Asteroids and Their Impact
January 26, 2010 02:01 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

NASA's Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never before seen near Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light. There is no danger of this newly discovered asteroid hitting the Earth. Since it formed over 4.5 billion years ago, Earth has been hit many times by asteroids and comets whose orbits bring them into the inner solar system. Some of these sites are well known such as Meteor Crater in Arizona as well as the theory that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a such a collision. These objects, collectively known as Near Earth Objects, still pose a danger to Earth today.

The Ozone hole is filling in, oh no!
January 26, 2010 07:30 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The US EPA recently proposed new Ozone standards to protect health and environmental values. These standards will apply to the lower atmosphere, to the air we breathe. In the upper atmosphere, Ozone is good. The "hole" in the Ozone layer over Antarctica has worried scientists for years since Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. According to research at the University of Leeds, the hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing. This is a concern, since its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, the scientists at Leeds conclude.

Carbon traders quit emissions market amid drop in demand
January 26, 2010 06:42 AM - Tim Webb, The Ecologist

Banks are pulling out of the carbon-offsetting market after Copenhagen failed to reach agreement on emissions targets Banks and investors are pulling out of the carbon market after the failure to make progress at Copenhagen on reaching new emissions targets after 2012. Carbon financiers have already begun leaving banks in London because of the lack of activity and the drop-off in investment demand.

Will Global Warming Increase Natural Disasters, or Not?
January 25, 2010 04:33 PM - Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times, Environmental Health News

The United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

Health or Climate Spending, Can we have both?
January 25, 2010 06:56 AM - Bill Rigby, Reuters

Bill Gates, the world's richest man and a leading philanthropist, said on Sunday spending by rich countries aimed at combating climate change in developing nations could mean a dangerous cut in aid for health issues. Gates, the Microsoft Corp co-founder whose $34 billion foundation is fighting malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in developing countries, expressed concern about the amount of spending pledged at December's Copenhagen global climate meeting.

NASA: 2009 second warmest year on record
January 25, 2010 06:47 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), last year was tied for the second warmest year on record after 2005, the warmest year on record. If just looking at the southern hemisphere, however, 2009 proved the warmest yet recorded since record-taking began in 1880. Overall 2009 tied a total of five other years—four from the 2000s—for the second warmest on record. But, researchers say what is most important was that the past decade, from January 1st 2000 to December 31st 2009, proved the warmest on record.

Copenhagen Climate deal melting?
January 23, 2010 09:17 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

The world is showing only lukewarm enthusiasm for a "Copenhagen Accord" to curb climate change, with no sign so far of deeper-than-planned 2020 curbs on greenhouse gas emissions before a January 31 deadline. In Brussels, a draft European Union letter on Friday showed plans for the 27-nation bloc to reiterate a minimum offer of a 20 percent cut in emissions by 2020 below 1990 levels, pleasing industry, and a 30 percent cut if other nations act comparably.

Imported from Asia: OZONE
January 21, 2010 06:59 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Ever wonder how the western US has high ozone levels when the winds usually blow in off the Pacific Ocean? Did you think it was all from the cars clogging the freeways? Turns out, it is caused in part from emissions of ozone generating air emissions from Asia. A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that Springtime ozone levels above western North America are rising, primarily due to air flowing eastward from the Pacific Ocean, a trend that is most significant when the air originates in Asia.

Sinking Islands and Their Consequences
January 20, 2010 03:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The recent devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti is not the only environmental disaster the world face. A more long term one is the pending sea level rise that could obliterate the world's small island states, triggering fears of mass migration. However, a mass migration is not immediately likely and some of these small island nations are fighting back.

Himalayan glacier meltdown warning being reconsidered
January 20, 2010 06:28 AM - Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings, The Sunday Times

A warning that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it. Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

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