U.N. says climate deal in 2009 ideal, but complex
August 29, 2007 08:02 AM - Alister Doyle - Reuters

The U.N.'s top climate official said on Tuesday that agreeing a global deal by the end of 2009 to combat climate change would be ideal but noted much needs to be done. "There is this sense of urgency, we do need to get it completed as quickly as possible," Yvo de Boer told Reuters on the fringe of talks on global warming grouping 158 nations. Many experts say 2009 is the latest practical date to agree a climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. Any firm building a coal-fired power plant or a wind farm needs to know rules for greenhouse gas emissions years in advance.

Experts Say Greenhouse Gases Fueled 2006 US Heat, Not El Nino
August 28, 2007 05:40 PM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

WASHINGTON - Greenhouse gas emissions -- not El Nino or other natural phenomena -- pushed U.S. temperatures for 2006 close to a record high, government climate scientists reported on Tuesday.

Antarctic Ozone Hole Appears Early, Growing
August 28, 2007 11:37 AM - Reuters

A hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has appeared earlier than usual in 2007, the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said it would not be clear for several weeks whether the ozone hole, which is expected to continue growing until early October, would be larger than its record size in 2006. "It is still too early to give a definitive statement about the development of this year's ozone hole and the degree of ozone loss that will occur. This will, to a large extent, depend on the meteorological conditions," the Geneva-based agency said.

U.S. Says Steep Climate Curbs May Not Be Needed
August 28, 2007 07:57 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

Curbs needed to fight global warming could be less drastic than a 50-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 favoured by the European Union, the United States' chief climate negotiator said on Monday.

Indonesian peatlands seen playing key climate role
August 28, 2007 07:37 AM - Sugita Katyal -Reuters

To the average person, they are just ordinary swamps or bogs. But peatlands across the world are more than just simple marsh land: they are one of the largest carbon stores on earth and play a significant role in the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. Not for long, perhaps.

63 Dead, Greeks Flee Burning Homes, Criticize Government
August 27, 2007 07:19 PM - Karolos Grohmann, Reuters

KRESTENA, Greece (Reuters) - The battle against raging forest fires that have killed 63 Greeks and made thousands homeless entered its fifth day as opposition parties accused the government of incompetence in handling the crisis. Helicopters have winched trapped people out of blazing hamlets, impossible to reach by land, and EU allies joined Greek fire crews in the struggle to stop the flames reaching more towns and villages across the country.

European hot spots and fires identified from space
August 27, 2007 02:47 PM - European Space Agency

Hot spots across Southeastern Europe from 21 to 26 August have been detected with instruments aboard ESA satellites, which have been continuously surveying fires burning across the Earth’s surface for a decade. Working like thermometers in the sky, the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on ESA’s ERS-2 satellite and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on ESA’s Envisat satellite measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth's land surfaces.

Analysis: Weak Laws, Neglect Behind Greek Fires
August 27, 2007 12:00 PM - Dina Kyriakidou

ATHENS - Weak zoning laws, careless farmers and smoldering garbage dumps are the main reasons for the forest fires that have killed 63 and destroyed whole rural economies in Greece in recent days, Greenpeace said on Monday. The fires, fanned by strong winds, have engulfed whole villages, forcing thousands to flee their homes, and burned millions of hectares of woods and farmland dried by summer heat. Greece has declared a state of emergency and sought help from its EU partners. The prime minister, facing parliamentary elections on September 16, indicated arsonists might have been responsible and vowed to punish them.

Climate talks start with calls for new global deal
August 27, 2007 08:21 AM - Alister Doyle - Reuters

Climate negotiators from more than 150 nations assembled in Vienna on Monday with calls for a global deal beyond 2012 to replace the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol and include outsiders such as the United States and China. "Climate change is already a harsh reality, a massive obstacle to development," Austrian Environment Minister Josef Proell told the opening ceremony at a meeting of more than 1,000 senior officials, activists and other experts.

63 Dead,Thousands Homeless, Greek Forest Fires Surround Villages
August 27, 2007 07:38 AM - Vassilis Triandafyllou -Reuters

Desperate Greek villages encircled by flames appealed for help on Monday as strong winds continued to fan forest fires sweeping through the country, killing 63 people in three days. People sought refuge by river banks as towering flames engulfed homes, farms and forests and firefighters battled scores of blazes across the country, which has declared a nationwide emergency

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