Climate

Cyclone kills nearly 4,000 in Myanmar
May 5, 2008 09:25 AM - Reuters

YANGON (Reuters) - A devastating cyclone killed nearly 4,000 people and left thousands more missing in army-ruled Myanmar, state media said on Monday, a dramatic increase in the toll from Saturday's storm. The death toll only covered two of the five disaster zones where U.N. officials said hundreds of thousands of people were without shelter and drinking water in the impoverished Southeast Asian country.

EPA dangles prospect of tougher lead standard, but hedges its bets
May 5, 2008 08:38 AM - , Clean Air Watch

Like a Kentucky Derby contender that came up lame, EPA Administrator Steve Johnson was a late scratch at his own press conference today to discuss a proposed tougher standard for lead concentrations in the air. As you may know, the lead standard hasn’t been updated since 1978. And we know now that virtually any level of lead in the air can get into the blood stream, leading to possible brain damage for children and other bad health effects. EPA is under a court order to issue a final new standard by September of this year.

Climate change warms Arctic, cools Antarctica
May 3, 2008 07:46 AM - Reuters

The Arctic and Antarctica are poles apart when it comes to the effects of human-fueled climate change, scientists said on Friday: in the north, it is melting sea ice, but in the south, it powers winds that chill things down. The North and South poles are both subject to solar radiation and rising levels of climate-warming greenhouse gases, the researchers said in a telephone briefing. But Antarctica is also affected by an ozone hole hovering high above it during the austral summer.

Global warming could starve oceans of oxygen: study
May 2, 2008 08:42 AM - Reuters

Global warming could gradually starve parts of the tropical oceans of oxygen, damaging fisheries and coastal economies, a study showed on Thursday. Areas of the eastern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with low amounts of dissolved oxygen have expanded in the past 50 years, apparently in line with rising temperatures, according to the scientists based in Germany and the United States.

Arctic sea ice forecast: another record low in 2008
May 1, 2008 08:37 AM - Reuters

Arctic sea ice, sometimes billed as Earth's air conditioner for its moderating effects on world climate, will probably shrink to a record low level this year, scientists predicted on Wednesday. In releasing the forecast, climate researcher Sheldon Drobot of the University of Colorado at Boulder called the changes in Arctic sea ice "one of the more compelling and obvious signs of climate change."

World's largest lake warming rapidly: scientists
April 30, 2008 07:39 PM - Reuters

Siberia's Lake Baikal has warmed faster than global air temperatures over the past 60 years, which could put animals unique to the world's largest lake in jeopardy, U.S. and Russian scientists said. The lake has warmed 1.21 degrees Celsius (2.18 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1946 due to climate change, almost three times faster than global air temperatures, according to a paper by the scientists to be published next month in the journal "Global Change Biology."

Climate change hitting Arctic faster, harder
April 30, 2008 09:50 AM - WWF

Climate change is having a greater and faster impact on the Arctic than previously thought, according to a new study by the global conservation organization WWF. The new report, called Arctic Climate Impact Science — An Update Since ACIA, represents the most wide-ranging reviews of arctic climate impact science since the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) was published in 2005. The new study found that change was occurring in all arctic systems, impacting on the atmosphere and oceans, sea ice and ice sheets, snow and permafrost, as well as species and populations, food webs, ecosystems and human societies.

Russia says has no plans to cap carbon emissions
April 29, 2008 09:45 AM - Reuters

Russia will not accept binding caps on its greenhouse gas emissions under a new climate regime, currently being negotiated to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, top officials said on Monday. Kyoto puts a cap on the average, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2008-12 for some 37 industrialized countries, including Russia.

Desalination Raises Environmental, Cost Concerns
April 29, 2008 09:42 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

As global freshwater reserves dry up, desalination plants are receiving greater attention as an option for providing both drinking water supplies and agricultural irrigation. But a new study released on Thursday raises several concerns about the environmental impact and cost effectiveness of the widely touted technology to convert seawater to fresh water. Desalination plants pose a risk to marine species when the water is collected from ocean areas, as well as when the salty discharge is deposited into coastal estuaries, according to the report, which was released by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC).

Emissions irrelevant to future climate change?
April 28, 2008 07:16 AM - BioMed Central

Climate change and the carbon emissions seem inextricably linked. However, new research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Carbon Balance and Management suggests that this may not always hold true, although it may be some time before we reach this saturation point. The land and the oceans contain significantly more carbon than the atmosphere, and exchange carbon dioxide with the atmosphere.

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