Excerpt: Climate and Energy

Bad atmosphere over Europe


The year 2007 brought a number of climate records and
extreme weather events. It started out with the warmest
January the world has ever experienced. April temperatures
in England were the highest recorded in 348 years.
In Greece summer heat waves and drought conditions
led to devastating fires. And with ice in the Arctic melting
at a rapid pace, it has now, for the first time, become
possible to freely navigate the Northwest Passage in the
summer months.


But 2007 was only one of many under the cloud of
climate change. Since the beginning of the industrial age
the mean global temperature has risen by roughly 0.8
degrees, showing a sharply rising tendency in the past
30 years. The planet’s ice and snow cover has diminished,
glaciers are retreating in mountainous regions
throughout the world. Sea levels have risen by close to
20 centimetres, and extreme weather events — heavy
precipitation, storms, and droughts — are growing in




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