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Climate

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.

Californa's Warming Climate Caused by Humans

Recent research by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of California, Merced and the National Center for Atmospheric Research shows that California temperatures have jumped statewide by more than 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit between 1915 and 2000. This warming is likely related to human activities. Using data from up to eight different observational records, the team found the warming has been fastest in late winter and early spring.

Heavy snow in China causes deaths and damage
January 21, 2008 12:13 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Cold weather and heavy snow have struck unusually large swathes of central and eastern China, causing fatal accidents, bringing down power lines and destroying crops. Eleven people were killed when an overloaded bus overturned on a snow-covered highway in eastern China, police said on Monday, bringing the death toll from weather-related accidents over the weekend to at least 25.

Volcano, Not Global Warming Effects, May be Melting an Antarctic Glacier
January 21, 2008 09:08 AM - , Environmental Graffiti

Scientists have discovered a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards in Antarctica, evidence of an old eruption by a still active volcano that researchers believe may be contributing to the thinning of Antarctic glacial ice. Hugh F.J. Corr and David G. Vaughan, two scientists with the British Antarctic Survey, recently published their discovery of the volcanic layer in the journal Nature Geoscience. The discovery is unique according to Dr. Vaughan. He said “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet.”

Red Cross says changing climate worsens disasters
January 21, 2008 05:05 AM - Reuters

Climate change is making it harder for many people to access clean water and food, and widening the spread of malaria and dengue fever, the world's largest humanitarian aid agency said on Monday. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is asking donors for $292 million per year for 2008 and 2009 to help communities steel themselves for the threats of global warming.

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