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News articles on climate change
Mongabay.com news articles on climate change in blog format. Updated regularly.
(03/05/2006) The Antarctic ice sheet continues to shrink according to a NASA study released last week.
World temperatures highest in 1200 years
(02/10/2006) World temperatures are higher than in any period over the last 1,200 years, according to a study published in the current issue of Science.
Volcanic eruption cut warming in 20th century
(02/09/2006) Ocean temperatures might have been warmer and sea levels would have risen higher in the 20th century had Krakatoa not erupted in 1883, said a team of scientists. According to the researchers, the release of ashes and aerosols into the upper atmosphere had a significant long-term impact on global climate.
Polar bear may be listed as endangered species
(02/09/2006) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it is considering a petition to list the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists believe polar bear populations are increasingly in danger due to the effects of climate change, specifically receding ice and warming temperatures.
Climate change increases California flood, drought risk
(02/07/2006) Climate change may increase the risk of winter floods and summer water shortages--even within the same year--says new research by scientists Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The study, which appeared in the January 27 edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters shows that global warming is likely to change river flows in ways that may result in both increased flood risk and water shortages.
Barges could protect Europe from climate change deep freeze
(02/06/2006) It is ironic that one consequence of global warming is that Europe might plunge into a deep freeze. This possibility stimulated an unusual research project at the University of Alberta.
Investors with $31 trillion pressure firms on climate change
(02/01/2006) A group of 211 institutional investors with assets of $31 trillion under management is writing to 1,933 of the world's largest public companies asking for the disclosure of investment-relevant information concerning their greenhouse gas emissions.
2005 was the warmest year on record
(01/24/2006) A new study by NASA says 2005 was the warmest year in at least a century, surpassing 1998. The five warmest years over the last century occurred since 1997: 2005, then 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Don't blame plants for global warming
(01/18/2006) A week after announcing their surprising discovery that plants release 10 to 30 percent of the world's methane—a potent greenhouse gas—researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics warn that plants should not be blamed for recent global warming.
Plants release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, finds study
(01/11/2006) In the last few years, more and more research has focused on the biosphere; particularly, on how gases which influence the climate are exchanged between the biosphere and atmosphere. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics have now carefully analysed which organic gases are emitted from plants. They made the surprising discovery that plants release methane, a greenhouse gas - and this goes against all previous assumptions.
Climate change is killing frogs finds new research
(01/11/2006) The dramatic global decline of amphibians may be directly connected to global warming warns a new study published in the journal Nature.
Extinctions linked to climate change
(01/11/2006) A new report that links global warming to the recent extinction of dozens of amphibian species in tropical America is more evidence of a large phenomena that may affect broad regions, many animal species and ultimately humans, according to researchers at Oregon State University.
Private industry will embrace green energy says Australian govt
(01/11/2006) US Energy Secretary, Samuel Bodman, told the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate--a rival to the Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse gas emissions--that the private sector will solve the problem of climate change.
New glacier history sheds light on climate change
(01/09/2006) University of Alberta research that rewrites the history of glacial movement in northwestern North America over the past 10,000 years offers important clues to climate change in recent millennia.
The Great Flood had smaller impact than originally believed
(01/09/2006) NASA climate modelers have simulated the climate changes caused by a massive deluge of freshwater into the North Atlantic that occurred near the end of the last Ice Age 8,000 years ago.
Satellite image of floods in Northern California
(01/06/2006) Northern California ushered in 2006 with a series of major storms that inundated the area and left many towns awash in water, mud, and debris.
Tiny marine organisms reflect ocean warming
(01/05/2006) Sediment cores collected from the seafloor off Southern California reveal that plankton populations in the Northeastern Pacific changed significantly in response to a general warming trend that started in the early 1900s.
Climate change caused major disruption to past ocean currents
(01/05/2006) Massive climate change 55 million years ago caused major disruption to ocean currents according to new research by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
Satellite image of fires in Oklahoma and Texas
(01/02/2006) Drought, high temperatures, and strong winds combined with holiday fireworks, trash fires, and careless cigarettes to create a disaster in parts of Texas and Oklahoma in late December 2005.
Ford assesses business implications of climate change in new report
(12/30/2005) In an industry first, Ford Motor Company has issued a report addressing the business implications of climate change, carbon dioxide emissions and global energy concerns.
Greenland ice cap melting faster finds NASA
(12/26/2005) In the first direct, comprehensive mass survey of the entire Greenland ice sheet, scientists using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) have measured a significant decrease in the mass of the Greenland ice cap. Grace is a satellite mission that measures movement in Earth's mass.
Tree plantations for carbon sequestration may cause environmental problems
(12/22/2005) Growing tree plantations to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to mitigate global warming -- so called "carbon sequestration" -- could trigger environmental changes that outweigh some of the benefits, a multi-institutional team led by Duke University suggested in a new report. Those effects include water and nutrient depletion and increased soil salinity and acidity, said the researchers.
Bolivian rainforest certified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
(12/20/2005) The Bolivian government, The Nature Conservancy and the Bolivian conservation organization Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza announced that the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project is the first conservation-based initiative in the world to be fully certified for reducing greenhouse gas emissions using internationally accepted standards.
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increase 2 percent
(12/19/2005) U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.0 percent in 2004, from 6,983.2 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2003 to 7,122.1 metric tons in 2004, according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2004, a report released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Ancient water supply of Sahara at risk, satellite monitoring helps in water management
(12/19/2005) During the last Ice Age, the Sahara was savannah with rivers, lakes and plentiful rains. Over the past 10,000 years that landscape changed, but the rains from that period progressively percolated beneath the ground to be collected in aquifers. Today these aquifers are an important source of water for irrigating agriculture and supporting human populations in the area.
Permafrost could melt by 2100, worsening global warming
(12/19/2005) Global warming could cause the top 10 feet (3 meters) or more of Arctic permafrost to thaw by 2100 according to new simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Melting could disrupt important ecosystems, damage roads and buildings, increase freshwater runoff into the Acrtic Ocean and release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.
2005 is second warmest year on record
(12/16/2005) Two new reports from government agencies say that 2005 has been a near record year annual average temperature. The first from NOAA focuses primarily on weather in the United States, while the second, from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) looks at global temperatures and weather events.
Making wind power less deadly for birds
(12/15/2005) High oil prices and concern over climate change are driving interest in renewable energy technologies. All types of potential power sources -- not limited to the sun, ocean tides and waves, raw sewage, and even insects -- are the focus of media reports, while governments and industry scramble to announce their grand plans for adopting green energy.
Is Global Warming Killing Polar Bears? -- WSJ
(12/14/2005) Today The Wall Street Journal ran an article asking "Is Global Warming Killing the Polar Bears?" The article cited several recent studies that suggest polar bears are increasingly under threat from receding ice and warming temperatures.
Some Amazon rainforest trees are over 1000 years old finds study
(12/13/2005) Trees in the Amazon rainforest are older than originally believed according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team of American and Brazilian researchers using radiocarbon dating methods to study tree growth in the world's largest tropical rainforest found that up to half of all trees greater than 10 centimeters in diameter are more than 300 years old. Some of the trees are 750 to 1,000 years old says Susan Trumbore, a professor of Earth system science at University of California at Irvine and one of the authors of the study.
UN agrees to "rainforest conservation for emissions" deal
(12/11/2005) Friday, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Montreal, the U.N. agreed to a proposal that allows developing nations to receive financial compensation from industrialized countries for agreeing to preserve their rainforests. Environmentalists hope the deal -- set forth by ten developing countries led by Papua New Guinea -- will give developing nations a financial reason to get more involved in climate talks while safeguarding globally important ecosystems.
Deforestation causes 25% of greenhouse gas emissions
(12/10/2005) Yesterday the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) offered to provide forestry data and technical assistance to countries looking to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through the reduction of forest loss.
Changes in forest cover could affect climate as much as greenhouse gases in some areas
(12/09/2005) Deforestation, the growth of forests, and other changes in land cover could produce local temperature changes comparable to those caused by greenhouse gases according to new simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Arctic Inuit sue U.S. govt over global warming pollution
(12/08/2005) A group of people living in the Arctic have filed a lawsuit against the US government, claiming its climate change policies violate their human rights. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) says that by failing to control emissions of greenhouse gases, the US is damaging the livelihoods those living in the Arctic. The group has filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanding that the US limit its emissions.
Future forests may absorb more carbon dioxide than current forests
(12/08/2005) Forests of the future may grow faster and absorb more carbon in a carbon dioxide enriched environment according to a new study by researchers at the Department of Energy (DOE).
Alaska's Columbia Glacier shrunk by 9 miles since 1980
(12/08/2005) Alaska's rapidly disintegrating Columbia Glacier, which has shrunk in length by 9 miles since 1980, has reached the mid-point of its projected retreat, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.
Mexico addressing greenhouse gas emissions despite no Kyoto obligation
(12/07/2005) Mexico, a country that has no emission reduction obligatons under the Kyoto Protocol, is acting on its own to assist companies in managing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
2005 had worst weather-related economic losses in history
(12/07/2005) This year witnessed the largest financial losses ever as a result of weather-related natural disasters linked by many to human action, more than $200 billion compared to $145 billion in 2004, the previous record, according to statistics presented to the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently meeting in Montreal, Canada.
45% chance Gulf Stream will collapse by 2100 say scientists
(12/07/2005) New research indicates there is a 45 percent chance that the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean could shut down by the end of the century if nothing is done to slow greenhouse gas emissions. Even with immediate climate policy action, say scientists, there would still be a 25 percent probability of a collapse of the system of currents that keep western Europe warmer than regions at similar latitudes in other parts of the world.
Rising ocean causes permanent evacuation of Pacific island community
(12/06/2005) A small community living in the Pacfic island chain of Vanuatu has become one of, if not the first, to be formally moved out of harms way as a result of climate change.
Warming could free far more carbon from high Arctic soil than earlier thought
(12/05/2005) Scientists studying the effects of carbon on climate warming are very likely underestimating, by a vast amount, how much soil carbon is available in the high Arctic to be released into the atmosphere, new University of Washington research shows. A three-year study of soils in northwest Greenland found that a key previous study greatly underestimated the organic carbon stored in the soil. That's because the earlier work generally looked only at the top 10 inches of soil, said Jennifer Horwath, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences.
Soil moisture, root depth influence climate models
(12/05/2005) By soaking up moisture with their roots and later releasing it from their leaves, plants play an active role in regulating the climate. In fact, in vegetated ecosystems, plants are the primary channels that connect the soil to the atmosphere, with plant roots controlling the below-ground dynamics.
70 years after logging, forests don't hold as much carbon as original forests
(12/05/2005) New research out of Ohio State University suggests that following logging, temperate forests take long periods of time to recover their carbon storing capacity. The scientists examined forests of of the upper Great Lakes region, which were 90% logged at the turn of the century, and found that they store only half the carbon the original forests contained. Poor forest management is blamed for the shortfall.
Amazon rainforest biodiversity due to biology not climate change says study
(12/05/2005) The biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest results from biological factors, not climate change as widely thought, says new research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Scientists have long argued that the species richness of tropical forests could be due to climate change-induced fragmentation, known as the "forest refuge: theory, and other external factors that caused geographic isolation. Now, researchers from University College London say that biological influences play a greater role in driving species evolution.
Companies increasingly at risk for climate change litigation says UN
(12/05/2005) Companies which contribute to climate change will increasingly face legal action according to a U.N.-sponsored report accounced last week but scheduled for released in March 2006. London-based law firm Freshfields is working with Dutch bank ABN Amro to produce the U.N. report which aims to encourage investors to address environmental, social and governance issues in their investment decisions.
Temperate forests may worsen global warming, tropical forests fight higher temperatures
(12/05/2005) Growing a forest might sound like a good idea to combat global warming, since trees draw carbon dioxide from the air and release cool water from their leaves. But they also absorb sunlight, warming the air in the process. According to a new study from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, planting forests at certain latitudes could make the Earth warmer.
Elevated atmospheric CO2 increases soil carbon
(12/05/2005) An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology indicates that soils in temperate ecosystems might contribute more to partially offsetting the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations than earlier studies have suggested.
Tropical Atlantic cooling and deforestation correlate to drought in Africa
(12/02/2005) Against the backdrop of the Montreal Summit on global climate being held this week, an article on African droughts and monsoons, by a University of California, Santa Barbara scientist and others, which appears in the December issue of the journal Geology, underlines concern about the effects of global climate change.
US denies hurricane link with climate change
(12/01/2005) Harlan Watson, chief climate control negotiator for the U.S. State Department, told the Associated Press that the Bush administration does not blame global warming or climate change for extreme weather -- including the hurricanes that thrashed the Gulf earlier this year.
Crystal sponges can absorb carbon dioxide and fight global warming
(12/01/2005) Since the Industrial Revolution, levels of carbon dioxide---a major contributor to the greenhouse effect---have been on the rise, prompting scientists to search for ways of counteracting the trend. One of the main strategies is removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue exhaust of power plants, using porous materials that take up the gas as it travels up the flue.
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