Med Nations Top EU's Climate Change Risk List
March 2, 2009 08:05 AM -

BRUSSELS - Italy, Spain and Greece could bear the brunt of climate change in Europe this century, with heatwaves and wildfires hitting tourism earnings and food production, according to a draft European Commission report. The economic impact of climate change could be 6.2 billion euros (US$7.9 billion) a year by 2020 if the EU's 27 nations do nothing to adapt, says an early draft of the "Adapting to Climate Change" report, seen by Reuters on Friday.

Climate Change Is Not Taken Seriously Because Media Is Not Highlighting Its Significance, Expert Says
February 25, 2009 09:13 AM - University of Liverpool

Climate change will not be taken seriously until the media highlights its significance, say researchers at the University of Liverpool. Dr Neil Gavin, from the School of Politics and Communication Studies, believes the way the media handles issues like climate change shapes the public’s perception of its importance. Limited coverage is unlikely to convince readers that climate change is a serious problem that warrants immediate and decisive action.

Polar Research Reveals New Evidence Of Global Environmental Change
February 25, 2009 08:48 AM - International Council for Science (ICSU).

Multidisciplinary research from the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 provides new evidence of the widespread effects of global warming in the polar regions. Snow and ice are declining in both polar regions, affecting human livelihoods as well as local plant and animal life in the Arctic, as well as global ocean and atmospheric circulation and sea level. These are but a few findings reported in “State of Polar Research”, released February 25 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Council for Science (ICSU). In addition to lending insight into climate change, IPY has aided our understanding of pollutant transport, species’ evolution, and storm formation, among many other areas.

Saving the oceans: 'Mission Possible'
February 25, 2009 08:20 AM -

BOULDER, Colo. — In science, "Aha" moments take many forms. For Joanie Kleypas, a flash of scientific revelation made her, literally, sick to her stomach. An oceanographer and coral reef geologist, Kleypas was attending a conference in 1998 with an eclectic group of scientists, pondering the ecological consequences of climate change. Everybody knew that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were on the rise. So were global air and ocean temperatures.

Cold winter doesn't buck global warming trend
February 24, 2009 02:21 PM -

Temperatures sink to record lows while snow depths are twice the normal level - is Switzerland's seemingly abnormal winter another indicator of climate change? Bern University climatologist Heinz Wanner tells swissinfo that although the current winter season may appear colder and snowier than usual the larger historical picture shows it isn't as severe as it seems. The head of the Climatology and Meteorology Research Group (Klimet), Wanner has for three decades been studying the climate to reconstruct conditions as they were up to 10,000 years ago. He's also working to understand the influence humans have had on weather patterns.

Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensor
February 24, 2009 10:06 AM - Bloomberg

A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said. The error, due to a problem called "sensor drift," began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That's when "puzzled readers" alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based groupsaid on its Web site.

Prepare for a climate-changed world, say engineers
February 23, 2009 08:56 AM - New Scientist

A report by the UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers will next month call for governments to accept that climate change is now inevitable. Strategies must be put in place now to protect our infrastructure from its worst effects, alongside existing efforts to reduce emissions, it will argue.

Aerosols May Have High Impact On Rainfall, Climate Change
February 23, 2009 08:51 AM - CSIRO Australia

Aerosols may have a greater impact on patterns of Australian rainfall and future climate change than previously thought, according to leading atmospheric scientist, CSIRO's Dr Leon Rotstayn. "We have identified that the extensive pollution haze emanating from Asia may be re-shaping rainfall patterns in northern Australia but we wonder what impact natural and human-generated aerosols are having across the rest of the country," Dr Rotstayn said.

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.

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