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Climate

Australia sees La Nina weather staying for months
February 13, 2008 05:28 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A mature La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific continued to influence the climate of eastern Australia and was forecast to remain until at least the end of the southern autumn, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Wednesday. La Nina weather patterns, the opposite of El Ninos, are associated with wet weather in eastern Australia and Southeast Asia.

EU ministers urge caution on cost of climate plan
February 12, 2008 10:56 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's move to a low-carbon economy to fight climate change must not harm its competitiveness, the bloc's finance ministers said on Tuesday. The executive European Commission last month proposed an ambitious package of measures to help the 27-nation bloc cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming, partly by using more green energy sources.

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.

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