Climate

Big Year For Darwin, But What Would He Make Of The Climate Change Ahead?
February 10, 2009 08:44 AM - Rutgers University

Charles Darwin may have been born 200 years ago come Feb. 12, but his theory of evolution remains an everyday touchstone for modern biologists. And while the Origin of Species author might not have known the term "global warming," he wouldn’t have been surprised that the environment is changing. He would, however, be astonished by the speed at which it's happening today, researchers believe. "Every species is under temporary permanence," says Bill Saidel, an associate professor of biology at Rutgers University's Camden Campus, where he teaches Animal Behavior and Behavioral Neurobiology. Darwin would have predicted changes in species' habits and even changes in the environment, but the planet's facing changes that are both drastic and unpredictable.

Fires, floods pressure Australia govt on climate
February 9, 2009 09:16 AM - Reuters

Australia's deadliest wildfires increased pressure on the national government to take firm action on climate change on Monday as scientists said global warming likely contributed to conditions that fuelled the disaster. At least 130 people were killed in wildfires, set off by a record heatwave in southern Victoria state over the past week days, while large areas of Queensland state remain flooded by tropical downpours.

Climate issues emerging as new focus for U.S. and China
February 6, 2009 09:03 AM - WBCSD

When Chinese officials and the administration of President Barack Obama begin discussions in earnest over issues at the heart of relations between the United States and China, the usual suspects will no doubt emerge: trade, human rights, Taiwan. But increasingly, officials and scholars from both countries say, the global problem of climate change could become another focal point in the dialogue.

Collapse Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Would Likely Put Washington, D.C. Largely Underwater
February 6, 2009 08:54 AM - University of Toronto

University of Toronto and Oregon State University geophysicists have shown that should the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse and melt in a warming world – as many scientists are concerned it will – it is the coastlines of North America and of nations in the southern Indian Ocean that will face the greatest threats from rising sea levels. The catastrophic increase in sea level, already projected to average between 16 and 17 feet around the world, would be almost 21 feet in such places as Washington, D.C., scientists say, putting it largely underwater. Many coastal areas would be devastated. Much of Southern Florida would disappear, according to researchers at Oregon State University.

More Extreme Weather In The Arctic Regions
February 5, 2009 10:55 AM - University of Bergen

A new study published in Climate Dynamics by Erik Kolstad and Thomas J. Bracegirdle reveals that one of the most visible signs of climate change is the dramatically reduced ice cover in the Arctic. The retreat of the sea ice leads to rapid changes in the weather conditions in these areas. The study reveals that regions that have been covered by sea ice until now will be exposed to new kinds of severe weather. This may have dire consequences for human activities in the Northern regions.

U.N. chief says domestic politics undermine climate fight
February 5, 2009 09:16 AM - Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A climate deal at Copenhagen may not be possible unless politicians take tough decisions without worrying about winning elections and compulsions of their domestic politics, the U.N. Secretary-General said on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon said the situation had been compounded by the global financial downturn that was making it more difficult for the political leadership to take unpopular decisions.

Arctic storms seen worsening; threat to oil, ships
February 5, 2009 09:08 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Arctic storms could worsen because of global warming in a threat to possible new businesses such as oil and gas exploration, fisheries or shipping, a study showed on Wednesday. "Large increases in the potential for extreme weather events were found along the entire southern rim of the Arctic Ocean, including the Barents, Bering and Beaufort Seas," according to the study of Arctic weather by scientists in Norway and Britain.

75 Countries Sign onto New Clean Energy Agency
February 5, 2009 09:06 AM - Worldwatch Institute

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first multinational agency focused solely on spreading clean energy across the globe, officially launched this week. The expectations are that the agency will help governments and private industry to expand renewable energy installments throughout the industrialized world, where investments are already on the rise, while also assist the developing world acquire the expertise to establish its own clean energy industries.

Global Warming May Delay Recovery Of Stratospheric Ozone
February 5, 2009 08:54 AM - American Geophysical Union

Increasing greenhouse gases could delay, or even postpone indefinitely the recovery of stratospheric ozone in some regions of the Earth, a new study suggests. This change might take a toll on public health. Darryn W. Waugh, an atmospheric scientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and his colleagues report that climate change could provoke variations in the circulation of air in the lower stratosphere in tropical and southern mid-latitudes - a band of the Earth including Australia and Brazil. The circulation changes would cause ozone levels in these areas never to return to levels that were present before decline began, even after ozone-depleting substances have been wiped out from the atmosphere.

Climate change might be altering waters along US west coast
February 3, 2009 09:20 AM - The Guardian

The spectre of an ocean floor littered with dead shellfish, rock fish, sea stars and other marine life off the Oregon coast spurred Mark Snyder, aclimate change expert, to investigate whether California's coast faced a similar calamity. It could, the University of California Santa Cruz earth scientist said, citing climate change, which some scientists believe is responsible for stronger and more persistent winds along the coast. There's no debate that windier conditions drive more upwelling of nutrient-rich deep ocean waters.

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