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Korean Ecological Youth Group

In the photo: Members of the Korean Ecological Youth group protest against developed countries' emissions of greenhouse gases by walking with a sign saying ''Shut Down Dirty CO2 Market''. Picture taken November 13, 1998. (Credit: Reuters/Rickey Rogers)

(Reuters) - Asia's powerhouse economies are turning cautious on national plans to price emissions and instead pursuing incremental steps that could delay a global carbon offset market.

Pressures from business and uncertainty over the shape of a U.N. climate pact mean the region will be reluctant to impose steep carbon costs while competitors such as the United States struggle to take action on emissions caps.

Asia is opening doors to trade carbon or energy efficiency certificates and promoting investment in renewables at the local level, which analysts say in a positive development though not ideal.

Read more: Analysis: Asia's climate steps could delay global CO2 market

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Nuclear Power Plant

In the photo: A coal-fired power plant is seen at an industrial park in Wuhai, in China's northern Inner Mongolia region, December 7,2009. Photograph by: File, Reuters

Shawn Marshall says he's not a catastrophist. The world will still be standing in the next millennium if global carbon emissions continue at their current rate for the next 100 years, says the Canada research chair in climate change, who contributed to a study released Sunday.

"I have a feeling a lot of nature will adapt and evolve to this, it's just we'll lose some stuff on the way," he said.

"I mean, we've seen pretty clearly that coral reefs can't adapt quickly, so we'll lose some of that. We'll lose some of our favourite ski areas, a number of different cities like Venice or Manhattan."

Marshall, a geography professor at the University of Calgary, recently completed work with a team of researchers from an Environment Canada research laboratory at the University of Victoria.

Together, the team performed the first full climate model simulation to make predictions on the effects of climate change 1,000 years from now.

One scenario simulated the outcome of current emission levels continuing until 2100, which then completely stop.

Read more: Another century of emissions will fuel 1,000 years of climate change: Study

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Iceberg

In this photograph taken on November 9, 2007 glaciers are pictured in Antartica. Global warming may wipe out three-quarters of Europe's alpine glaciers by 2100 and hike sea levels by four metres (13 feet) by the year 3000 through melting the West Antarctic icesheet, two studies published on Janaury 9, 2011 said.

Photograph by: File, AFP

A fifth of the ice in the world's mountain glaciers and ice caps will disappear by 2100, with some regions losing as much as 75 per cent of their ice, according to an international study.

In the most detailed assessment yet of glaciers, which are often described as the world's water towers, the study found the European Alps, as well as New Zealand, could lose three quarters of their ice by the end of the century, while high mountainous regions in Asia may lose 10 per cent.

In Western Canada and the United States, 50 per cent of glacier ice could disappear by 2100, which could have substantial impacts on regional power dams and water supplies. 

"For the long-term, it's not good for the economy because there will be a drop in river run-off and less water in reservoirs," says glaciologist Valentina Radic a professor at the University of British Columbia and the lead researcher. 

Read more: Planet faces great glacier meltdown by 2100: Study

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