Climate change news and global warming headlines for April 2008
April 30 - 1 billion climate change homeless by 2050
Up to one billion people could be homeless by 2050 due to the disastrous impact of global warming. Scientists and political leaders have been issued with a warning of this grave global emergency by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at a special conference in London.
April 28 - March warmest on record globally
Averaged globally, last month was the warmest March on record over land surfaces
and the second warmest overall worldwide. NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center
said that for the 48 contiguous United States it was about average, but
high temperatures over much of Asia brought the worldwide average 3.2 degrees (1.8 C) warmer than the average in the 20th century.
April 27 - Australian cars still fuel inefficient
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that cars aren't any more fuel efficient today as they were in the 1960's according to Dr. Paul Mees of Melbourne University. The burning of fossil fuels for transport currently makes up over 14 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. By 2020 it is predicted to rise 67 per cent on 1990 levels.
April 25 - Humanity faced extinction previously
Just 70,000 years ago, humans faced extinction. According to a new study,. The human population at that stage was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, perhaps numbering as few as a couple of thousand individuals. The culprit - climate change.
April 25 - Carbon dioxide and methane emissions grow
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, carbon dioxide rose 0.6 per cent, or 19 billion tonnes, last year.Another greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, methane, rose 0.5 per cent, or 27 million tonnes, after nearly a decad of little or no change.
April 24 - Beetle infested forests cranking carbon dioxide
Around 13 hectares of lodgepole pine British Columbia have been infested by pine beetles that have taken advantage of warmer conditions to extend their territory. In addition to the damage wrought, the dead trees are now emitting carbon dioxide equivalent to Canada's annual forest fire emissions.
April 23 - Lower carbon emissions won't harm US economy
According to a study by the Environmental Defense Fund, the USA could thrive in economical terms during the decades ahead while making large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The report says that pursuing a low carbon emissions society will not mean spiralling electricity and heating bills and will not negatively impact on employment.
April 22 - UK migrating birds numbers drop
A startling report has revealed that numbers of birds migrating to the UK is plummeting and garden birds have declined by 20% during the last 4 years. Of the 36 species in the study group that migrate from Africa to Britain, 21 have declined
dramatically - partly due to climate change. Read
April 21 - Siberian methane release concerns scientists
Researchers have discovered evidence that areas of Siberia once permanently frozen have started to thaw; releasing ancient methane gas. As methane has 62 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, this development doesn't bode well for an already rapidly warming planet.
April 20 - Climate change a factor in Darfur war
Predictions in the past regarding climate change starting full scale
wars seems to have been fulfilled. French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday said the war in Darfur had been sparked in part by the effects of global warming on agriculture, and if warming continues the Darfur crisis will be only one crisis among dozens of others.
April 17 - Sea levels to rise 4.9 feet by 2100
According to new research from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Britain,
the expansion of warming water and melting from ice sheets could raise
sea levels by as much as 4.9 feet by the end of this century. The new
estimate is three times higher than the figure put forth by the IPCC
last year due to IPCC researchers not factoring in certain ice dynamics.
April 16 - Majority of USA faces water shortages soon.
The USA currently uses over than 148 trillion gallons of water for
all purposes, including domestic, agriculture and manufacturing.
According to the US government, due to rising temperatures increasing
evaporation and sea levels also creeping up rendering freshwater
aquifers unusable, a minimum of 36 states are facing water shortages
within the next five years. Read
April 15 - Spiraling food costs spurring riots
The "perfect storm" predicted by many environmentalists and
economists in relation to food prices is unfortunately becoming fact.
From Haiti to Egypt, riots over the price of food are becoming all too
common as the poor spend an increasing proportion of their income to
feed themselves and their families. The culprits being blamed for the
spiralling costs - rising oil prices, the diversion of food crops to
ethanol production and global warming related climate change decimating
food crops. Read
April 13 - Fossil fuel carbon emissions over 8 gigatons
According to the Earth Policy Institute, Global carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels totaled 8.38 gigatons of carbon (GtC) in 2006, 20 percent higher than the level in 2000.
A gigaton is equal to 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) metric tons. Emissions grew 3.1 percent a year between 2000 and 2006, more than double the rate of growth during the 1990s.
April 12 - Amazon: deforestation and death
While deforestation of the Amazon is a major contributor to
greenhouse gases, it's also the source of increasing tension within
Amazonian communities as they battle each other for the precious land
which they subsequently destroy. These land feuds are connected with the
greed of other nations in relation to timber and livestock feed -
lucrative businesses the locals are prepared to kill for as the feuds go
beyond simple arguments over territory and escalate to murder. Read
April 11 - Canada's boreal forests a "carbon bomb"
A recent Greenpeace study says that Canada’s boreal forest stores 186 billion tons of carbon dioxide, which is around 27 times the world’s yearly fossil-fuel emissions. The organization states the forests are a "carbon bomb" due to logging and if current levels of deforestation continue, it could be responsible for huge amount of greenhouse gas. Greenpeace says logging is responsible for the removal of about 36 million tons of above-ground carbon each year.
April 10 - Asian haze could thicken in 2008
The "Asian Haze" is an annual event triggered by the smoke
from forest fires in Indonesia that blows across Singapore, Malaysia and
parts of Thailand creating a choking smog costing local economies billions of dollars.
It's feared that this year's Asian Haze season could be particularly bad
as changing weather patterns cause an unusually dry spell. Read
April 9 - A bright future for green collar jobs
As the world comes to term with climate change affecting every aspect of
life, including business, the "clean tech" economy and
guaranteed market for renewable energy in the USA is booming and green
collar jobs becoming more common. Read
April 8 - Climate change expert revises emission targets
Dr James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies believes
that current emission targets grossly underestimate the scale of the
global warming problem. In regards to capping carbon dioxide atmospheric
concentration at 450ppm, he recently stated "the target we have all
been aiming for is a disaster - a guaranteed disaster". Dr Hansen
says concentrations should be slashed to 350ppm, well under the current
April 7 - Australian drought affected areas grow
After a recent reprieve thanks to good rains that reduced the amount of
the Australian State of New South Wales in drought from 99% to
40%, drought-affected areas of the state have again risen by
around 2% to 42.9 percent. Australian wheat crops have suffered
greatly in three of the last six years because of drought and the wheat crop
for this year is forecast to be a record-breaking 27 million tonnes -
but entirely dependent on good rain falling soon. Read
April 6 - Climate change, biofuels putting pressure on food
Due in part to global warming and a switch by farmers from food production to raising crops for biofuels, the world is facing its worst food crisis in a generation. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon has raised doubts about the organization's biofuel policy. The president of the World Bank recently stated prices of all staple food had skyrocketed 80% in three years, and that dozens of countries faced unrest because of the price rises.
April 5 - States sue EPA over greenhouse gases
A year after the US Supreme Court judged that the Environmental Protection Agency had the power to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions, 18 states and 11 environmental groups have sued the EPA for having failed to do so. The suit seeks action within 60 days, but environmental lawyers feel it's unlikely there will be any response until President George W. Bush leaves office.
April 3 - Other greenhouse gases - nitrous oxide
While the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 1000 times higher than that of nitrous oxide, nitrous oxide has 300 times the global warming potential of CO2. The greatest proportion of the N2O released by humans results is the excessive use of fertilizer.
April 2 - Oceans under stress from global warming
Due to global warming, ocean deserts; barren regions of the sea that don't sustain life, have increased by 15 per cent during period 1998-2007 and now measure a total 6.6 million sq km. The carbon content of oceans is steadily rising as well and is thought to have increased by 0.1 of a pH unit, making the sea more acidic and posing a threat the marine life such as shellfish.
April 1 - Gore unveils major climate change ad campaign
It's always been somewhat a challenge getting the global warming message
out when battling the deep advertising pockets of Big Coal and Big
Oil. The issue of climate change is particularly pressing given
the upcoming USA elections. Al Gore has unveiled a new $300m advertising blitz
designed to force a debate on climate change during the presidential
April 1 - Focus shifts from corn to soy in the USA
Spurred on by high prices and adverse weather conditions, many farmers
are set to shift their plantings from corn to soy this season; but a
massive corn crop is needed this year to satisfy the incredible demand
soaring demand from the energy/ethanol industry. Read
April 1 - Lake Mead under threat
Lake Mead in Nevada, which is the largest man-made lake and reservoir in the U.S., could go dry by 2021
according to a pair of researchers, affecting the water supply of
between 12 and 36 million people. The Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography in San Diego scientists believe climate change and water usage continue at current trends, there's a 50% chance the lake will go dry in coming years.
April 1 - Global warming awareness and apathy
A recent report has revealed that a telephone survey of 1,093 people
found those who were aware of global warming felt less responsible and
showed less concern about the issue. The diminished concern and sense of responsibility
came as quite a surprise to the two Texas A&M University political scientists
who performed the survey. Read