Harsh winter kills more than 750 in Afghanistan
February 9, 2008 03:31 AM - Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) - More than 750 people have perished as a result of severe cold and heavy snowfalls this winter across Afghanistan, a government official said on Saturday. The cold spell, the worst in decades in the impoverished and mountainous central Asian country, has also killed nearly 230,000 cattle, said Noor Padshah Kohistani of the National Disaster Management Commission.

Tenth of China's forests damaged by blizzards
February 9, 2008 02:36 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - About one-tenth of China's forests were damaged by recent winter storms, the worst in at least five decades, and in the hardest-hit regions nearly 90 percent of forests were ruined, Xinhua news agency said on Saturday. The State Forestry Administration (SFA) said total losses reached 17.3 million hectares of forest in 18 provinces in southern China, said Xinhua.

Coral Reefs May Be Protected By Natural Ocean Thermostat

The research team, led by NCAR scientist Joan Kleypas, looked at the Western Pacific Warm Pool, a region northeast of Australia where naturally warm sea-surface temperatures have risen little in recent decades. As a result, the reefs in that region appear to have suffered relatively few episodes of coral bleaching, a phenomenon that has damaged reefs in other areas where temperature increases have been more pronounced. The study* lends support to a much-debated theory that a natural ocean thermostat prevents sea-surface temperatures from exceeding about 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) in open oceans. If so, this thermostat would protect reefs that have evolved in naturally warm waters that will not warm much further, as opposed to reefs that live in slightly cooler waters that face more significant warming.

Ancient trees give clues to climate change
February 8, 2008 06:52 AM - Reuters

PUERTO BLEST, Argentina (Reuters) - On the shores of lake Nahuel Huapi, in the wild mountains of Argentina's Patagonia, live some of the world's most ancient trees. Known in Spanish as the alerce, the Patagonian cypress grows extremely slowly, but can reach heights over 50 meters (165 feet) and live for 2,000 years or more, putting some of them among the oldest living things on earth.

Preparing for Global Warming's Health Crisis
February 7, 2008 09:40 AM - UCLA Today Online

Hurricanes pound the Gulf Coast with unrelenting force. Floods deluge the Midwest. Wildfires rage out of control in California and Florida. A "red tide" of algae blooms off the West Coast, endangering marine and coastal wildlife. Dengue fever spikes in Mexico and looms over the United States. No one can say with certainty that any single one of these events is due to global climate change. But there is little doubt among scientists that we are making unprecedented changes to our environment, with grave potential consequences already upon us and others on the horizon.

Deadly winter tornadoes not rare: NOAA
February 7, 2008 08:22 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Winter tornadoes that ripped across parts of the American South this week were unusually lethal but not particularly rare, a .government meteorologist said on Wednesday as the death toll mounted. Tornado season in the United States generally starts in March and continues through the summer months but winter tornadoes have become an almost annual occurrence, according to Harold Brooks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

India's climate change roadmap to be ready in June
February 7, 2008 04:23 AM - Reuters

p> By Krittivas Mukherjee

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will unveil in June a national plan to deal with the threat of global warming, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday, but it will not commit to any emission targets that risk slowing economic growth.

Singh's Council on Climate Change will look at setting up a venture capital fund to promote green technologies, increasing energy efficiency and combating the possible impact of climate change on millions of India's poor.

China snows show world faces new disasters
February 6, 2008 08:44 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - China's devastating snowstorms and cold of the past months show that the world must prepare for new types of disasters caused by what was once called freak weather, United Nations experts said on Wednesday. The experts said the Chinese events, which Beijing says affected some 100 million people and are likely to cost at least $7.5 billion, underlined the need for greater global cooperation on global weather forecasting.

UK lawmakers push for raise in carbon taxes
February 5, 2008 05:47 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain should raise environmental taxes after failing to meet a pledge, made by the ruling Labor Party when it was elected in 1997, to tax pollution more, a committee of lawmakers said on Tuesday. Since 1997 environmental taxes had fallen as a proportion of all taxes, the committee of parliamentarians from all major political parties said in a report entitled "Climate change and the Stern Review: the implications for Treasury policy."

China battles "coldest winter in 100 years"
February 4, 2008 04:38 AM - Reuters

CHENZHOU, China (Reuters) - Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.

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