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Holy smoke blamed for melting Himalayan glaciers

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Source: Flickr/littlevanities

Source: Flickr/littlevanities

India: Holy smoke arising from Hindu funeral pyres, Muslim cemeteries and Buddhist temples are responsible for almost a quarter of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming on the Indian subcontinent and the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, a new study has claimed. (Times of India)

Research: Global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a “permanent slowdown” in the rate of increase. According to a new report, emissions in 2012 increased at less than half the average over the past decade. (BBC)

Antarctic: Talks to create the world’s two largest marine reserves in the Antarctic have broken down, with conservationists branding Russia a “repeat offender” for blocking an international agreement. (Guardian)

UK: Fracking for shale gas is safe as long as operations are well-regulated and well-run, the main public health watchdog for England said on Thursday, after reviewing evidence from the US on the controversial technology. (Guardian)

US: The White House is expected to take new steps on Friday to help society adapt to global warming, an acknowledgment that worldwide efforts to control emissions will be inadequate to head off big climatic shifts. White House aides said President Obama would sign an executive order on Friday morning directing federal agencies to make it easier for states and communities to build resilience against storms, droughts and other weather extremes. (NY Times)

UN: Investors and the panel overseeing the UN’s carbon market for developing countries have called on delegates at next month’s climate meeting in Warsaw to rescue the ailing scheme, which the UN estimates has provided $315 billion in funding to low-carbon projects to date. (Point Carbon)

Research: Areas of the Pacific are warming faster than at any time in the past 10,000 years, adding weight to theories that global warming may be ‘hiding’ in the world’s oceans. In a paper published in the journal Science, scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say water temperatures up to 2,200ft deep have increased by around 0.18°C since the 1950s. (RTCC)

Developing world: Total greenhouse gas emissions by China and other emerging nations since 1850 will surpass those of rich nations this decade, complicating UN talks about who is most to blame for global warming, a study showed on Thursday. (Reuters)

Canada: Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, will proceed with the C$13.5 billion ($12.9 billion) Fort Hills oil sands project as it seeks to increase production. (Bloomberg)

Africa: African nations are entitled to a fair share of financial and other assistance from the developed world to help them cope with climate change, but they should also take the initiative to green their own economies and use land more sustainably and productively, experts told a conference on climate change and development in Ethiopia this month. (Point Carbon)

Policy: Scientists could have a greater influence over climate change policy if more research showed how communities are already adapting to changes, rather than focusing solely on long-term projections, a scientist from the Center for International Forestry Research has said. (CIFOR)

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