Global warming news and climate change headlines for May 2008
May 31 - Exxon drops support of climate change deniers
ExxonMobil, one of the world's largest oil companies, has stated that it
will cease funding groups that question the need to find alternative,
clean sources of energy and the urgent need to address climate change.
The move comes as the company's shareholders berate the oil giant for
its seeming lack of action on global warming. Read
May 30 - Japan's ice a global warming casualty
The Japanese Shiretoko peninsula has a unique ice mass, so rare that it's listed as a heritage site; but due to global warming, the natural phenomenon is melting. This not only causes tourists disappointment, The ice also plays a crucial role in the region's marine ecosystem.
May 29 - Beijing air pollution warning
Just a couple of months ahead of the Olympic Games, Beijing officials
have warned residents to stay inside today due to heavy air pollution
levels. The pollution is primarily being caused by sandstorms sweeping
in from Mongolia, an increasingly regular phenomenon, but one that
should have ended last month. The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
will shift some endurance events if the air quality remains poor. Read
May 28 - Norway - Europe's renewable energy battery?
Norway has the longest coastline in Europe and favorable conditions for
wind power. Norway's Energy Council recently released a report stating
that the renewable energy goal for 2020 - 2025 should be around 40
terrawatt hours; with half of that coming from wind power. The excess
production could be sold off to other countries in the region. Read
May 27 - UN carbon offset fund widely abused
Two Stanford University students have found that the UN's major carbon offset fund is being widely abused by companies that claim emission reduction credits on ineligible project; resulting in no genuine greenhouse gas reduction. The level of abuse is thought to run into billions of dollars.
May 26 - Global dimming to address global warming?
Professor Tim Flannery, a well known Australian scientist, believes climate change is happening so
rapidly that sulphur may need to be pumped into the atmosphere in order
to stem the warming. This drastic and tragic last resort strategy, the
side affects of which are unknown, would change the color of the sky and
may need to be implemented within the next 5 years in order to be
May 25 - Huge fractures discovered in Arctic ice
Scientists accompanying Canadian troops in an expedition to the country's far north have discovered a network of major cracks in the ice covering over 10 miles. According to one of the scientists, these cracks indicate the ice shelf is disintegrating and could literally float way. The Arctic now has 23% less ice than at any time while observations have been recorded.
May 24 - 70% of Andean peoples face severe water issues
Then glaciers of the Andes accounts for ten per cent of global fresh water sources;
but those glaciers have been shrinking for the last quarter century. A
study commissions by the Andean Community of Nations has found that 70
per cent of Andean people will experience severe difficulties in
accessing clean water sources within the next two decades and the costs
associated with climate change will be in the region of US$30 billion. Read
May 23 - Deadly US tornado season
The United States is experiencing the deadliest tornado season in a decade and this year looks set to break records for the number of tornados with 868 already reported this season. Climate change is expected to increase severe weather in the country in the years ahead.
May 22 - Australian budget pummels solar rebate scheme.
The dreams of some Australian households to have their own solar power
installations evaporated recently after the Federal budget clamped down
on a rebate scheme; one of the most generous in the world and one that
had spurred on massive growth in the local solar industry. Read
May 21 - Shareholders scold Exxon over global warming
Shareholders of ExxonMobil are making their feelings know about the
company's lacklustre approach to playing a part in addressing global warming.
Exxon has failed to follow the lead from rival oil companies in
ploughing investment dollars into environmentally friendly energy
sources such as wind and solar power. Read
May 20 - 25,000 wind turbines in the USA
While wind energy only represents about 1% of US electricity production,
in 2007 a record 3,100 turbines were brought into operation across 34 U.S. states and another 2,000 turbines are currently being constructed from California to Massachussetts. There are now an estimated 25,000 wind turbines in operation throughout the USA, representing an investment of $15 billion.
May 18 - Rising nitrogen levels a climate concern
Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most of us are familiar with, but
there are other gases with many times the GWP (Global Warming Potential)
of CO2; including nitrogen. According to an environmental sciences
professor at the University of Virginia, excessive nitrogen levels are
as serious as our skyrocketing carbon dioxide levels. Read
May 17 - 800 000 year greenhouse gas level record
According to a recent study of ancient Antarctic ice samples, greenhouse
gas levels are higher now than at any time in the last 800 000 years. An author of the University of Berne report states say that the current concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are 28 and 124 percent higher respectively than at any time during that period.
May 16 -Australian budget renewable commitment blasted
Greenpeace Australia has blasted the Australian governments later
budget; saying that renewable energy solutions have been sidelined in
favor of coal. Over the next three years, renewables will get half as
much public funding than coal companies pushing highly controversial
"clean coal" technologies. Read
May 15 - Over 2 billion trees planted
The United Nations Environment Programme has reported that over 2 billion trees have been planted in the last 18 months as part of the Billion Tree Programme - double the original target. UNEP now has set a goal of 7 billion trees; one for every person on the planet.
May 13 - Crisis and opportunity for Bangladesh
The Dutch, no strangers to the threat of inundation, are helping people in Bangladesh build
dikes and water-retaining structures to protect them against recurring floods
and rising sea levels. So many changes are taking place in the
landscape, maps are now inaccurate and while land is disappearing, new
land is being created; but not fast enough according to Dutch engineers.
May 11 - Another dry for Australia's irrigators
A dry autumn in the Murray-Darling basin, Australia's food bowl, usually
means a dry year - and that's what's happened again this year. The Bureau of Meteorology's National Climate
Centre has warned that eastern Australia is heading back towards an El Nino, where dry conditions dominate.
It's now unlikely farmers will receive the rains needed to make up for the past six drought years and refill the dams.
May 9 - Scientists furious with global warming denier group
Several New Zealand scientists have been appalled to find themselves on a list of 500 scientists
who supposedly refute the theory that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity
are a cause of global warming. The list was published by the Heartland
Institute, who according to Greenpeace, is a neo-conservative group partly funded by Exxon Mobil.
May 8 - India's worsening wheat crisis
The situation regarding India's wheat supplies is becoming increasingly serious. Demand continues to climb rapidly and wheat prices have doubled from what they were in early 2007. Output has become
unreliable in recent years due to water stress, declining soil health and global warming.
May 6 - Australia's sinking islands
While many people would be aware of the plight of island nations such as
Tuvalu, whose very existence is threatened by rising seas, not many
would have heard of a similar disaster faced by the people of Torres
Strait. The islanders constantly face the danger of inundation and have
also witnessed the disappearance of animals they depend upon as a result
of climate change. Read
May 5 - Shark attacks and global warming
According to Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a recent increase in shark attacks may be due in part to global warming. As air and ocean temperatures increase, more people are spending more time in the water and some shark species are turning up in places where they were previously uncommon.
May 3 - Energy giants back away from renewables
While the world needs renewable energy immediately, energy giants including BP and Shell, are retreating from renewables, preferring to focus their cash on dwindling, polluting, but highly profitable energy sources - oil and gas. This includes the pursuit of environmental disasters such as the extraction of oil from tar sands and liquid fuels from coal.
May 3 - Britain refuse global warming taxes
Over 70% of voting age Britons state they are not willing to pay increased taxes in order to help pay for projects to combat climate change, according to a recent survey of 2,000 people 66% of Britons feel environmental issues have been hijacked as a ploy to increase taxes.
May 2 - Arctic sea ice set for record melt
Over the last decade, Arctic sea ice has declined by approximately 10 percent, with last year's warm temperatures responsible for a record drop of 460,000 square miles. With the Arctic ice cover being newer and thinner now than at any time in human recorded history, the stage is set for another record low this year, according to a climate researcher from the University of Colorado.
May 2 - 80% emissions cuts needed - Stern
Nicholas Stern, Stern, the economist who release a landmark repor on the the economics of climate change 18 months ago, has said that wealthy countries must cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and developing nations must set targets also by 2020. Stern states that the only way the world beat the climate crisis was to ensure that global carbon emissions peaked within 15 years and were then halved from 1990 levels by 2050.
May 1 - A brief global cooling respite?
Climate researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany have released a study suggesting that temperatures may stabilize and perhaps even cool slightly over the next decade due to natural forces. The researchers fear that governments may see this temporary respite as a permanent trend and then may ease up in the battle against global warming.