tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/climate_change1 climate change news from mongabay.com 2014-04-14T15:05:39Z 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 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12293 2013-10-31T15:23:00Z 2013-10-31T15:46:23Z 'Remarkable year': could 2012 mark the beginning of a carbon emissions slowdown? Global carbon dioxide emissions hit another new record of 34.5 billion tons last year, according to a new report by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, but there may be a silver lining. Dubbing 2012 a "remarkable year," the report found that the rate of carbon emission's rise slowed considerably even as economic growth continued upward. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12283 2013-10-30T16:24:00Z 2013-10-30T16:33:09Z Renewable energy revolution will require better management of metals If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say global society will need a rapid and aggressive replacement of fossil fuel energy for renewable, such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, and tidal. While experts say a renewable revolution would not only mitigate climate change but also likely invigorate economies and cut life-threatening pollution, such a revolution would not come without challenges. According to a new commentary piece in <i>Nature Geoscience</i> one of the largest challenges of the renewable revolution will be rising demand for metals, both rare and common. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12260 2013-10-28T22:52:00Z 2013-10-29T00:22:18Z America's growing inequality helped scuttle the global climate change initiative <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1011kimbrough150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The link between good economic policy and climate change mitigation is instigated by policies such as the triple-bottom line, carbon limitations, and pro-environmental legislation. However, economic inequality is a little explored piece of the successful fight against climate change. For climate change mitigation and good economic policy to work, economic growth must be broad-based. Indeed, the inability for the United States to make a coherent and progressive stance on climate change has effectively stymied the global initiative&#8212;and is in part due to growing inequality. Due to the nation's market size and political power, U.S. policy is often a decisive factor for many global issues. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12267 2013-10-28T19:24:00Z 2013-10-28T19:31:34Z Shanghai to ban coal by 2017 China's largest city and one of the world's biggest, Shanghai, is set to ban coal burning in just four years, according to a new Clean Air Action Plan. The city-wide ban on coal burning is one effort among many to get Shanghai's infamous smog under control as well as another sign that China has begun to take its pollution problems more seriously. Jeremy Hance 31.190483 121.509933 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12261 2013-10-28T13:40:00Z 2013-10-29T16:09:16Z First study of little-known mammal reveals climate change threat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1028.mortlock.Bat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's least-known flying foxes could face extinction by rising seas and changing precipitation patterns due to global warming, according to a new study in <i>Zookeys</i>. The research, headed by Donald Buden with the College of Micronesia, is the first in-depth study of the resident bats of the remote Mortlock Islands, a part of the Federated States of Micronesia. Jeremy Hance 5.32344 153.73558 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12219 2013-10-21T17:51:00Z 2013-10-21T19:39:59Z Global warming could shift tropical rainfall Ongoing burning of fossil fuels could flip which portion of the tropics receive more rainfall: the southern hemisphere or the northern. Currently, the northern hemisphere tropics is the wetter of the two, but why this is has long baffled scientists. Now, new research in <i>Nature Geoscience</i> has discovered that rainfall in the tropics is in part driven by massive ocean currents that travel back-and-forth between the Arctic and Antarctic, a process known as ocean overturning circulation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12204 2013-10-16T14:12:00Z 2013-10-16T14:30:58Z David Attenborough: someone who believes in infinite growth is 'either a madman or an economist' Sir David Attenborough has said that people living in poorer countries are just as concerned about the environment as those in the developed world, and "exporting environmentalism" isn't necessarily an "uphill struggle". The veteran broadcaster said ideas about protecting the natural world were not unwelcome in less developed nations&#8212;but added that wealthier countries should work to improve women's rights around the world to bring down birth rates and avoid overpopulation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12197 2013-10-14T21:26:00Z 2013-10-14T21:39:28Z France upholds nationwide ban on fracking France's landmark ban on fracking has survived constitutional challenges lobbed by U.S.-company, Schuepbach Energy. On Friday, the nation's Constitutional Council decided that the ban did not violate France's constitution. Passed in 2011 under then President Nicolas Sarkozy, the ban has since been upheld by current President Francios Hollande. Jeremy Hance 48.854099 2.337971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12188 2013-10-11T16:28:00Z 2013-10-11T16:36:51Z Sea and storm: coastal habitats offer strongest defense <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1011kimbrough150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surging storms and rising seas threaten millions of U.S. residents and billions of dollars in property along coastlines. The nation's strongest defense, according to a new study by scientists with the Natural Capital Project at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, comes from natural coastal habitats. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12175 2013-10-08T13:45:00Z 2013-10-08T13:55:22Z Divestment campaign could cause considerable damage to fossil fuel industry A campaign to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is growing faster than any previous divestment campaign and could cause significant damage to coal, oil and gas companies, according to a study from the University of Oxford. The report compares the current fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has attracted 41 institutions since 2010, with those against tobacco, apartheid in South Africa, armaments, gambling and pornography. It concludes that the direct financial impact of such campaigns on share prices or the ability to raise funds is small but the reputational damage can still have major financial consequences. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12171 2013-10-07T13:39:00Z 2013-10-07T13:52:43Z Russia charges non-violent activists with 'piracy' for protesting Arctic oil drilling In what is being described by Greenpeace as an 'imaginary offense,' Russia has charged 30 people with piracy after activists protested against oil exploitation in the Arctic. The 30 charged included not only protestors, but a British journalist and Russian videographer who were on board Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise, when it was stormed by the Russian military late last month. Jeremy Hance 68.94458 33.074112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12167 2013-10-04T14:39:00Z 2013-10-04T14:58:08Z Myanmar faces new conservation challenges as it opens up to the world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://places.mongabay.com/burma/fishing2-th.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For decades, one of Southeast Asia's largest countries has also been its most mysterious. Now, emerging from years of political and economic isolation, its shift towards democracy means that Myanmar is opening up to the rest of the world. Myanmar forms part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, and some of the largest tracts of intact habitat in the hotspot can be found here. Tiffany Roufs 19.890723 96.137694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12161 2013-10-03T17:38:00Z 2013-10-03T17:48:31Z Climate change could increase diarrheal disease in Botswana Climate change may increase the incidence of diarrheal disease in Botswana, according to a recent study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. "Diarrheal disease is a very important public health problem in Botswana," said lead author Kathleen Alexander, who led a unique 30-year analysis (1974-2003) on the incidence of diarrhea in Botswana. "As a water-restricted country, Botswana is predicted to be heavily impacted by climate change. Tiffany Roufs -24.64764 25.900841 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12160 2013-10-03T16:51:00Z 2013-10-03T18:17:44Z Governments should respond to ocean acidification 'as urgently as they do to national security threats' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0110.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The oceans are more acidic now than they have been for at least 300m years, due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and a mass extinction of key species may already be almost inevitable as a result, leading marine scientists warned on Thursday. An international audit of the health of the oceans has found that overfishing and pollution are also contributing to the crisis, in a deadly combination of destructive forces that are imperiling marine life, on which billions of people depend for their nutrition and livelihood. Jeremy Hance 22.268764 -152.285163 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12151 2013-10-01T13:42:00Z 2013-10-01T13:47:51Z Clock is ticking on fossil fuels: for first time IPCC scientists outline global carbon budget <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1001.World_energy_consumption.svg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's leading climate scientists have set out in detail for the first time how much more carbon dioxide humans can pour into the atmosphere without triggering dangerous levels of climate change&#8212;and concluded that more than half of that global allowance has been used up. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12139 2013-09-28T13:37:00Z 2013-10-06T22:58:10Z 'Yet another wakeup call': global warming is here, it's manmade, and we're not doing enough to stop it <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0928.Wildfire_in_California.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human actions are responsible for warming the Earth, reconfirms the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today, the first mammoth report on the physical science of climate change issued in seven years. Scientists now say they are 95-100 percent certain that human actions&#8212;such as burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests&#8212;are behind the observed rise in global temperatures since at least 1950. Average temperatures have risen 0.85 degrees Celsius since 1880, but the new report warns that depending on how much more fossil fuels are burnt, temperature rises could exceed 4 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) with untold consequences for global society. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12137 2013-09-27T16:57:00Z 2013-09-30T19:17:02Z Climate change pushing tropical trees upslope 'exactly as predicted' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_la_selva_0483.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical tree communities are moving up mountainsides to cooler habitats as temperatures rise, a new study in Global Change Biology has found. By examining the tree species present in ten one-hectare plots at various intervals over a decade, researchers found that the proportion of lowland species increased in the plots at higher elevations. The study, which was undertaken in Volcan Barva, Costa Rica, adds to a growing body of evidence that climate change is having an impact on species range distributions. Tiffany Roufs 10.135172 -84.099855 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12130 2013-09-26T14:14:00Z 2013-09-26T14:34:50Z Global society must leave fossil fuels in the ground, unburnt, says top official World governments must get used to the idea of leaving fossil fuel reserves in the ground unexploited and unburned, one of the world's most senior diplomats has said, ahead of a landmark report on climate science to be unveiled this Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The former Irish president and UN high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, is to spearhead a new international push aimed at breaking the climate talks deadlock and silencing skeptics, with a group of senior diplomats and politicians from around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12127 2013-09-25T16:45:00Z 2013-09-25T17:00:27Z Climate change policy is just good economics For the majority of the new century, Americans have largely stopped caring about the environment. In that time, America has suffered 9/11, two of the nation's four longest wars, the deepest depression in 80 years, increased inequality, and incompetent or fractured leadership. There's been a lot on the public mind. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12126 2013-09-25T16:27:00Z 2013-09-25T16:34:20Z Climate change to hurt children most Children will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change because of their increased risk of health problems, malnutrition and migration, according to a new study published on Monday. And food prices are likely to soar as a result of warming, undoing the progress made in combating world hunger. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12092 2013-09-18T16:44:00Z 2013-09-18T17:01:47Z Climate change could kill off Andean cloud forests, home to thousands of species found nowhere else <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0918.7063224263_2b4fec9cdc_c.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the richest ecosystems on the planet may not survive a hotter climate without human help, according to a sobering new paper in the open source journal PLoS ONE. Although little-studied compared to lowland rainforests, the cloud forests of the Andes are known to harbor explosions of life, including thousands of species found nowhere else. Many of these species&#8212;from airy ferns to beautiful orchids to tiny frogs&#8212;thrive in small ranges that are temperature-dependent. But what happens when the climate heats up? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12090 2013-09-18T15:05:00Z 2013-09-18T15:15:23Z 'Heading towards an ice-free Arctic': sea ice extent hits sixth lowest on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0918.800px-Sea_ice_terrain.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea ice cover in the Arctic shrank to one of its smallest extents on record this week, bringing forward the days of an entirely ice-free Arctic during the summer. The annual sea ice minimum of 5,099m sq km reached on 13 September was not as extreme as last year, when the collapse of sea ice cover broke all previous records. Jeremy Hance 82.402423 167.988274 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12082 2013-09-17T14:01:00Z 2013-09-17T14:18:23Z African grass could substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions from livestock industry Scientists will call for a major push this week to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture through the use of a modified tropical grass. Brachiaria grasses have been found to inhibit the release of nitrous oxide, which has a more powerful warming effect than carbon dioxide or methane, leading them to be called a super grass. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12081 2013-09-16T22:48:00Z 2013-09-16T22:56:19Z Which ecosystems are most vulnerable to climate change? New research highlights the world's most (and least) vulnerable ecosystems to climate change. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, is the first to combine anticipated climatic impacts with how degraded the ecosystem is due to human impacts, creating what scientists hope is a more accurate list of vulnerable regions. The most endangered regions include southern and southeast Asia, western and central Europe, eastern South America, and southern Australia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12074 2013-09-13T02:34:00Z 2013-09-13T03:52:20Z Mesoamerican Reef needs more local support, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.com/images/yucatan/thumbnails/web/PICT0008.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From massive hotel development through the agriculture industry, humans are destroying the second largest barrier reef in the world: the Mesoamerican Reef. Although global climate change and its effects on reefs via warming and acidification of coastal waters have made recent headlines, local human activities may destroy certain ecosystems before climate change has a chance to do it. The harmful effects of mining, agriculture, commercial development, and fishing in coastal regions have already damaged more than two-thirds of reefs across the Caribbean, in addition to worsening the negative effects of climate change. Rhett Butler 17.579721 -88.067635 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12070 2013-09-12T16:02:00Z 2013-09-12T16:12:55Z Natural cooling cycle in Pacific may have slowed global warming...for now Cooling waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean appear to be a major factor in dampening global warming in recent years, scientists said on Wednesday. Their work is a big step forward in helping to solve the greatest puzzle of current climate change research – why global average surface temperatures, while still on an upward trend, have risen more slowly in the past 10 to fifteen years than previously. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12066 2013-09-12T00:13:00Z 2014-02-20T19:25:11Z Global warming may ‘flatten’ rainforests Climate change may push canopy-dwelling plants and animals out of the tree-tops due to rising temperatures and drier conditions, argues a new study published in <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i>. The development may be akin to 'flattening' the tiered vegetation structure that characterizes the rainforest ecosystem. Rhett Butler 11.679135 125.20483 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12057 2013-09-11T17:06:00Z 2013-09-11T17:10:36Z Indonesian villagers sue president over climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0911firemap15.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eight Indonesian villagers have sued the country’s president and a number of other high-level government officials over the impacts of climate change and environmental destruction in their province, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. The villagers say they have suffered health problems, experienced financial losses and seen a general decline in their quality of life due to forest and peatland clearing, and they are pinning the blame on some of Indonesia’s highest elected and appointed officials. Rhett Butler 1.775381 101.638931 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12024 2013-09-05T19:05:00Z 2013-09-05T21:47:27Z Organization proposes climate change warning labels at the gas pump <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0905warning150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rob Shirkey is the founder of the Toronto-based, not-for-profit organization Our Horizon. Inspired by his grandfather's last words to him, "Do what you love," Shirkey quit his job and founded the organization. Our Horizon is founded on the basis that we are all responsible for global climate change through our daily collective choices. It endeavors to influence those choices, specifically with the goal of convincing municipalities to require climate change warning labels on gasoline pumps. Tiffany Roufs 43.656943 -79.390183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12020 2013-09-04T21:24:00Z 2013-09-15T15:20:58Z Tools against climate change: carbon tax and cap-and-trade Climate-conscious folk agree that atmospheric carbon concentration is a key greenhouse gas and a large factor in global climate change. However, there are discrepancies in the methods chosen to address the problem. Some say that carbon emissions should be banned. Some say fossil fuels should be priced. Others say that there are nuances within each. Which tools can we realistically use to mitigate climate change and the drastic effects it will have on our world? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11964 2013-08-27T16:11:00Z 2013-08-27T16:48:13Z Whale shark mapping: scientists uncover global distribution for the largest fish in the world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0827whaleshark150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Polka-dotted and striped. Massive but docile. That’s the whale shark for you - the largest fish and shark in the world. But despite being major tourist attractions, the lives of these awe-inspiring creatures of the ocean remain far from being demystified. However, a team of researchers from Australia may now have some answers to where these whale sharks (Rhinocodon typus) occur. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11963 2013-08-27T05:53:00Z 2013-08-27T05:57:42Z Activists propose naming hurricanes after politicians who deny climate change Environmental activists are petitioning the World Meteorological Organization (WHO) to start naming storms after policy makers who deny human's role in driving climate change. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11961 2013-08-26T16:41:00Z 2013-08-26T17:01:55Z Yasuni could still be spared oil drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, announced on August 15th that he was abandoning an innovative program to spare three blocs of Yasuni National Park from oil drilling, it seemed like the world had tossed away its most biodiverse ecosystem. However, environmental groups and activists quickly responded that there may be another way to keep oil companies out of Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs: a national referendum. Jeremy Hance -1.183693 -75.605621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11947 2013-08-20T20:58:00Z 2013-08-20T21:06:16Z Google Earth presents fish-eye view of coral reefs You can now visit up-close and personal some of the world's most imperiled ecosystems on Google Earth: coral reefs. The Google team is working with scientists to provide 360 degree panoramas, similar to Google street-view, to give armchair ecologists a chance to experience the most biodiverse ecosystems under the waves. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11945 2013-08-20T16:53:00Z 2013-08-20T17:03:23Z Climate change killing harp seal pups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0820harpseal150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As sea ice levels continue to decline in the northern hemisphere, scientists are observing an unsettling trend in harp seal young mortalities regardless of juvenile fitness. While a recent study found that in harp seal breeding regions ice cover decreased by up to 6% a decade from 1979 on, a follow-up study in PLoS ONE compared the rate of harp seal strandings to total ice cover from 1992 to 2010. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11942 2013-08-20T13:32:00Z 2013-09-15T15:21:26Z In defense of the financial industry: stocking up to end climate change On a cross-country bus trip through the American Midwest, I watch cool morning mist rise from patchwork fields. Between the fields stand groves of dark green mid-summer trees, I am reminded that this scene is in jeopardy. The region is cited for its vulnerability to desertification associated with climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11940 2013-08-19T21:03:00Z 2013-08-19T21:10:53Z Featured video: temperature rises across North America by 2100 A new short video predicts temperature changes across North America depending on the future of greenhouse gas emissions. Produced by NASA, the first series shows average temperatures changes (relative to 1970-1999) based on carbon dioxide levels hitting 550 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere by 2100. The second, even more dramatic series, shows changes if levels hit 800 ppm by the end of the century. Earlier this year, carbon dioxide levels hit 400 ppm for the first time in around 5 million years, which is longer than humans have been around. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11939 2013-08-19T18:06:00Z 2013-08-19T18:14:47Z Worst drought in 30 years threatens millions in southern Africa with food insecurity Around 2 million people face food insecurity in northern Namibia and southern Angola as the worst regional drought in decades takes its toll, according to the UN. Two years of failed rains have pushed families into desperate conditions in a region already known for its desert-like conditions. In Namibia alone, experts estimate that over 100,000 children under five are at risk for acute malnutrition. Jeremy Hance -22.552513 17.063427 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11934 2013-08-19T13:05:00Z 2013-08-19T13:19:06Z China pledges $275 billion over 5 years to cut record air pollution Last week China announced it was going to spend over a quarter of a trillion dollars ($275 billion) to fight rampant and life-threatening pollution in its urban centers over the next five years. Recent decades of unparalleled economic growth has taken a drastic environmental toll in China, including record air pollution levels in Beijing. The announcement follows other news, including that the Chinese government has recently scrapped a massive 2,000 megawatt coal plant project near the cities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Jeremy Hance 39.887611 116.408157