Climate

Ice cap melt seen "very, very alarming"
October 2, 2007 04:06 PM - Gerard Wynn and Jeremy Lovell, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Record melting of Arctic sea ice this year sent a "very alarming" signal about warming at the North Pole, but it couldn't all definitely be blamed on manmade climate change, the U.N.'s top weatherman said on Tuesday.

The amount of Arctic ice which melted this summer beat a previous record, set two years ago, by an area more than four times the size of Britain, a 30-year satellite record shows.

"This year was quite exceptional ... the melting of the Arctic ice ... it's quite spectacular," Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organisation, told Reuters.

"Can it all be attributed to climate change? That's very difficult. It's very, very alarming," he said. His answer to how best to interpret the melt was -- "let's do more research".

Ancient Fossils Points to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming
October 2, 2007 12:37 PM -

PASADENA, Calif.--A team of American and Canadian scientists has devised a new way to study Earth's past climate by analyzing the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils. The first published tests with the method further support the view that atmospheric CO2 has contributed to dramatic climate variations in the past, and strengthen projections that human CO2 emissions could cause global warming.

In the current issue of the journal Nature, geologists and environmental scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Ottawa, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Brock University, and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve report the results of a new method for determining the growth temperatures of carbonate fossils such as shells and corals. This method looks at the percentage of rare isotopes of oxygen and carbon that bond with each other rather than being randomly distributed through their mineral lattices.

 

Climate change will alter world travel patterns
October 2, 2007 12:05 PM - Laura MacInnis, Reuters

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Global warming will produce stay-at-home tourists over the next few decades, radically altering travel patterns and threatening jobs and businesses in tourism-dependent countries, according to a stark assessment by U.N experts.

The U.N. Environment Program, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Tourism Organization said concerns about weather extremes and calls to reduce emissions-heavy air travel would make long-haul flights less attractive.

Holiday-makers from Europe, Canada, the United States and Japan were likely to spend more vacations in or near their home countries to take advantage of longer summers, they said.

Japan to remap climate plans to reach Kyoto goal
October 2, 2007 07:51 AM - Reuters

Japan will draw up new measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by next March in an attempt to meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, a top official said on Tuesday.

UK chief scientist confident on 2009 climate deal
October 2, 2007 07:43 AM - Jane Lee -Reuters

A new global climate deal should be reachable by 2009, with nations outside the Kyoto Protocol more sympathetic to such a pact, the U.K.'s chief scientific adviser said on Tuesday.

"The point is it really needs to be in place by 2009 if we're going to have a process to operate from 2012," David King told Reuters.

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.

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