Global warming headlines and climate change news for May 2010

May 30: Mediterranean Sea heating up
Researchers studying the Mediterranean Sea have found its deep layer of water is increasing by 0.0036 degrees Fahrenheit (0.002 degrees Celsius) annually - and it's getting saltier too. While the increase doesn't sound like much, the pace of temperature rise has been increasing since the 1990's. Read more.

May 29: Carbon dioxide burp helped end last Ice Age?
Scientists have recently discovered the possible source of a huge "burp" of carbon dioxide from the Earth's oceans that occurred around 18,000 years ago and which may have helped end the last ice age. Read more

May 28: UK droughts to become more frequent
Drought isn't a word most would associate with the UK, but according to a Met Office study, Britain is will face water shortages and crop failures as extreme droughts such as the one that occurred 1976 will become more frequent due to climate change. Read more

May 27: Flannery: carbon capture economically unsound
Previously a supporter of the concept of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), high profile Australian scientist and environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery has changed his position on the technology. After a trip to Germany to discuss CCS with lead technicians from Siemens, Professor Flannery now believes it to be economically unachievable. Read more

May 26: China: rich areas to pay for forest carbon services
The government in Beijing is placing monetary value on its forest ecosystems and has commenced drafting new regulations that would see rich urban coastal regions to pay compensation fees to forested inland areas that provide carbon sequestration and other environmental benefits. Read more

May 25: Big firms spending big on climate change initiatives
According to a recent Ernst & Young survey, 70% of companies with revenue of $1 billion or more plan to increase spending on climate change initiatives in the next two years. Climate change related investments will range from 0.5 percent to more than 5 percent of revenues by 2012. Read more

May 24: Coral reef climate change underwater study 
Tests are underway at Australia's Great Barrier Reef to expose living corals to the more acidic conditions forecast for oceans by the end of the century. Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide dissolves seawater, forming weak carbonic acid that can eat away at the shells and structures of marine organisms. Read more.

May 23: Obama takes aim at truck emissions
Twelve months after ordering new fuel efficiency standards for cars, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order to improve gas mileage for trucks on Friday.  The order does not include specific miles-per-gallon targets for trucks, but rulings are expected to be finalized by the end of 2012. Read more

May 22: A warming planet threatens food safety
Rising temperatures increases the likelihood of food-borne diseases like salmonella, a study on the health effects of climate change on the Maltese Islands has found. The study shows that the salmonella figures rise in May, reaching a peak in the summer months and for every two-degree rise in minimum temperatures, an additional case of salmonella occurs. Read more.

May 20: Ice Age mammals wiped out by climate change
Between 50,000 and 3,000 years ago, Almost two thirds of mammal species larger than a hundred pounds disappeared between 50,000 and 3,000 years ago. An international team has recently published research that they say the mass extinction was due to a comparatively rapid change in climate. Read more

May 19: 2010 headed for warmest year on record
The National Climatic Data Center and NASA have reported that as of April this year, 2010 is the warmest year ever recorded. Earth's combined land and ocean average surface temperature from the beginning of January to the end of April was 56 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.24 degrees above the 20th-century average. Read more

May 18: African Great Lake warming up
Africa's Lake Tanganyika is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world by volume and the second deepest. Millions of people rely on it bounty of fish. This critical source of food is under threat due to The lake's rapid warming. Lake Tanganyika's surface temperature in 2003 was 26 degrees Celsius (78.8°F), the warmest the lake has been for 1500 years. Read more

May 17: Warming climate encourages pesky caterpillars
The Isle of Wight has been experiencing an increasing number of brown tail moth caterpillar infestations as the climate has become warmer in the past five years. When the caterpillar sheds its skin, tiny hairs float in the air and can cause a severe skin reaction. Read more

May 16: Global warming threatens human habitats
Some scientist believe average global temperatures may rise by up to 12C (21.6F) within just three centuries - and as a result make many countries into deserts and as much as half the currently inhabited globe may become too hot for human habitation. Read more

May 15 : China trumps Australia on climate change action
According to the Australian government’s global warming adviser Ross Garnaut; Australia is ignorant in delaying action on climate change in its belief China and the rest of the world are doing nothing given that China is actually contributing to the emergence of a strong global mitigation effort. Read more

May 14: Lizards as climate change coal mine canaries
A team of researchers has found the population of a group of lizards in Mexico has shrunk by 12 per cent since 1975, even though their habitat remains intact. The researchers say climate change is the culprit because the lizards need to spend more time in the shade to avoid overheating, leaving them less time to find food. Read more

May 13: US climate bill unveiled
After nearly eight months of negotiations, the US climate bill has finally been unveiled. Nearly a thousand pages long, the bill was amended last minute as a result of the BP oil leak disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate is unlikely to act on the bill this year. Read more.

May 12: India's greenhouse gas emissions skyrocket
Government figures show India's greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 58 percent during the period 1994-2007. The sharp rise has been driven by higher industrial activity, energy production and transport. A government representative pointed out that emissions of the United States and China are almost four times that of India. Like China, India is increasingly becoming the factory of other nations. Read more

May 11: China may introduce carbon tax
According to an expert with ties to the Chinese government, China may impose a carbon tax and increase the cost of fossil fuel during the 12th Five-year plan (2011-15) period as a incentive to cut greenhouse gas emissions and help achieve green targets. Read more.

May 10: China reiterates climate change stance
China is sticking to its principle of "common but differentiated responsibility" when it comes to dealing with climate change. A senior official has stated that developed nations discharged huge amount of greenhouse gases that contributed to global warming during their industrialization and as such, need to shoulder the responsibility of reducing carbon emissions. Read more

May 9: Australians unconvinced on climate change causes
A recent poll has found two out of three Australians are not convinced climate change is connected to human activity and of those who are, 27 per cent are only prepared to pay AUD$100 or less a year in increased tax and utility costs. Read more

May 8: British summer advances 18 days
While a lot of attention has been paid to the trend of spring starting earlier, results from a recent study by researchers from the University of Sheffield show the occurrence of `summer´ temperatures in the UK had advanced by 18 days by 2007 compared to the period 1954-1963. Read more

May 7: The ozone layer and melting ice caps
The discovery of man's impact on the ozone layer in the mid-80's was a wakeup call to humanity as to its impact on our atmosphere. The immediate threat of the thinning ozone layer was averted, thanks to widespread bans on the chemicals that caused it. The size of the hole has stabilized, but it seems closing the ozone hole speeds up the melting of the polar ice caps. Read more

May 5: India's coral reefs face global warming threat
Usually coral reefs are associated with countries such as Australia and tropical islands. The Gulf of Mannar is one of the four important coral reefs in India and the impact of climate change was clearly visible in 1998. Since 2005, coral reef monitoring has found annual bleaching occurring during summer every year due to elevated sea surface temperature. Read more

May 4: Australia's Government stung by emissions move
Australia's government is in the spotlight again on climate change, but for all the wrong reasons. After deciding to shelve its controversial emissions trading scheme, it not only drew criticism from overseas, but for the first time since 2006 the Coalition has an election-winning lead. Read more

May 3: Geo-engineering a band-aid
University of Michigan’s Edward Parson, a leading scholars on the politics of climate change, says geo-engineering is a band-aid and while related technologies should be developed they should only ever deployed under a worst case scenario. He fears geo-engineering may be seen as a quick fix, allowing the world to not make every effort to avoid a scenario that would require it.. Read more.

May 3: EU needs to shoot for 30% emission cuts
German environment Norbert Roettgen believes the European Union needs to raise its target for greenhouse gas emission reduction from 20 to 30 percent by 2020. Switzerland's top climate negotiator agrees, saying it was the only way for developed countries to establish credibility among developing nations. Read more

May 1: Climate back flip alienates Australia
According to analysts, Australia's government is the only one to back-peddle on climate-change policy since the failed Copenhagen conference and could trigger a "downward spiral" in future climate talks. Read more

May 1 : New rules needed for Arctic
The WWF says the Arctic cannot continue to governed under regulations that it is an ice-bound region and therefore mostly inaccessible for commercial fishing, resource exploration and development and shipping. The melting of the arctic ice is leaving the region open to exploitation and as such requires a new set of guidelines for accessing its resources. Read more