Global Warming

Fossil-fuel limits emerge as goal for deal on global warming

Envoys from some 190 nations are taking more seriously the idea of setting a goal to phase out the pollution from fossil fuels, lending support to the movement against investments in oil and coal companies.

After a week of discussions in Geneva, delegates convened by the United Nations adopted an 86-page draft document with options including the near-elimination of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 or 2100 — or to suck the most destructive fumes out of the atmosphere by 2080.

While the text marks only the starting point of discussions, that fossil-fuel limits have been given such prominence in the talks is an indication that the envoys are looking to ratchet up ambitions for a deal they wish to conclude in December in Paris.

With gases from burning oil, coal and natural gas at record levels, global temperatures are on track to warm by 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s the quickest shift in the climate in 10,000 years, which scientists say raises risks of more violent storms and rising seas.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 Earthquake hits north of Ascension island.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Global Warming

Fossil-fuel limits emerge as goal for deal on global warming

Envoys from some 190 nations are taking more seriously the idea of setting a goal to phase out the pollution from fossil fuels, lending support to the movement against investments in oil and coal companies.

After a week of discussions in Geneva, delegates convened by the United Nations adopted an 86-page draft document with options including the near-elimination of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 or 2100 — or to suck the most destructive fumes out of the atmosphere by 2080.

While the text marks only the starting point of discussions, that fossil-fuel limits have been given such prominence in the talks is an indication that the envoys are looking to ratchet up ambitions for a deal they wish to conclude in December in Paris.

With gases from burning oil, coal and natural gas at record levels, global temperatures are on track to warm by 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s the quickest shift in the climate in 10,000 years, which scientists say raises risks of more violent storms and rising seas.

Disease

Local Protests against Ebola Health Workers

Crowds destroyed an Ebola facility and attacked health workers in central Guinea on rumours that the Red Cross was planning to disinfect a school, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

Red Cross teams in Guinea have been attacked on average 10 times a month over the past year, the organisation said this week, warning that the violence was hampering efforts to contain the disease.

During the incident on Friday in the town of Faranah, around 400km east of the capital Conakry, angry residents attacked an Ebola transit centre and set ablaze a vehicle belonging to medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.

A Red Cross burial team was also targeted and forced to flee, said Fodé Tass Sylla, spokesman for the government campaign against the disease.

The number of new cases in Guinea nearly doubled last week to 64, according to World Health Organisation data, jeopardising a government plan to get to zero new cases by early March.

Scarlet Fever in Britain

Bristol could be facing an outbreak of scarlet fever – with reports today saying that the disease is spreading faster in Britain than at any time in half a century.

More than 300 new cases of the bacterial infection were reported in England last week, with 1,265 cases registered since the beginning of the year, the Independent reports.

Scarlet fever was often deadly in the Victorian era, but during the 20th century it became milder and more rare.

But now the disease – which causes a sore throat and fever accompanied by a distinctive rash on the chest or stomach – is on the rise again.