Global warming news and climate change headlines for March 2008

March 31 - Australia's love affair with cars cranks emissions
The Australian state of Victoria has experienced an overall carbon emission increase of 12.6% since 1990 with transport associated emissions being the major contributor, skyrocketing by 26.5% over the last 20 years. Road transport is the biggest offender, contributing 14.8% of the state's total emissions. Read more.

March 30 - Global warming already affecting islanders
The Sundarbans are where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers meet. For many villagers living on islands in this area, the effects of global warming are very real and they battle for survival. Melting Himalayan glaciers are raising river and sea levels -  rebuilding crude dams and dikes to try and prevent inundation is a daily task. Read more

March 29 - Earth Hour initiative- 8PM - 9PM on March 29
Earth Hour, organized by conservation group WWF is a global climate change initiative which rallies individuals and businesses around the world to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday March 29 2008 between 8 pm and 9pm. The aim of the campaign is to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change our planet for the better and to get people thinking more about ways of maximizing energy efficiency. Read more

March 28 - Warmer recent winters for Britain and Canada
A study released by the British Meteorological Office has stated that the coldest winter days in Russia and Canada are as much as four degrees Celsius milder since the 1950s. In Britain, warming was between 0.5 and 2.0 Celsius. Read more

March 27 - Major ice shelf in Antarctica collapsing
The Wilkins ice shelf, a 13,000 square kilometre body of floating ice recently lost 415 square kilometres and a large part of the ice shelf is now supported by only a thin area of ice. Ted Scambos, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre says the phenomenon has been rare up until recent times and is due to warm air and wave action. Read more

March 25 - Climate change threatens Aussie animals
In Australia, climate change is not only threatening the viability of some of its unique animal species, but also encouraging the proliferation of non-native species. The cane toad that has ravaged parts of the state of Queensland is steadily spreading across the country and conditions are also benefiting the European fox. Read more

March 24 - Power needs accelerating faster than predicted
The activity of developing nations including Africa, Asia and South America has accelerated global warming past official predictions. While the International Energy Authority states yearly growth in the planet's power consumption will be 3.3 per cent until 2015 an Aggreko study commissioned from Oxford Economics states 5 per cent annual growth. Read more

March 23 - Lovelock predicts global disaster
James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis which sees all the components of our planet as a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism, believes that it too late to save the planet from global warming. Lovelock predicts that by 2040, parts of the Sahara desert will have moved into middle Europe, and China will become uninhabitable. Southern Europeans and South-East Asian, will be scrambling into countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain and subsequent ethnic tensions could lead to civil war. Read more

March 22 - US power station emissions increase
The Environmental Integrity Project has released their findings after studying data from the US Environmental Protection Agency from more than 1,000 power plants using coal, oil and natural gas for electricity generation. Their study shows that carbon dioxide emissions grew by nearly three per cent last year, the biggest annual increase in nearly a decade. Read more

March 21 - Forget oil, invest in water
According to the UN, around 20% of humanity lacks access to safe drinking water; while 44 percent of the world's population live in areas affected by high water stress - a figure expected to increase to 47 percent by 2030. Global warming related issues and population increases are beginning to see huge investment in water and waste projects around the world. Read more

March 19 - Adelaide heatwave one in 3,000 years event
Adelaide residents (including me) are breathing a sigh of relief after a record heatwave finally subsided yesterday. The city experienced temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius for 15 days in a row, smashing the capital city record set by Perth in 1988 and ending with temperatures reaching 40.5 degrees. A climate model created by atmospheric scientist Dr Warwick Grace indicates that a heatwave of such intensity is only likely to happen once in 3,000 years. Read more

March 17 - Glaciers melting at record rate
Experts been monitoring 30 glaciers around the planet for close to 30 years have found that glaciers are melting faster than at any time since records began. The findings have added to growing concerns about sea levels rising faster than previously predicted. Read more

March 14 - Deforestation emissions increasing
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the current ratio of greenhouse gas contribution is 80/20, the larger figure being energy production and the smaller, deforestation. The WWF has warned that split may change if deforestation continues. The countries generating the largest amount of emissions through deforestation are Indonesia with 35 percent, Brazil with 19 percent and Malaysia with 10 percent. Read more

March 13 - Rapid growth in China's CO2 emissions forecast
Previous estimates predicted China's CO2 emission to increase by 2.5 to 5 percent annually between 2004 and 2010, but new research from University of California, Berkeley, and UC San Diego believes the annual growth rate will be at least 11 percent for the same time period - representing an amount greater than the total current emissions produced by Great Britain. Read more.

March 12 - Adelaide,  Australia breaks temperature records
Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia experienced its 9th consecutive day of temperatures over 35C (95F) with high temperatures expected to persist for at least another 6 days. The heatwave has been particularly unusual given the southern hemisphere is now in Autumn. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is confident that the heatwave is connected to a general warming of the atmosphere. Read more.

March 11 - Britain goes back to black - coal power
The UK government has sent environmentalists into a spin after showing support for the construction of new so-called clean coal power stations. An aging coal fired plant is to be replaced with two new units using cleaner coal technologies and utilizing controversial carbon sequestration. A further seven coal fired plants are also in the pipeline. Read more

March 10 - Wind power statistics
According to the Earth Policy Institute, wind power capacity will exceed 100,000 megawatts globally this month and 2008 will be the first year that wind power additions in Europe will have exceeded the additions of any other power source, including natural gas. The cost wind power has decreased by more than 80 percent over the last 25 years to approximately 7 cents per kilowatt-hour at suitable sites. Read more

March 9 - European leaders warned of mass migration
European leaders are being warned that due to their closeness to countries particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, pressure from migration and regional political instability could increase in the future. In the Middle East, water is becoming increasingly scarce and major reductions in crop yields are forecast. Climate change could also have a dramatic impact in South Asia, with serious consequences. Read more

March 8 - Oceanic deserts expanding due to warming
The regions of the ocean where little to no plant life is found have expanded dramatically over the past decade. According to recent research, these biological deserts are growing at roughly 1 to 4 percent annually - an area around the size of Texas every year. Scientist have found that these barren areas are expanding due to increasing water temperatures.  Read more

March 7 - OECD warns of 38% global emissions increase
The OECD has warned the global economy could double in size by 2030, largely due to growth in countries including Russia, China and India. Without proper controls, this could create a 38 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The OECD is urging for carbon taxes to be established for most countries as soon as possible in order to motivate shifts to renewable energy, and low impact design and construction. Read more

March 6 - Reduction in coral growth points to acidic oceans
A study of a section of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has found an unprecedented 21 per cent decline in the growth rate of finger corals. This is believed to be a warning sign of ocean acidification - where massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere have dissolved into the ocean, causing it to become more acidic. Read more

March 4 - China's killer dust storms on the move
Schools in Korea have been closed due to a veil of sand and toxic dust from China covering much of the country and other parts of Asia. The yearly yellow dust storms, originating in China's Gobi Desert have been increasing in frequency and toxicity over the years because of China's rapid economic growth . The storms kill scores of people each year and cause billions of dollars in damage. Read more

March 2 - EPA's final ruling rejects Cali. emission standards
The USA Environmental Protection Agency's has rejected California's request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, marking the first time that the EPA denied states the ability to enforce more stringent vehicle emissions standards. The EPA's justification is the Clean Air Act only allows for emission standards for vehicles to address local or regional pollution problems, rather than global ones such as climate change. Read more

March 1 - Finland: warmest winter on record
With average temperatures approximately 5 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) higher than usual, the warmest winter on record in Finland may increase crop yields due to an extended growing season. Parts of Finland had snow cover for only 20 days, which is over 50 less days than during a usual winter. Read more

March 1 - An ice free Arctic this year?
According to Dr. Olav Orheim, from the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat, if Norway's average temperature this summer reaches the same level as 2007,the ice cap in the Arctic will be non-existent. Dr. Orheim and his associates are deeply concerned that the new shipping channels such an event will open up could see irreversible impact on ecological security in the Arctic region.  Read more

March 1 - A warmer Arctic could become a battleground
Former U.S. Coast Guard Lt.-Cmdr. Scott Borgerson believes a Canada-U.S. agreement must be formulated on how the Arctic should be handled as global warming opens northern sea lanes and the Arctic's huge economic potential. Territorial disputes could pose threat of "armed brinkmanship". With an ice-free Arctic in the summer being predicted to occur as early as this year; the complexities of carving up the Arctic among five states with competing claims is sure to become an increasingly pressing diplomatic and political issue very soon. Read more

March 1 - Australia to buy back water from farmers.
The Australian government will be spending $50 million this year to buy back irrigator water entitlements in order to rescue the Murray-Darling Basin's rivers and wetlands after 11 consecutive years of dry conditions and six consecutive years of record low inflow on the Murray River. The Murray-Darling is one of Australia's longest river systems and is a critical water source for farming and drinking water for many towns and cities. Read more.