Monday, March 23, 2009

“Weather, climate and the air we breathe”---23 March World Meteorological Day

Each year, on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization, its 188 Members and the worldwide meteorological community celebrate World Meteorological Day around a chosen theme. This Day commemorates the entry into force, on that date in 1950, of the WMO Convention creating the Organization. Subsequently, in 1951, WMO was designated a specialized agency of the United Nations System.

This year, the theme is “Weather, climate and the air we breathe”.

Such a theme is particularly appropriate at a time when communities around the globe are struggling to attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, especially in terms of health, food, water security and poverty alleviation, as well as to increase their effectiveness in preventing and mitigating natural disasters, of which 90 per cent are directly related to weather, climate and water.

Moreover, scientists and medical professionals are increasingly aware of the critical linkages between weather, climate, the composition of the air we breathe and their effects on human health.

Over the past few decades, population growth, increased energy usage and industrial development have contributed to the emission of gases and particles that affect human health. Thus, asthma, heart disease, lung cancer and many other medical conditions have been exacerbated, or even caused, by declining air quality.

In addition, air pollution impinges on the global economy, food and water security and sustainable development, by damaging plants, crops and ecosystems.

Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.

The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.

We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.

The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.

If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.

Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.
Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.
Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.
More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.

There is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The time to come together to solve this problem is now –TAKE ACTION.

Millennium Hotels Group has its mission in Green policy , water prevention, Electrical Energy Conservation, Recycling and Eco-Friendly Suppliers and Products have been put into daily operational process . Also as it claims:'Millennium Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to life-long environmental responsibility and will continue to embrace the addition of new eco-friendly policies in the future.' It is not only a business issue , it is a world wide human issue , an issue that realted to life and death in a predictable future.

resources from global warming, eco-friendly websites

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