The LA Times reports U.S. blames Iran for delay in Iraq pact. The United Nation mandate that authores U.S. troops in Iraq expires on December 31. Unable to work out an agreement with the Iraqis letting the U.S. stay indefinitely, the Bush administration is trying to get an extension on the U.N. mandate. The Iraqis only want the American troops until 2011.
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker claimed Iran is “pushing very hard” to block the U.N. mandate extension. Iran, of course, has denied any interference. “In an interview in Baghdad this month, however, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, made it clear that his country deeply opposes the security agreement on the table as ‘one-sided.'”
Despite the anti-Iranian rhetoric, what really is holding up the U.N. extension is the U.S. insistence on immunity for U.S. troops. Both the Americans and the Iraqis want an agreement. “My clear sense is that the prime minister is focused on Iraqi concerns,” Crocker said, “not what Tehran or any other regional capital might be saying.”
The Washington Post reports Carbon is building up in our atmosphere faster than was predicted. “The rise in global carbon dioxide emissions last year outpaced international researchers’ most dire projections”.
In 2007, carbon released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement increased 2.9 percent over that released in 2006, to a total of 8.47 gigatons…
This output is at the very high end of scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and could translate into a global temperature rise of more than 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, according to the panel’s estimates…
Moreover, new scientific research suggests Earth is already destined for a greater worldwide temperature rise than previously predicted. Last month, two scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California at San Diego published research showing that even if humans stopped generating greenhouse gases immediately, the world’s average temperature would “most likely” increase by 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they based their calculations on the fact that new air-quality measures worldwide are reducing the amount of fine particles, or aerosols, in the atmosphere and diminishing their cooling effect.
The IPCC has warned that an increase of between 3.2 and 9.7 degrees Fahrenheit could trigger massive environmental changes, including major melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers and summer sea ice in the Arctic.
Four at Four continues with gas shortages in the Southeast, suspected terrorists arrested in Germany, and a bonus story on Namibia’s sunken treasure.