would transition sooner than the warmer one came as a surprise, according to Parazoo. The researchers used data on soil temperatures in Alaska and Siberia and a numerical model that calculates changes in carbon emissions as plants grow and permafrost thaws in response to climate change.
They assessed when the Arctic will transition to a carbon source instead of the carbon-neutral area it is today — with some processes removing about as much carbon from the atmosphere as other processes emit.
They divided the Arctic into two regions of equal size, a colder northern region and a warmer, more southerly belt encircling the northern region. There is far more permafrost in the northern region than in the southern one.
Over the course of the model simulations, northern permafrost lost about five times more carbon per century than southern permafrost.
The southern region transitioned more slowly in the model simulations, Parazoo said, because plant growth increased much faster than expected in the south.