Climate change headlines and global warming news for August 2010

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August 31 - Stricter checks recommended for IPCC
An independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recommended stricter guidelines to prevent damage to the organization's credibility, such as the events that tarnished the body earlier this year. While the committee stated the IPCC's assessments were overall successful, its reaction to errors found in the 2007 report were slow and inadequate. Read more

August 30 - Warming trends threaten coffee plantations
Small temperature increases the spread of a small beetle that devastates coffee plantations according to new research. The coffee berry borer has been increasingly wreaking havoc in Africa, Latin America, and other coffee growing locations around the world. Read more

August 28 - Global warming event "shrank" mammals
A recent study has pointed to extinct carnivorous mammals shrinking in size during a global warming event that occurred 55 million years ago. Other research has found herbivorous mammals shrank in size during the same period. Read more

August 25 - Grand Canyon National Park climate change threat
The Grand Canyon National Park, which draws many tourists each year is under threat from multiple challenges; including climate change. With predictions of more extreme levels of drought the river and the habitats through the five ecozones of the massive park will be impacted. Read more

August 22 - Plant carbon uptake slows
Terrestrial plants are an important part of the carbon cycle; storing carbon in their roots, trunks, branches and leaves. Researchers have noted a decline in natural carbon sequestration over the last decade due to drought that many regions have suffered, another side effect of climate change. Read more

August 21 - Global warming to boost storm damage costs
The world's second largest re-insurer has said climate change may increase Caribbean storm damage costs by as much as 50% over the next twenty years; amounting to another one to three percent of economic output for some nations.  Read more

August 18 - Massive coral die-off in Indonesia
In Sumatra in Indonesia, scientists are reporting that the coral is dying off in the Andaman Sea. 60 percent of the coral had previously reported to have turned white and a recent trip back to the area has found that 80 percent of those that were bleached have now died. Coral bleaching occurs due to increases in water temperature. Read more

August 17 - Fire clouds may influence climate
Intense fires have the power to generate dirty thunderclouds and funnel smoke and particulates high into the stratosphere - which may be having unknown effects on Earth's climate, such as warming or cooling the atmosphere. Read more

August 15 - Global warming impacting rice yields
Due to rising night temperatures, over the last 25 years yields in rice fields in key rice producing countries have reduced 10 - 20%. The reason for the drop isn't clear, but is thought to be connected to rice plants respire more during warm nights and expending more energy in the process. Read more

August 14 - Lake Superior hits record temperatures
Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes in North America and the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, has reached the highest temperature ever recorded. Warmer winters are affecting Lake Superior and are consistent with global trends. Read more.

August 13 - France treading water on carbon emissions
Despite energy efficiency initiatives, France's increases in general production and consumption have seen the country's carbon emissions increase slightly from 438 million tonnes in 1990 to 439 million tonnes in 2007. Read more

August 12 - Many Australian politicians like it hot
A University of Queensland survey of more than 300 Australian federal, state and local government politicians found that nearly 40 per cent said they believed it would be safe for the planet to warm by 4 degrees Celsius - even though scientists generally agree a 2 degree or more increase would have disastrous consequences. Read more

August 11 - Biochar and carbon sequestration.
Up to 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity could be by the production of biochar, more than what could be achieved if the same amount of biomass were burned to generate energy according to a new study. Biochar is charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass. Pyrolysis is a form of incineration that chemically decomposes organic materials by heat in the absence of oxygen. Read more

August 10 - Russia's worst heatwave for 1000 years
The head of Russia's weather service says the daily high temperatures experienced in Moscow recently are unprecedented in the last 1000 years. Already in the grip of a crippling drought, the current heatwave has sparked hundreds of fires and Moscow's daily death rate has reportedly doubled. Read more.

August 8 - Climate change forces evolution - at a cost
A fish species has been found to adapt to major changes in water temperature in just a few generations, but around 95 per cent of the fish population died during the three-year study; leading researchers to theorize that while some species may be able to survive rapid temperature changes short term, the remnant may not be enough to ensure the survival of the species. Read more.

August 7 - Huge iceberg calved from Greenland glacier
An iceberg quadruple the size of Manhattan has broken away from Greenland's Petermann Glacier; the largest chunk for over 50 years. The ice island has an area of at least 100 square miles. Read more

August 5 - Kangaroos could be climate change barometers
Kangaroo evolution may help determine how local fauna may be affected in the future. A Flinders University palaeontologist and a Murdoch University anatomist have found key stages within the evolution of Kangaroos coincide with different stages in the evolution of Australia's climate. Read more.

August 4 - Island nations rebel at Bonn climate talks
A coalition of 43 island nations have warned that rich nations' pledges fall well short of what is needed to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. The Alliance of Small Island Nations believes emissions reductions of between just 1 and 7% will occur if rich nations exploit loopholes in the Kyoto Protocol. Read more

August 3 - Yellow fever in Europe due to warming?
Yellow fever and dengue fever, usually associated with hot climates, could reappear in Europe if global temperatures increase - and a researcher has found the conditions needed are present already. However, while temperature and rainfall play a role in the transmission of these diseases, many other factors are involved. Read more.

August 2 - Global warming's "anniversary"
On 8 August 1975, the first use of the term “global warming” in peer reviewed scientific literature appeared; in the journal Science. The paper, written by Wally Broecker, was entitled: “Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming?”. Read more.

August 2 - Eat insects and lower greenhouse gas emissions
A policy paper on the human consumption of insects is being formally considered by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Farming insects produces far less greenhouse gas than livestock. Locust farming emits 10 times less methane and 300 times less nitrous oxide, also a warming gas. Read more

August 1 - Soot control a short term global warming fix
Basic soot pollution controls could help arrest global warming and within a decade could erase most of the last century’s temperature change according to results from a simulation. Read more

August 1 - Climate change, sunlight and Adelie penguins
Climate change could soon see Adélie penguins without the sunlight they need to survive. As sea ice melts in the Antarctic, penguins could be forced inland. As winter takes hold, daylight hours shorten in Antarctica and in some parts, the sun doesn't rise above the horizon at all. Read more

August 1 - NOAA: Global warming "unmistakable"
The 2009 State of the Climate report, published last week by A new report, published by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. Over 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report. Read more

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