Climate

U.S. finally taking warming seriously: Gorbachev
October 7, 2007 07:53 PM - Russell McCulley

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Much time has been lost in the fight to stop global warming, but the United States, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has finally begun to take the problem seriously, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said on Friday.

He made his comments in New Orleans, which is recovering from Hurricane Katrina, the powerful 2005 storm that some experts have said was part of a trend toward stronger and more frequent hurricanes due to man-made warming.

"I'm sorry the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol," Gorbachev said, referring to the international accord to reduce emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.

Dozens killed in worst Vietnam floods in decades
October 7, 2007 07:50 PM -

THANH HOA, Vietnam (Reuters) - More than 50 people were killed or missing after a typhoon, floods and landslides cut power and closed roads in what officials in two Vietnam provinces on Sunday described as some of the worst flooding in decades.

The government storm prevention committee said 37 people were killed and 15 missing. State-run Vietnam Television reported 55 dead and missing in the aftermath of typhoon Lekima, which slammed into several provinces on Wednesday night.

Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces in north-central Vietnam were hit hardest by torrential rains and strong winds.

"This may be the worst flooding since 1945," said Phan Dang Khoa, a Communist Party official in Thach Thanh district of Thanh Hoa where a dyke broke on the Buoi river, causing extensive flooding.

Typhoon hits Taiwan
October 6, 2007 06:31 PM - Faith Hung and Ralph Jennings

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Typhoon Krosa slammed into Taiwan on Saturday, with strong winds and heavy rains cutting power and cancelling flights while mainland China braced for what it called a serious impact.

Authorities in China ordered the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian to call more than 27,000 fishing boats back to safe harbors, Xinhua said.

In Taiwan, disaster authorities said the storm shut down schools and businesses in the north of the country.

"The wind is tremendous here, and we've lost power," said Chuang Min-hsiang, of Taitung. "We're all at home doing work to protect ourselves from the typhoon."

Strong typhoon targets Taiwan and China over weekend
October 5, 2007 11:07 AM - Ralph Jennings

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan warned fishing boats and people going out of town for the weekend that a strong typhoon was expected to reach the island shortly after midnight, bringing heavy rains and high winds before moving on to China on Sunday.

Disaster authorities monitoring Typhoon Krosa's approach from the southeast issued land and sea warnings for most of Taiwan, pulling fishing boats back to port and asking weekend adventurers to avoid stormy beaches and mountains prone to mudslides.

Strong Typhoon Targets Taiwan and China Over Weekend
October 5, 2007 07:38 AM - Reuters

TAIPEI - Taiwan warned fishing boats and people going out of town for the weekend that a strong typhoon was expected to reach the island shortly after midnight, bringing heavy rains and high winds before moving on to China on Sunday.  Disaster authorities monitoring Typhoon Krosa's approach from the southeast issued land and sea warnings for most of Taiwan, pulling fishing boats back to port and asking weekend adventurers to avoid stormy beaches and mountains prone to mudslides.

Climate Campaigners Tipped for Nobel Peace Prize
October 5, 2007 07:23 AM - Reuters

OSLO - Former Vice President Al Gore and other campaigners against climate change lead experts' choices for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, an award once reserved for statesmen, peacemakers and human rights activists.  If a campaigner against global warming carries off the high world accolade later this month, it will accentuate a shift to reward work outside traditional peacekeeping and reinforce the link between peace and the environment. The winner, who will take $1.5 million in prize money, will be announced in the Norwegian capital on October 12 from a field of 181 nominees.

India's Tsunami Warning Center Up And Running
October 4, 2007 07:49 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

HYDERABAD - India's tsunami warning center in Hyderabad became operational this week, less than three years since the country's southern coast was devastated by the Asian tsunami.

The $314 million dollar center, located at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It receives data via satellite from six ocean buoys — four in the Bay of Bengal and two in the Arabian Sea — equipped with water pressure sensors to detect any rise in water levels. Six more back-up buoys will be ready in the next two months.

E.ON takes first step into U.S. renewables market
October 4, 2007 01:44 PM - Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's E.ON (EONG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's largest utility, is taking its first step into the U.S. market for renewable energy with the takeover of wind farms there for $1.4 billion including debt.

With the acquisition of the American division of Ireland's Airtricity, E.ON is buying current and future projects with a total capacity of more than 7,000 megawatts in the United States and Canada, the German company said in a statement on Thursday.

"E.ON is late in renewables, but it makes clear it's strongly committed to picking up," London-based UBS analyst Per Lekander said. "Valuations in the area are high and can only be justified by the expectation of future projects."

Another warm winter seen for much of U.S.
October 4, 2007 01:31 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Long-range weather forecasts are predicting a warmer than average winter with less precipitation for much of the United States except the Pacific Northwest.

"It will be a lot like last year but the climate models are even more in agreement now than they were last fall," said Mike Halpert, head of forecast operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

"Temperatures will be warmer than average in most places except the northwest of the country, which could see some cold."

Forecasters believe the emergence of a La Nina condition -- unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean -- will be the main factor behind the anticipated warmth for much of North America.

White House says Climate talks beyond platitudes
October 4, 2007 09:34 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-sponsored climate change talks have moved beyond the political positioning and platitudes that can mire such discussions, the top White House environment official told Reuters on Wednesday.

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said last week's two-day Washington meeting of the 17 countries that emit the most greenhouse gases featured candid dialogue instead of "the formalistic presentations and set speeches that are typical of these climate discussions."

"It was not hostile but it was frank and we engaged the issue at a level of substance that moved us beyond the platitudes," Connaughton said at the Reuters Environment Summit. "It was intense and it's going to be more intense, because this is hard."

Connaughton disputed news reports in which participants in the talks complained that President George W. Bush seemed isolated in urging voluntary, rather than mandatory, requirements to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that spur global warming.

 

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