Climate

Scientists see dramatic drop in Arctic sea ice
October 1, 2007 08:06 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Arctic sea ice declined this year to the lowest levels registered since satellite assessments started in the 1970s, extending a trend fueled by human-caused global warming, scientists said on Monday.

Sea ice declined by so much this year that the typically ice-clogged Northwest Passage, allowing vessels to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific, completely opened for the first time anyone can recall, the researchers said.

Scientists at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, part of the University of Colorado at Boulder, measure Arctic sea ice during the annual melt season beginning in March and ending in September.

Volcano Erupts Off Yemen, Soldiers Killed
October 1, 2007 02:43 PM - Mohammed Ghobari, Reuters

SANAA (Reuters) - A volcano erupted on a Yemeni Red Sea island late on Sunday, killing at least seven soldiers and spewing lava and ash hundreds of meters into the air.

A government official said seven bodies had been recovered, along with one survivor, all soldiers stationed on Jabal al-Tair island, some 80 miles off Yemen's mainland.

A Defence Ministry official on the island, which has been home to a military base since Yemen's 1996 conflict with Eritrea, said its western part had "collapsed" into the sea.

Americans consider global warming an urgent threat, according to poll
October 1, 2007 10:41 AM - Yale University

A growing number of Americans consider global warming an important threat that calls for drastic action, and 40% say that a presidential candidate’s position on the issue will strongly influence how they vote, according to a national survey conducted by Yale University, Gallup and the ClearVision Institute.

Lake Superior Sets Record for Low Water
October 1, 2007 10:39 AM - AP

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Drought and mild temperatures have pushed Lake Superior's water level to its lowest point on record for this time of year, continuing a downward spiral across the Great Lakes.  Preliminary data show Superior's average water level in September dipped 1.6 inches beneath the previous low for that month reached in 1926, Cynthia Sellinger, deputy director of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, said Sunday.

Deforestation Needs to be in Next Climate Pact
October 1, 2007 09:08 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA -Cutting emissions from deforestation will be key to curbing climate change and should be agreed upon in December's climate talks in Bali, a leading Indonesian forestry researcher said on Monday.  The conference on the resort island is expected to initiate talks on clinching a new deal by 2009 to fight global warming.   Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed nations can pay poor countries to cut emissions from activities such as the manufacture of refrigerants and fertilizers as well as capturing greenhouse gases from farm waste and rubbish dumps.

Tropical Storm Juliette forms in Mexican Pacific
September 30, 2007 05:27 PM - Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Juliette formed in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico and was forecast to whirl along off the Baja California peninsula over the next few days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.

Juliette was carrying maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph) and was more than 350 miles southwest of the peninsula.

The center described Juliette as a "weaker storm" that could lose force as it hit cooler waters.

Hurricane Lorenzo hits Mexico, 3 dead
September 30, 2007 11:45 AM - Alejandro Juarez -Reuters

Hurricane Lorenzo crashed into Mexico's Gulf coast on Friday, killing three people in a mudslide and knocking out power to 85,000 homes.

In the coastal fishing town of Nautla, Lorenzo's 80 mph winds ripped off bits of roofs, blew down trees and scattered debris in the streets.

Bush draws fire at climate talks
September 30, 2007 09:33 AM - Deborah Zabarenko and Jeff Mason -Reuters

Some of the world's biggest greenhouse polluters took aim at President George W. Bush on Friday, calling him "isolated" and questioning his leadership on the problem of global warming.

Bush, who convened the two-day meeting of the 17 biggest emitters of climate-warming gases, stressed new environmental technology and voluntary measures to tackle the issue.

Study: Global Warming Effecting North America's Northernmost Arctic Lake
September 29, 2007 05:35 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Quebec, Canada - Analyses conducted by researchers from Université Laval’s Center for Northern Studies reveal that aquatic life in Ward Hunt Lake, the continent’s northernmost lake, is affected by climate change.

Ward Hunt Lake is a body of water located on a small island north of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, has undergone major transformations within the last two centuries. The speed and range of these transformations—unprecedented in the lake’s last 8,000 years—suggest that climate change related to human activity could be at the source of this phenomenon.

The researchers’ conclusions are based on the analysis of a sediment core extracted in the center of Ward Hunt Lake in August 2003. This 18 centimeter long sediment core containing algae pigments and diatom remnants was used by the researchers as a biological archive in order to determine the diversity and abundance of aquatic life-forms in the lake over the last 8,450 years.

Researchers Discover Tropical Kelp Forests
September 29, 2007 04:33 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Santa Barbara, California - Santa Barbara, California - Researchers have discovered large undersea forests of endangered kelp in areas previously thought to be bare of the plant, in the tropics.  Using a computer model, researchers believe they've located nearly 10,000 square miles of areas that could harbor the plant.  "The ecosystems that form in these cold, deep pockets beneath warm tropical waters look more like their cousins in California than the tropical reefs just 200 feet above," said co-author Brian Kinlan, a researcher with UC Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute. "It is very similar to what we see when we climb a high mountain. For example, high alpine country in California looks more like Alaska."

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