Earthtalk: Rising Seas and Buying a New Car Vs. Keeping a Well-Maintained Used Car
January 6, 2009 08:26 AM - Earth Talk

Dear EarthTalk: With all the talk of rising seas, what could happen to the rivers that flow into the oceans? Will they reverse flow? Will rising seas back up into fresh water lakes? And what happens to our groundwater should saltwater flow backwards into it? - Sandy Smith, concerned Michigander

EU seals historic climate and energy package
January 3, 2009 08:02 AM - World Business Council for Sustainable Development

MEPs formally approved an unprecedented package of six new climate and energy laws in Strasbourg on Wednesday. A year of intense negotiations was wrapped up in a mere twenty minutes of voting. Over 550 MEPs backed the package, while fewer than 100 voted against. The package is designed to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by twenty per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, as pledged by European leaders at their spring summit in 2007. The EU will aim for a 30 per cent cut if other industrialised countries take on equivalent commitments in a new international climate treaty to be agreed at UN talks in Copenhagen next December.

The big melt: 2 trillion tons of ice since 2003
January 2, 2009 08:57 AM - Stop Global Warming

More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming. More than half of the loss of landlocked ice in the past five years has occurred in Greenland, based on measurements of ice weight by NASA's GRACE satellite, said NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke. The water melting from Greenland in the past five years would fill up about 11 Chesapeake Bays, he said, and the Greenland melt seems to be accelerating.

Official figures mask true state of environment
January 1, 2009 10:00 AM - The Sydney Morning Herald

THE rate of land clearing is much higher than Australia's environmental accounting methods may suggest, a study by researchers at the University of Queensland shows. It says traditional bookkeeping methods are misleading because they usually record positive and negative environmental outcomes separately, and that lack of context means big net losses of forested land can be wrongly reported as a win for conservation.

Stern hope over US climate deal
January 1, 2009 09:24 AM - BBC

Economist Lord Stern has said he is optimistic a global deal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will be struck under Barack Obama's US presidency. Lord Stern, who was behind the first detailed economic assessment of the impact of climate change, said US and Chinese agreement to a cut was crucial.

Bush may be giving Obama breathing room to fight global warming
January 1, 2009 09:11 AM - LA Times

Recent moves by lame-duck officials, though frustrating to environmentalists, offer the president-elect time and political cover to deliberately craft rules on emissions, energy lobbyists say. Reporting from Washington -- President Bush could be forcing President-elect Barack Obama to act almost immediately to curb global warming, after years of the Bush administration fighting attempts to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Coping With Climate
December 31, 2008 09:28 AM - Newsweek

Developing nations will bear the brunt of global warming. Public-private partnerships can help. Even if the world were to take steps to quickly and dramatically limit greenhouse-gas emissions, the levels already in the atmosphere will continue to alter our climate in the coming decades. As the focus of the debate on global warming shifts to assessing the impact of rises in temperature and coping with their effects, it has become increasingly clear that the developing world will face some of the greatest challenges. Dealing with this problem will require broad partnerships between public, private and nonprofit organizations.

2009 to be one of warmest years on record: researchers
December 31, 2008 09:14 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Next year is set to be one of the top-five warmest on record, British climate scientists said on Tuesday. The average global temperature for 2009 is expected to be more than 0.4 degrees celsius above the long-term average, despite the continued cooling of huge areas of the Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon known as La Nina.

Malibu's vanishing Broad Beach a sign of rising sea levels, experts say
December 31, 2008 08:58 AM - LA Times

As wealthy homeowners build sandbag walls and plan more extensive, costly measures, scientists say the ocean could eventually defeat all such efforts.

Seawater science can help climate change forecasts
December 29, 2008 09:24 AM - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A team of scientists has come up with a new definition of seawater which is set to boost the accuracy of projections for oceans and climate. Oceans help regulate the planet's weather by shifting heat from the equator to the poles. Changes in salinity and temperature are major forces driving global currents as well as circulation patterns from the surface to the seabed.

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