Climate

Greening the Blue Helmets: the UN Goes Green
November 22, 2010 08:25 AM - Ann-Danylkiw, Triple Pundit

The United Nations might be the body long responsible for hosting the forum for international agreement on climate change, so it’s about time it gets its own climate house in order.

Global Coral Bleaching Among Worst Ever Seen
November 19, 2010 07:41 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real

Coral reefs are both vital and vulnerable to change, and the combination of rising ocean surface temperatures and increased acidification is devastating corals across the globe in one of the worst bleaching and die-off events ever recorded.

Better Access to Contraception Could Slow Global Warming
November 18, 2010 08:13 AM - Editor, Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C.-A new report from the Worldwatch Institute argues that assuring all women have access to contraception and taking steps to improve women's lives should be among key strategies in the fight against global climate change.

Troposphere is warming too, decades of data show
November 16, 2010 07:12 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

Not only is Earth's surface warming, but the troposphere -- the lowest level of the atmosphere, where weather occurs -- is heating up too, U.S. and British meteorologists reported on Monday. In a review of four decades of data on troposphere temperatures, the scientists found that warming in this key atmospheric layer was occurring, just as many researchers expected it would as more greenhouse gases built up and trapped heat close to the Earth. This study aims to put to rest a controversy that began 20 years ago, when a 1990 scientific report based on satellite observations raised questions about whether the troposphere was warming, even as Earth's surface temperatures climbed.

The New Floods and Droughts
November 15, 2010 12:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Dust storms scour Iraq. Freak floods wreak havoc in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Rising sea levels erode Egypt's coast. Tuvulu and the Seychelles may disappear altogether as hey submerge into the ocean. A comprehensive vulnerability index suggests you move to Scandinavia, Ireland or Iceland as slightly safer places. The teeming plains of Asia are at greater risk in the next 30 years. Ten of the 16 most vulnerable countries are in Asia where high populations, low lying land and potential water shortages will plague more than other places and people. High Asia is dominated by many steep, dramatic mountain ranges that run through parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries. The region is home to more than 50,000 glaciers that are vital water lifelines to Asia's largest rivers, including the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Indus and Ganges. Roughly two billion people depend on these rivers for their water and food supply. What happens when all this changes with the climate?

Arab world among most vulnerable to climate change
November 15, 2010 06:28 AM - Alistair Lyon, Reuters Special Correspondent, BEIRUT

Dust storms scour Iraq. Freak floods wreak havoc in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Rising sea levels erode Egypt's coast. Hotter, drier weather worsens water scarcity in the Middle East, already the world's most water-short region. The Arab world is already suffering impacts consistent with climate change predictions. Although scientists are wary of linking specific events to global warming, they are urging Arab governments to act now to protect against potential disasters. There are huge variations in per capita greenhouse gas emissions across the region with very high rates for several oil and gas producers. Qatar recorded the world's highest per capita emissions with 56.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006, while Egyptians emitted just 2.25 tonnes each, U.N. figures show.

Warm spell spurred tropical biodiversity
November 12, 2010 08:26 AM - Alexandra Witze, Science News

Some like it hot, including the plants living in South America's tropical rain forests 56 million years ago. As global average temperatures spiked 5 degrees Celsius over a period of 10,000 years — a geologic blink of an eye — plant diversity in northern South America also soared, researchers report in the Nov. 12 Science.

Climate talks seek complex, interlocked deal
November 11, 2010 06:45 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters, OSLO

U.N. climate talks starting in Mexico this month will seek a complex set of interlocking deals to slow global warming but will fall well short of a new treaty, the U.N.'s climate chief said on Wednesday. Christiana Figueres said that governments had lowered their sights for the November 29-December 10 talks in Cancun, Mexico, after the Copenhagen summit in December 2009 failed to reach a sweeping new U.N. pact to slow climate change. Even so, almost 200 nations faced a balancing act in Cancun, where governments were aiming for a less ambitious but still complex package deal.

Arctic Melt and Export
November 10, 2010 10:01 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

A NASA analysis of satellite data has quantified, for the first time, the amount of older and thicker multi-year sea ice lost from the Arctic Ocean due to melting. Since the start of the satellite record in 1979, scientists have observed the continued disappearance of older multi-year sea ice that survives more than one summer melt season. Some scientists suspected that this loss was due entirely to wind pushing the ice out of the Arctic Basin -- a process that scientists refer to as export. Kwok and Cunningham, in their study, show that between 1993 and 2009, a significant amount of multi-year ice - 336 cubic miles) - was lost due to melt, not export.

Mountain Ranges May Act as 'Safe Haven' for Species Facing Climate Change
November 10, 2010 09:53 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2010) — Swiss researchers studying the projected effects of climate change on alpine plant species have discovered that mountain ranges may represent a 'safer' place to live during changing climate conditions. The research, published in the Journal of Biogeography, finds that the habitat diversity of mountain ranges offer species 'refuge habitats' which may be important for conservation.

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