`There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activity'
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (United Nations), Third Assessment Report, 2001
Global Warming Trends ‘ Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (United Nations), Fourth Assessment Report, 2007
Global Warming Trends | Observations of recent climate change Global mean temperature Global average sea level Northern hemisphere snow cover
Global Warming Trends | Carbon Dioxide Concentration Adapted from USGCRP (US Global Change Research Program)
Carbon Dioxide Concentration 800 600 400 200 0 CO 2 (ppmv) Thousands of Years Before Present 240 300 270 210 180 Petit et al., 1999; Siegenthaler et al., 2005; EPICA Community members, 2004 Temp. Proxy Present CO 2 concentration (383 ppmv) CO 2 concentration after 50 years of unrestricted fossil fuel burning (600 ppmv)
Human Activities that cause global warming | Activities that produce Methane
Methane (natural gas) is the second most important of the greenhouse gases resulting from human activities.
It is produced by:
Cattle and sheep ranching
Decaying material in landfills.
Human activities have increased the concentration of methane in the atmosphere by about 145% above what would be present naturally (Published by United Nations Environment Group).
Human Activities that cause global warming | Activities that produce Nitrous Oxides
Nitrous oxide is produced by various agricultural and industrial practices.
Human activities have increased the concentration of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere by about 15% above what would be present naturally (Published by United Nations Environment Group) .
Example |motor vehicle impacts TDM encyclopedia
International Initiatives to control global warming
The adoption of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 was a major step forward in tackling the problem of global warming. Yet the GHG’s were still increasing and they had to do in depth negotiations. After two and a half years of intense negotiations, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted at the third Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 3) in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997. The Protocol shares the objective and institutions of the Convention. The major distinction between the two, however, is that while the Convention encouraged developed countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.
Because of its effect on all major sectors of the economy , the Kyoto Protocol is considered to be the most far-reaching agreement on environment and sustainable development ever adopted . However, any treaty not only has to be effective in tackling a complicated worldwide problem, it must also be politically acceptable.
The Protocol requires developed countries to reduce their GHG emissions below levels specified for each of them in the Treaty. These targets must be met within a five-year time frame between 2008 and 2012, and add up to a total cut in GHG emissions of at least 5% against the baseline of 1990.
At the end of March 2001, U.S. President George Bush said that he " opposed the Kyoto Protocol ." One of the reasons he cited was because India and China would not be subject to Kyoto measures and would increase their emissions. Yet he ignored that on a per capita basis, India and China's emissions are far less than the United States, which is the worst . Furthermore, the U.S. is responsible for over 20 to 25 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, for just 4 to 5 percent of the world's population.
Enjoying cleaner environments with reduced emissions and less greenhouse effects must be incorporated within our vision; hence embraced in the strategies which activate and operate the accomplishment of this vision.
According to proponents of Intelligent Urbanism, acts against nature may include cutting of hillside trees, quarrying on slopes, dumping sewage and industrial waste into the natural drainage system, paving excessively, and construction on steep slopes.
Intelligent Urbanism proposes that the balance of nature can be maintained when fragile areas are reserved, conservation of eco-systems is pursued, and low intensity habitation are thoughtfully identified.
Apply zoning concepts in conjunction with other relevant land use controls & tools with the aim of promoting sustainable development and capacity building for a given place, population characteristics, resource base and institutional framework.
TOD calls for the creation of dense, walkable zones along the existing transit lines so that the inhabitants are capable of recognizing each other ’ s faces, share common facilities and resources, and often see each other at the village centre.
There has been a rapid increase in the consumption of energy and fossil fuels in the UAE due to population growth, accelerated economic growth and extreme climatic conditions.
High temperatures require use of air conditioning. Also, depletion of ground water resources has led the UAE to increase production of desalinated sea water which is energy demanding.
Climate change will increasingly be a driving force in itself. As temperatures increase, the demand for energy to air conditioning will also rise. At the same time, more energy will be needed to desalinate sea water .
The UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the Kyoto Protocol aims at reducing the global emissions of key greenhouse gases by at least 5 percent below the 1990 level during the period 2008-2012.
Most industrialized countries have undertaken commitments to limit their national emissions in order to reach this goal.
The UAE ratified the Kyoto Protocol in January 2005.
In April 2006, Abu Dhabi took a bold and historic decision to embrace renewable and sustainable energy technologies.
The Masdar Initiative has officially launched the world ’ s first attempt to create a zero-waste, zero-carbon sustainable city in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The project plans will adopt the sustainable development tactics while maintaining the traditional planning principals of a walled city, together with existing technologies, to achieve a zero carbon and zero waste community.