Climate

Climate Change Impacts on Mountain Plant Life
October 26, 2010 10:32 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Mountains are great places to go to see nature in its most pristine state. The mountains of the northwestern United States are particularly beautiful because they are home to outstanding trees and vegetation. According to a new study, that mountain vegetation has been significantly impacted by climate change in the past 60 years. Unlike what was previously thought, ecosystems at low elevations were affected more than those at high elevations.

Space tourism will worsen climate change
October 26, 2010 09:21 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Have $200,000 to spend on a seat into space? You may want to re-think the expenditure given a new study in Geophysical Research Letters that shows space tourism will likely aggravate global climate change. Using sophisticated modeling, the researchers found that the biggest impact of a rise in space tourism on global temperatures won't be due to carbon emissions, but black carbon, often in the form of soot.

Deforestation takes center-stage at U.N. talks
October 26, 2010 06:21 AM - David Fogarty and Chisa Fujioka, Reuters, NAGOYA, Japan

Delegates at a global U.N. meeting to preserve natural resources were on Tuesday trying to agree on ways to deploy about $4 billion in cash to help developing nations save tropical forests. The talks in the Japanese city of Nagoya are aimed at setting new 2020 targets to protect plant and animal species, a protocol to share genetic resources between countries and companies and more funding to protect nature, especially forests. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates global deforestation fell from 16 million hectares (40 million acres) per year in the 1990s to 13 million hectares per year in the past decade, with the bulk of the losses in tropical countries. About 12 percent of the world's forests are designated primarily to conserve biological diversity, the FAO said in report earlier this month.

Great Marine Protection Areas
October 25, 2010 01:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has established the world's largest marine protected area of coral reefs and fish populations, but both of which are threatened by overfishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area conserves one of the world's last intact coral reef archipelago ecosystems with eight coral reefs, two submerged reef systems and underwater mountains, over 415,000 square kilometers of nearly uninhabited islands with abundant marine and bird life. A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a protected area whose boundaries include some area of ocean. "MPA" is often used as an umbrella term that describes a wide range of marine areas that restrict human activity to protect living, non-living, cultural, and/or historic resources. Protections in various areas range from limits on development, fishing gear types, fishing seasons, catch limits, moorings, to complete bans on removing marine life of any kind.

Winter Woes
October 21, 2010 02:51 PM - Andy Soos. ENN

Predicting the weather has always been a joyous sport and great conversation. NOAA has made some predictions for the US. The Pacific Northwest should brace for a colder and wetter than average winter, while most of the South and Southeast will be warmer and drier than average through February 2011, according to the annual Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. A moderate to strong La Niña will be the dominant climate factor influencing weather across most of the U.S. this winter. La Niña is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, unlike El Niño which is associated with warmer than normal water temperatures. Both of these climate phenomena, which typically occur every 2-5 years, influence weather patterns throughout the world and often lead to extreme weather events. Last winter’s El Niño contributed to record-breaking rain and snowfall leading to severe flooding in some parts of the country, with record heat and drought in other parts of the country.

Water Scarcity in American Southwest Gets Serious
October 21, 2010 10:18 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Water scarcity has always been a problem in the southwestern desert, with practically everyone relying on one river, the Colorado, to quench their thirst and the thirst of their crops. Increased water demands coupled with a long protracted drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin has created a potentially dire situation. The effects can be seen in Lake Mead, the giant lake along the border of Arizona and Nevada. Lake Mead has reached its lowest levels since 1937, the year the Hoover Dam was completed.

U.N. urged to freeze climate geo-engineering projects
October 21, 2010 06:23 AM - Chisa Fujioka, Reuters, NAGOYA, Japan

The United Nations should impose a moratorium on "geo-engineering" projects such as artificial volcanoes and vast cloud-seeding schemes to fight climate change, green groups say, fearing they could harm nature and mankind. The risks were too great because the impacts of manipulating nature on a vast scale were not fully known, the groups said at a major U.N. meeting in Japan aimed at combating increasing losses of plant and animal species. Envoys from nearly 200 countries are gathered in Nagoya, Japan, to agree targets to fight the destruction of forests, rivers and coral reefs that provide resources and services central to livelihoods and economies.

Bangladesh, India most at risk from climate change
October 20, 2010 06:40 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters, OSLO

Bangladesh and India are the countries most vulnerable to climate change, according to an index on Wednesday that rates the Nordic region least at risk. British consultancy Maplecroft said its rankings showed that several "big economies of the future" in Asia were among those facing the biggest risks from global warming in the next 30 years as were large parts of Africa. It said poverty and large low-lying coastal regions prone to floods and cyclones were among factors making Bangladesh the most exposed country. India, in second place, was vulnerable because of pressures from a rising population of 1.1 billion.

The Edicaran Age
October 19, 2010 01:20 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The discovery of blocks of gravel which sank to the bottom of the sea trapped in ancient icebergs has sparked a new understanding of a bizarre group of creatures. The research, published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, has also forced a rethink of the conditions that existed more than 500 million years ago. 580 million years ago, the ancient oceans were flooded with enough oxygen that the way in which life was constructed was completely changed. This moment was the birth of multi-cellular organisms, and shortly preceded the burst of biological diversification called the Cambrian explosion. Recent evidence indicates that this was the last in a series of similar increases in oxygen availability that changed the world's climate and ecological conditions.

Argentina protects its glaciers by law
October 19, 2010 11:35 AM - Laura García, SciDev.Net

Argentina enacted a new law that protects the country's glaciers, in a global context where climate change threatens the large bodies of ice and there are risks of different polluting activities. The law, enacted on September 30, aims to preserve the glaciers as "strategic reserves of water for human consumption, for agriculture and as suppliers of water to recharge basins, for the protection of biodiversity ; as a source of scientific and tourist attraction." The legislation also establishes the creation of the "National Inventory of Glaciers". It will be updated every five years, and verify the changes on the surfaces of glaciers and periglacial. The "periglacial environment” is the high mountain area, with frozen soil, that acts as regulator of water resources. Researchers at the Argentine Institute of Snow Research, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences will have the task to disclose necessary information to control and monitor all glaciers and periglacial areas that act as water reserves.

First | Previous | 339 | 340 | 341 | 342 | 343 | Next | Last