Climate change headlines and global warming news for July 2009

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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. Read more.

July 30 - Large trees disappearing from Yosemite Park
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. Read more

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 more.

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. Read more.

July 26 - Coca Cola targets 15% carbon emission reduction
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 more

July 25 - EU's biggest single producer of carbon emissions
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 action
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 more.

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 more

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 more

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 more

July 18 - Australian Eucalypts carbon storage champions
Australian National 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 rainforestsRead more

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. Read more

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. Read more.

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 more

July 13 - Al Gore exhorts Australian Government to act
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 more.

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 more

July 11 - Americans still in denial about climate change
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 more

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. Read more.

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 more.

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 more

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 more

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 more

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 more

July 3 - Carbon reduction labeling scheme for Australia
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. Read more

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 behind. Read more

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 infrastructure. Read more

July 1 - India won't commit to emission reduction targets
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 more

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 more

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 more

 


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