Climate change news and global warming headlines for September 2008

September 30 - Extreme heat days to increase in California
While Southern California experienced a cooler than usual summer, scientist warn the respite will be brief. One hundred years of daily temperature data has revealed the number of extreme heat days has increased dramatically over the past century, from an average of two days a year one hundred years ago to over 25 in recent years. Read more

September 29 - America's first climate change refugees
Newtok, an Eskimo village of about 320 people on the southwest coast of Alaska, is the first victim of climate change to produce an entire community of climate refugees. The village will disappear into the sea within a few year. According to Nasa, temperatures in Alaska have risen more than any other place on the planet in the past 50 years. Of the state's 213 Alaska Native villages, 184 are severely affected by erosion and flooding and a half dozen are in a critical condition requiring evacuation. Read more

September 28 - Arctic experienced fastest ice retreat
While Arctic ice cover didn't quite reach the record lows of last year, NASA data shows for a 4 week period during August this year, ice melt rates were more rapid than ever before. As of Sept. 12, 2008, coverage was 1.74 million square miles, 0.86 million square miles below the average minimum. Read more

September 27 - Carbon dioxide emissions increase four fold
A report by the international Global Carbon Project (GCP) shows a four-fold increase in the rate of emissions since 2000. Fossil fuel combustion carbon dioxide emissions and land use changes accounted for nearly 10 billion tonnes during 2007. Read more

September 26 - Gore urges civil disobedience on CO2
Nobel Prize winner and previous US vice-president Al Gore has encouraged a gathering of young people to engage in civil disobedience in relation to the construction of new coal fired power generation plants that have no capacity to store the carbon dioxide they create. Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey government without resorting to physical violence. Read more

September 25 - Consumers want action on global warming
A recent poll of 28,000 in 51 countries showed 51 percent of respondents considered it "very important" for companies to improve the environment and another 36 "somewhat important. 40 percent of participants stated governments should restrict companies' emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Read more

September 24 - Methane release discovery in Siberia.
Scientists from Stockholm University claim to have discovered large releases of methane into the atmosphere from the frozen seabed  off the northern coast of Siberia; fuelling fears that runaway global warming is about to begin. Where methane will usually dissolve into the waters, in the areas surveyed, it was bubbling to the surface. Read more

September 23 - Companies facing class action on climate
Savvy shareholders are want to understand any possibility liabilities in connection with their investments and big business could face class action suits from shareholders if companies inadequately report the risks that climate change poses to their businesses according to an Australian climate change lawyer. Read more

Sep 22 - Australian farmers to sell water to government
Struggling small farming operations in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, the food bowl of the country, will be able to sell their water entitlements to the Australian government for up to $150,000 under a plan to return 48 billion litres to the river system, which is now in crisis. Read more

Sept 21 - Global warming's mixed blessings for Greenland
For the first time, vegetables are now being grown in Greenland thanks to increased temperatures. The 57,000 inhabitants of the country are seeing changes to their climate that are creating new opportunities, destroying old lifestyles and transforming landscapes. Read more

September 20 - Chicago to slash greenhouse gas emissions
Chicago has announced a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to three quarters of 1990 levels by 2020 through the use of more energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy sources, improving transportation and reducing industrial pollution. The city also has an agreement with two coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions or shut down by 2017. Read more.

September 19 - Australia's new clean coal institute
Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has called mining and industry chief executives, environmentalists and union leaders to the nation's capital to witness the launch of a coal research institute which will cost Australian taxpayers the hefty sum of $100 million. Some would call this a waste of money, labelling the "clean coal" concept an oxymoron. Read more

September 17 - Global warming increasing cat population
The city of Melbourne, Australia is experiencing a rapid increase in its population of cats, estimated to now be around 500,000. Warmer weather is making for better breeding conditions, extending breeding seasons and reducing the natural attrition rate according to the RSPCA. Read more

September 16 - Global warming to impact allergy sufferers
Asthma and other respiratory problems are already on the increase in much of the world and some of this is thought to be due to global warming. Rising carbon dioxide levels have caused pollen from plants such as ragweed to skyrocket. Read more

September 15 - Australia: call for carbon tax on imports 
The Australian Food and Grocery Council is lobbying the Australian government over upcoming emissions trading, stating a carbon tax should be slapped on imports to protect local manufacturers from competition from nations that do not have emissions trading schemes in place. Read more

Sept. 14 - Permafrost carbon double previous estimates
A collaboration between scientists from Australia, Russia, the US, the UK, Canada and Europe has found the amount of carbon stored in permafrost is around 1500 billion tonnes twice the previous estimates and also twice the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the Earth's atmosphere. If large amounts of permafrost were to melt, this would release massive quantities of CO2 and further accelerate global warming. Read more

September 13 - Nitrogen - the other greenhouse gas
While carbon dioxide has the limelight in relation to global warming, the effects of excess nitrogen haven't had much coverage. Nitrogen comprises 78% of the air we breath, but it's kept in fine balance. The levels of a certain type of nitrogen, called reactive nitrogen is accelerating at an alarming rate; creating smog, "dead zones" in the ocean, weakening the ozone layer and adding another greenhouse gas to the already overburdened atmosphere. Read more

September 12 - India's river of sorrow
The Kosi river of eastern India burst its banks last month, changing the course of the river, shifting it 120 km towards a dry river channel it last flowed through 250 years ago. The result flooded half of Bihar state, wiping out villages and farms and displacing over 3 million people. Read more

September 11 - The white roof solution
according to a report released at California's annual Climate Change Research Conference, if the 100 biggest cities in the world installed white roofs and changed their pavement to more reflective materials, the global cooling effect would be considerable; offsetting an estimated 44 metric gigatons of greenhouse gases. Read more

September 9 - Australian scientists say Garnaut is wrong
Climate scientists have condemned the counsel of the Australian governments global warming adviser Ross Garnaut who has proposed a a target of cutting emissions by 10% below 2000 levels by 2020 . The scientist believe that such a deal would practically guarantee environmental and social disaster. Read more

September 8 - Consume less meat to curb global warming
The chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advises that due to the huge greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems associated with rearing cattle and other animals, people should have one meat-free day a week to help tackle climate change. Read more.

September 7 - UK butterflies threatened by climate change
Like bees, butterflies play a major role in the food web as pollinators. In the UK, 5 species of butterfly have become extinct in the past one hundred years and climate change has played a role. Read more

September 6 - Amazon deforestation increases
Between August 2007 and July 2008, over 8,000 square kilometres of the Brazilian Amazon forest has been cleared to make way for cattle and soybeans. This is nearly 70% more than the previous year. The Amazon is an important carbon sink, containing enough vegetation to absorb an estimated 10 percent of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Read more

September 5 - More Arctic ice shelfs break up
A 19 square mile chunk of Markham ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away from Ellesmere island last month and two large chunks totalling 47 square miles had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf. Scientist said the occurrence was massive and disturbing and the latest sign of accelerating climate change. Read more

September 4 - Northern hemisphere warmest in 1300 years
Temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were warmer over the last decade than any period during the last 1300 years, according to scientists at Penn State's Earth System Science Center and three other U.S. universities. Read more

September 3 - Plant stone carbon capture
Researchers in Australia have discovered "plant stones" - tiny capsules of carbon encased in silica created when certain types of plants die. Given the silica coating prevents the carbon from being released in the atmosphere, this discovery is being seen as offering a possible solution in natural and effective carbon sequestration. Read more

September 1 - 650 ppm CO2 levels almost certain
A new study by scientists at the University of Manchester, it is "improbable" global warming will be kept below 4C. This is double the agreed level that governments were aiming for to avoid climate change spiralling out of control. The Tyndall Centre, a leading organization for climate change research warns carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will almost certainly reach levels of at least 650 parts per million (ppm). Read more

September 1 - Methane oozing from Siberian permafrost
Methane gas, which has 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, has been detected bubbling up from the permafrost under the Siberian sea bed. Read more

September 1 - Greenland's critical temperature range
Previously, most scientists believed that Greenland's ice sheet would not melt at a pace that would have major short term consequences on global sea levels. That thinking as changing as evidence comes to light of a previous major melt that occurred very rapidly and Greenland is now entering a similar temperature range. Greenland's icesheet holds enough water to drive up sea levels around the world by seven metres. Read more

September 1 - UN  warns against waiting on climate action
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently stated the world should not wait on a climate change agreement before taking serious action, saying it would be "ill advised". He also said it was imperative for the new U.S. government to play a leadership role in climate change and alluded to the current administration's lack of action. Read more