Climate change headlines and global warming news for February 2010

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February 28 - Coffee growers impacted by global warming
The International Coffee Organization (ICO) says higher temperatures are forcing coffee growers to work plantations at higher altitudes to escape increasing temperatures. In the last 25 years temperatures have risen half a degree in coffee producing countries, five times more than during the quarter century prior. Read more

February 27 - Giant Antarctic iceberg afloat
A 965 square mile, 1,300 foot iceberg is drifting in the Southern Ocean. The iceberg broke away from the Mertz Glacier tongue in East Antarctica about three weeks ago. It is one of the largest icebergs being monitored by scientists. Read more

February 26 - China won't cap carbon emissions
While Chinese authorities are committed to achieving the nation's target for reducing carbon intensity, China has no intention to cap greenhouse gas emissions; stating the country needs growth to improve people's livelihoods and eradicate poverty. Read more

February 25 - Global temperature records re-check
A proposal for temperature observations dating back to the 1850's to be re-analyzed in an effort to address skepticism about the reality of global warming has been tabled. The task would be performed by independent groups of scientists based in different countries and would take several years, but in time for the next IPCC report. Read more

February 24 - Post Copenhagen pledges not enough
A new greenhouse gas modeling study, based on the estimates of researchers at nine leading centres and compiled by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), estimate that between 2020 and 2050, global emissions need to fall by between 48 per cent and 72 per cent to curb a rise in global temperature to 2 degrees C or less. However, pledges since Copenhagen would be unlikely to keep temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century. Read more

February 23 - Climate change relief fund cash nears
Poorer nations could have access within months to a share of the $30 billion in climate aid pledged by developed nation at last year's Copenhagen talks. Head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner indicated in a recent interview countries were hard at work to release some of the funds as a measure of good faith to poorer nations that they won't be abandoned. Read more

February 22 - Saving Amazon key to climate change battle
Deforestation accounts for about 15% of humanity's carbon dioxide emissions and forests have been disappearing at the rate of about 34 million acres a year for the last two decades. Saving the Amazon could be a cheaper and faster way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

February 21 - Syrian drought displaces a million farmers
An extended drought in north-eastern Syria has caused the largest wave of internal displacement in the region in years according to the UN; pushing a million poverty stricken farmers elsewhere. 50% of the population have now moved to metropolitan areas. Read more

February 20 - Antarctica - exit penguins, enter jellyfish?
Melting Antarctic sea ice is decimating krill populations, which are being replaced by smaller crustaceans. Large animals such as penguins and whales will suffer as a result of the loss of krill, but creatures such as jellyfish will benefit from the prevalence of the smaller prey. Read more

February 19 - Permafrost rapidly melting in N. Quebec
A team of Quebec researchers believes the James Bay region permafrost line has moved northward around 130 km in just 50 years and have found that the average annual temperature in the area has increased by 2 C over the past 20 years. Read more.

February 17 - Climate change, fog and redwood forests
During the past hundred years the fog along California's coast has declined by approximately three hours a day - which may threaten redwood forests that need cool temperatures and high humidity to thrive. Only 5 percent of primary growth redwood forests survive today; the rest has been logged or developed. Read more.

February 16 - Deep ocean carbon chemistry changing
New research suggests that changes in the carbonate chemistry of the deep ocean may bypass anything experienced in the past 65 million years. While creatures close to the ocean's surface experience varying conditions and may be able to adapt, those living in the deep are used to more stable conditions and may struggle to cope with increases in acidity. Read more.

February 15 - Australia - zero emissions electricity possible
Australia could be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy for its electricity supply within 10 years if the necessary investment into solar thermal and wind power technology was made. The change would require a yearly investment for a decade of up to AUD$40 billion - roughly 3.5 per cent of national GDP. Read more

February 14 - Tar sands oil faces retailer backlash
Oil extracted from tar sands is a particularly carbon emissions intensive product as so much energy is required in its processing. Two major US retailers have made a stand by committing to not use gasoline refined from crude oil coming from Alberta oil sands wherever possible. Read more

February 13 - Climate change and future food production
While food production has increased by 32 million tonnes a year it falls far short of the necessary 44 million tonnes a year what's actually needed to meet the food targets for 2050 - and climate change may provide additional challenges in meeting that goal according to Professor Mark Tester of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. Read more

February 8 - Earlier springs could upset nature's balance
The idea of earlier springs might seem utopian to some, but according to researchers, seasonal timing changes caused by global warming may have profound consequences. Animals and birds time their reproduction to when there will be an abundance of food. Changes in climate may mean food will not be available during this crucial time, threatening some species. Read more

February 7 - Ice free Arctic winters by 2013?
Canada’s largest climate-change study to date has found the Arctic could be ice-free in the winter in as little as three years. The impact would mean greater spikes and troughs in the Earth’s climate and temperature — warm trends becoming warmer and cold trends becoming colder. Thinning ice and warming of the water allows species to migrate from south, bringing the potential for the spread of disease. Read more

February 6 - The estimated cost of the Arctic's melting ice 
The global cost of the Arctic's declining ability to regulate climate around the world could carry a minimum price tag of $2.4 trillion U.S. by 2050. The  value lost by retreating Arctic sea ice and snow and thawing permafrost this year alone could be an estimated $61 billion to $371 according to a report from Pew Environment Group. Read more

February 4 - Global warming could threaten sea turtle eggs
A new study finds that for the sea turtles of Australia's northern Great Barrier Reef blazing hot sands pose the greatest threat to the animals' breeding success over the long term. While the short term threat is that of sea level rise, by 2070, sands where the turtles lay their eggs will be so hot the eggs may not survive. Read more.

February 3 - IPCC lashed by storm of criticism
It's been a tough few weeks for the folks of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) as errors in their 2007 report have been given a lot of media coverage. Critics have amplified the issues so much, it's lead some people to abandon their acceptance that climate change is occurring. As a result, climate scientists have been suggesting ideas about how the panel might reconsider its rules and procedures in the hope of reducing errors in the next report due to come out in 2014. Read more

February 2 - Trees gaining global warming growth boost
According to a study of trees in eastern America, trees in the northern hemisphere may now be growing at a faster rate than they were 200 years ago due to longer growing seasons and increased carbon dioxide concentrations. Read more

February 2 - Climate change killed off Neanderthals?
According to research from the University of Bristol, the remnants of Neanderthal man died out around 37,000 years ago and their demise may been in some way connected not only to interaction with modern humans, but with climate change. Read more.

February 2 - UN says nations emission goals not enough
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's top climate adviser, said the goals submitted by 55 nations as part of a voluntary plan to reduce emissions make it highly unlikely the world can prevent temperatures from rising above the target set at the Copenhagen climate conference late last year. Read more

February 2 - Florida's cold snap causes coral die-off
After recent frigid temperature in Florida, surveys of the state's shallow-water coral reefs are indicating severe with extensive coral bleaching and in some cases, dead coral. Massive fish kills have also taken place, 2,000 sea turtles have been found dead, as have 77 manatees. Read more

February 1 - India resists binding emission cuts
India has submitted plans to reduce emissions intensity by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels; meaning each dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) will generate 20 to 25 percent fewer emissions by 2020 compared to 2005. However, even this "emissions intensity" commitment will not be legally binding. Read more

 

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