Climate

Western states' climate laws: the cost of inaction
February 19, 2009 09:37 AM - LA Times

If Western states don't substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they could face billions of dollars in health care and other related costs by 2020, according to reports by economists for the University of Oregon's Climate Leadership Initiative's Program on Climate Economics. Washington, Oregon and New Mexico will probably face associated annual costs of $3.8 billion, $3.3 billion and $3.2 billion by 2020, respectively, if they don't rein in greenhouse gas emissions, logging and other factors that drive climate change, according to reports released Monday.

Fires and climate change prompt soul-searching in Australia
February 17, 2009 09:43 AM - Herald Tribune

Scientists say that Australia can expect more of the scorching conditions that fanned the firestorms that killed at least 181 people this month, prompting a nationwide debate about how to prepare for a hotter, more fire-prone future. As investigators pick through the tangled wreckage left by Australia's deadliest wildfires, which flattened townships and destroyed more than 1,000 homes starting Feb. 7, a wide-ranging discussion has begun about the way the country handles wildfires - from greenhouse-gas emissions standards to planning codes to an emergency protocol that encourages people to stay and defend their properties.

North Atlantic is world's 'climate superpower'
February 17, 2009 08:36 AM - New Scientist

IF EVER there was a superpower of the oceans, the North Atlantic, with its ability to control global weather systems, is it. The bad news is that this region also happens to be especially sensitive to the effects of climate change, so what is happening there could affect the world. The planet's climate goes through periodic convulsions that affect every region simultaneously. The most recent were in the early 1940s and mid-1970s. The latter coincided with the start of more frequent El NiƱo events in the Pacific and a strong global warming trend.

Climate change delaying gray whale vacations, scientists say
February 13, 2009 10:29 AM - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Out in the deep waters of Monterey Bay, gray whales will be swimming home later this month after a brief winter vacation in Baja California. Whale watchers and marine scientists say these whales have been delaying their southern sojourns and point to climate change as the culprit.

CO2 hits new peaks, no sign global crisis causing dip
February 12, 2009 10:08 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Atmospheric levels of the main greenhouse gas are hitting new highs, with no sign yet that the world economic downturn is curbing industrial emissions, a leading scientist said on Thursday. "The rise is in line with the long-term trend," Kim Holmen, research director at the Norwegian Polar Institute, said of the measurements taken by a Stockholm University project on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard off north Norway.

Why Global Warming May Be Fueling Australia's Fires
February 12, 2009 09:40 AM - Time

The raging infernos that have left more than 160 people dead in southern Australia burned with such speed that they resembled less a wildfire than a massive aerial bombing. Many victims caught in the blazes had no time to escape; their houses disintegrated around them, and they burned to death.

Merged climate, pollution fight seen saving cash
February 12, 2009 09:14 AM - WBCSD

Merging separate fights against air pollution and climate change could save cash and encourage developing nations such as China to do more to curb global warming, researchers said on Wednesday. "There are big gains to be made" from a combined policy, said Petter Tollefsen, a researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo (CICERO).

$400 billion: The price of our future
February 11, 2009 11:02 AM - New Scientist

Just $400 billion - 0.8% of global GDP. That's how much money one of the world's leading economists says governments around the world need to put towards "green" policies that will ensure global finances and the global environment prosper in the 21st century. There's a catch, and it's a big one: the money needs to be set aside by this summer and spent by mid-2010.

Scottish ski industry could disappear due to global warming, warns Met Office
February 11, 2009 10:14 AM - Telegraph UK

The country's five resorts are currently enjoying exceptional conditions after heavy snowfall in the Highlands, but climate change may mean they have less than 50 years of ski-ing left. Alex Hill, chief government advisor with the Met Office, said the amount of snow in the Scottish mountains had been decreasing for the last 40 years and there was no reason for the decline to stop.

Landmark Global Warming Lawsuit Settled
February 10, 2009 08:50 AM - SustainableBusiness.com News

A federal lawsuit that sought to force two U.S. agencies to address the global warming implications of their overseas financing activities was settled Friday after more than six years. The suit established important legal precedents related to global warming.

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