Climate

Toyota launches new hybrid, Honda warms to electric
October 20, 2009 06:13 AM - Chang-Ran Kim and Cheon Jong-woo, Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp is ramping up its push on gasoline-electric hybrids, launching a new model in Japan and taking on up-and-coming rival Hyundai Motor Co in its Korean home market with its flagship Prius. Looking a step beyond hybrids, the head of Honda Motor Co said he was considering launching electric vehicles in the United States, Europe and Japan, indicating a shift in the strategy of Japan's No.2 car maker for zero-emission cars.

Finally, Some (Almost) Good News About Ice Sheets!
October 19, 2009 03:16 PM - Vanessa L. Bourlier, ENN

New ground measurements made by the West Antarctic Global Positioning System (GPS) Network (WAGN) project suggest the rate of ice loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been slightly overestimated. The project is noteworthy because is the first time researchers have directly measured the vertical motion of the bedrock at sites across West Antarctica using the US Global Positioning System.

US Pressured to Help Fight Tropical Deforestation
October 19, 2009 11:44 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate its own climate change legislation, a chorus of politicians, businesses, environmentalists, and scientists is uniting to request that U.S. climate policy help tropical nations in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia protect their forests. Known as the Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests, the group suggests that U.S. cap-and-trade legislation raise an annual $5 billion and $9 billion in public and private investments, respectively. Without forestry offsets, comparable domestic emissions reductions would cost the U.S. economy an additional $50 billion by 2020, the group estimates.

Carbon Emissions Trends: A Hurting Economy Can Help the Planet
October 19, 2009 11:12 AM - Janet Raloff , ScienceNews

Sometimes what’s bad for the economy can be good for the planet. Or so argued Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, yesterday. This environmental trend spotter pointed to several developments that may have escaped our attention as the global economy alternately sputtered and entered periods of freefall throughout the past 18 months.

September Global Surface Temperature Second Warmest Since 1880
October 18, 2009 03:07 PM - R. Greenway, ENN

The northeast is getting snow already, and low temperatures. Does this mean global warming is a myth? Not necessarily. A new analysis of global temperatures show that the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the second warmest September on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Based on records going back to 1880, the monthly National Climatic Data Center analysis is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.

Hurricane Rick strengthens to Cat 5
October 18, 2009 11:04 AM - Reuters

Hurricane Rick intensified to a top Category 5 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast on Saturday as it headed toward resorts on the Baja California peninsula next week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

El Niño to Help Steer U.S. Winter Weather
October 17, 2009 01:42 PM - R. Greenway, ENN

NOAA released a study this week projecting United States winter weather for the coming winter season. Using forecast E Niño conditions, the study predicts temperature and precipitation trends for the mainland US and Hawaii.

Scientists Suggest New Arctic Study May Oversate Sea Ice Melting
October 17, 2009 11:55 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real

Cambridge professor Peter Wadhams made headlines yesterday when he said that data gathered from British explorer Pen Hadlow's Arctic trek, called the Catlin Ice Survey, shows that Arctic summers will be entirely ice-free by 2020. Today, many experts fear the Wadhams may be overstating just how fast the Arctic will be open ocean in summer.

Spotted Seals near Alaska Denied NOAA Protection

NOAA’s Fisheries Service announced yesterday that two of three populations totaling more than 200,000 spotted seals in and near Alaska are not currently in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. The announcement follows an 18-month status review. However, NOAA is proposing to list a third smaller population of 3,300 seals off China and Russia as threatened.

U.S. Climate Plan will Boost Nuclear, Renewables
October 16, 2009 06:41 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

A U.S. cap-and-trade market on greenhouse gases should be designed carefully to avoid unfair economic pain in fossil fuel industries and other parts of the economy, experts told lawmakers on Wednesday. The aim of a cap-and-trade market on greenhouse gases at the center of the climate bill introduced by Senate leaders this month would transform the economy from being based on fossil fuels to more nuclear and renewable power.

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