• Five Asian nations to study flood, climate risks

    OSLO (Reuters) - A new U.N. course will help five Asian nations cope with a predicted worsening of floods due to climate change that may threaten cities from Beijing to Hanoi, the U.N. University said on Sunday.

    Experts from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal and Sri Lanka would take part from November in a three-month course run by the U.N. University in Thailand to help map risks of downpours, rivers breaking their banks and rising sea levels.

    If successful, the course could be expanded to other regions.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • World Bank studies rising seas in Guyana

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank and Global Environmental Facility have approved $3.8 million in grant funding to protect low-lying coastal areas in Guyana threatened by rising sea levels, an official said on Friday.

    This is the first project of its kind to be approved under the Global Environmental Facility's Special Climate Change Fund. It will look at ways to improve coastal drainage in the small South American country.

    Gerald Meier, a consultant with the World Bank's hazard risk management group, said the project was responding to the catastrophic flooding in Guyana in 2005, which affected most of the inhabited northern coast of the country where up to 90 percent of the population lives.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Will Nobel mean Gore will run for president?

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Now that former Vice President Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize, will he use the buzz from the award to launch a late bid for the presidency in 2008?

    People close to Gore, 59, do not think so but thousands of Democratic activists are pleading with him to reconsider and join the crowded Democratic field.

    In brief remarks in Palo Alto, California, on Friday, Gore did not address the presidential race but did not rule it out either.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • French explorer to measure Arctic ice from airship

    MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - A French explorer unveiled plans on Friday to fly over the Arctic in an airship to measure the ice cap amid concern at the pace it is melting.

    Jean-Louis Etienne (www.jeanlouisetienne.fr) said his 10,000 kilometer (6,214 mile) journey will serve as a benchmark for monitoring the impact of global warming on the North Pole.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Gore says focused on urgent climate change issues

    Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, stressed the urgency of his work on climate change and said he was getting straight back to work on the issue.

    "We have to quickly find a way to change the world's consciousness about exactly what we're facing," Gore told reporters in Palo Alto, appearing in public nearly nine hours after the award was announced in Oslo.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • World Bank fund to pay for protecting forests

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new fund being developed by the World Bank would pay developing countries hundreds of millions of dollars for protecting and replanting tropical forests, which store huge amounts of carbon that causes climate change.

    The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), announced by the World Bank on Thursday, will be part of U.N. climate change negotiations in Bali in December to shape a global agreement for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Pachauri patiently rebuts bias charges

    OSLO (Reuters) - "Pass me the microphone when he's finished, please," Rajendra Pachauri leant over and asked me after a U.S. skeptic accused his U.N. climate panel of exaggerating the threat of global warming.

    Pachauri, an Indian scientist who heads the panel awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday with ex-U.S. Vice President Al Gore, had just been accused at U.N. talks in Nairobi of failing to reply to a letter from U.S. Republican Sen. James Inhofe.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Nobel Peace Prize ups pressure for climate action

    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.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Ancient Fossils Point to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming

    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.
    >> Read the Full Article
  • Mixed Atlantic hurricane season puzzles experts

    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.

    >> Read the Full Article