tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/climate_change1 climate change news from mongabay.com 2014-07-25T04:12:22Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13587 2014-07-24T23:40:00Z 2014-07-25T04:12:22Z True stewards: new report says local communities key to saving forests, curbing global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-commforest-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is compromising forests around the world, destroying vital habitat and causing greenhouse gases emissions that are contributing to global warming. A new report released today finds a possible solution: protecting forests by empowering the local communities that live within them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.512761 -55.993002 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13576 2014-07-23T19:14:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:54Z Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned about its impact on the country but also that the measures will undermine progress at the up-coming UN Climate Summit in December. Jeremy Hance -13.018651 -70.498686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13573 2014-07-22T21:37:00Z 2014-07-22T22:20:26Z 'A high price to pay': new Indonesian peatland regulation may do more harm than good <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0722-peat-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Government Regulation on Peatland Ecosystem Protection and Management, initially drafted by the Ministry of Forestry in 2013, is getting mixed acceptance from civil society. On one hand, the regulation would offer more protection to the country’s vast peatland areas. However, on the other, some NGOs have slammed the draft as a potential source of new conflicts for local people. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.712921 102.020697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13563 2014-07-21T15:48:00Z 2014-07-21T16:02:55Z Germany tops energy efficiency rating while U.S. remains stuck near the bottom Two years after the first energy efficiency ranking report put out by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the U.S. still lags widely behind most of the world's other large economies. In the second report, the U.S. came in at number 13 out of 16 nations&#8212;even beaten by new-comer to the report, India&#8212;while Germany took the top spot. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13558 2014-07-17T20:12:00Z 2014-07-17T20:25:02Z Two years after coming into effect, Australia kills carbon tax In a significant victory for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Australian Senate has voted to repeal the country's two-year-old carbon tax. Abbott made dismantling the tax one of the cornerstones of his campaign last September even as Australia remains one of the highest carbon emitters per capita in the industrialized world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13555 2014-07-17T13:12:00Z 2014-07-17T13:29:45Z Scientists can now accurately count polar bears...from space Polar bears are big animals. As the world's largest land predators, a single male can weigh over a staggering 700 kilograms (about 1,500 pounds). But as impressive as they are, it's difficult to imagine counting polar bears from space. Still, this is exactly what scientists have done according to a new paper in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 69.108688 -78.727886 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13537 2014-07-14T21:23:00Z 2014-07-16T14:51:50Z Attack of the killer vines: lianas taking over forests in Panama <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0714-liana-draw-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A worrying trend has emerged in tropical forests: lianas, woody long-stemmed vines, are increasingly displacing trees, thereby reducing forests’ overall ability to store carbon. The study, recently published in <i>Ecology</i>, found several detrimental effects of increased liana presence. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.177348, -82.577288 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13521 2014-07-09T21:23:00Z 2014-07-15T16:35:27Z A garden or a wilderness? One-fifth of the Amazon may have been savannah before the arrival of Europeans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_128.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on the planet, covering about 6.5 million square kilometers, although much has been lost in recent decades.Yet new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that quite recently&#8212;just 500 years ago&#8212;a significant portion of the southern Amazon was not the tall-canopied forest it is today, but savannah. Jeremy Hance -12.770027 -64.469834 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13508 2014-07-08T19:38:00Z 2014-07-08T19:40:48Z Climate-linked drought cutting forests' carbon-storing ability Climate extremes are dramatically cutting the ability of trees to sequester carbon, threatening to convert some forests from carbon sinks into carbon sources, finds a study published this month in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-07-08T15:34:21Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13456 2014-06-26T16:44:00Z 2014-07-08T15:36:21Z Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.strike-51212_640.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we've septupled that. In fact, over the last 40 years we've added an extra billion approximately every dozen years. And the United Nations predicts we'll add another four billion&#8212;for a total of 11 billion&#8212;by century's end. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13455 2014-06-26T12:21:00Z 2014-06-26T12:59:15Z Super warm oceans make May the hottest on record Last month was the warmest May on record, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While global land surface temperatures were the fourth warmest, it was the ocean surface where things really heated up. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13452 2014-06-25T20:50:00Z 2014-06-25T21:08:51Z Global warming puts trillions at stake, but mitigation offers big economic gains Two new reports this week look at the economics of global warming. The first, Risky Business, tallies the cost of climate change to the U.S., including tens-of-billions lost to destruction of coastal property, crop failures, drought, wildfires, and heatwaves. In contrast, the second report, by the World Bank, turns climate change economics on its head. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13440 2014-06-24T18:42:00Z 2014-06-24T18:47:09Z Study finds tiny cloud forests have big biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-cloud-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical cloud forests are situated in mountains and are characterized by the frequent presence of low-level clouds. Scientists have always regarded them as having high biodiversity, but a recent study adds a new dimension: it found cloud forests contain a significant and surprising array of tree and bromeliad species, even when they are relatively small. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.582276 -95.588844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13383 2014-06-13T20:05:00Z 2014-06-13T20:09:21Z 'Borne by the rest of the world': deforestation has global impact, reduces food security <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0613-indo-deforestation-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Research indicates that areas with more forest cover tend to have superior food resilience compared to areas with less. In addition, the loss of forest cover to deforestation has long-term impacts not only locally, but also globally. These topics were discussed by international experts during the 2020 Conference on Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security, held last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.717664 104.415375 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13376 2014-06-12T22:30:00Z 2014-06-13T14:36:44Z What's an environmental journalist to do with so much good news? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.800px-Virunga_National_Park_Gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As an environmental journalist covering stories from the great Arctic ice melt to the rhino poaching crisis in Africa, you'll forgive me if sometimes in the morning&#8212;before I turn my computer on&#8212;I have a sudden desire to spend a few extra minutes in bed or have a leisurely breakfast with my daughter or just sit in the back yard with a cup of tea and a good book. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13366 2014-06-10T15:21:00Z 2014-06-11T13:21:24Z EPA carbon proposal may be crucial step in addressing global climate change The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) June 2nd regulation proposal hit all the expected chords. Following on the heels of a January regulation for new power plants, the Clean Power Plan focuses on all existing electric generation. By 2030, the plan aims to reduce 2005-level carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13358 2014-06-06T18:32:00Z 2014-06-06T18:44:47Z Tree-huggers: koalas cuddle up to keep cool <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0606-7_YoungKoala_CBriscoe-humb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For animals that live in places that are both hot and dry, using valuable water stores to cool off via evaporation may put them at risk of dehydration. Now, as described in a new study published in <i>Biology Letters</i>, it seems that koalas have figured out a way to stay both cool and dry: by hugging trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -38.295777 145.317773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13343 2014-06-04T17:19:00Z 2014-06-04T17:28:55Z Ignoring boreal forests could speed up global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0604-russian-taiga-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have caused global air and sea surface temperatures to rise approximately 0.8 Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since the beginning of the 20th century, contributing to a plethora of problems worldwide from rising sea levels to desertification. A new study finds that global temperatures may start to increase even faster if more is not done to protect Earth’s boreal forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 59.413386 76.224136 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13338 2014-06-04T13:36:00Z 2014-06-04T16:23:35Z April 2014: 350th month in a row with temperatures above average This April was notable for being the 350th month in a row where temperatures exceeded the 20th Century average. This means, monthly global temperatures have not fallen below average for even a single month since February 1985. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13330 2014-06-03T17:35:00Z 2014-06-03T17:51:44Z Turning point? U.S. and China announce major actions on global warming Could 2014 be a turning point for efforts to slash global greenhouse gas emissions? Maybe: in less than 24 hours the world's two largest emitters of carbon dioxide announced plans to finally rein-in the gas most responsible for global warming. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13327 2014-06-02T21:35:00Z 2014-06-02T21:46:28Z Animals bark, screech, and howl for action on global warming (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0603.zoosfor350.cheetah.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 22nd, zoos and aquariums around the world creatively called for action on global warming. Dubbed 'Show the Wild Face of Climate Change,' the event involved over 70 institutions from 25 countries on all seven continents. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13290 2014-05-27T18:41:00Z 2014-05-27T18:46:21Z Upcoming EPA Proposal could put America back on track to lead on global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0527.temperature_nca-1991-2012_lrg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A regulation proposal on coal plants that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release in June could be great news for the climate change initiative. The EPA rolled out tough regulations on new constructions of electric generation facilities in January, but the nation's 1,500 existing power plants were left unaffected. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13287 2014-05-27T12:54:00Z 2014-05-27T13:27:40Z April ties for warmest on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0527.201404.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Globally, this April was a scorcher, tying with 2010 for the warmest April on record, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week. This makes 2014, to date, the sixth warmest year on record going back to 1880 when comparing the first four months. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13276 2014-05-23T12:57:00Z 2014-05-23T13:04:59Z Extreme cold and drought in U.S. linked to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0522-drought2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The U.S. Midwest and Northeast experienced one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record this past season. This might seem contrary to warming trends forecast by climate scientists, but a new analysis released today in <i>Science</i> points out that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions may actually have contributed to the well-below average temperatures seen in parts of the U.S. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.966817 163.493459 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13259 2014-05-21T15:23:00Z 2014-05-25T14:15:55Z Climate change's ominous secret <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.596px-Gashydrat_mit_Struktur.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is happening and humans are causing it, primarily from the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels. This much we know. The 'secret' comes from changes happening in the fast-warming Arctic: we may be surprisingly close to an Earth that supports far fewer humans than it does today. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13226 2014-05-14T16:43:00Z 2014-05-14T17:01:21Z Tipping point already reached? West Antarctica in slow-motion, unstoppable melt <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0514.800px-Antarctic_Sea_Ice_-_Amundsen_Sea.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two hundred years from now, the planet could look very different. This week two landmark studies revealed that West Antarctica's ice sheet is in a state of seemingly inevitable collapse linked to climate change. The slow-motion collapse would by itself eventually lead to a rise in global levels of 3.6-4.5 meters (12-15 feet). Jeremy Hance -75.499942 -106.750365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13217 2014-05-13T16:04:00Z 2014-05-13T16:34:04Z Featured video: John Oliver skewers media 'balance' on climate science in viral video Sometimes you need comedians to tell the truth. On his new show, Last Week Tonight, comedian John Oliver took on the poor state of media reporting on climate science. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13195 2014-05-08T13:45:00Z 2014-05-08T15:28:16Z Underwater horrors: shells of marine life melting off the coast of the U.S. <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0508.LimacinaHelicinaNOAA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It could be the plot of a horror movie: humans wake up one day to discover that chemical changes in the atmosphere are dissolving away parts of their bodies. But for small marine life known as sea butterflies, or pteropods, this is what's happening off the West Cost of the U.S. Increased carbon in the ocean is melting away shells of sea butterflies. Jeremy Hance 34.549557 -120.797515 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13192 2014-05-07T18:21:00Z 2014-05-07T18:33:43Z Stanford kicks coal out of its $18 billion endowment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0507.Coal_mine_Wyoming.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The fossil fuel divestment campaign won a major victory today as Stanford University announced it would drop coal companies from its massive $18.7 billion endowment, the fourth largest of any American university. The action follows a petition by student group Fossil Free Stanford and five months of research by Stanford's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing. Jeremy Hance 37.425469 -122.168981 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13187 2014-05-06T14:22:00Z 2014-05-06T18:56:53Z Cosmos's Neil deGrasse Tyson on climate change: 'What's our excuse?' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.Tyson_-_Apollo_40th_anniversary_2009.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>America's favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, tackled climate change on the most recent episode of the hit show, <i>Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey</i>. The episode, the ninth in the series, looked back on the climatic and physical upheavals undergone by Earth, before highlighting the mild interglacial climate that allowed the human species to kickstart the neolithic revolution and the first civilizations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13164 2014-05-01T19:40:00Z 2014-05-01T19:57:59Z 31 activists arrested attempting to stop Arctic oil from docking in Europe Dutch police arrested 31 Greenpeace activists today, who were attempting to block the Russian oil tanker, Mikhail Ulyanov, from delivering the first shipment of offshore Arctic oil to the European market. Jeremy Hance 69.155260 57.380491 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13160 2014-05-01T14:48:00Z 2014-05-01T15:07:17Z Bambi in the 21st Century: roe deer not adapting to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0430.IMG_6002.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Once almost extinct in parts of Europe in the late 17th century, the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) eventually bounced back, and how: today, it is one of the most widespread deer in Europe. But will its luck dry out in the future? A new study published in PLoSBiology suggests that while roe deer populations are still increasing, it may not be adapting to climate change. Jeremy Hance 48.026433 0.339682 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13129 2014-04-25T00:00:00Z 2014-07-23T12:49:31Z The beef with beef: how 12 strategies could drastically cut agricultural emissions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_6299.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eating less beef, cutting food waste, and utilizing farm landscapes to sequester carbon are three ways a new report suggests the world could rapidly tackle agricultural emissions. Currently, global agriculture accounts for nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions when agriculturally-linked deforestation is included. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13123 2014-04-23T17:29:00Z 2014-04-23T17:52:17Z Earth has fourth warmest March on record as forecasters see possible El Nino rising Last March was the fourth warmest on record, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Overall, temperatures were 0.71 degrees Celsius (1.28 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average during March. Looking at the first three months of 2014, this year is the seventh warmest on record to date. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13100 2014-04-18T18:11:00Z 2014-04-20T15:59:38Z Behind the scenes of Showtime's blockbuster series on climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0418-harrison-ford-baby-orangutans150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For years climate change activists and environmentalists have been clamoring for a high-profile, high-impact TV series about climate change to make Americans more aware of an issue that will affect billions of people around the globe in coming decades. This week they finally got it when Showtime released the first episode of <i>Years of Living Dangerously</i>, a big-budget TV series featuring a number of Hollywood's biggest stars as reporters and corespondents. Rhett Butler -0.078106 101.652189 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13099 2014-04-18T16:04:00Z 2014-04-18T16:58:38Z Rainforests on fire: climate change is pushing the Amazon over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0418-burning-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From 1999-2010, nearly three percent of the Amazon rainforest burned, and climate forecasts indicate dry conditions conducive to fire will only become more commonplace in the future. A new study indicates that rainforests are more vulnerable to fire than previously thought, and it warns the current combination of climate change and deforestation may be pushing Amazon forests past the breaking point. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.624371 -51.306233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13076 2014-04-14T14:53:00Z 2014-04-14T15:05:39Z Climate change solution? UN touts ambitious (but cheap) investment in renewable energy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.DR-jlh-044.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world is warming rapidly due to greenhouse gas emissions, threatening everything from our food supply to our ecosystems, but the solution may be surprisingly cheap, according to the third and final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report recommends a rapid and aggressive switch from fossil fuel-based energy to renewables. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13059 2014-04-08T19:48:00Z 2014-04-08T20:25:55Z Featured video: Showtime releases first episode of major new climate change series online <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/ford.orangutan.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although Showtime's landmark new climate change series doesn't premiere until Sunday, the network has released an edited version of the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously to the public (see below). The nine-part documentary series is being billed as a "groundbreaking" exploration into the many ways that climate change is already wreaking havoc on the lives of people around the world. Jeremy Hance 0.010477 101.530569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13058 2014-04-08T17:44:00Z 2014-04-08T17:50:38Z Extinction crisis: rising sea levels will submerge thousands of islands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0408-morgan-rmi-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea levels are rising at the highest rate in thousands of years, putting at risk low-lying islands around the world. In a new study published in Nature Conservation, researchers found that projected rises in sea level stand to swamp more than 10,000 islands, displacing human communities and wiping many unique species off the face of the earth. Morgan Erickson-Davis -21.233771 165.338091 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13045 2014-04-07T16:00:00Z 2014-04-07T16:10:24Z From seals to starfish: polar bears radically shift diet as habitat melts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0407-polarbear-seal-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most iconic species of the ongoing climate change drama, polar bears have dropped in numbers as their habitat melts, with previous estimates forecasting a further 30 percent reduction within three generations. However, their situation may not be as dire as it seems. Morgan Erickson-Davis 58.762237 -94.149545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13035 2014-04-04T16:42:00Z 2014-04-07T14:34:28Z The incredible shrinking salamander: researchers find another casualty of climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0404-lips-montanus-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is contributing to a slew of global problems, from rising seas to desertification. Now, researchers have added another repercussion: shrinking salamanders. Many amphibian populations around the world are currently experiencing precipitous declines, estimated to be at least 211 times normal extinction rates. Scientists believe these declines are due to a multitude of factors such as habitat loss, agricultural contamination, and the accidental introduction of a killer fungus, among others. Morgan Erickson-Davis 37.933742 -79.776046 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13012 2014-03-31T17:37:00Z 2014-04-08T19:40:37Z Apocalypse now? Climate change already damaging agriculture, acidifying seas, and worsening extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_2013-11-14.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not just melting glaciers and bizarrely-early Springs anymore; climate change is impacting every facet of human civilization from our ability to grow enough crops to our ability to get along with each other, according to a new 2,300-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The massive report states definitively that climate change is already affecting human societies on every continent. Jeremy Hance 35.463838 139.619164 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12989 2014-03-26T21:50:00Z 2014-03-26T22:04:54Z Deforestation makes Indonesia hotter, reduces quality of life <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5113.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the reasons I like living in the tropics is that they are perpetually warm. A pair of shorts and a light shirt will comfortably get you through the day and night in most parts of Indonesia. Still there are the occasional unpleasant extremes. Even the most cold-blooded creature will likely break into a sweat walking for more than a few minutes in the sun filtering through Jakarta’s polluted skies. We consider such heat a normal part of the tropics. But is it really? Rhett Butler -1.730084 110.346465 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12986 2014-03-26T14:11:00Z 2014-03-26T14:26:16Z The best of the worst: fossil-fuel extractors pave the way for the low-carbon revolution At the end of last year, the world got some good news on the green business front concerning a very unlikely set of participants. A recent market review revealed that Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Duke Energy, PG&E Corporation, American Electric Power Company, ConAgra Foods and Walmart, among others, are including shadow carbon prices in their forecasts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12960 2014-03-20T19:44:00Z 2014-03-21T16:51:09Z Indigenous people witness climate change in the Congo Rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0320Acongo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities in the Republic of Congo are observing climate change even though they have no knowledge of the science, according to a unique collaboration between the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and local communities. The environmental changes witnessed by the locals in the Congo rainforest include increased temperature, less rainfall and alterations to the seasons, much as expected under global climate change. Tiffany Roufs 1.653836 18.849670 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12938 2014-03-16T21:14:00Z 2014-03-19T03:09:26Z Controversial Amazon dams may have exacerbated biblical flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0319bolivia-flood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists and scientists raised howls of protest when the Santo Antônio and Jirau Dams were proposed for the Western Amazon in Brazil, claiming among other issues that the dams would raise water levels on the Madeira River, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding. It turns out they may have been right: last week a federal Brazilian court ordered a new environmental impact study on the dams given suspicion that they have worsened recent flooding in Brazil and across the border in Bolivia. Jeremy Hance 9.1600 64.3857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12933 2014-03-14T18:36:00Z 2014-03-14T18:39:36Z Mountain thermostats: scientists discover surprising climate stabilizer that may be key to the longevity of life on Earth <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0313andes150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What do mountains have to do with climate change? More than you'd expect: new research shows that the weathering rates of mountains caused by vegetation growth plays a major role in controlling global temperatures. Scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield have shown how tree roots in certain mountains "acted like a thermostat" for the global climate. Rhett Butler -12.548112 -71.825867 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12924 2014-03-13T15:56:00Z 2014-03-13T16:05:18Z Europe votes for an Arctic Sanctuary Yesterday, the European Parliament passed a resolution supporting the creation of an Arctic Sanctuary covering the vast high Arctic around the North Pole, giving official status to an idea that has been pushed by activists for years. Still, the sanctuary has a long road to go before becoming a reality: as Arctic sea ice rapidly declines due to climate change, there has been rising interest from governments and industries to exploit the once inaccessible wilderness for fish and fossil fuels. Jeremy Hance 82.452125 -173.416326 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12922 2014-03-13T13:11:00Z 2014-03-13T19:17:42Z Can penguins cope with climate change? Scientists find different types of ice elicit different responses <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0303penguin150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human-caused climate change is altering the habitat of Adélie penguins (<i>Pygoscelis adeliae</i>). In an article recently published in PLOS ONE, a team of researchers led by Amélie Lescroël from the Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS) in France, found that changes in sea-ice content and newly formed icebergs significantly impacted Adélie penguin communities in the Ross Sea. Tiffany Roufs -79.059994 155.390627 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12883 2014-03-06T19:33:00Z 2014-03-07T14:14:32Z From theory to deadly reality: malaria moving upslope due to global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0306.anoph-gambiae.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Malaria is a global scourge: despite centuries of efforts to combat the mosquito-borne disease, it still kills between 660,000 to 1.2 million people a year, according to World Health Organization data from 2010. Astoundingly, experts estimate that around 300 million people are infected with the disease every year or about 4 percent of the world's total population. And these stats may only get worse. For years scientists have vigorously debated whether or not malaria will expand as global warming worsens, but a new study in Science lays down the first hard evidence. Jeremy Hance 11.304558 38.188548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12838 2014-02-27T15:49:00Z 2014-02-27T16:19:44Z Despite frigid cold in U.S., January was the fourth warmest on record worldwide Worldwide, this January was the fourth warmest since record-keeping began, according to new data released by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While parts of the world, most notably eastern North America and northern Russia, experienced temperatures well-below average, overall the month was a scorcher. In fact, another dataset, from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), that uses different methodology, found that January was the third warmest since record keeping began. Jeremy Hance 44.954352 -93.091679 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12819 2014-02-24T17:10:00Z 2014-02-27T11:36:26Z Ocean acidifying 10 times faster than anytime in the last 55 million years, putting polar ecosystems at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0127oceans150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An assessment of ocean acidification, presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw in November 2013, starkly concluded that acidity is on track to rise 170 percent by the end of this century. As many key species are sensitive to changes in acidity, this would drastically impact ocean ecosystems, with effects especially pronounced in polar regions where the cold waters intensify acidification, and which are home to many organisms that are particularly vulnerable to acidification. Tiffany Roufs 66.791909 -100.400394 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12787 2014-02-19T13:06:00Z 2014-02-25T21:41:57Z Two kids, one year, from the Amazon to the Arctic: the environmental adventure of a lifetime <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0128.kraft.family.DSC_6924.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Kraft family&#8212;Larry, Lauri, Jamie (age 8), and Jason (age 6)&#8212;are on the trip of a lifetime, a round-the-world tour with an environmental focus. Currently in India, the family has already made their way through the Amazon, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Australia, and the Galapagos, among other wild places. Still left on their itinerary: the Arctic. But the trip isn't all fun and games, instead the Kraft's are using the year abroad to learn first hand about global environmental issues and solutions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12729 2014-02-05T15:10:00Z 2014-02-05T15:26:48Z Alaska roasting: new NASA map shows the Final Frontier in grip of January heatwave <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0205.alaska_tmo_2013023.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Alaska got California weather at the end of January, as displayed by a new map based on data by NASA's Terra satellite's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The U.S. state experiences one of its warmest winter periods on record during the second half of January, including some temperatures that ran 40 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) above average. According to the EPA, temperatures in Alaska have risen an average of 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.9 degrees Celsius) in just the last 50 years due to climate change. Jeremy Hance 64.736641 -156.628419 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12720 2014-02-04T16:13:00Z 2014-02-06T07:37:38Z 20 million people face hunger in Africa's Sahel region The UN and partner humanitarian groups today called on the international community to spend $2 billion to avoid a famine in Africa's Sahel region, which includes nine nations along the southern edge of the Sahara. Although the Sahel is chronically prone to food insecurity, the situation has dramatically worsened as the UN estimates 20 million people are at risk of hunger up from 11 million last year. Jeremy Hance 14.051331 2.76123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12700 2014-01-29T14:40:00Z 2014-02-19T15:28:02Z Predator appreciation: how saving lions, tigers, and polar bears could rescue ourselves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0129.Christo_scan_46.150..jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the new book, In Predatory Light: Lions and Tigers and Polar Bears, authors Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Sy Montgomery, and John Houston, and photographers Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson share with us an impassioned and detailed appeal to appreciate three of the world's biggest predators: lions, tigers, and polar bears. Through lengthy discussions, combining themes from scientific conservation to local community folklore, In Predatory Light takes us step by step deeper into the wild world of these awe-inspiring carnivores and their varied plight as they facedown extinction. Jeremy Hance 78.80198 15.948486 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12687 2014-01-27T13:11:00Z 2014-01-27T15:12:05Z 2013 was the seventh hottest year yet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0127.temperature_gis_2013_xlrg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global warming continues apace as 2013 was the seventh warmest year in the past 133 years, according to a new analysis from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). In total, the global temperature in 2013 averaged 14.6 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit), or 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.1 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than the 20th Century average. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12641 2014-01-15T16:17:00Z 2014-01-17T23:13:17Z Underestimating global warming: gaps in Arctic temperature data lead scientists and public astray <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0115.800px-Sea_Ice_MeltPonds.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>No place on Earth is heating up faster than the Arctic, but just how fast has remained an open question due to large gaps in temperature data across the vast region. Now, a recent study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society finds that not only is the Arctic warming eight times faster than the rest of the planet, but failure to account for temperature gaps has led global datasets to underestimate the rise of temperatures worldwide. Jeremy Hance 83.599031 13.652337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12637 2014-01-14T19:59:00Z 2014-01-14T20:05:53Z Carbon emissions rise 2 percent in U.S. due to increase in coal Carbon dioxide emissions rose two percent in the U.S. last year, according to preliminary data from the Energy Information Administration. Emissions rose largely due to increased coal consumption, the first such rise in U.S. emissions since 2010. Still, the annual emissions remain well below the peak hit in 2007 when emissions hit 6 billion tons. Jeremy Hance 38.889814 -77.034677 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12633 2014-01-14T16:55:00Z 2014-01-14T17:01:58Z Climate fail: Geoengineering would cool planet, but screw up rainfall patterns <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0114geoeng150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For decades, scientists have been grappling with the consequences of climate change and working toward viable solutions. Climate engineering, also known as geoengineering, is the most controversial possible solution. Currently, one of the most talked about geoengineering ideas is Solar Radiation Management (SRM), which intends to block shortwave solar radiation, thus cooling the Earth to offset rising temperatures. In other words, SRM may be one way in which global temperatures could be artificially stabilized. Tiffany Roufs 39.978929 -105.275077 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12597 2014-01-06T15:52:00Z 2014-01-07T02:29:43Z Down Under scorching: Australia experiences warmest year on record Australia had its warmest year on record, with annual temperatures 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1961-1990 average, according to a new analysis from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). This is 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than the previous warmest year on record&#8212;2005&#8212;for Australia. Global warming due to burning fossil fuels is increasing temperatures worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12587 2014-01-02T08:55:00Z 2014-01-02T09:16:15Z Global warming could upset Antarctic food chain <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0102.krill.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Resting near the bottom of the foodchain, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) underpin much of the Southern Ocean's ecosystem. But in a rapidly warming world, these hugely-abundant crustaceans could see their habitat shrink considerably. In a recent paper in PLOS ONE, scientists predict that Antarctic krill could lose 20 percent of their growth habitat, or 1.2 million square kilometers. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12583 2013-12-30T21:16:00Z 2013-12-30T21:23:49Z Climate change drives Florida mangroves northward A decline in the frequency of extreme cold weather in Florida has allowed coastal mangrove forests to expand northward, finds a study published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler 28.772474 -80.740113 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12565 2013-12-23T14:17:00Z 2013-12-23T14:26:45Z World first: Russia begins pumping oil from Arctic seabed Oil has begun to be pumped from the Arctic seabed, according to Russian oil giant, Gazprom. The company announced on Friday that it has begun exploiting oil reserves at the offshore field of Prirazlomnoye. The project, which is several years behind schedule, is hugely controversial and made international headlines in September after Russian military arrested 28 Greenpeace activists protesting the operation along with a British journalist and Russian videographer. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12543 2013-12-19T16:45:00Z 2013-12-19T17:22:59Z Chickens before cows: new study finds cattle have outsized greenhouse gas footprint If you want to lower your greenhouse gas emissions, choose chicken or poultry over beef and dairy, according to a massive new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study finds that global cattle production&#8212;both for beef and dairy&#8212;is responsible for a whopping 77 percent of the world's greenhouse gases attributed to livestock. Meanwhile, pork and poultry account for only 10 percent the greenhouse gases from livestock. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12540 2013-12-19T15:01:00Z 2013-12-27T03:54:13Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1101olinguito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's. Jeremy Hance 39.906576 116.413665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12537 2013-12-18T14:11:00Z 2013-12-18T14:31:07Z World suffers warmest November on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.nov201311.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month was the warmest November on record, according to new analysis from the NOAA. Temperatures were 0.78 degrees Celsius (1.40 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average November in the 20th Century. Global temperatures are on the rise due to climate change caused primarily by burning fossil fuels, but also by deforestation and land-use change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12516 2013-12-13T15:03:00Z 2013-12-13T15:10:40Z Reforestation can't offset massive fossil fuels emissions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0104.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the Australian, Japanese, and Canadian governments making an about-face on carbon-emissions reduction targets during the Warsaw climate summit, some experts are warning that the global need for solutions offsetting CO2 emissions is passing a "red line." Land-based mitigation practices comprise one of the solutions on the table as a result of both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol; however, a paper published in Nature Climate Change by an international team led by Brendan Mackey, has raised the looming question of whether or not land-based practices can actually improve CO2 levels as much as hoped. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2013-12-27T03:35:31Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12493 2013-12-09T14:07:00Z 2013-12-09T14:48:11Z Making cap-and-trade work: the history and future of a proven program <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1209.800px-Gavin_Plant.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While the merits for slowing climate change will be treated here as a given, the method for doing so looms elusive. In a recent article, I described pricing carbon through carbon taxes and carbon credits as a way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and slow global climate change. As there has been some emotive controversy towards both of these, I would like to analyze them more deeply, starting here with carbon credits. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12490 2013-12-05T18:14:00Z 2013-12-05T18:31:58Z Top scientists propose ambitious plans to safeguard world from devastating climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/kauai_1097.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two degrees is too much: that's the conclusion of a landmark new paper by top economists and climatologists, including James Hansen formerly of NASA. The paper, appearing in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, argues that global society must aim for only one degree Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impact of climate change, and not the two degrees Celsius agreed on by the world's governments. But given that the world's governments are not yet on track to even achieve the two degree target, how could we lock in just one? A combination of renewable energy, nuclear power, and, most importantly, a rising price on carbon emissions, according to the eighteen scientists. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12484 2013-12-05T13:19:00Z 2013-12-05T13:40:41Z Humans are not apex predators, but meat-eating on the rise worldwide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1205.maps.meateating.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> has measured the "trophic level" of human beings for the first time. Falling between 1 and 5.5, trophic levels refer to where species fit on the food chain. Apex predators like tigers and sharks are given a 5.5 on trophic scale since they survive almost entirely on consuming meat, while plants and phytoplankton, which make their own food, are at the bottom of the scale. Humans, according to the new paper, currently fall in the middle: 2.21. However, rising meat-eating in countries like China, India, and Brazil is pushing our trophic level higher with massive environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12478 2013-12-03T21:42:00Z 2013-12-03T22:07:53Z 86 percent of big animals in the Sahara Desert are extinct or endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1203.addax_termit_niger_0512-copyright-Thomas-Rabeil-and-Sahara-Conservation-Fund_150-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bigger than all of Brazil, among the harshest ecosystems on Earth, and largely undeveloped, one would expect that the Sahara desert would be a haven for desert wildlife. One would anticipate that big African animals&#8212;which are facing poaching and habitat loss in other parts of the world&#8212;would thrive in this vast wilderness. But a new landmark study in Diversity and Distributions finds that the megafauna of the Sahara desert are on the verge of total collapse. Jeremy Hance 22.411029 12.235107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12451 2013-11-26T16:51:00Z 2013-11-26T16:59:52Z Not all mangroves are created equal: new map reveals carbon storage hot-spots <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/jlh/dominican-republic/150/DR-jlh-335.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mangrove forests are one of the most important weapons in the fight against climate change. Not only do they directly store huge amounts of carbon, but they actively capture additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in their soils. When mangroves are destroyed, huge quantities of carbon are released into the atmosphere, significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12441 2013-11-25T16:05:00Z 2013-11-25T16:14:17Z Microhabitats could buffer some rainforest animals against climate change As temperatures increase worldwide due to anthropogenic climate change, scientists are scrambling to figure out if species will be able to survive rapidly warming ecosystems. A new study in Global Change Biology offers a little hope. Studying reptiles and amphibians in the Philippines, scientists say some of these species may be able to seek refuge in cooler microhabitats, such as tree holes or under the soil, in order to stay alive during intensifying heatwaves. But, the scientists' stress, the shelter from microhabitats can only protect so far. Jeremy Hance 16.730907 121.001587 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12435 2013-11-22T17:27:00Z 2013-11-25T15:20:50Z Satellites reveal browning mountain forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_1078.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a dramatic response to global warming, tropical forests in the high elevation areas of five continents have been "browning" since the 1990s. They have been steadily losing foliage, and showing less photosynthetic activity. Scientists analyzed the forest cover by using satellites to measure sunlight bouncing off the surface of the earth, then determining the different surface types via reflection patterns. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12429 2013-11-21T17:05:00Z 2013-11-21T17:53:55Z Citizen groups walk out of UN Climate Summit to protest lack of ambition Thirteen citizen groups&#8212;including Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WWF&#8212;have walked out of ongoing climate talks in Warsaw to protest what they view as a lack of ambition and long-stalled progress on combating global climate change. Nearly 200 governments are currently meeting in Warsaw, Poland at the the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is meant to prepare the way for a new agreement in 2015. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12420 2013-11-20T18:00:00Z 2013-11-20T18:03:06Z The emissions gap and the forest contribution (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1982.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shortly before the Warsaw climate talks, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) released its Emissions Gap report, highlighting the growing gap between the emissions reductions that are needed to stay below 2 degrees and the trajectory the world is on at the moment. The report clearly identifies forests as one of the most important options to reduce emissions which can be delivered in the short term. While parties urgently need to start phasing out fossil fuels and stop emissions from fossil fuels no later than 2050, protecting forests now can help significantly to keep a realistic chance of staying below 2 degrees. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12414 2013-11-20T04:38:00Z 2013-11-20T22:10:23Z Mining the Heart of Borneo: coal production in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1119-top-coal-producers150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of coal – supplying energy to China, India, and elsewhere. Indonesia is also ranked the fourth top emitter of greenhouse gases in the world (after China, the USA, and the European Union), largely due to high deforestation rates and peatland fires. This ranking does not take into consideration the carbon emissions that Indonesia ‘exports’ in the form of coal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12412 2013-11-19T19:41:00Z 2013-11-19T20:04:02Z UN talks tough to global coal industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0613.800px-Kompalniaielektrownia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, at the International Coal and Climate Summit&#8212;just a couple miles from the ongoing UN Climate Summit&#8212;Christiana Figueres delivered a speech unlike anything ever heard at a coal industry meeting before. Figueres, the Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), took time off from wrangling world leaders and officials toward a climate agreement to talk tough to an industry currently worth around $3 trillion. Jeremy Hance 52.266319 21.066184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12403 2013-11-19T00:04:00Z 2013-11-19T00:14:33Z Carbon emissions set to hit new record high in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1118.smokestacks.64834.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in 2013 is expected to hit a new high of 36 billion tonnes, according to a Carbon Budget released today by the Global Carbon Project (GCP). This is a 2.1 percent rise from 2012 based on data from the same group. 'We have exhausted about 70 per cent of the cumulative emissions that keep global climate change likely below two degrees,' said GCP member, Pierre Friedlingstein, with the University of Exeter. 'In terms of CO2 emissions, we are following the highest climate change scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September.' Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12393 2013-11-18T17:57:00Z 2013-11-19T19:53:19Z Fracking: the good, the bad and the ugly <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1117.800px-Vitoria_-_fracking_ez.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last few years have ushered in a new national and global awareness of fracking, the 150-year-old technology for extracting natural gas and oil from rock. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, uses ultra-high-pressure slurries to create hairline fractures throughout solid rock. Oil, and more frequently gas, comes rushing out while sand from the mixture holds the fractures open in this nearly alchemical process. As many readers are aware, there are two very divisive schools of thought on fracking. One side touts it as the future of energy. The other derides fracking as inherently toxic and demands its immediate and permanent cessation. Like so many aspects of life, the truth lies somewhere in between. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12398 2013-11-18T17:04:00Z 2013-11-18T19:37:19Z 60,000 protest in Australia to keep carbon price Around 60,000 Australians marched yesterday across the country calling on their government not to go backwards on climate action, according to organizers. Australia has taken a sudden U-turn on climate policy with the election of Prime Minister Tony Abbott in September, including legislation to end its carbon pricing, cutting funding to renewable energies, and obstructing progress at the ongoing UN Climate Summit in Warsaw. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12395 2013-11-18T14:41:00Z 2013-11-18T17:35:40Z Japan pledges to raise carbon emissions, instead of cutting them In 2009, Japan pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 25 percent based on 1990 levels within 11 years. Four years later&#8212;including a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima&#8212;and Japan has reset its goal with a new target to cut emissions by 3.8 percent based on 2005 levels at the UN Climate Summit in Warsaw, Poland. But, the new target, which received widespread condemnation when announced on Friday, actually results in a 3.1 percent <i>rise</i> in emissions when viewed from the widely-accepted 1990 baseline. Jeremy Hance 35.689649 139.777565 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12394 2013-11-18T13:00:00Z 2013-11-18T13:37:32Z World's most vulnerable nation to climate change turns to coal power <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1117.480px-SCS_Aila_at_peak_intensity.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October, a global risks analysis company, Maplecroft, named Bangladesh the world's most vulnerable nation to climate change by 2050. The designation came as little surprise, since Bangladesh's government and experts have been warning for years of climatic impacts, including rising sea levels, extreme weather, and millions of refugees. However, despite these very public warnings, in recent years the same government has made a sudden turn toward coal power—the most carbon intensive fuel source—with a master plan of installing 15,000 megawatts (MW) of coal energy by 2030, which could potentially increase the country's current carbon dioxide emissions by 160 percent. Jeremy Hance 23.712439 90.417366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12386 2013-11-15T14:59:00Z 2013-11-15T15:15:56Z Tiny algae signal big changes for warming Arctic lakes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1114molly150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The mighty polar bear has long been the poster child for the effects of global warming in the Arctic, but the microscopic diatom tells an equally powerful story. Diatoms are a type of algae that form the base of the food chain in watery habitats the world over. Disturbances among lake diatoms have exposed the impacts of rapid warming in the Hudson Bay Lowlands of eastern Canada, researchers reported Oct. 9 in the <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i> Rhett Butler 54.977614 -82.755433 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12382 2013-11-14T20:05:00Z 2013-11-15T13:34:36Z Is Australia becoming the new Canada in terms of climate inaction? For many concerned about climate change, Australia has suddenly become the new Canada. With the election of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister in September, the land down under has taken a sudden U-turn on climate policy, including pushing to end its fledgling carbon emissions program which was only implemented in 2012 and cutting funding for renewable energy. These move come at a time when Australia has just undergone its warmest 12 months on record and suffered from record bushfires. Jeremy Hance -35.280485 149.129999 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12374 2013-11-13T18:14:00Z 2013-11-13T18:50:16Z Richest countries spent $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011, eclipsing climate finance by seven times In 2011, the top 11 richest carbon emitters spent an estimated $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies, or seven times the amount spent on fast-track climate financing to developing nations, according to a recent report by the Overseas Development Institute. Worldwide, nations spent over half a trillion dollars on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12361 2013-11-12T14:49:00Z 2013-11-12T15:02:22Z Philippines' delegate calls out climate change deniers after Haiyan Yesterday, the Filipino delegate to the ongoing climate summit, Naderev 'Yeb' Saño, dared climate change deniers to take a hard look at what's happening not just in the Philippines, but the whole world. Over the weekend, the Philippines was hit by what may have been the largest typhoon to ever make landfall&#8212;Typhoon Haiyan. Reports are still coming in days later, but the death toll may rise to over 10,000 with whole cities simply swept away. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12353 2013-11-11T21:49:00Z 2013-11-11T22:00:56Z Redeeming REDD: a conversation with Michael Brown <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_2601.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation, anthropologist Michael Brown relays a constructive critique of the contemporary aims, standards and modalities for mitigating climate change by reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Brown advocates for REDD as a viable mechanism for the long-term pro-poor conservation and restoration of tropical forests as well&#8212;but only if local forest dwellers and Indigenous. Peoples can join the negotiating table and act as forest stewards. Local people must first be empowered to make 'socially feasible' decisions that are necessary for their livelihoods and well-being. In other words, there can be no environmentalism without credible local leadership, which requires investment in capacity building at the local level for sustainable institutions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12352 2013-11-11T18:42:00Z 2013-11-11T21:48:51Z Delegate for the Philippines vows to stop eating at climate summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1111.Haiyan_2013-11-07_0420Z.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Following the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan&#8212;which is arguably the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall&#8212;Filipino delegate, Naderev 'Yeb' Saño, has vowed to go on a fast at the UN Climate Summit that opened today in Warsaw, Poland. Saño made the vow during a powerful speech in which he said he would fast, 'until we stop this madness.' Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12345 2013-11-11T15:59:00Z 2013-11-18T21:06:09Z Bangladesh plans massive coal plant in world's biggest mangrove forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1110.Sundarbans_MM7666_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On October 22nd Bangladeshi and Indian officials were supposed to hold a ceremony laying the foundation stone for the Rampal power plant, a massive new coal-fired plant that will sit on the edge of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. However, the governments suddenly cancelled the ceremony, instead announcing that the project had already been inaugurated in early October by the countries' heads of state via a less-ornate Skype call. While the governments say the change was made because of busy schedules, activists contend the sudden scuttling of the ceremony was more likely due to rising pressure against the coal plant, including a five-day march in September that attracted thousands. Jeremy Hance 22.648235 89.651756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12344 2013-11-11T14:59:00Z 2013-11-11T15:59:19Z Bay Area pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 While many of the world's national governments move tepidly (if at all) to combat climate change, cities are showing increasing leadership. The San Francisco Bay Area's Air District Board signed off last week on a measure to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent within less than 40 years time as based on 1990 levels. The measure follows the same goal as an executive order made by California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2005. Jeremy Hance 37.933214 122.392763 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12342 2013-11-08T20:34:00Z 2013-11-10T03:17:34Z Amazon deforestation could cause droughts in California <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1108-amazon-rainfall150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Complete deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could reduce rainfall in the Pacific Northwest by up to 20 percent and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by up to 50 percent, suggests new research published in the <i>Journal of Climate</i>. The study is based on high resolution computer modeling that stripped the Amazon of its forest cover and assessed the potential impact on wind and precipitation patterns. While the scenario is implausible, it reveals the global nature of the ecological services afforded by the world's largest rainforest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12321 2013-11-06T17:31:00Z 2013-11-06T17:49:46Z CO2 concentrations hit new high last year The concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record high last year, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). While this was not a surprise given still-rising global emissions, the concentration rose significantly more than the average this decade. According to the WMO's annual greenhouse gas bulletin, CO2 concentrations hit 393.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2012. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12317 2013-11-05T20:24:00Z 2013-11-05T20:37:19Z Featured video: trailer for James Cameron's new global warming series Showtime has recently released its first trailer for the network's new series on the impacts of global warming worldwide, entitled Years of Living Dangerously. The series, which will debut in April 2014, had employed some of America's most well-regarded politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and actors to tell how climate change is already impacting communities around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12316 2013-11-05T17:08:00Z 2013-11-06T16:38:06Z Zoos join fossil fuel divestment movement Last month, over a hundred representatives from zoos and aquariums around the world joined climate activism group, 350.org, pledging that their institutions would take action against global warming, including the possibility of divesting from fossil fuel companies. The effort, dubbed Zoos and Aquariums for 350, was launched during the annual meeting of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG). Jeremy Hance