The Stream, September 22: Paris Climate Agreement Could Be Ratified By End Of Year

The Global Rundown

The Paris climate accord, a landmark agreement to cut global carbon emissions, could go into effect by the end of the year as more countries finalize their commitments. A network of ancient water channels supplying Turpan, China is drying up due to pressure from climate change, agriculture, and industry. Glaciers in Greenland are losing more ice each year than previously thought. The chance of a global La Nina weather pattern developing later this year has dropped. ExxonMobil is set to pay millions to Montana and the United States for spilling oil into the Yellowstone River.

“We used to get it for free, but now we have to pay for our water and it isn’t very clean.” –Mijiti Saludin, a resident of Turpan, China, on having to buy water from the city after an ancient channel that once supplied his family’s home dried up several years ago. The channel is part of an extensive system called karez that has delivered glacial water to Turpan for 2,000 years, but climate change, industry, and agricultural development are threatening the supply. (The New York Times)

By The Numbers

$12 million Amount ExxonMobil will pay in a settlement with Montana and the U.S. government over a 2011 oil spill from one of its pipelines. The spill occurred in the Yellowstone River, where it contaminated a 137-kilometer stretch of water. Reuters

12 millimeters Distance that Greenland is rising annually as glaciers melt and the land rebounds after being compressed by their weight. The measurements suggest that as much as 8 percent more ice is melting each year than previously thought. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

There is a 36 percent chance that a global La Nina weather pattern will develop this winter, a steep drop from earlier predictions of a 76 percent chance, according to forecasters in the United States. La Nina, the opposite of El Nino, is associated with floods in southern Africa and drier than normal conditions in South America. Reuters

On The Radar

An additional 31 countries signed the Paris climate agreement in New York on Wednesday, meaning 60 countries representing 47.7 percent of global carbon emissions are now committed. The agreement is a legally binding deal to cut global emissions, but it only goes into effect if countries representing 55 percent of total emissions sign on — a goal United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expects the world to reach by the end of the year. Guardian