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最新世界环境资讯

美联社报道,根据加拿大卡尔顿大学和渥太华大学的科学家发现,两个在欧洲人定居加拿大之前就存在的冰架今年夏天显著缩小,一个几乎完全消失。此项对于融化速度的研究记录十分重要,它不仅被认为是气候变暖的标志,更进一步证实了科学家们一直在观注的全球变暖趋势。

北极平流层的臭氧层今年年初出现了前所未有的损耗。但据《科学新闻》报道,所记录的损耗是否构成“空洞”还取决于专家来定夺。由美国宇航局主导的研究在《自然》期刊上将2011年的损失描述为“北极臭氧空洞”, 但其他科学家认为虽然出现的变化极大,并不足以构成空洞。即使是在每年空洞都复发的南极,臭氧空洞的定义一直存在争议。

新西兰先驱报》报道,南太平洋小国图瓦卢和新西兰属托克劳正面临着水资源的极度紧缺,不得不向国外寻求紧急援助。由于受到近十年来最严重的拉尼娜天气模式的困扰,长达数月的干旱天气使岛上旱情进一步恶化。

卫报》消息,地中海东部因可能探测到的全球最大天然气田的归属权而引发争端,加剧了最近发展迅猛的土耳其和区域内其他国家的竞争。海底藏着大量油气宝藏的消息,让各国都下了很大的赌注。

路透社援引国际能源机构报道,如果不采取有效措施,全球化石燃料的消耗补贴预计在2020年将达到6600亿美元。在11月将发布的年度“世界能源展望”摘要中,国际能源机构表示,这些补贴“代表了一种重要的经济义务”。

据《卫报》报道,欧盟委员会将颁布一项新的指标,设定燃料的最低环境标准。范围包括焦油砂油和页岩油以及转化液体油。欧盟成员国将在四到六周内开会表决,;欧洲议会将最终批准。

法新社,为减少源自伊拉克的沙尘暴的数量,伊朗和伊拉克将共同支付12亿美元,以减少沙丘数量。伊朗通讯社引用国家环境保局局长报道说,伊拉克一百万公顷的土地,将在未来五年内保持稳定。荒漠化和森林砍伐是导致沙尘暴的元凶。

法新社报道,日本将继续其2011-12年度在南极捕鲸的计划,同时提高了警惕严防环境抗议分子的干扰。今年2月,日本把其2010-11年度捕鲸计划缩短了一个月。只完成了20%的计划捕鲸量 - 据称受到了海洋守护者协会船只的干扰。

A global environment update

Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, the Associated Press reported scientists at Canada’s Carlton and Ottawa universities as saying. The rapid loss, recorded in new research, is considered important as a marker of climate change and underscores the severity of the warming trend scientists are observing.

The Arctic stratosphere’s ozone layer suffered unprecedented depletion early this year but, according to Science News, whether the record loss constituted a “hole” depends on which experts are asked. While NASA-led research published by Nature describes the 2011 loss as “an Arctic ozone hole”, other scientists say the thinning, while dramatic, was not a hole. The definition of an ozone hole has never been codified, even for the Antarctic – where a hole recurs annually.

In the South Pacific, the tiny nation of Tuvalu and the New Zealand-administered territory of Tokelau are in urgent need of water and seeking help from abroad, The New Zealand Herald reported. Months of dry weather have worsened drought conditions in the islands, beset by one of the most severe La Niña weather patterns in decades.

A feud over the right to tap what could be the world’s biggest discovery of natural gas in years has stoked tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, The Guardian said, pitting a newly ascendant Turkey against other countries in the region. With a treasure trove of hydrocarbon reserves thought to lie beneath the sea, the stakes are high.

Global subsidies for fossil-fuel consumption are set to reach US$660 billion in 2020 unless measures are passed to effectively eliminate them, Reuters quoted the International Energy Agency as saying. In an extract from its annual World Energy Outlook, due in November, the IEA said such subsidies “represent a significant economic liability”.

A new European Commission directive sets minimum environmental quality standards for a range of fuels, including oil from tar sands and shale rock and oil converted to liquid, The Guardian said. EU member states are to meet in four to six weeks to vote on the proposal; the European parliament would then have final approval.

In an effort to reduce the number of sandstorms originating in Iraq, Iran and Iraq will jointly pay an unidentified foreign company US$1.2 billion to reduce the number of dunes, according to Agence France-Presse. Iran’s news agency quoted the country’s Environmental Protection Agency chief as saying one million hectares of Iraqi soil would be stabilised over the next five years. The sandstorm problem has been blamed on desertification and deforestation.

Japan will proceed with its 2011-12 whale hunt in Antarctica while increasing security to guard against possible harassment by environmental protesters, Agence France-Presse reported. In February, Japan cut short its 2010-11 hunt by a month – after taking only 20% of its planned catch – citing interference from the Sea Shepherd group’s vessels.

 

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