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Climate

Climate change poses a huge threat to human health
January 25, 2008 09:30 AM - BMJ-British Medical Journal

Climate change will have a huge impact on human health and bold environmental policy decisions are needed now to protect the world’s population, according to the author of an article published in the BMJ today. The threat to human health is of a more fundamental kind than is the threat to the world’s economic system, says Professor McMichael, a Professor of public health from the Australian National University. “Climate change is beginning to damage our natural life-support system,” he says.

Europe climate targets strong signal to others: U.N.
January 25, 2008 09:07 AM - Reuters

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - New European targets for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases are a strong signal to other countries to reduce their carbon output, the U.N. environment chief said on Friday. The European Commission's plan to cut emissions unilaterally by 20 percent by 2010, announced this week, is "quite far-reaching," Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Program, said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Europe transport can meet new emission limits: Barrot
January 25, 2008 08:53 AM - Reuters

The European car and airlines industries should be able to adapt to new plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions, EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said on Friday. The introduction of electric cars, in particular, should help to cut emissions from journeys within cities, Barrot told Reuters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Lofty Himalaya magnify global warming impact
January 25, 2008 04:53 AM - Reuters

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Himalayas are suffering the effects of global warming more acutely because of their height and melting glaciers could flood local settlements, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) said on Thursday. "The Himalaya, that's really moving very fast. They're being hit very hard," IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre told Reuters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Why Diatoms could help stop global warming
January 24, 2008 10:57 AM - University of Washington

The shells of diatoms are so heavy that when they die in the oceans they typically sink to watery graves on the seafloor, taking carbon out of the surface waters and locking it into sediments below. Scientists have reported the discovery of whole subsets of genes and proteins that govern how one species of diatom builds its shell. For oceanographers, the work might one day help them understand how thousands of different kinds of diatoms -- and their ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere -- might be affected by something like global climate change. Material scientists involved in the work are interested in the possibilities of manipulating the genes responsible for silica production as a way of fabricating more efficient computer chips.

Antarctic Ice Loss Dangerously Fast
January 24, 2008 09:53 AM - ENN

New studies show that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting faster than previously anticipated. If this jump is indicative of a trend due to global warming the entire antarctic ecology could be threatened much sooner than expected.
In a first-of-its-kind study, an international team led by Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California, Irvine, estimated changes in Antarctica's ice mass between 1996 and 2006 and mapped patterns of ice loss on a glacier-by-glacier basis.

Gore says "changing light bulbs" not enough
January 24, 2008 08:39 AM - Reuters

Climate campaigner Al Gore urged world policymakers on Thursday to change laws "not just light bulbs" in tackling global warming, and a UN official said world market turmoil must not be allowed to delay action. An annual meeting of world political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, this year has scheduled a record number of sessions and workshops on global warming. But a sharp downturn on markets and fears of recession have dominated discussion.

China sees little optimism in anti-desert fight
January 24, 2008 02:33 AM - Reuters

There is little cause for optimism in China's fight to turn back the spreading deserts, with efforts so far failing to live up to expectations, a senior government official said on Thursday. Deserts, which cover a fifth of China, are spreading on the upper reaches of the Yellow River, on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and parts of Inner Mongolia and Gansu, driven by decades of overgrazing and deforestation.

Climate change may reduce hurricanes hitting U.S.
January 23, 2008 03:38 PM - Reuters

Rising ocean temperatures linked to global warming could decrease the number of hurricanes hitting the United States, according to new research released on Wednesday. The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, challenges recent research that suggests global warming could be contributing to an increase in the frequency and the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes.

FACTBOX: The EU's energy and climate plan
January 23, 2008 12:47 PM - Reuters

(Reuters) - The European Commission presented on Wednesday draft reforms to the European Union's energy sector to aid the climate change fight, based on targets agreed by EU leaders last March. Following are the main elements in the plan, which must be approved by member states and the European Parliament.

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