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Scientists in first global study of 'poison' gas in the atmosphere
September 19, 2007 10:41 AM - University of York
It was used as a chemical weapon in the trenches in the First World War, but nearly a century later, new research by an international team of scientists has discovered that phosgene is present in significant quantities in the atmosphere.
EPA Targets $2 Million to Fight Climate Change with Projects in China, Russia, Seven Other Countries
September 19, 2007 08:47 AM - EPA
Washington, D.C. - China, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria and Ukraine will have projects funded under the auspices of the Methane to Markets Partnership, an international effort promoting near-term, cost-effective projects that capture and use methane as a clean-energy source. EPA is announcing the award of $2 million for projects that will enhance the capture and use of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas twenty times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. The primary component of natural gas, methane is also a valuable and clean-burning energy resource.
Ban Urges Strong Message From Climate Summit
September 19, 2007 07:55 AM - Reuters
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Tuesday for a climate change summit he has convened next week to send a "strong political message" to enable a "bold" new global environment pact to be negotiated. "The science has made it quite clear," Ban told a news conference. "We have been feeling the impact of global warming already ... We have resources and we have technologies. The only (thing) lacking is political will.
Typhoon to Spare Shanghai After Losing Power
September 19, 2007 07:44 AM - Reuters
SHANGHAI - Typhoon Wipha abruptly lost strength after it crossed the eastern coast of China on Wednesday and looked set to miss Shanghai as it headed north. However, the storm toppled hundreds of homes and knocked out power and water supplies as it swept in from the sea some 650 km (400 miles) south of the country's financial hub.
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."