Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sea level rise could cost port cities $28 trillion

London, England (CNN) -- A possible rise in sea levels by 0.5 meters by 2050 could put at risk more than $28 trillion worth of assets in the world's largest coastal cities, according to a report compiled for the insurance industry.

The value of infrastructure exposed in so-called "port mega-cities," urban conurbations with more than 10 million people, is just $3 trillion at present.
The rise in potential losses would be a result of expected greater urbanization and increased exposure of this greater population to catastrophic surge events occurring once every 100 years caused by rising sea levels and higher temperatures. More >>>

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Climate change to lash Britain with tropical storms

BRITAIN should brace itself for more tropical-style deluges of the kind that wreaked havoc on Cockermouth, according to climate experts.

They warn that, although no single event can be attributed to climate change, the warming of the atmosphere caused by greenhouse gases means such disasters will become more frequent.
“We need to follow the example of tropical cities like Kuala Lumpur and Singapore where flooding is a regular event,” said Roger Falconer, professor of water management at Cardiff University.
“They have huge flood drains and roads, all designed to channel water away from danger areas. Britain must learn to think the same way.”
Such warnings are in line with recent studies into how Britain’s climate may change. They suggest summers will become drier and warmer, but winters will be marked by storms, strong winds and more deluges.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Japan accelerates purchase of surplus solar electricity at homes

TOKYO — Sunday 1st November, - The government launched Sunday a new program that enables power companies to purchase at higher rates surplus electricity produced by solar power generation systems installed in homes, schools and hospitals.

The move is Japan’s latest attempt to make photovoltaic generation, which is cleaner in terms of carbon emissions than fossil fuels, more popular at the public level and to step up efforts to fight global warming.
On Saturday, the government said it may further accelerate such efforts, with Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressing his hope to launch another program during the year through March 2011, under which utility companies would buy all the solar electricity generated at homes and elsewhere. Kan said that would help give incentives to people to install solar panels on their roofs with ‘‘the state not required to spend even 1 yen.’’ Under the program begun Sunday, effective through the next 10 years, many of the utility firms will almost double payments to 48 yen for each kilowatt generated per hour by households and 24 yen by schools, hospitals and other facilities.

To cover the rise in costs, the electricity companies will collect a monthly surcharge of around 30 yen from every household and organization using electricity in the country, starting in April.
The surcharge is expected to rise to 50 to 100 yen in the next five to 10 years and critics say the additional burden will only weaken consumer sentiment, delaying Japan’s emergence from the economic downturn. More >>>