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10 facts about climate change
Over 15,000 participants from 192 nations are currently meeting in Copenhagen to discuss how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; meanwhile, some officials insist that climate change data is false.
December 7, 2009 2:30 by Aarti Nagraj
1. The main objective of the meeting in Copenhagen is to create a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012, and also have a political agreement to reduce global emissions by 2020.
2. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report last year that said the world has seen the highest temperatures in the last 11 years since records were first kept in 1850. Scientists have said that the rising temperatures are responsible for the melting of global ice caps, rise in sea levels and habitat destruction.
3. The world’s atmosphere is seeing the highest level of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, in 600,000 years. The gas traps the heat in the earth’s atmosphere, thus heating the planet. A recent report said that countries across the world should emit less than 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2020 to avoid the “worst consequences of a warming world.”
4. Researchers have estimated that the 12-day climate change meet in Copenhagen will cost more than $210 million and will emit at least 41,000 tons of carbon dioxide – more greenhouse gas than produced by entire African nations like Malawi, Sierra Leone or even Afghanistan during the same period.
5. Industrial countries produce 55 percent of greenhouse gases in the world. The US generates about 21 percent of the gases, while its population accounts for just 5 percent of the world’s total.
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