In L.A. Traffic, Drivers Lose 72 Hours A Year
September 18, 2007 02:23 PM - Joan Gralla, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Los Angeles metropolitan area led the nation in traffic jams in 2005, with rush-hour drivers spending an extra 72 hours a year on average stuck in traffic, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The metropolitan areas of San Francisco-0akland, Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland, and Atlanta were tied for the second most gridlocked areas, according to the study by the Texas Transportation Institute.
Drivers in those three areas spent an extra 60 hours on average during peak periods, defined as 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the study found.
Powerful typhoon targets eastern China
September 18, 2007 01:01 PM -
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A powerful typhoon targeted China's booming eastern province of Zhejiang and the nation's financial capital, Shanghai, on Tuesday, prompting evacuation of over 1.6 million people as ships were recalled to port.
Typhoon Wipha was about 300 km southeast of Wenling city at 4 a.m. EDT. With gusts of up to 198 km per hour (123 mph), it was moving northwest at 25 to 30 km per hour and should make landfall in the early hours of Wednesday, Xinhua news agency said.
"East China, including the commercial hub of Shanghai, is preparing for what may be the most destructive typhoon in a decade," the agency said.
Arctic summer ice thickness halves to 1 meter
September 18, 2007 12:54 PM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent, Reuters
OSLO (Reuters) - Large tracts of ice on the Arctic Ocean have halved in thickness to just 1 meter (3 ft) since 2001, making the region more accessible to ships, a researcher said on Tuesday.
"There was loose ice everywhere we went," Ursula Schauer, leader of a scientific expedition aboard the Polarstern ice-breaker, told Reuters by telephone from the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia.
"All of these areas have previously had two meters of ice," said Schauer, who works at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, of a trip from Norway around the North Pole and back towards Russia. The last major survey was in 2001.
Nobel Peace Prize could go to climate campaigner
September 18, 2007 11:02 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize could go to a climate campaigner such as ex-U.S. Vice-President Al Gore or Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, reinforcing a view that global warming is a threat to world security, experts say.
The winner of the $1.5 million prize, perhaps the world's top accolade, will be announced in Oslo on October 12 from a field of 181 candidates. The prize can be split up to three ways.
"There are reasonably good chances that the peace prize will be awarded to someone working to stop the dramatic climate problems the world is facing," said Boerge Brende, a former Norwegian environment minister.
EasyJet boss calls for polluter tax on planes
September 18, 2007 10:53 AM -
LONDON (Reuters) - British low-cost airline easyJet called on Tuesday for the government to scrap airport taxes on passengers and replace them with taxes on aircraft that penalize the heaviest polluters.
EasyJet Chief Executive Andy Harrison told reporters at a briefing at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London that there were roughly 15 types of passenger aircraft, and the system should be banded to take account of their fuel efficiency.
EasyJet runs a relatively young fleet of planes that are more fuel-efficient than older models.
Tropical Activity Possible In Gulf of Mexico
September 18, 2007 08:00 AM - Reuters
NEW YORK - Tropical activity is possible in a couple of days in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a report Tuesday. At 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT), the NHC said, "Conditions are currently unfavorable for development of a large area of disorganized cloudiness and thunderstorm associated with a tropical wave and an upper-level trough (an elongated area of low pressure) from the east coast of Florida eastward for a few hundred miles over the western Atlantic and Bahamas."
Group Asks SEC To Force Climate Risk Disclosure
September 18, 2007 07:35 AM - Reuters
WASHINGTON - A group of institutional investors, state officials and environmental groups called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday to force publicly-traded companies to disclose climate-related risks along with other factors that affect their business.
Powerful Typhoon Heads For China's Financial Hub
September 18, 2007 07:15 AM - Reuters
SHANGHAI - A powerful typhoon targeted China's booming eastern province of Zhejiang and financial hub Shanghai on Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of tens of thousands of people as ships and boats were called back to port. Typhoon Wipha was 440 km (270 miles) southeast of the former foreign treaty port of Wenzhou in Zhejiang at 0300 GMT. With gusts of up to 198 km per hour, it was moving northwest at 20 km per hour, Xinhua news agency said, putting it on a course to skirt Taiwan.
Calif. Suit On Car Greenhouse Gases Dismissed
September 18, 2007 07:09 AM - Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO - A U.S. federal judge tossed out a lawsuit by California's attorney general on Monday seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from six automakers for damaging the state with climate-changing greenhouse gases. Martin Jenkins, a federal judge in the Northern District of California, said the issue of global warming should be decided in the political rather than legal arena.
Arctic Ocean Sea-ice Getting Thinner: New Study
September 17, 2007 09:23 AM - Alfred-Wegener Institute
Bremerhaven - Large areas of the Arctic sea-ice are only one metre thick this year, equating to an approximate 50 percent thinning as compared to the year 2001. These are the initial results from the latest Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association lead expedition to the North Polar Sea. 50 scientists have been on board the Research ship- Polarstern for two and a half months, their main aim; to carry out research on the sea-ice areas in the central Arctic. Amongst other things, they have found out that not only the ocean currents are changing, but community structures in the Arctic are also altering. Autonomous measuring-buoys have been placed out, and they will contribute valuable data, also after the expedition is finished, to the study of the environmental changes occurring in this region.