Climate-change specialists find themselves on political firing line: The toughest job for about 1200 authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is not analysing thousands of pages of scientific papers. It is when they have to defend their findings before government representatives, as they are doing now during a five-day meeting at the United Nations Conference Centre on Ratchadamneon Nok avenue which started yesterday. Bangkok Post

US joins climate change push:The European Union and the United States will agree that climate change is a central challenge that requires urgent, sustained global action, a draft statement says. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, making her first trip to Washington since assuming the presidency of the EU, hopes the joint statement with the US President, George Bush, due to be released yesterday, will lay the groundwork for a broader deal on combating global warming at a Group of Eight summit she will host in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm next month. SMH

Climate change will bring health risks: Much attention has been devoted in recent times to the environmental and economic effects of climate change. Much less attention, however, has been given to the possible effects of climate change, particularly global warming, on the health of the populations, particularly those from the poorest countries. This is a trend that requires prompt attention if the deleterious effects of climate change on health are to be avoided. The recently released UN Climate Report states that at least 1 in 6 people worldwide will suffer the consequences of climate change. Japan Times

Arctic melt faster than forecast: Since 1979, the Arctic has been losing summer ice at about 9% per decade, but models on average produce a melting rate less than half that figure. The scientists suggest forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may be too cautious. The latest observations indicate that Arctic summers could be ice-free by the middle of the century.  BBC