Global warming headlines and climate change news for November 2008

November 29 - China's warm winter threatens crops.
China's 23rd consecutive warm winter are threatening the country's winter crop yields as warmer conditions create an environment in which plant diseases and pests thrive. Average temperature in most parts of the country will be higher than normal for the time of year and be warmer than last year according to the China Meteorological Administration. Read more. Read more

November 28 - Water vapour: a greenhouse gas
Researchers at Texas A&M University have found that the heat-trapping properties of water vapour could increase the greenhouse effect of other gases contributing to global warming such as carbon dioxide. Read more

November 27 - 2008 Climate Confidence Monitor report
A survey of 12,000 people in a dozen countries has found a marked decrease in awareness of climate change and more ominously, fewer people being prepared to spend money and make changes in their own lifestyle to help minimize global warming. Respondents are increasingly seeing climate change as an issue that governments should tackle rather than one of personal responsibility. Read more

November 26 - Oceans in carbon overload
A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states increases in ocean acidity through carbon dioxide are 10 times faster than any prediction and our oceans can no longer buffer the effects of CO2. Read more

November 25 - Seed bank for Australia
Australia has around 10% of the world's plant species and many of those are only found in the country. Climate change is already having an impact on the viability of some species and around 7% of the nation's flora is under threat. A national seed bank is to be established at the Sydney botanic gardens as a way of saving vulnerable species. Read more.

November 23 - Climate change threat to koalas
One of Australia's iconic animals, the koala, is facing additional threats from the onset of climate change. A senior Government scientist has warned that aside from increased bushfire risk, rising greenhouse gas concentrations will boots toxins and lower nutrient value in the koalas only food source - eucalyptus leaves. Read more

November 22 - China's massive erosion problem.
More than 33% of the landing in China is being eroded, with 4.5 billion tonnes of soil lost annually. The level of erosion from wind and water could see harvests in the northeast of the nation fall by as much as 40 in the next few decades. Read more

November 21 - Bush on environmental offensive
With less than 60 days remaining in office, President George Bush and his administration are reported to be working around the clock to dilute or reverse a number of regulations that protect America's environment, including opening up land in Rocky Mountain states for the purposes of oil shale production. Read more 

November 20 - Indonesia to plant 100 million trees
Starting November 28 and continuing into December, Indonesia will be undertaking a major project to plant 100 million trees to help address the loss of 1.9 million hectares of forest destroyed annually. It is estimated that Indonesia has lost 70% of its original forest. Read more

November 19 - Higher temperatures expand dead zones
Dead zones, areas of the ocean made lifeless due to high levels of nutrients feeding algae which in turn remove oxygen, are set to expand up to 50% with the additional influence of increasing temperatures. Read more

November 18 - Industrialized world failing climate goals?
After dropping in the early 1990's, CO2 emissions have increased since 2000 according to a new report from the United Nations. While most of the industrialized world should meet Kyoto's emissions-reduction target of 5 percent relative to 1990 levels, the new trend is unsettling experts. Read more.

November 17 - Coal regains favor in the UK
Figures from the UK show that coal accounted for 42.5% of all power generation, exceeding natural gas production for the first time in years. The sudden jump in coal fired power generation has come about due to a gap created by a lack of nuclear based energy production. Read more

November 15 - 2008 the tenth warmest year
Average global temperatures this year are likely to be the tenth warmest since records began in 1850. An extended La Nina event has helped to keep temperatures down. The hottest year on record since 1850 occurred in 1998, followed by 2005 and 2003. However, records may underestimate warming due to gaps in measurements in the Arctic during the years 1961-90. Read more

November 13 - Japan's CO2 emissions skyrocket
The purchase of offsets may be Japan's only way of meeting its Kyoto Protocol target of 6 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. Recent data shows greenhouse gas emissions climbed 2.3% this year to March - a record 1.371 billion tonnes in CO2 equivalent. Read more

November 12 - Farmers wanting emissions considerations
In Australia, 11% of greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the burping, flatulence and droppings of sheep and cattle. Farmers are fearful of the economic impact of a global emissions agreements and are asking for special dispensation beyond the five-year exemption from Australia's carbon trading program, due to commence in July 2010. Read more

November 10 - Carbon dioxide levels already dangerous
According to a recent study published in Open Atmospheric Science, CO2 levels need to be reduced to 350 parts per million - and currently they are around the 380 ppm mark; increasing by 2ppm due to the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation. The findings of the study are based on improved data now available on the climate history on earth and polar observations. Read more.

November 9 - Desalination plant allows water banking
Perth in Western Australia has been experiencing annual rainfall drops of 10% below average during the past 12 years. The recently opened Kiwana desalination plant in Western Australia has been providing the state with up to 150 megalitres a day and is now allowing Perth Water Corporation to bank water for the summer months. Read more

November 8 - Australia doubles spending on water works
Australia's 2008 expenditure of AUD $2 billion on water-related infrastructure was double the previous peak and prompted by climate change. Given Australia's hot, dry conditions, just 4 per cent of the rain that falls in the Murray Darling basin, Australia's food bowl. actually ends up in the rivers. With predicted drops in rainfall already occurring, scientists, politicians and business are grappling for solutions. Read more

November 7 - EU emissions targets may not be possible
It may be a case of too little, too late when it comes to the European Union's target regarding greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. Even regardless of political issues, the sheer scale of the transformation may even technically unachievable in the timeframe the EU has set its sights on. Read more

November 6 - Obama's renewable energy promise
With the US election result settled, the world waits on Barack Obama's promise of a $150bn "Apollo project" to bring jobs and energy security to the US through a new alternative energy economy. Obama has pledged $15bn a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs. Read more

November 5 - China publishes CO2 emissions forecast
China is usually hesitant to release information regarding its own environmental woes, but a recent report from the Chinese Academy of Sciences says China's greenhouse gas pollution could more than double in two decades. The Academy states, depending on various scenarios, that by 2020, carbon emissions from fossil fuels could generate up to 10.6 billion tonnes of CO2, reaching up to 14.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030. Read more

November 3 - Santiago's water supplies threatened.
The Chilean government's water authority has warned the Echaurren glacier near Santiago, currently receding by 12 meters a year, could totally melt within 50 years. The Echaurren glacier supplies the nation's capital with 70 per cent of its water needs. Read more

November 1 - Antarctica now impacted by climate change
As recent as 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated the Antarctic was the only place on earth where global warming was yet to have an effect. A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience states that average temperatures in Antarctica have warmed slightly under 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) in the last few decades and the warming cannot be attributed to natural cycles. Read more

November 1 - Office carbon dioxide emissions increase
Despite energy efficiency improvements in the workplace, the world's growing dependence on the Internet is contributing to a marked increase in greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of the world's data and communications systems is expected to double by 2020, according to a new McKinsey & Company analysis. The spike in emissions is largely attributed to increase Internet use in China and India. Read more

November 1 - Tree chemical thickens clouds
Trees are already well known for their ability to sequester carbon and scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but researchers have found a new importance for trees in relation to global warming. Scientists in the UK and Germany state that trees release a chemical called terpenes that thicken clouds above them. This in turn reflects more sunlight and in doing so, helps keep the land beneath cooler. Read more

November 1 - Rising seas to damage Sydney beaches
The Australian city of Sydney has many famous beaches, but a report from the New South Wales Department of Climate Change has warned sea levels along Sydney's coastline are predicted to increase by up to 40 cm above 1990 levels by the middle of this century and by 90 cm by 2100. Each centimetre of sea level rise will cause one meter of erosion on low-lying beaches. Read more