Monday, December 03, 2007

Wanna Go to the Tropics? In Colorado?

The greenhouse effect is causing Earth's zone of tropical climate to creep towards the poles, according to a study whose release on Sunday coincided with the eve of a major UN conference on climate change.

The poleward expansion of the tropics will have far-reaching impacts, notably in intensifying water scarcity in the Mediterranean and the US "Sun belt" as well as southern Africa and southern Australia, it warns.

Good thing SW states don’t have a lot of money invested in prisons that would keep them from being able to react most effectively when the weather and water crises and shortages hit (especially if taxpayers also move away). And, oh, yeah, here’s what that climate thing is about:

Faced with melting polar ice caps and worsening droughts, climate experts at a massive U.N. conference Monday urged quick action toward a new international pact stemming an increasingly destructive rise in world temperatures.

A key goal of the two-week conference, which opened with delegates from nearly 190 countries in attendance, will be to draw a skeptical United States into an agreement to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases.

While the U.S. delegation declared it would not be a "roadblock" to a new agreement, Washington remains opposed to steps many other countries support, such as mandatory emissions cuts by rich nations and a target for limiting the rise in global temperatures.

The American position suffered a blow Monday when the new Australian prime minister signed papers to ratify the Kyoto Protocol climate pact. The move leaves the U.S. - the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases - as the sole industrial power not to have joined.

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