Climate change headlines and global warming news for August 2009

August 31 - 10,000 LA homes threatened by fire
A fire in the Los Angeles area threatened 10,000 homes on the weekend and more than tripled in size. The blaze is being fueled by continual hot weather and dense, dry vegetation that has not burned in over half a century. Read more

August 29 - Australian bushfire season starts early
As perhaps a taste to come of what's predicted to be a horror year for blazes in the country, bushfires have been breaking out across the eastern seaboard of Australia; even though the country is still in winter. The latest blazes are occurring in national parks along the New South Wales South Coast. Read more.

August 28 - The cost of adapting to climate change
While many feel that addressing climate change is too costly, adapting to it won't be a cheap exercise either. A new study estimates the true annual cost of dealing with the worst effects of climate change may be as high as $300 billion - three times the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) projections. Read more

August 27 - Boreal forests - massive carbon sinks.
Researchers from around the world have warned that unless existing boreal forests are preserved, not only will biodiversity be lost, so will one of the world's largest carbon sinks. The boreal forests cover large areas of Russia, Canada, Alaska and Scandinavia and contain one-third of the world's stored carbon. Read more

August 26 - Climate change to worsen urban heat waves
According to a new report, global warming will bring increased summer heat waves across the USA that will be particularly dangerous in urban areas are they can be as much as 10 degrees hotter than rural regions due to the amount of asphalt and concrete. Read more

August 25 - Global warming could shift Earth's axis
Warming of the oceans caused by humanity could move Earth's axis up to 1.5 meters by the end of this century, according to a new study. As ocean temperature increases, water expands, pushing sea levels up into the shallows - and can be heavy enough to nudge the planet's rotational axis slightly closer to Alaska. Read more

August 22 - Coal job losses = renewable energy job gains
The coal power generation industry, responsible for massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, has often used the spectre of job losses to try and garner community support. However, job losses in that sector would be more than offset by pouring equivalent investment into renewable energy. Read more.

August 21 - Mexico City's water woes worsen
Mexico is experiencing its driest year in 68 years that has left about 80 of Mexico's 175 largest reservoirs less than half full. Trucks are now delivering water to some parts of Mexico City where cuts have made the flow of water intermittent. Greater Mexico City has a population exceeding 19 million people. Read more

August 20 - UK heatwave triggers algae bloom
Warm weather, sunshine and high amounts of nitrates flooding into the sea from local agricultural operations and sewage works has triggered thick mats of green algae to form at a dozen sites on the south coast of England. The algae threatens to rob the marine ecosystem of oxygen; threatening sea and bird life. Read more

August 19 - Ancient farmers kicked off global warming?
A recent study proposes that over thousands of years, farmers burned so many forests that massive quantities of carbon dioxide were spewed into the atmosphere, possibly causing the the Earth to warm up and change its climate. Read more

August 17 - Farmers guarding water with guns
Bihar, a state in Eastern India, has declared 26 of its 38 districts as being drought-stricken. The water crisis has become so severe, farmers are resorting to guarding their water sources with guns. Read more

August 16 - Ocean temperatures break records
Global average ocean surface temperatures were the warmest on record for July and the he combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2009 ranked fifth-warmest since world-wide records began in 1880 according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Read more

August 15 - UN: serious climate change = game over
The UN's top climate change official has warned that a deal will not be struck at Copenhagen meeting this December unless the pace of negotiations increases significantly. Yvo de Boer also said that "serious climate change is equal to game over". Read more.

August 14 - Millions of salmon disappear - climate change?
Up to 10.6 million bright-red sockeye salmon were expected to return to spawn this summer in a river on Canada's Pacific Coast, but less than 1 million have appeared. It's thought that climate change may have reduced food supply for salmon in the ocean or the rising temperature of the Fraser River may have weakened the fish. Read more.

August 13 - Australian carbon reduction legislation blocked
The Australian Senate today blocked crucial carbon reduction legislation from being written into law. The controversial legislation was coupled with Australia's revised Renewable Energy Target legislation, of which the Solar Credits program was a part. Without the legislation passing, funding for the program that helps finance home solar power systems will not be released.  Read more

August 12 - Climate change to devastate Australia tourism
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has warned that the assessed loss from a total and permanent bleaching event of the reef would be a massive $37.7 billion over the next century; primarily due to the loss of tourism dollars. Temperature change, such as the world's oceans are experiencing now due to global warming, is the most common cause of coral bleaching. Read more

August 11 - UN - Climate change world's greatest challenge
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world and that the international community has under 10 years to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet. Read more

August 10 - Climate change wars a reality
Crises such as drought, storms, mass migration and pandemics resulting from the effects of climate change could topple governments, inspire terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions; and the US military may find itself responding to such climate instigated wars. Read more

August 8 - Arctic Ocean toxic and stagnant by 2070
By 2070, the Arctic Ocean could become a stagnant, polluted soup due to effects from climate change. The Transpolar Drift, powerful ocean currents and key in the dispersal of pollutants such as pesticide and petroleum residue, is likely to disappear because of global warming. Read more

August 7 - Climate change action not so costly
A  U.S. government study has concluded that climate legislation currently before Congress would have only a small impact on consumers, adding a just over $100 to household costs in 2020; putting paid to scaremongers forecasting much higher costs. Read more

August 7 - Climate change a low priority for Americans.
According to a global survey, Americans are least likely to consider climate change a priority. According to the poll of over 18,000 people in 19 countries conducted by  the University of Maryland, only 44% of Americans thought climate change should be a major focus for President Obama. 77% of Britons felt that officials should be doing more and 94% in China thought it should remain a top priority. Read more

August 5 - Pacific islands plead greater emission cuts
Leaders of seven tiny Pacific island states most threatened by climate change met ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Queensland Australia and stated that developed nations must slash their greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

August 4 - Global rainfall projection atlas launched
Researchers from The Australian National University have released the world’s first  atlas of global rainfall projections over the next 100 years based on data used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent report. The Atlas of the Global Water Cycle is available for sale in hard copy or free download from ANU E press. Read more

August 4 - 83 million climate change refugees by 2040
Climate change could see eight million refugees in the Pacific Islands, plus another 75 million refugees in the Asia Pacific region in the next 40 years according to a new report from aid agency, Oxfam Australia. The Future is Here: Climate Change in the Pacific states that Pacific Islanders are already feeling the effects of climate change and need greater support now Read more

August 3 - Irreversible climate change by 2040
A report by Andrew Brierley of St Andrews University states that carbon dioxide levels are rising at a faster rate than the worst-case scenario predicted by United Nations experts, meaning "catastrophic" and "irreversible" climate change for the planet by 2040. Read more

August 3 - 2010 could be the hottest on record
Global warming and the forming of another El Niño could see increased drought in Africa, India and Australia, heavier rainfall in South America and increased extremes in Britain - and may make 2010 one of the hottest years on record. The 1997-98 El Niño combined with global warming to make 1998  the world's hottest year. Read more