Sunday, July 29, 2012

IPCC Scholarship Program 2012

IPCC Scholarship Program is to build capacity in the understanding and management of climate change in developing countries through providing opportunities for young scientists from developing countries to undertake studies that would not be possible without the intervention of the Fund.

Applications from students from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) researching topics with the fields of study chosen for the call for applications are given priority.

Scholarship Details: A scholarship award will be for a maximum amount of USD 20,000 per year.

Eligibility Criteria: The Call for Applications is open to candidates fulfilling the following requirements:

* Post-Graduate students at PhD level, accepted at a recognized educational institution to start studies in 2013, or currently enrolled on continuing PhD courses

* Applicants must be younger than 30 years of age at the time of application

* Applicants must be nationals of developing countries

How to Apply: Register to upload your completed application and requested supporting documents via the following link:

Deadline: 30 September 2012

Click here for more details and information:


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

UN rights expert urges international community to not turn its back on Tuvalu

19 July 2012 – A United Nations independent expert today called on the international community to not turn its back on the small island State of Tuvalu, where communities are being seriously affected by climate change.

“Climate change is an everyday reality for people in Tuvalu, and is slowly but steadily impacting their human rights to water and sanitation,” warned the Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water, Catarina de Albuquerque, at the end of her first mission to the country. “Climate change will exacerbate water scarcity, saltwater intrusions, sea level rise and frequency of extreme weather events.”

As of 2010, 98 per cent of the population in Tuvalu had access to an improved source of water and 85 per cent had access to improved sanitation facilities, according to a joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

However, Ms. de Albuquerque noted, “these figures do not portray an accurate picture of the country’s situation and mask severe challenges currently faced by its population.” She noted that people cannot actually drink directly from the water storage tanks and have to boil it, despite previous efforts to improve the situation.

“People are still suffering from a lack of water in sufficient quantities on a continuous basis. Several people told me that they have no confidence in the sustainability of the water supply,” she said.

The Special Rapporteur called on authorities to ensure that the country’s water harvesting system is used to its maximum potential in old and new buildings, and urged the Government to immediately adopt and implement a national water strategy and plan of action covering the entire population.

“Access to water and sanitation must be affordable to all, in particular to those who have a lower income. The price paid for water, sanitation and hygiene must not compromise access to other human rights such as food, housing or education,” Ms. de Albuquerque said. “I call on the Government to bear this in mind when discussing and adopting new water tariffs or when advancing the use of composting toilets.” More



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt

July 24, 2012: For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.

On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July.

Researchers have not yet determined whether this extensive melt event will affect the overall volume of ice loss this summer and contribute to sea level rise.

"The Greenland ice sheet is a vast area with a varied history of change. This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story," said Tom Wagner, NASA's cryosphere program manager in Washington. "Satellite observations are helping us understand how events like these may relate to one another as well as to the broader climate system." More


Monday, July 23, 2012

Marshall Islands Joins Fiji, Tuvalu in Regional Climate Talks

Marshall Islands President Christopher J. Loeak was the keynote speaker at the three – day conference on Local Governments for Climate Change held in Fiji this week. The Conference, sponsored by the University of the South Pacific and hosted by President of the Republic of Fiji, H.E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, drew Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) leaders, scholars, and university students in a follow-up to the Rio+20 meeting last month in Brazil.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: In his statement, President Loeak expressed concerns on the slow pace of climate actions and direction of global directions on sustainable development. In reiterating prior calls for urgent actions on climate change at the conference this morning and at other conferences, most recently at the RIO+20 in Brazil, President Loeak said that the Marshall Islands cannot afford to wait for others to act.Being one of only 4 low-lying atoll nations in the world, the Marshall Islands has already undertaken adaptation work on the ground to address the impact of climate change and has partnered with neighboring countries in Micronesia under the Micronesia Challenge to conserve 30% of its coastal resources and 20% of its forests.

FIJI: On the last day of his three-day visit, HE Loeak told the Fijian head of government that the Marshall Islands “will continue to rely on Fiji’s leadership regionally on many important issues such as climate change”. “We are also throwing in our support for the bid by Fiji to host the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) meeting here in Fiji,” he said. HE Loeak made these remarks as he handed over a cheque of USD $5000 to Prime Minister Bainimarama for the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund that will go towards assisting those who were affected during the two periods of flooding in the Western division earlier this year. HE Loeak, while extending his appreciation to the Prime Minister for the reception his delegation received since his arrival on Sunday, said the people of Marshall Islands valued the diplomatic ties with Fiji. “As part of the framework that was signed last year between Fiji and the Marshall Islands we have recently recruited teachers and will look at recruiting more professionals from Fiji to work in the Marshalls,” he said. More


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The mystery of the sinking islands South Pacific Islands

Climate change or tectonic shifts

The island rises out of the ocean like a crenellated fortress. The trees on its slopes stand so close, their crowns so impenetrable, that the island appears to be wrapped in a blanket of green velvet.

Below, palm trees line the beach and the shapes of huts, some emitting smoke, stand out against the blinding light of the rising sun.

A team of French researchers steer their motorboat carefully through the reef toward Vanikoro, this fleck of earth that's part of the Solomon Islands, in the South Pacific. They've come here to uncover the island's secrets. "It feels is if we were on an expedition 250 years ago," says Valérie Ballu, 44, a geodesist from Paris. Geodesy is the science of measuring the Earth.

Ballu jumps into the shallow water of a sandbank, then pushes the boat ahead of her. The village on the shore is now showing signs of life. Women in brightly colored skirts appear at the entrances to their huts, babies in their arms. Naked, curious children with frizzy blonde hair run down to the edge of the beach, while men in dugout canoes paddle out to meet their foreign guests.

In less than a stone's throw, two cultures will meet, two different ways of living and thinking. Friendly laughter makes for a good start in easing this initial encounter.

"Momombo wako!" calls Alexandre François, 40, the French group's linguist. He has already lived on the island and studied its languages. The men from Vanikoro recognize him. They call him "the white man from the big island."

These foreign visitors are here because Vanikoro is slowly sinking into the ocean -- or at least that's what they believe. From their boat, the team begins unloading a number of heavy instruments with which they plan to measure the island.

Vanikoro has an area of less than 200 square kilometers (77 square miles), which makes it a bit smaller than Martha's Vineyard. Its 900 residents live without electricity, telephones or regular ferry service. The horizon gives off the impression of standing at the end of the world, and the only way to get away from this place is with a long pirogue, a dugout canoe outfitted with a sail.

The island's inhabitants divide Vanikoro roughly into three tribal areas, and they speak four different languages. Vanikoro lies more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Australia and, like many of Oceania's islands, was created by volcanic activity, its destiny determined by the rubbing and colliding of continental plates. The researchers from France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) plan to spend two days investigating this geological spectacle. More


Monday, July 2, 2012

Fully funded fellowship opportunity - United Nations-Nippon Fellowship call for applications

United Nations - Nippon Fellowship Programme

The United Nations - Nippon Fellowship Programme is now accepting applications. Successful applicants will benefit from a 9-month fully funded research fellowship which includes a 3-month placement at the United Nations in NY. Please disseminate widely to government and non-government individuals from developing states working in any ocean-related discipline. Information and application files can be found on the fellowship website: and the alumni website is here: Application deadline is 15 September 2012.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rise in sea level can't be stopped: scientists

Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists said in a study on Sunday.

A lot of climate research shows that rising greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for increasing global average surface temperatures by about 0.17 degrees Celsius a decade from 1980-2010 and for a sea level rise of about 2.3mm a year from 2005-2010 as ice caps and glaciers melt.

Rising sea levels threaten about a tenth of the world's population who live in low-lying areas and islands which are at risk of flooding, including the Caribbean, Maldives and Asia-Pacific island groups.

More than 180 countries are negotiating a new global climate pact which will come into force by 2020 and force all nations to cut emissions to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius this century - a level scientists say is the minimum required to avert catastrophic effects.

But even if the most ambitious emissions cuts are made, it might not be enough to stop sea levels rising due to the thermal expansion of sea water, said scientists at the United States' National Centre for Atmospheric Research, U.S. research organization Climate Central and Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research in Melbourne.

"Even with aggressive mitigation measures that limit global warming to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial values by 2100, and with decreases of global temperature in the 22nd and 23rd centuries ... sea level continues to rise after 2100," they said in the journal Nature Climate Change.

This is because as warmer temperatures penetrate deep into the sea, the water warms and expands as the heat mixes through different ocean regions.

Even if global average temperatures fall and the surface layer of the sea cools, heat would still be mixed down into the deeper layers of the ocean, causing continued rises in sea levels. More