Climate

Solar cars race from Australia's top to bottom
October 21, 2007 10:50 PM - James Regan

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sun-powered-car enthusiasts from around the world raced into the Australia outback on Sunday at speeds nearing 100 kilometres-per-hour at the start of the World Solar Challenge.

Thousands of onlookers crowded the streets of Darwin in Australia's tropical north for the beginning of the 3,000-km (1,863 mile) race, a biennial event since 1987, gawking at the sleek foil-like vehicles resembling giant microchips.

Georgia declares state of emergency over drought
October 21, 2007 10:45 PM -

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia has declared a state of emergency over its worst drought in decades and appealed to President George W. Bush for federal aid, newspapers said on Sunday.

Low rainfall in the Southeastern United States has caused a drought in several states, including swaths of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North and South Carolina.

Gov. Sonny Perdue asked Bush to issue a federal disaster designation for the drought-affected parts of the state that would empower him to order less water released from Lake Sidney Lanier and make federal funds available to state and local governments.

It would also enable low interest loans to be offered to Georgia businesses hurt by the drought, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Wildfires rage in southern California
October 21, 2007 10:42 PM - Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At least nine wildfires stoked by gusting winds burned out of control in southern California on Sunday, killing one person in San Diego and forcing hundreds to evacuate the wealthy enclave of Malibu where five homes went up in flames.

The Malibu fire burned 1,250 acres by 4:30 p.m. and destroyed at least seven buildings, including a landmark castle-like house and a Presbyterian church, officials said. No injuries were reported.

California To Sue EPA next week on Carmaker Emissions Waiver
October 20, 2007 04:16 PM -

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California will sue the Environmental Protection Agency next week in the state's bid to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, a spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Saturday.

California will file a lawsuit against the EPA demanding the right to set its own limits on vehicle emissions that are stricter than national standards, spokesman Aaron McLear said.

California, which has become a leader on environmental issues in the United States, passed a state law in 2005 that would require new vehicles to meet progressively tighter standards for greenhouse gas emissions starting with 2009 models.

U.N. climate chief looks for Bali breakthrough
October 20, 2007 09:02 AM - Reuters

Global warming talks in Bali in December need to make a breakthrough or international efforts to limit greenhouse gases could be in "deep trouble," the top U.N. climate official said on Friday.

"If we're not on the eve of a breakthrough in Bali, we can spend the next six years waiting for the next report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, public interest will slip away and we will be in deep trouble," said Yvo de Boer, who heads the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

 

La Nina onset expected in November
October 18, 2007 10:59 AM - Reuters

The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted the arrival of the weather anomaly La Nina in November, after conditions strengthened in recent months.

Bleak "report card" finds warming Arctic
October 18, 2007 10:14 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters

A bleak "report card" on global warming's Arctic impact released on Wednesday found less ice, hotter air and dying wildlife, and stressed that what happens around the North Pole affects the entire planet.

The report, issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also found that weird winds blowing warm air toward the North Pole and unusually persistent sunshine added to the warming trend.

Bleak U.S. "report card" finds warming Arctic
October 17, 2007 07:16 PM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bleak "report card" on global warming's Arctic impact released on Wednesday found less ice, hotter air and dying wildlife, and stressed that what happens around the North Pole affects the entire planet.

The report, issued by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also found that weird winds blowing warm air toward the North Pole and unusually persistent sunshine added to the warming trend.

Unlike previous years, when there have been hot spots and cold spots at different times in the Arctic, "winter and spring, the temperatures are all above average throughout the whole Arctic and all at the same time," said James Overland of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

Amazon loggers hold activists captive
October 17, 2007 01:00 PM - Robert Evans, Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian loggers besieged eight Greenpeace activists on Wednesday in a remote Amazon town, angered by a campaign against global warming that they fear could hurt their image, the conservation group said.

Hundreds of townspeople, including dozens of loggers in trucks, cars and motorcycles, blockaded the activists in a local branch of the government's environmental protection agency Ibama, a Greenpeace spokesman said.

Hidden Costs of Climate Change: Major, Nationwide, Uncounted
October 17, 2007 09:25 AM - University Of Maryland

The total economic cost of climate change in the United States will be major and nationwide in scope, but remains uncounted, unplanned for and largely hidden in public debate, says a new study from the University of Maryland. The report, The U.S. Economic Impacts of Climate Change and the Costs of Inaction, is the first to pull together and analyze the previous economic research on the subject, along with other relevant data, in order to develop a more complete estimate of costs.

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