Global warming and climate change news for September 2007

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September 30 - Atmospheric moisture increasing - report
A recent study on climate confirms that human-induced global warming is having a marked effect on the moisture content of the atmosphere. Vapor content has increased by about 0.41 kilograms per square meter per decade since 1988 according to  a new study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more

September 30 - US needs to cut emissions by 80%
By 2050, The United States needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent below the level generated in 2000 in order to avoid increasing the dangerous impacts of human-induced climate change, according to a joint report by 3 scientific bodies. The longer the USA waits to take serious steps, the more dramatic the reductions will need to be. Read more.

September 29 - Bush continues to reject emission caps
At a meeting of the world's 16 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, George Bush outlined the USA's vision tackling climate change. Among the strategies is an increase in nuclear power generated electricity. Bush continues to hold fast on the USA not being drawn into agreements that include legally-binding caps on carbon emissions. Read more

September 29 - Australia - climate shift, not climate change
According to Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, the drought currently being experienced in the country which is the worst in over 100 years is an example of "climate shift", not climate change. He also blamed current water restrictions on environmentalists for causing past proposals for dams to be quashed. Read more

September 28 - UK to cease sale of incandescent bulbs
UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has stated that all homes and businesses would have to use low-energy fluorescent, CFL or LED bulbs by 2011. 150-watt incandescent bulbs would be removed from sale by January 2008, 100-watt bulbs by 2009, 40-watt bulbs by 2010 and all high-energy bulbs by 2011. The move will save the equivalent of the generation capacity of  a medium-sized coal-fired power station and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 5 million tonnes a year. Read more

September 28 - Norway CO2 sequestration study
Norway would be able to commence sequestering (storing) carbon dioxide emissions beneath the North Sea from late 2011 if appropriate investments were made by 2008 according to a Norwegian feasibility study. Read more

September 27 - Australia - hotter, drier future
Australia is still in the grips of a crippling drought and a long-range study of Australia's climate points to even more extreme weather ahead due to permanent changes in the Walker circulation, an atmospheric wind system that sits above the continent. Read more

September 26 - Sea levels to rise 39 inches in 100 years
Through the combined melting of glaciers and ice sheets plus warm waters expanding, we can now expect the oceans to rise around 39 inches over the next century as a result of global warming. That will be as a result of the damage that we've already done and will happen regardless of any action taken now to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to some scientists. Read more

September 26 - National Day of Climate Action - USA
Step It Up has announced a national event in the USA on November 3, 2007 to call for leadership on global warming. The event is a follow up to the April 14 rally that produced more than 1,400 events in 50 states, the largest global warming event in U.S. history. Read more.

September 25 - Global climate accord needed now - UN
At a special UN summit on the issue of global warming, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that a new commitment by all countries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions is urgently required to avoid devastating impacts of climate change. The summit is intended to lay the groundwork for negotiations on a new global climate agreement before the current Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. Read more

September 25 - Carbon markets - making them work
Reducing the impact of climate change without causing problems to the global economy hinges on more efficient and stronger markets to regulate carbon dioxide according to this report on Scientific American. Read more

September 24 - Bush to skip U.N. global warming talks
Many world leaders are to meet at the United Nations on Monday for very important talks on how to address global warming. President Bush is skipping all the day’s events but the dinner. Read more

September 24 - Big business acting on climate change
Over half of the world's 500 biggest companies are introducing schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project's fifth annual global report. 79% of publicly traded companies that participated in the survey recognised the financial risks climate change posed. Read more

September 23 - Bush administration touts non-binding plan
The Bush administration is attempting to persuade the world it can address global warming voluntary processes, increased cooperation and by tackling trade issues among the U.S., China and other major polluters. The US government's suggested strategy is very different to the U.N.'s; which requires measurable and binding targets. Read more

September 23 - Biofuels create more emissions than oil?
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have warned that emissions from the combustion of biofuels derived from rapeseed (canola) and maize (corn) produce more greenhouse gas emissions than oil. Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. Read more

September 22 - Global warming impact on India's economy
Global warming looks likely to have a significant negative effect not only on India's weather, but overall economic health. According to a report by Lehman Brothers India’s GDP would drop by 5% for every two degree temperature rise. A Lehman Brother's economist also states that India may be amongst the last of the major emitters to implement strategies that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

September 22 - Arctic ice melt peaks, sets record
Ice in the Arctic Ocean shrank by more than one million square miles this year, the equivalent of six Californias. This significantly exceeds the average minimum area attained in recent decades, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The Center reports that given the levels, it is unlikely that the massive melt can be put down to natural variability. It is believed that the ice is now beginning to reform due to the onset of the Arctic winter. Read more

September 21 - Biofuels worsen Hungary's drought
The maize crop in Hungary fell by half during this year due to drought conditions. An academic expert believes crop failure has been exacerbated by farmers harvesting stalk and straw from fields to supply the biofuel industry. Usually these biomass components would be left in the fields; creating some protection from the sun and evaporation. Read more

September 21 - China to increase solar water heating 50%
China, one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, has predicted that the level of solar water heating systems in operation in the country will reach 150 million square meters in 2010. This represents an increase of 50 percent from the current level and will save 50 million tons of coal. Read more

September 20 - British bog provides climate change clues
Research on sediments from a British bog puts forth the theory that methane emissions increased due to intense global warming around 55 million years ago. Methane is also greenhouse gas with 62 times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide; so an increased release of methane has the potential to amplify climate change. Read more

September 20 - California global warming suit dismissed.
A law suit filed by the state of California against six car manufacturers claiming the companies were liable for contributing to global warming has been dismissed. The judge stated that the courts were not equipped to deal with climate change issues and other political questions with international reach. Read more

September 19 - EU climate goal 'unlikely' to be achieved
A leading climate researcher has warned that the European Union's goal of maintaining global temperature rises to 2 degrees celcius maximum is unlikely to be achieved. Professor Martin Parry's personal view is that the rise could be constrained to between 2C and 3C. Read more

September 19 - Australian birds and sea level rises
Bleak predictions relating to the impact of climate change on the future of Australia's tropical birds have been outlined in the Journal of Ornithology. Some scientists have warned that sea levels in northern Australia have been rising at a rate that the salt water could flood thousands of kilometres of wetlands, threatening to destroy huge areas of tropical bird habitat and putting 66 species at risk of extinction. Read more

September 18 - Gas flaring and carbon dioxide emissions
A new report reveals the oil industry wastes up to 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the oil extraction process annually in a process called gas flaring. This practice not only generates around 400 million tons of carbon dioxide, but also wastes an energy source that is cleaner that crude oil. Read more

September 17 - Lakes in Alaska bubbling methane
A lake in Alaska has been found bubbling methane in large quantities. As permafrost around a lake’s edges thaws, the organic material it contains enters the lake where bacteria convert it to methane. Methane has around 63 times the potency as a greenhouse gas compared to carbon dioxide. Read more

September 16 - Australia - permanent water restrictions
In a move that's likely to be followed by other Australian cities and states, Sydney has introduced permanent water restrictions which include the banning of daytime use of sprinklers and watering systems and the hosing down of driveways. The decision was based on scientific evidence relating to the impact global warming would have on rainfall over the Sydney region. Read more

September 16 - More earthquakes from climate change?
Scientists in Britain have warned of an added possible side effect of climate change - an increase of volcanic eruptions, undersea earthquakes and tsunamis. Read more

September 15 - USA gov. - earth may become "unliveable"
The top scientific advisor for George Bush's administration has stated that it is over 90 per cent likely that mankind was causing global warming. He has also said that the earth may become "unliveable" without reductions in carbon dioxide emissions output. This statement marks the end of a tendency of Bush's administration to play down the threat of global warming induced climate change. Read more

September 15 - Tackling the aviation emissions challenge
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, aviation is responsible for around 10 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the nation and accounts for 2.7% of US total emissions. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emission impact, Princeton researchers are researching the possibility of the synthesis of jet fuels from a combination of coal and plants. Read more

September 15 - Atlantic hurricanes and global warming.
The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season has set records already. Hurricane Felix and  Dean are the only two Category 5 hurricanes on record to make landfall in the Atlantic basin the same year. In the case of the recent storm named Humberto, authorities had no time to issue hurricane watches or warnings until just before it hit land. No tropical cyclone has ever been recorded reaching  this intensity at a faster rate near landfall. Climate change is being looked to by some scientists as the culprit for this phenomenon. Read more

September 14 - Tuvalu pleads for global warming action
The  island state of Tuvalu, home to 10,000 people, has  urged the rest of the world to do more to combat global warming before rising sea levels inundate the nation. One study has predicted at the current rate the ocean is rising, Tuvalu could disappear in the next 30 to 50 years. Read more

September 14 - Lack of clean energy threatens 2 billion
Over 2 billion of the world's poor are facing substantial health risk directly connected to a lack of access to clean energy, according to a recent scientific report. An estimated 2.4 billion people worldwide are exposed to pollution from inefficient burning of solid fuels like wood, coal and dried cow dung, which is said to cause around 1.6 million premature deaths each year. Read more

September 14 - Earth's vital signs in bad shape - report
A report from a Washington think-tank entitled “Vital Signs 2007-2008” states that unsustainable consumption patterns were responsible for climate change linked to carbon emissions and other ecological woes, but furthermore, that of the 44 trends tracked by the report, 28 were ”pronouncedly bad” and only six were positive. Read more

September 13 - Oil giant agrees to pay for emission offsets
A major USA oil company, ConocoPhillips, has agreed to shellout $10 million to offset greenhouse gas emissions generated by an expansion of its San Francisco-area oil refinery. This move is believed to be the first time a U.S. oil company has agreed to offset emissions from a refinery expansion. Read more

September 12 - Gray whales - global warming victim?
Once headed for extinction due to hunting, the gray whale population bounced back after gaining protection 80 years ago. But in 1999 and 2000, gray whales began to mysteriously disappear by the thousands, dropping their population by a third. AT least 10 percent of gray whales returning to one of their four main calving and breeding lagoons in California showed signs of malnutrition. The gray whale relies on huge quantities of small crustaceans that live in the Arctic regions. These crustaceans may be in short supply due to increased water temperatures as a result of global warming. Read more

September 12 - Australian carbon trading confusion
A report on a survey of 800 manufacturers and commercial constructors carried out for Sustainability Victoria shows 40 per cent of Australian companies have no understanding of emissions trading schemes. Only 14% companies surveyed stated they understood emission trading schemes. Read more.

September 11 - Forest fire smoke haze in the Arctic
Greenhouse gases are being detected in increasing levels in the Arctic and the haze from forest fire smoke that can blur the view in the Arctic springtime has become visibly thicker since the late 1990s. Greenhouse gases in the area are at the highest level in more than 650,000 years according to studies of air bubbles trapped in ancient ice. Read more

September 11 - Amazon forest gone by 2080?
According to a Brazilian environmentalist, the Amazon forest may disappear by 2080 if current deforestation rates continue. Brazil has already stated the country will reduce  deforestation from 14,000 square kilometers last year to to 9,600 square kilometers over the coming year. Between 1991 and 2000, deforestation amounted to an area twice the size of the country of Portugal. The trees and plants of the Amazon play an important role in processing carbon dioxide. Read more

September 10 - Australia/Indonesia joint forest project
The Australian and Indonesian governments have announced a joint project to preserve 70,000 hectares of peat land forests in the Kalimantan region, re-hydrate 200,000 hectares of dried peat and plant up to 100 million new trees on rehabilitated peat land. The government believes this initiative could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than Australia's total annual output. Read more

September 10 - Brazil now the 4th largest carbon emitter
Through  slash and burn practices and vast swathes of  rain forest being cleared, Brazil is now the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the United States, China and Indonesia, according to a recent report from the World Resources Institute. While most emissions contributing to global warming come from coal fired power plants, combustion engines and industrial processes, over 70 percent of Brazil’s emissions originate from deforestation. Read more

September 9 - Melting icecaps triggering earthquakes
The melting of Greenland's ice sheet has accelerated to such a degree that earthquakes are being triggered. Scientists monitoring the glaciers state that movements of the enormous chunks of ice are generating shockwaves that register up to three on the Richter scale. Given the pace of the melting, sea level rise estimates published by the IPCC are now being heavily disputed as being far too conservative. Read more

September 9 - Carbon offsetting confusion in the UK
Some 55% of over a thousand UK residents aged over 15 had not heard of carbon offsetting or knew of the term but didn't know what it meant; according to a recent survey. Only 15% of the survey group stated they were very familiar with what carbon offsetting was and only 1% had paid to participate in a carbon offsetting program. These figures don't reflect a trend of lack of concern about the environment, rather confusion related to all the new terminology springing up relating to global warm. Read more

September 9 - Global warming and cheese
Who would have thought that even the taste of cheese would be affected by global warming? According to cheese makers, it's a real possibility as cheeses all have their distinct flavors and textures based on the climate of an area and the availability of plant species cows graze upon. Read more.

September 8 - Increased CO2 and tree species imbalance 
A University of Michigan research report has conclude that birch trees will likely cause the decline of aspens in North American forests over the coming decades as a result of mounting levels of carbon dioxide creating fierce competition for soil nutrients. Increase carbon dioxide promotes growth in plants, but also means they need increased levels of nitrogen. The birch trees in the study appear to be more adept at nitrogen foraging than aspens. Read more

September 8 - APEC global warming fizzer
Australia's hopes to make a big splash in terms of climate change diplomacy seem to have been dashed due to resistance from nations at the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit. Most of those hesitating in even committing to "aspirational" (non-binding) emissions reductions state that the UN framework is the preferred route for handling climate change proposals. Even if they should agree on a joint statement, the commitment is worth next to nothing without firm reduction targets. Read more.

September 7 - US climate resolve to be tested
According to Germany's environment minister, a meeting on climate change to be held in Washington later in September will demonstrate if the United States has a real commitment to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions after years of avoiding the problem. The USA is one of the few signatory countries that has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which binds participating industrial nations to cutting greenhouse gases.

September 7 - Australia in permanent drought
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology state the outlook is grim for the rains much of the country needs. Irrigators on the Murray River are now facing the worst summer ever and climate experts have predicted the present drought would continue for some time; to the point it may become a "permanent dry". Read more.

September 6 - Asia Pacific coal use growth unprecedented
Asia Pacific countries are responsible for over 50% of the  damage being done to the planet by fossil fuels and are the prime culprits behind large-scale deforestation according to two recently release environmental reports. A 45-page report from the WWF states the growth of coal use in the Asia-Pacific in the 21st century was unprecedented. Read more

September 6 - China's ambitious renewable energy plan
China has unveiled an ambitious plan to increase its use of renewable energy including  hydropower, wind power, biomass and solar energy by 15 percent by 2020. This is the equivalent of of 600 million tons of coal. Implementation of the plan is estimated to cost over quarter of a trillion dollars. Read more

September 6 - Exxon forecasts bright future for fossil fuel
80% of the world's energy needs will be met by oil and gas through to 2030, according to the chairman of Exxon Mobil. His remarks followed Exxon Mobil shareholders pressuring the oil giant to look more to reduce its carbon footprint. Olsen said that while renewable energy is expected to grow rapidly, it will only account for around 1% of global energy demand by 2030. Read more

September 5 - Massive ocean wind farm for Netherlands
The Netherlands has commenced work on a 60 turbine wind farm, which is being built 14 miles from the Dutch North Sea coast. The turbines extend about 320 feet from the ocean, with each blade  being 130 feet long. When the farm starts operating in early 2008 it's expected the energy contribution will cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 225,000 tonnes annually, helping the Dutch to meet a target of 20 percent renewable energy use by 2020. Read more

September 5 - UK spiders on the advance due to warming
Originally from the Mediterranean, wasp spiders established a presence in the early 20th century in southern England where the climate was just warm enough for them to survive. But after recent mild winters,  wasp spider populations have greatly increased and the intrepid arachnid is spreading rapidly north. Read more

September 4 - Global warming effects changes atlas maps
Since the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World was last published four years ago, much has changed around the world; prompting for many maps needing to be redrawn. Sea levels have dropped in some regions and crept up in others. Ice caps and lakes have receded or disappeared altogether in other locations. Read more

September 3 - Global food crisis on the horizon
In order to keep pace with human population growth, more food will need to be produced globally during the next 50 years than has been during the past 10,000 years combined according to some scientists. The effects of poor farming practices and deforestation will be magnified by climate change to steadily degrade soil fertility, leaving huge tracts of land incapable of supporting crops and grazing. Read more

September 2 - AU Plan - carbon targets sans timetables
Australian Prime Minister John Howard will unveil a radical new plan to fight climate change at the APEC meeting in Sydney this week. The blueprint consists of a national carbon trading scheme and a global agreement on flexible long-term goals for greenhouse gas reduction. According to a government source; ""We call it targets without a timetable". Read more.

September 1 - Germany proposes new climate change plan
German Chancellor Merkel's has proposed a new strategy to help minimize the effects of climate change. The plan bases caps of CO2 emissions on a country's population; which may be a more palatable approach for developing industrial nations such as  China and India. The average Australian and American is responsible for over five tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, whereas the average Chinese person generates approximately one ton of CO2 emissions per year. Read more

September 1 - Virgin to avoid buying 4 engine planes
Richard Branson, the head of Virgin Airlines, has given a commitment to avoid buying four-engine aircraft wherever possible for economic and environmental reasons. Earlier this year, Virgin announced the purchase 15 of Boeing's new fuel-efficient, lightweight ,2 engine 787 Dreamliner jets. The Dreamliners will consume approximately 27 percent less fuel per passenger, which means greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Branson has also said that Virgin will start using biofuels in 747's sometime next year. Read more

September 1 - Ecuador wants cash to leave oil in ground
With already 1,700 square miles damaged by oil exploration and extraction, the Amazon forest area of Ecuador is under threat from further oil industry activities. The Ecuadorian government has proposed that if other nations pay Ecuador $350 million a year; they'll  leave the oil in the ground. Read more.

September 1 - Eels suffering through global warming
Added to the challenges of overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction, some scientists have expressed concern that changes in currents and salinity due to global warming are confusing the eels navigation mechanisms that assist them to migrate. Read more 

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