Climate

Torrential rains, floods kill 20 in Central America
October 14, 2007 10:07 PM -

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Emergency officials across Central America worked to clean up towns inundated by recent deadly floods and landslides, and braced for more bad weather on Sunday.

At least 20 people were killed and thousands evacuated across Central America after days of torrential rain sparked landslides and flooding.

The same weather system that killed 23 people in a Haitian village on Friday triggered a landslide that buried 14 people under mud and debris in Costa Rica.

Red Cross workers had been digging through the debris since Thursday, when about 2.5 acres (1 hectare) of land on a steep slope gave way and fell on the small town of Atenas, about 20 miles west of the Costa Rican capital.

Planet Wins Nobel Prize
October 14, 2007 09:18 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a triumph for the planet and its inhabitants, who will increasingly struggle to adjust as the world warms.

It is with extreme satisfaction that we receive the news that Gore and the IPCC have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,” said Oystein Dahle, Chairman of the Board of Worldwatch Institute and a leading Norwegian environmentalist.

Five Asian nations to study flood, climate risks
October 14, 2007 05:53 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - A new U.N. course will help five Asian nations cope with a predicted worsening of floods due to climate change that may threaten cities from Beijing to Hanoi, the U.N. University said on Sunday.

Experts from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal and Sri Lanka would take part from November in a three-month course run by the U.N. University in Thailand to help map risks of downpours, rivers breaking their banks and rising sea levels.

If successful, the course could be expanded to other regions.

World Bank studies rising seas in Guyana
October 12, 2007 08:17 PM - Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank and Global Environmental Facility have approved $3.8 million in grant funding to protect low-lying coastal areas in Guyana threatened by rising sea levels, an official said on Friday.

This is the first project of its kind to be approved under the Global Environmental Facility's Special Climate Change Fund. It will look at ways to improve coastal drainage in the small South American country.

Gerald Meier, a consultant with the World Bank's hazard risk management group, said the project was responding to the catastrophic flooding in Guyana in 2005, which affected most of the inhabited northern coast of the country where up to 90 percent of the population lives.

Will Nobel mean Gore will run for president?
October 12, 2007 06:12 PM - Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Now that former Vice President Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize, will he use the buzz from the award to launch a late bid for the presidency in 2008?

People close to Gore, 59, do not think so but thousands of Democratic activists are pleading with him to reconsider and join the crowded Democratic field.

In brief remarks in Palo Alto, California, on Friday, Gore did not address the presidential race but did not rule it out either.

Gore says focused on urgent climate change issues
October 12, 2007 02:53 PM - Reuters

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, stressed the urgency of his work on climate change and said he was getting straight back to work on the issue.

"We have to quickly find a way to change the world's consciousness about exactly what we're facing," Gore told reporters in Palo Alto, appearing in public nearly nine hours after the award was announced in Oslo.

World Bank fund to pay for protecting forests
October 12, 2007 02:42 PM - Lesley Wroughton, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new fund being developed by the World Bank would pay developing countries hundreds of millions of dollars for protecting and replanting tropical forests, which store huge amounts of carbon that causes climate change.

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), announced by the World Bank on Thursday, will be part of U.N. climate change negotiations in Bali in December to shape a global agreement for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Pachauri patiently rebuts bias charges
October 12, 2007 02:39 PM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - "Pass me the microphone when he's finished, please," Rajendra Pachauri leant over and asked me after a U.S. skeptic accused his U.N. climate panel of exaggerating the threat of global warming.

Pachauri, an Indian scientist who heads the panel awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday with ex-U.S. Vice President Al Gore, had just been accused at U.N. talks in Nairobi of failing to reply to a letter from U.S. Republican Sen. James Inhofe.

Nobel Peace Prize ups pressure for climate action
October 12, 2007 02:37 PM - Alister Doyle -Reuters

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel widens a definition of peacemaking and will raise pressure for the world to agree a new deal to combat global warming.

"I hope this will enhance further a sense of urgency," said Yvo de Boer, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat who wants governments to set an end-2009 deadline to work out a new long-term plan to fight global warming.

Ancient Fossils Point to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming
October 10, 2007 06:19 PM -

PASADENA, Calif - A team of American and Canadian scientists has devised a new way to study Earth's past climate by analyzing the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils. The first published tests with the method further support the view that atmospheric CO2 has contributed to dramatic climate variations in the past, and strengthen projections that human CO2 emissions could cause global warming.

In the current issue of the journal Nature, geologists and environmental scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Ottawa, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Brock University, and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve report the results of a new method for determining the growth temperatures of carbonate fossils such as shells and corals. This method looks at the percentage of rare isotopes of oxygen and carbon that bond with each other rather than being randomly distributed through their mineral lattices.

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