• Australia sees La Nina weather staying for months

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - A mature La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific continued to influence the climate of eastern Australia and was forecast to remain until at least the end of the southern autumn, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Wednesday. La Nina weather patterns, the opposite of El Ninos, are associated with wet weather in eastern Australia and Southeast Asia. >> Read the Full Article
  • Field Dispatch: Natural Habitat Antarctica Trip Pt.1

    I am actually on my way - and I couldn't be more excited! Years of anticipation and hard work have finally paid off, and I'm headed to Antarctica. A world of ice and rock, water and sky, wind and cold. And, some of the richest, most unspoiled wildlife habitat on Planet Earth. I'm writing this from my cabin in the ice-hardened, former Russian research vessel: the Professor Multanovskiy. Recently converted to passenger service, the Multanovskiy is carrying me and 74 other souls (passengers, crew, and staff) to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula. >> Read the Full Article
  • Financing the Transition from a Brown to a Green Global Economy

    Nairobi/Monaco, 11 February 2008 - The biggest gathering of environment ministers to take place since the climate change breakthrough in Bali will be happening in Monaco later this month under the theme "Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge". More than 100 ministers from across the globe are scheduled to attend the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) - the world's forum for environment ministers -alongside senior figures from industry and economics; science; local government; civil society, trades unions and intergovernmental bodies. >> Read the Full Article
  • Magnitude 5.4 quake hits northern Mexico: USGS

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.4 quake struck close to the northern Mexican city of Mexicali in Baja California on Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there was no immediate report of any casualties or damage. The USGS said the very shallow quake, only 4.3 miles deep, was centered 16 miles southeast of Mexicali, a city with an estimated population of one million. >> Read the Full Article
  • Harsh winter kills more than 750 in Afghanistan

    KABUL (Reuters) - More than 750 people have perished as a result of severe cold and heavy snowfalls this winter across Afghanistan, a government official said on Saturday. The cold spell, the worst in decades in the impoverished and mountainous central Asian country, has also killed nearly 230,000 cattle, said Noor Padshah Kohistani of the National Disaster Management Commission. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tenth of China's forests damaged by blizzards

    BEIJING (Reuters) - About one-tenth of China's forests were damaged by recent winter storms, the worst in at least five decades, and in the hardest-hit regions nearly 90 percent of forests were ruined, Xinhua news agency said on Saturday. The State Forestry Administration (SFA) said total losses reached 17.3 million hectares of forest in 18 provinces in southern China, said Xinhua. >> Read the Full Article
  • Coral Reefs May Be Protected By Natural Ocean Thermostat

    The research team, led by NCAR scientist Joan Kleypas, looked at the Western Pacific Warm Pool, a region northeast of Australia where naturally warm sea-surface temperatures have risen little in recent decades. As a result, the reefs in that region appear to have suffered relatively few episodes of coral bleaching, a phenomenon that has damaged reefs in other areas where temperature increases have been more pronounced. The study* lends support to a much-debated theory that a natural ocean thermostat prevents sea-surface temperatures from exceeding about 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) in open oceans. If so, this thermostat would protect reefs that have evolved in naturally warm waters that will not warm much further, as opposed to reefs that live in slightly cooler waters that face more significant warming. >> Read the Full Article
  • Norway keeps whaling quota, draws ire

    OSLO (Reuters) - Norway has set a commercial whaling quota of 1,052 minke whales in 2008, unchanged from last year, drawing criticism from environmental groups pressuring Oslo to join the international community and call off its hunts. Norway is the only country to hunt the giant mammal commercially despite a two-decade-old moratorium by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Iceland stopped in 2007, citing a lack of markets for whale meat. >> Read the Full Article
  • Gharials under grave threat

    More than 90 gharials (Gangeticus gavialis) have been reported dead in the last two months in the National Chambal Sanctuary in India for yet-to-be diagnosed reasons. The monarch of Indian rivers is under severe threat. A team of international veterinarians and crocodile experts – on government request - is working closely with scientists from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI). Early results point to levels of heavy metals - lead and cadmium – leading to immune-suppression (or reduction in body’s ability to fight pathogens) and thereby making them susceptible to infections. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ancient trees give clues to climate change

    PUERTO BLEST, Argentina (Reuters) - On the shores of lake Nahuel Huapi, in the wild mountains of Argentina's Patagonia, live some of the world's most ancient trees. Known in Spanish as the alerce, the Patagonian cypress grows extremely slowly, but can reach heights over 50 meters (165 feet) and live for 2,000 years or more, putting some of them among the oldest living things on earth. >> Read the Full Article