U.S. Center Opens at COP-15

Posted by Billie Gross
December 7, 2009
COP-15 Opening Ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark

Watch events live from the U.S. Center in Copenhagen. Follow the U.S. Center on YouTube and Flickr.About the Author: Billie Gross serves as Public Affairs Specialist for the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She is currently on assignment at the U.S. Center in Copenhagen.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP-15) began today at the Bell Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing and U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Laurie Fulton opened the U.S. Center at COP-15 with brief remarks welcoming visitors and highlighting the significance of the U.S. Center and its 70 events during the two-week conference that will highlight the strong actions the U.S. is taking at home and the leadership role the U.S. is pursuing internationally to combat global climate change. Later, Ambassador Fulton shared her thoughts about the importance of the conference.

The U.S. Center then premiered its dynamic centerpiece, Science On a Sphere, which will be featured throughout the conference. NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory director and inventor of Science On a Sphere, Dr. Alexander E. (Sandy) MacDonald joined us at the U.S. Center to discuss his invention. Science On a Sphere is a large, visually compelling, computer-driven globe that displays animated images of the Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere. Through a combination of Earth system animations and narratives, Science On a Sphere will highlight U.S. contributions to advancing scientific understanding of Earth’s dynamic climate system.

Today's schedule included events about the warming Arctic, ocean acidification, climate change impacts on civilization, and nitrogen management in climate policy development. The full schedule of U.S. Center events can be found on the COP-15 website and most of the events will be streamed live. Select events will also feature live chats. Access information for live chats can also be found on the COP-15 website.



Virginia, USA
December 7, 2009

Milan in Virginia writes:

We have to care / worry what kind of world we will leave to our children and next generations...

* Climate change for national security threats are real. It's rising concerns for world uncontrolled: worsening storms, droughts, floods, the increased spread of disease, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and more severe shortages of food and water... ( ã In the past year, food insecurity has affected about 30 countries... The U.N. secretary general said there can be NO food security without climate security : One billion hungry people, that is one of every group of six persons in the world, 105 million more than in 2008, five children dying every 30 seconds... ( UN - Rome - climate change- 11.16.09. ).

Pr Obama : "No one nation is responsible for climate change, no one nation can address it alone... We can let climate change continue to go unchecked or we can help stop it...Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it -- boldly, swiftly, and together -- we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe."

* Ozone reductions (estimated to be ~1-3% globally) can cause environmental problems due to the increase in UV-B radiation. One such problem involves increases in skin cancer.

It is known, for example, that more than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are related to UV-B exposure. A 2% increase in UV-B is linked with a 2-5% increase in basal-cell cancer cases and a 4-10% increase in squamous-cell cancer cases. ( 1% depletion of ozone would cause an increase in skin cancer cases of ~20,000 per year...)

"Climate change is a clear and present danger to our world that demands immediate attention. The United States is fully engaged and ready to lead and determined to make up for lost time, both at home and abroad." - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, April 27, 2009


1. Eliminate greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere because of human activities, like: ozone depleting substances worldwide : HFCs ( Hydrofluorocarbons ) and other Fluorinated Gases ; than : Carbon Dioxide ( CO2 ) , Methane ( CH4 ), Nitrous Oxide ( N2O)...

The largest contributing source of greenhouse gas is the burning of fossil fuels ( oil, gas, petrol, kerosene, etc.) leading to the emission of carbon dioxide, has been increased dramatically over the past 50 years. The long atmospheric lifetimes of some of the gases are : 100 years for CO2, 60-100 years for HFCs, 170 years for N2O, etc.

The Copenhagen international climate change: December 07. - 18. 2009. can find solution what to do with 30 billion tons of CO2 the human race produce every year by burning fossil fuels. Half of this is absorbed by oceans, plants and trees ... New Jersey shore is one of many examples how to store several hundred billion tons of CO2 ,by injecting CO2 into undersea rock...

2. Pr Obama called to reduce USA greenhouse gas emission 80% and global emission 50 % by 2050. U.S. position for talks in Copenhagen is probable, 17 % reduction over 2005 levels of the domestic emissions of the gases by 2020.
Pr Obama and his Team favored method for reducing carbon emissions was the creation of a cap-and-trade scheme. Under his scheme, the amount of carbon that could be emitted in the US would be capped, and firms would be given permits (according to their size) to emit specified amounts of carbon. Firms that produce less carbon would be able to trade their permits to firms that need to produce more than their allotted quota, so the scheme would create a financial incentive for companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

3. We need to reach world agreement for low-carbon development...

4. Limit global warming to NO more than two degrees Celsius during 21 Century.

Global surface temperature increased 0.74 +/- 0.18 C ( 1.33 +/- 0.32 F ) during last century.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) report indicate that the global surface temperature will probable rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 C ( 2.0 to 11.5 F ) during 21. Century. IPCC concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation caused most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20 th century. Worming will be stronger in the Arctic...( "The sea level rises for two reasons. Partly because of the melting ice and snow, and partly because of the thermal expansion of the sea. Thermal expansion takes a long time, but even an increase in temperature of two degrees Celsius is expected, in due time, to cause a rise in the water level of almost a metre".).

Ronald m.
December 8, 2009

Ronald M. in Italy writes:

We need to care about peace. Everyone, every country is the architect of his own happiness or unhappiness of his own peace or war...Today, too little weight is given to the real values and we have to know that "Peace at any price is no longer peace." Therefor everyone need to have peace internally in order to have peace on hearth.

Arizona, USA
December 8, 2009

LaNita in Arizona writes:

"Pr Obama called to reduce USA greenhouse gas emission 80% and global emission 50 % by 2050. U.S. position for talks in Copenhagen is probable, 17 % reduction over 2005 levels of the domestic emissions of the gases by 2020."

It sounds good, Milan, as a sells pitch, but "17% reduction over 2005 levels of the domestic emissions of the gases by 2020" is actually only a 4% reduction over 1990 levels. Most countries are calling for 20% over 1990 levels.


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