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Participants to the 1st International Conference on Forestry, Environment and Climate Change held on January 12-13, 2017 at the Gladiola Center pose with BSU, Kongju National University and Kyungpook National University officials.

The 1st International Conference on Forestry, Environment and Climate Change was held in the University on January 12-13, 2017 at the Gladiola Hall. The two-day conference, spearheaded by the College of Forestry in collaboration with Kongju National University and Kyungpook National University of Korea, is one of BSU’s efforts in promoting sustainable development amidst climate change. It also aimed to create a venue for researchers, discussant, academicians and research partners to share their research findings that can help address some of the most pressing concerns of forest, environment and climate change.

Read more: Benguet State University holds international conference on forestry, environment, and climate change

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Last year, the Earth sweltered under the hottest temperatures in modern times for the third year in a row, US scientists said Wednesday, raising new concerns about the quickening pace of climate change.

The global average temperature last year was 1.69 Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century average (AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky) / MANILA BULLETIN

Temperatures spiked to new national highs in parts of India, Kuwait and Iran, while sea ice melted faster than ever in the fragile Arctic, said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Taking a global average of the land and sea surface temperatures for the entire year, NOAA found the data for “2016 was the highest since record keeping began in 1880,” said the announcement.

The global average temperature last year was 1.69 Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century average, and 0.07 degrees F (0.04 C) warmer than in 2015, the last record-setting year, according to NOAA.

This was “not a huge margin to set a new record but it is larger than the typical margin,” Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA global climate monitoring, said on a conference call with reporters.

A separate analysis by the US space agency NASA also found that 2016 was the hottest on record.

The World Meteorological Organization in Geneva confirmed the US findings, and noted that atmospheric concentrations of both carbon dioxide and methane reached new highs.

Read more: Earth breaks heat record in 2016 for third year in a row

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Temperature and carbon dioxide levels hit record highs this year, underscoring the magnitude of the climate crisis. At the same time, landmark global deals on reducing emissions from the aviation and refrigeration sectors offer some hope.

Flooding in Sri Lanka between 14 and 22 May 2016, triggered by the heaviest rainfall it has ever seen in 25 years. Image: European Commission DG ECHO, CC BY-NC 2.0

Where climate action was concerned, 2016 started off positively as the optimism from the December 2015 signing of the Paris Agreement carried through into the new year. But things soon took a turn for the worse as monthly temperature records toppled, setting up 2016 to be the hottest year on record, and climate change was linked to disturbing phenomena such as an anthrax outbreak in North Russia. 

There were, however, hopeful moments such as the milestone Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which sets a timetable for countries to phase down the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons and a commitment by the aviation sector to permanently cap its emissions at 2020 levels.

However, the year ended on a note of uncertainty with the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States of America. Here are the top five climate stories of 2016. 

Read more: 2016: A year of climate hope and uncertainty

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