Climate

Plant life saved Earth from an icy fate
July 2, 2009 12:06 PM - Anil Ananthaswamy, NewScientist

Besides the obvious benefits they bring, it looks like we owe our very existence to plants, which helped prevent the Earth from freezing over during the past 25 million years.

US at Bottom of G8 Emissions Reduction/Climate Change Action Rankings
July 2, 2009 10:27 AM - Andrew Burger, Global Warming is Real

The US ranks next to last among G8 member countries when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and paving the way toward a clean energy economy, according to a World Wildlife Fund SE-Allianz study released July 1.

Intertropical Convergence Zone of Heavy Preciptiation Moving North
July 2, 2009 06:53 AM - Editor, ENN

The rain band near the equator that determines the supply of freshwater to nearly a billion people throughout the tropics and subtropics has been creeping north for more than 300 years, probably because of a warmer world, according to research published in the July issue of Nature Geoscience. If the band continues to migrate at just less than a mile (1.4 kilometers) a year, which is the average for all the years it has been moving north, then some Pacific islands near the equator -- even those that currently enjoy abundant rainfall -- may be drier within decades and starved of freshwater by midcentury or sooner. The prospect of additional warming because of greenhouse gases means that situation could happen even sooner.

Mummified Dino Yields Skin Molecules
July 1, 2009 11:35 AM - Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

The extremely well-preserved remains of a 66-million-year-old hadrosaur, known as a "dinosaur mummy," have just yielded soft-tissue skin structures and organic molecules, according to a new study. While research on other dinosaurs has led to the identification of organic material linked to bones, co-author Roy Wogelius told Discovery News that "this is the first dinosaur to reveal intact skin structure and associated organic molecules."

New Measures to Aid Solar on Public Lands
June 30, 2009 09:53 AM - Kate Galbraith, New York Times

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced measures on Monday to hasten the development of solar energy on public lands in six western states. Salazar expects to have 13 commercial-scale projects with solar power arrays under construction by the end of 2010.

Increasing Dust Accelerates Mountain Snowmelt
June 30, 2009 07:34 AM - Discovery News from AP

Dust in the wind is rewriting the cycle of life in the mountains. Throughout memory the warmth of spring has begun the mountain snowmelt, bringing life-giving water to greening plants so they can blossom and renew their species. But now, scientists say, the timing is being thrown off by desert dust stirred as global warming dries larger areas and human activity increases in those regions.

Obama against penalties on those not accepting pollution limits

US President Barack Obama on Sunday expressed his opposition to a provision in the clean energy bill that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution, The New York Times reported late Sunday.

Crops face toxic timebomb in warmer world: study
June 29, 2009 11:01 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters

Staples such as cassava on which millions of people depend become more toxic and produce much smaller yields in a world with higher carbon dioxide levels and more drought.

Deserts crossing Mediterranean
June 27, 2009 07:08 AM - ANSA.It, Environmental Health News

The Sahara Desert is crossing the Mediterranean, according to Italian environmental protection group Legambiente which warns that the livelihoods of 6.5 million people living along its shores could be at risk. "Desertification isn't limited to Africa," said Legambiente Vice President Sebastiano Venneri. "Without a serious change of direction in economic and environmental policies, the risk will become concrete and irreversible."

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