Glaciers in Andes experiencing “unprecedented” melt

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Wednesday 23 January

South America: Climate change has shrunk Andean glaciers between 30 and 50 percent since the 1970s and could melt many of them away altogether in coming years, according to a study published on Tuesday in the journal Cryosphere. (Reuters)

EU: Oxfam is leading calls for funds from a newly agreed EU financial transactions tax to be directed towards climate initiatives. (RTCC)

Transport: The market for lithium ion batteries used in electric cars is set to expand to almost $22bn by the end of the decade, according to new analysis by Pike Research. (BusinessGreen)

World: The world could be locked into dangerous levels of global warming if 14 planned fossil fuel projects get the go ahead, according to a new report commissioned by Greenpeace. (RTCC)

USA: Barack Obama has ducked a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a key environmental issue, just one day after delivering a stirring call to action on climate change. (Guardian)

UN: UNEP says 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year and is launching a campaign to encourage producers, retailers and consumers to reduce these losses. (RTCC)

Australia: NASA have released a map charting the extent of the country’s recent heatwave, which many say is linked to climate change. During a January 2013 meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Hobart, Tasmania, IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri noted that the heatwave fit the patterns of global warming: “If you look at the trend then I think that’s pretty unmistakeable,” Pachauri said, “and any proper analysis would tell you that we are heading in that direction.”

Nasa background:
January 2013 brought record-setting heat to Australia; not just for days, but for weeks. Temperatures regularly eclipsed 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in multiple locations across the continent. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Australia set a new record for the highest temperature averaged across the entire nation: 40.33°C (104.59°F) on January 7. The national average reached 40.11°C (104.20°F) the following day. The overnight minimum temperature for January 7–8 also set new a record—32.36°C (90.25°F)—contributing to the hottest two-day period in Australia’s recorded history.

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