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Sunday, November 18, 2007

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

I'm posting this report simply because more and more, all considerations of wildlife issues take account of climate change. The Wildlife Trust and the RSPB to name but two organisations which come to mind are framing their future plans on the probable effect on our part of the UK. It has been very much a normal attitude by the public at large to take wildlife for granted and it will be interesting to observe how and when that attitude changes significantly.

Here is a link to a BBC report by Richard Black ( BBC Environment Correspondent) covering the recent issue of the IPCC final assessment on its 2007 report on the state of the environment.

Here are his concluding comments:

This is the IPCC's fourth major assessment of global climate change since its formation nearly 20 years ago.

During the course of its existence, it has become more certain that modern-day climate change is real and principally due to human activities; it has also become firmer about the scale of the impacts.

"If you look at the overall picture of impacts, both those occurring now and those projected for the future, they appear to be both larger and appearing earlier than we thought [in our 2001 report]," Martin Parry, co-chair of the impacts working group, told BBC News.

"Some of the changes that we previously projected for around 2020 or 2030 are occurring now, such as the Arctic melt and shifts in the locations of various species."

There are indications that projected increases in droughts are also happening earlier than expected, he said, though that was less certain.

The IPCC considered about 29,000 pieces of real-world evidence in compiling this report, as well as the projections of computer models.

These include observations showing that dry areas of the world such as the Sahel and southern Africa are receiving less rainfall, while it has increased in northern Europe and parts of the Americas.

The panel suggests societies need to adapt to future impacts, as well as curbing emissions.

Without extra measures, carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise; they are already growing faster than a decade ago, partly because of increasing use of coal.

The IPCC's economic analyses say that trend can be reversed at reasonable cost. Indeed, it says, there is "much evidence that mitigation actions can result in near-term co-benefits (e.g. improved health due to reduced air pollution)" that may offset costs.

The panel's scientists say the reversal needs to come within a decade or so if the worst effects of global warming are to be avoided.

The findings will feed into the Bali talks on the UN climate convention and the Kyoto Protocol which open on 3 December.

Follow up on my last post.

A Visit to the RSPB WEST Sedgemoor Reserve.

This is the next walk on this reserve.

Guided walk, Somerset

Booking essential


Wednesday 21 November


the RSPB WEST Sedgemoor Reserve, Somerset.


10.00am to Noon


£2 including refreshments.


Telephone: 01749 672749

News update on West Sedgemoor RSPB reserve meeting

Just to start off, here are two photos from a very old friend who manages to get some good pictures of wildlife.

Photos by David Le Clercq taken somewhere in Dorset.

Meanwhile back in Somerset we recently had a most enjoyable evening listening to a talk about the West Sedgemoor RSPB Reserve.
Damon Bridge, Reserve Warden, was able to impart a wealth of facts and figures illustrated with a Powerpoint presentation. Without any notes he explained how this wetland reserve is important on an international scale and the extent of the management techniques that are used to maintain its value for the extensive range of birds which use it for both breeding and wintering.
Major achievements since 1978 have been to halt and reverse declines in populations of wading birds including redshanks, snipe and curlew. Also protecting the area for wintering for Berwick's swan, teal, wigeon, shovler, pintail, lapwing, golden plover and snipe with often over 50,000 birds annually.
My own visits to the site have been memorable for walks in the woods and meadows on the escarpment to the south with displays of orchids and the sight of nesting herons and egrets in the spring.
Here is a link to the RSPB local area page