TWO days after P-Noy delivered his Sona, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) of the US released their Socre (State of the Climate Report) for 2009. The document which was based on actual recorded data around the world, shows evidence that our world is really warming. The full report can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate.
More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the Socre. The NOAA comes out with this report yearly, in contrast to the assessment done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading body for the assessment of climate change, which is release every four years. The last IPCC report was in 2007.
The Socre cited ten key indicators which all point to a warming world. Seven parameters are increasing: air temperature near surface, humidity, ocean heat content, sea level, sea surface temperature, temperature over oceans and temperature over lands. Three parameters are observed to be decreasing: snow cover, glaciers and sea ice.
The report also highlighted extreme weather occurrences in 2009:
• In Brazil, extreme rainfall in the Amazon basin caused the worst flood in a century. Forty people were killed and 376,000 were left homeless.
• In southeastern South America, the wettest November in 30 years displaced thousands of people.
• In northwest England, heavy rainfall flooded the Lake District, setting new records for river flows and damaging 1,500 properties.
• In northern Iberia and southern France, a North Atlantic storm raked the land with record winds, downed power lines, closed airports and blocked railroads.
• Three intense heat waves broke temperature records in Australia. One of them was accompanied by high winds that fanned bushfires, killing 173 people.
• The central north Pacific, which includes Hawaii, experienced several tropical cyclones after years of relative calm.
In the Philippines, 2009 was also the year of extreme weather events. We had the worst flooding in history caused typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. I wonder why they were not listed in the Socre.
Our government's response: Under Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009 signed last December 23, 2009, a Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change should be formulated within six months after the effectivity of the law. After that, a National Climate Change Action Plan should be prepared in accordance with the Framework within one year.
The Local Government Units shall formulate their Local Climate Change Action Plan in their respective areas, consistent with the provisions of the Local Government Code, the Framework, and the National Climate Change Action Plan. In Mabalacat, the responsibility of helping the executive in formulating such plan rests on my shoulder, being the SB committee chairman on environment.