Climate change headlines and global warming news for July 2009
July 31 - Climate change: get used to it
It's becoming increasingly accepted that disastrous effects of global warming cannot be averted; the only question that remains is how bad they'll be. Representatives of the Obama
administration recently said the United States must prepare for unstoppable changes to climate that will have a major impact on farming, industry, recreation and government services.
July 30 - Large trees disappearing from Yosemite
The U.S. Geological Survey says there are less large-diameter trees growing in Yosemite National Park than in years past, most likely as a result of climate change. Warmer weather and less available water are likely impacting on the trees; allowing pests to take a higher toll.
July 29 - The end of the Fertile Crescent?
The most detailed assessment of the Fertile Crescent, the once bountiful valleys of
the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, suggests that climate change could reduce the flow the Euphrates by 73 per cent.
The combination of a second year of drought and dams in upstream neighbor
countries of Turkey and Syria cut flow on the Euphrates as it enters Iraq
to below 250 cubic metres a second this year. Read
July 27 - Secret global warming photos unveiled
A series of images from US spy satellites recently declassified by the Obama administration provide a chilling glimpse of just how the polar ice sheets are retreating during the summer months.
July 26 - Coca Cola targets 15% carbon emission
Coca-Cola Enterprises has set a goal to reduce its corporate carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2020. The company's existing carbon emission reduction efforts have already led to a 7 percent cut in its energy use between 2006 and 2008.
Read more. Read
July 25 - EU's biggest single producer of carbon
Elektrownia Belchatow, a massive coal-fired power station in Poland, is the biggest single producer of carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union. Last year, the plant generated over 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and that will grow as production lifts.
July 23 - IPCC admonishes G8 on climate change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman
Rajendra Pachauri has said that G-8 leaders have failed to heed warnings
that global greenhouse gas emissions levels must peak by 2015 and accept
the attendant requirements. Read
July 22 - Ocean temperatures set new record
The world’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for June
and the combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for June was second-warmest on
record according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
The global records began in 1880. Read
July 21 - Australia's coal consumption increases
Fossil fuel-fired power stations in Australia's four eastern states produced a total of 187.8 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution in 2008, an increase of one per cent from 2007.The
amount of electricity generated from coal, the most carbon intensive fuel,
increased by two per cent in 2008. Read
July 19 - Warmer climate = UK veggie bonanza
A report by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra),
suggests global warming could see exotic fruits and vegetables thriving in
the country. Areas in the souch such as Devon and Cornwall will be warm
enough to support dates, chickpeas. figs, aubergines, peppers and
chillies. However, native species such as potatoes could suffer as average
temperatures rise by around 2C by 2030. Read
July 18 - Australian Eucalypts carbon storage
University researchers have found that Australia's temperate Eucalyptus
forests sequester up to 2,844 metric tons of carbon per hectare; far more
than subtropical moist forests, tropical moist forests, cool temperate dry forests at 176 tons
and tropical rainforests.
July 17 - Jellyfish spark marine life feast in Wales
Rare leatherback turtles, basking sharks and superpods of dolphins have all been spotted in Welsh seas in the past few weeks. While it's encouraging, much of the abundance is due to
warmer waters and the presence of the jellyfish in huge numbers which are prey to other species. Around the world jellyfish numbers are increasing and scientists have linked these increases to factors such as pollution, over-fishing and possibly climate change.
July 16 - Report: "future warming could be more intense"
New research published in Nature Geoscience shows that during a period about 55 million years ago when the planet warmed rapidly, only about 40% of that warming can be attributed to rises in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A co-author of the research said that given this, future warming could be more intense than people anticipate.
July 14 - India's deadly water wars
Across much of northern India, a late monsoon and the driest June for 83 years are
worsening the effects of a widespread drought and setting neighbour against neighbour in a desperate fight for survival.
Tankers are now providing some slum areas with water, but there's often
not enough to go around and the deliveries are irregular; sparking fights
when they do finally turn up. Read
July 13 - Al Gore exhorts Australian Government to
Al Gore has challenged Australia's government to show leadership by rolling out its
hotly debated carbon pollution reduction scheme before the global climate talks in Copenhagen in December.
Mr Gore expressed tremendous confidence in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and
his leadership, saying he believes Mr. Rudd determined to address the
challenges of climate change. Read
July 12 - Texas drought tightens grip.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, San Antonio has had its driest 22-month period on record;
39 percent of normal rainfall. Much of Texas has been in drought for 2
years and experts say it could be the most costly in modern times with
losses approaching $1 billion. Read
July 11 - Americans still in denial about climate
According to a recent survey, while 49% of Americans believe the Earth is
warming due to human activity, 36% attributed global warming to natural changes
and another 10% said there was no clear evidence that the earth was undergoing climate change.
With over half the population still in denial, addressing climate change
will become an even tougher battle. Read
July 10 - Swiss glaciers losing ice at alarming rate
Using an unusual procedure for determining the ice volume of a glacier, researchers have determined Switzerland’s glaciers have lost 12% of their ice volume in the last decade including 3.5% just in the summer of 2003 alone. Temperatures in the Swiss Alps expected to rise by 1.8 degrees in the winter and 2.7 degrees in the summer by 2050.
July 9 - Great Barrier Reef doomed: no way out
The former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science
has said Australia's Great Barrier Reef will unrecognisable within 20
years due to the effects of global warming and once carbon dioxide reaches
saturations predicted for between 2030 and 2060, all coral reefs would be
doomed to extinction. Read
July 8 - Greenpeace: 1 million renewable energy jobs
One million more jobs would be created in the renewable energy sector in G8 countries by 2020 if the leaders of the world’s wealthiest
countries agreed to switch from coal and other carbon intensive energy sources
in order to avert a climate catastrophe according to Greenpeace. Read
July 7 - Climate change expanding tropical zone
Researchers at James Cook University in Australia have arrived at the
conclusion that the tropics had broadened by up to 500 kilometres in the
past 25 years, with potentially devastating consequences for water
resources, natural ecosystems and agriculture and cascading environmental,
social and health implications. Read
July 5 - Cement companies slash carbon emissions
The manufacture of cement is an incredibly emissions intensive affair, but
according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development,
leading cement companies have reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by 35
per cent, even while production has experienced a massive increase. Read
July 4 - Los Angeles to drop coal-fired electricity
Los Angeles will cease to source electricity generated via coal by 2020.
While California is not home to any coal-fired power plants, Los Angeles
sources 40 percent of its electricity from coal plants outside the state.
Under the new plan, 40 percent of Los Angeles' electricity will come from
renewable power, with the remainder generated from natural gas, nuclear,
and large hydroelectric facilities. Read
July 3 - Carbon reduction labeling scheme for
A carbon reduction labeling scheme will be launched in Australia next year
where products on store shelves will display the amount of carbon dioxide emissions generated from their manufacture through to disposal.
This will be a voluntary program with participating companies committing
to reducing the product's carbon footprint each year if they want to continue to carry the label.
July 2 - WWF: G8 failing on climate goals
A report released by the World Wildlife Fund states G8 countries are
failing to take appropriate action against climate change. Germany,
followed by the UK and France, is performing better than the rest of the
rich nations’ group whereas Canada, the USA and Russia are lagging
July 2 - Angkor's climate change lesson
The ancient city of Angkor, the largest low density pre-industrial city on
earth, is thought to have collapsed around 500 years ago due to climate
change. According to researchers, from 1350 to 1500 AD, the region
experienced a very unstable climate, with droughts and severe monsoons
mixed up. Like modern cities, the sprawling Angkor was of its natural
vegetation cover by its inhabitants and was dependent upon massive
July 1 - India won't commit to emission reduction
According to India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, the country will
not commit to targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions but will
instead focus on fighting poverty and boosting economic growth. The
Minister stated that a legally binding emission reduction target would
endanger India's energy conservation, food security and transport. Read
July 1 - Particulate pollution may enhance warming
Particulate pollution that was thought to be holding climate change at bay
by reflecting sunlight actually enhances warming when combined with
airborne soot, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the
University of California, San Diego. While particles of sulfate or nitrate
may reflect light, these chemicals play a different role when they
mix with soot; acting like a lens and focusing the light into the center
of the particle, enhancing warming. Read
July 1 - Desert dust increases mountain thaw
Desert dust is darkening the surface of winter snows on the San Juan
mountains, warming it by absorbing sunlight that the white surface would
have reflected. Snow is now melting earlier than in the past, running off
before the air has warmed enough to spur plant growth. Dust levels in the
mountains are around five times greater than they were prior to the
mid-19th century. Read