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Climate

Norway's climate goals seen relying on quotas
February 12, 2008 09:43 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway will rely on buying greenhouse gas quotas abroad to meet a self-imposed goal of curbing emissions by more than demanded by the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol until 2012, researchers said on Tuesday. Norway, which says its targets for combating global warming are among the toughest in the world, says it will axe emissions by about nine percent below 1990 levels by 2012 -- tougher than a Kyoto goal of a maximum one percent rise.

Climate warming threatens Antarctic king penguins
February 11, 2008 03:41 PM - Reuters

King penguins, the second-largest species after emperor penguins, are at the top of the food chain in their sub-Antarctic environment, thriving on small fish and squid rather than the tiny krill and other crustaceans that sea mammals favor.

La Nina Pacific cooling may last to mid-year: U.N.
February 11, 2008 10:16 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - A sea-surface cooling in the Pacific, which may have contributed to strong hurricanes in the United States and a freeze-up in China, could last at least until mid-year, the U.N. weather body WMO said on Monday. The cooling pattern, known as La Nina, alternates naturally with a warming effect called El Nino, and both have been associated with extreme weather around the globe.

More snow looms for China amid transport crunch
February 11, 2008 12:22 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - More snowy weather was forecast for parts of China on Monday, threatening to snarl transport at the height of holiday travel and hampering the country's efforts to return to normality after its worst winter in decades. China is expected to see railway traffic peak on Tuesday, the last day of Spring Festival, as the Lunar New Year holiday is known, when millions head back to work from their villages.

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.

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