Sea ice in the Arctic has failed to re-form for the second consecutive winter, raising fears that global warming may have tipped the polar regions in to irreversible climate change far sooner than predicted.
Recent findings from Nasa show that the Arctic is starting to respond to global warming.
We have George Bush to thank for this development.
In 2005, Bush administration officials working behind the scenes have succeeded in weakening key sections of a proposal for joint action by the eight major industrialized nations to curb climate change.
Under U.S. pressure, negotiators agreed to delete language that would detail how rising temperatures are affecting the globe, set ambitious targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, and set stricter environmental standards.
The administration's push to alter the G-8's plan on global warming marks its latest effort to edit scientific or policy documents to accord with its position that mandatory carbon dioxide cuts are unnecessary.
The New York Times reported that a senior White House official had altered government documents to emphasize the uncertainties surrounding the science on global warming. That official, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chief of Staff Phillip Cooney, left the administration to take a public relations job with oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., a leading opponent of mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The wording of the international document, titled "Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development," will help determine what, if any, action the G-8 countries will take as a group to combat global warming. Every member nation except the United States has pledged to bring its greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2012 as part of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty.
Negotiators tried to work out the wording of statements on climate change and other issues that leaders of all eight nations were willing to endorse. The language is not final, but the documents show that a number of deletions were made at U.S. insistence.
But environmentalists criticized the administration for trying to water down the international coalition's initiative. The seven other G-8 members -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia -- were urged to adopt their own global warming plan rather than accept a milder statement that they say would provide the Bush administration with political cover.
"The U.S. will just not budge," said Hans Verolme, director of the World Wildlife Fund's U.S. climate change program. "We'd rather not have a deal than have a deal that lets George Bush off the hook."