Climate change headlines and global warming news for April 2010
April 30: EPA releases climate change report
A report from the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) entitled Climate Change Indicators in the United States, looks at 24 key indicators that show how climate change impacts the health and environment of the nation’s citizens.
The information included in the report will help inform future policy decisions and evaluate the success of climate change efforts.
April 29: Global climate crime tribunal proposed
The concept of a global tribunal empowered to punish
crimes related to climate has been presented to the United Nations. The tribunal would
legally be able to prevent, prosecute, and punish parties, including
countries, causing environmental degradation and contributing to climate change.
April 28: Geologic sequestration
According to Climate Progress, a new study published in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering states
geological sequestration of carbon dioxide to be a profoundly unfeasible option for the management of carbon dioxide emissions. It also reportedly says that the size of a
carbon dioxide reservoir needed for a commercial power plant would be as large as a small US state.
April 27: Australia's emissions trading scheme
The Australian Government had aimed to have its controversial Emissions
Trading Scheme launched this year, but it says opposition in the Senate
and little progress internationally since the Copenhagen talks means it
needs to be delayed until 2013. Read
April 26: Protest over proposed wood fired power
A small coastal Australian town will be powered by a wood-fired
electricity plant even though it's claimed burning wood will generate four
times more greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal. An environmental
group has also said logging of native forests affects the hydrology of the
region leading to less rainfall and as an effect; fewer trees. Read
April 25: Copenhagen carbon commitments too weak
In an analysis published by the journal Nature, scientists say various
country pledges to cut carbon under the Copenhagen Accord are likely to
have committed to warming of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more,
compared to the deal's target of 3.6 F, which could result in even
more frequent severe weather events and drought. Read
April 24: Whale poop, krill, algae and carbon
Research from Australia's Antarctic Division suggests increasing populations of baleen whales and krill would have a positive effect ocean's ability to absorb CO2. Krill are rich in iron and when whales eat them, most of the iron is excreted back into the water, which algae feed
- and algae are also absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide. Read
April 23: Ocean acidification rate
The rate of ocean acidification caused by carbon dioxide emissions exceeds any known to have occurred in hundreds of thousands of years, according a congressionally requested study by the National Research Council. Studies on a number of marine organisms have shown that excessive carbon dioxide lowers sea water pH levels and impacts on affects biological processes, growth and reproduction.
April 22: Nearly 3% of carbon emissions milk related
A recent study by the UN
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has found close to 3% of the
world's greenhouse gas emissions come from the production of milk,
including production, processing, and transportation of milk as well as
the fertilizer, pesticides, and feed used in the dairy industry. Read
April 21 : Earlier Spring in the USA
What's become known as "Spring creep" is seeing the season
starting an average 10 days earlier across the USA than it did 20 years
ago. Spring creep is throwing ecosystems out of balance and sometimes
providing more favorable conditions to invasive and non-native species. Read
April 20: Iceland's volcano cranking carbon
Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day; around the same amount as generated by a small to medium sized European country.
However, volcanic eruptions generally contribute less than a third of one percent of global greenhouse gas
emissions and are dwarfed by the level generated by humanity. Read
April 19: Iceland's volcano won't slow global
Major volcanic eruptions of the past have been known to reduce
temperatures globally due to vast quantities of ash in the atmosphere
filtering out the sun's rays. Some scientists believe the current Iceland
volcanic eruption isn't on a scale to have a marked
global effect on temperatures. Read
April 18 : Global warming threatens white honey
Already a rare product, Ethiopia's sought after white honey is becoming
ever more scarce due to a lack of rain in the Tigray region. Bees need
special flowers that only grow at high altitude to make the white honey,
without which they simply switch to other flowers to make the normal
colored substance. The region's bee population is also declining, with
climate change and deforestation being the cause. Read
April 17: March 2010 a temperature record-breaker
Regardless of cold snaps occurring in some regions, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) the world’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature made last month the warmest March on
record. Average global temperature for March 2010 was 56.3°F (13.5°C),
which is 1.39°F (0.77°C) above the 20th century average of 54.9°F
April 16: The mystery of Earth's missing heat
The amount of heat coming into Earth's system is
equal to the amount leaving it when climate is stable, but according to a
U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research report, humans pumping
climate-warming greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
has upset the balance. However, a gap has appeared and some heat is
unaccounted for; which may come back to haunt us says the report. Read
April 15 : Global warming means longer allergy
A new report from the National
Wildlife Federation (NWF) states global
warming will likely increase pollen counts in the eastern half of
the USA. Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere tend to
accelerate plant growth and warmer temperatures are bringing on Spring
earlier - an. average 14 days earlier than just two decades ago. Read
April 14: Water shortages may force Indus Treaty
With ongoing water shortages due to climate change and demand looming, India and Pakistan may need to review a 50 year old treaty under which they share rivers originating from the Himalayas. Pakistan is heavily reliant on irrigation for food and fiber production and water availability per capita is now less than a third of what it was in the 1950's.
April 13: Australia : nuclear power "not
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong today reiterated that Australia will continue to rely on coal as a major source of power and that nuclear power is "not the sensible course" when it comes to the nation's domestic power generation.
April 12: Austria's disappearing glaciers
Almost 90 percent of Austrian glaciers shrank in 2009, some by as much as 46 metres. The winter was 0.2C warmer than average, the summer by 2.1C. Only seven were classified as stationary and a single glacier has advanced. Austrian glacier movement has been monitored for the last 119 years.
April 11: Climate change agreement bickering
Delegates from over 180 countries are in Bonn to discuss a way forward on climate change. As was the case in Copenhagen, little progress has been made and hopes of a
United Nations brokered deal to tackle global warming materializing in 2010 are fading.
April 10: Ice monitoring satellite launched
Cryosat-2, a European satellite designed to measure how rapidly the Earth's polar ice caps are melting was launched into orbit on Thursday. Unlike other satellite that measure the extent of ice, Cryosat-2's sophisticated radar technology will also measure ice thickness.
April 9: Climate change and human evolution
An author of a National Academy of Sciences report has proposed that
climate change triggered some of humanity's biggest evolutionary adaptations;
including the invention of better tools and a larger brain. Read
April 7: "Laughing gas" emissions add to
According to a study published online this week in Nature
Geoscience, experiments conducted to examine the effect of thawing
on nitrous oxide production in permafrost soils collected from Greenland
found re-saturation of the thawed soils with meltwater increased nitrous
oxide production by over 20 times, a third of which escaped into the
April 6: Shipping carbon emissions under the
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) states carbon emissions from
shipping could increase by 150-250% by the year 2050. Pressure is now growing for
the problem to be addressed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
April 3: New York's disappearing native plants
A New York Botanical Garden project has identified 50 native species that have disappeared from metropolitan New York during the last 100 years. A research ecologist for U.S Geological Survey has said people are going to national parks and seeing plants from Europe. Climate change may worsen the problem, making the habitat of many native plants less hospitable.
April 3: Asia's first carbon trading scheme
Tokyo launched Asia's first carbon trading scheme on April 1; with the goal of reducing Tokyo's carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent from 2000 levels by 2020.
April 3: Greenpeace: make IT green
The growth of the online world has been nothing short of astronomical, but
with it data center carbon emissions have grown quickly due to the
predominance of coal fired power generation in electricity production.
Greenpeace is calling on information technology and telecommunications
companies to lobby government for policies that give priority grid access
for renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar. Read
April 3: Middle Eastern deserts spreading
Desertification is threatening around 1.15 million square miles of land, or a fifth of the Middle East and north Africa according to the United Nations. In Syria, drought has displaced hundreds of thousands of people already.
April 3 : U.S. introduces tailpipe emissions caps
April 1 saw new legislation forcing car manufacturers to reduce the amount of tail-pipe emissions from US cars. The reductions will increase up until 2016 when cars manufactured from that year onwards will not be permitted to exceed an average of 8.8 ounces of CO2 equivalent per mile on average. This translates to a
fleet- wide average gas mileage of 33.5 miles a gallon, 40% better than the averages today.