Nobel Peace Prize ups pressure for climate action
October 12, 2007 02:37 PM - Alister Doyle -Reuters
Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel widens a definition of peacemaking and will raise pressure for the world to agree a new deal to combat global warming.
"I hope this will enhance further a sense of urgency," said Yvo de Boer, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat who wants governments to set an end-2009 deadline to work out a new long-term plan to fight global warming.
Ancient Fossils Point to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming
October 10, 2007 06:19 PM -
PASADENA, Calif - A team of American and Canadian scientists has devised a new way to study Earth's past climate by analyzing the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils. The first published tests with the method further support the view that atmospheric CO2 has contributed to dramatic climate variations in the past, and strengthen projections that human CO2 emissions could cause global warming.
In the current issue of the journal Nature, geologists and environmental scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Ottawa, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Brock University, and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve report the results of a new method for determining the growth temperatures of carbonate fossils such as shells and corals. This method looks at the percentage of rare isotopes of oxygen and carbon that bond with each other rather than being randomly distributed through their mineral lattices.
Mixed Atlantic hurricane season puzzles experts
October 10, 2007 05:18 PM - Michael Christie, Reuters
MIAMI (Reuters) - Judge the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season by the 13 storms so far, and it looks like a relatively busy year. But look at the number of days a hurricane has swirled in the Atlantic, or use other measures of a storm season's ferocity, and 2007 has been surprisingly benign.
Hurricane experts had predicted the season to be above-average because of warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures, the continuance of a decades-long natural period of increased storm activity, and the development of La Nina weather conditions in the Pacific.
Many tropical waves, often a precursor of a tropical storm, developed in the Atlantic over the busiest weeks of the season between September and early October, and eight named tropical storms formed in September -- matching a record for the month.
Researchers Find Evidence Of Warming In Midwest
October 9, 2007 04:25 PM -
COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Summer nights in Ohio aren't cooling off as much as they used to -- and it's likely a sign of climatic warming across the state, researchers say.
Jeffrey Rogers, professor of geography at Ohio State University, led the new study, which found that average summer nighttime low temperatures in Ohio have risen by about 1.7 degrees Celsius (about 3 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 1960s.
Why the change? It's not just the heat, it's the humidity, the researchers concluded -- coupled with increased cloudiness at night.
China closes 253 coal-power generators
October 9, 2007 04:03 PM -
Beijing, China - China shut down 253 small coal-fired generating units in the first nine months this year amid nationwide efforts to save energy and reduce emissions, the country's top planning body announced on Monday.
The move, involving a combined capacity of 9.03 million kilowatts, indicated China had completed 90 percent of this year's goal of eliminating outmoded capacity of 10 million kilowatts, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a statement posted on its website.
Heat may kill hundreds of New Yorkers
October 9, 2007 03:34 PM - Anne Harding, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The number of heat-related deaths in and around New York City will nearly double by 2050 - and could rise as high as 95 percent -- due to global warming if no efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a new study shows.
"All kinds of households in the region might want to think about what global warming and greenhouse gas emissions might mean for their quality of life in the not-too-distant future," Dr. Kim Knowlton of Columbia University in New York City, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.
By taking steps now to cut emissions, New Yorkers could prevent 300 of these expected deaths annually, Knowlton says. "We can save lives by taking progressive action now to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. That's the good news."
Greenpeace sends message to UK's PM
October 9, 2007 10:32 AM -
LONDON (Reuters) - Five fit environmental protestors climbed one of Britain's biggest chimneys on Monday to send a message to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown but only managed to daub his first name on the stack before being ordered down.
Greenpeace campaigners stopped the conveyor belts feeding coal into the Kingsnorth power plant in Kent on Monday in an attempt to shut the power station, while a handful of others set off up the ladder scaling the power station's 200-metre chimney to paint "Gordon Bin It" as they abseiled down.
Scientist: Greenhouse Gas Levels Grave
October 9, 2007 08:45 AM - Meraiah Foley -Associated Press
Strong worldwide economic growth has accelerated the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere to a dangerous threshold scientists had not expected for another decade, according to a leading Australian climate change expert. Scientist Tim Flannery told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that an upcoming report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will contain new data showing that the level of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere has already reached critical levels.
Mauritius Scientists Fear Tourism Impact On Coral
October 9, 2007 08:17 AM - Reuters
BLUE BAY, Mauritius - Scientists in Mauritius are warning the Indian Ocean island's ambitious tourism targets will place too much strain on remaining coral. Facing the threats of trade liberalization to its sugar and textile sectors, Mauritius is boosting tourism with a goal of two million tourists per year from an anticipated 900,000 in 2007. But scientists are nervous about that target. "Too many tourists will bring it to an unsustainable level," oceanographer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo told Reuters.
Book Review: Climate Change and Can We Stop It?
October 9, 2007 08:01 AM - Bill McKibben, Organic Consumers Association
A review of controversial books on climate change and the environmental movement by Bjørn Lomborg and Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger.
During the last year, momentum has finally begun to build for taking action against global warming by putting limits on carbon emissions and then reducing them. Driven by ever-more-dire scientific reports, Congress has, for the first time, begun debating ambitious targets for carbon reduction. Al Gore, in his recent Live Earth concerts, announced that he will work to see an international treaty signed by the end of 2009. Even President Bush has recently reversed his previous opposition and summoned the leaders of all the top carbon-emitting countries to a series of conferences designed to yield some form of limits on CO2.