Global warming headlines and climate change news for March 2011

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March 30 - The greening of Antarctica
As Antarctica warms, researchers are finding one of the few flowering plant species on the continent has increased its range over the last half century. Read more.

March 29 - Climate change, the past and our food
Our ancestors' focus on a small number of food crops and our continuance of that practice and further limiting options thorough science and selective breeding may come back to haunt us as the world's climate changes. The answer to the problem may be to look back to the past and utilize some of our current food crop's wild cousins. Read more

March 26- Higher CO2 level = more toxin uptake by plants
Some feel that increased carbon dioxide levels will benefit humanity in that food crops will grow faster. It has been demonstrated that higher levels of CO2 will promote plant growth, but a new study has found it also increases the amount of toxic substances such as arsenic they soak up too. Read more. Read more

March 26 - Global wind speeds increase
Wave heights and wind speeds are picking up around the world on average according to a recent study. Extreme wind speeds have accelerated around most of the globe by approximately 10% over the last two decades. Read more.

March 24 - Personal experience & climate change attitudes
There's nothing like being there as they say and being in the midst of extreme weather certainly appears to shape and change people's beliefs about climate change. British researchers have found those who experience extreme weather events find the concept of climate change more real and results in greater intentions to act in sustainable ways. Read more.

March 20 - Australians still divided on climate change
A recent survey has found as many people not believing the science behind climate change indicating human involvement as those who accept it. There has been a substantial drop in the numbers of people accepting the human link to climate change, even while scientists have become more certain of it. Read more

March 19 - A push for home vegetable gardens
With climate change related events set to continue putting upwards pressure on food prices; some countries are pushing for their citizens to establish vegetable gardens to help reduce demand. Sri Lanka aims to establish a million home gardens, with participating households to be provided free seeds, fertilizer and advice. Read more

March 17 - Australian carbon price - this year or never
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard believes if Australia does not set a carbon price during the course of 2011, the nation probably never will and that only the ruling Labor party could make it happen while protecting existing jobs and creating new ones. Read more

March 16 - Scotland plays carbon sequestration jobs card
The Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) study states up to 13,000 jobs could be generated through storing carbon dioxide in rocks below the Moray Firth. The viability of CCS as a long term solution is still doubted by many. Read more.

March 15 - Japan nuclear emergency boosts carbon price 
The nuclear emergency in Japan saw carbon pricing in the EU emissions trading scheme jump more than five per cent yesterday due to speculation that the crisis would increase demand for natural gas in Japan and consequently also see coal as an attractive option for energy generation elsewhere. Read more.

March 13 - EPA approves refrigerant with less GWP
The EPA has given the go-ahead for the use of a new refrigerant in automotive air conditioning systems.  The new refrigerant, hydrofluoroolefin-1234yf (HFO 1234yf), has far lower global warming potential (GWP) than the currently used hydrofluorocarbon134a (HFC-134a). HFC-134a has an atmospheric life of 14 years. Read more

March 12 - Climate change, earthquakes and tsunamis
While Japan reels from a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the link between such events and climate change is continuing to be hotly debated. As melting ice masses change the stresses on certain parts of the earth, it's thought that perhaps this massive shift in weight could play a role in more, or more intense earthquakes - and with that an increase in tsunamis. Read more.

March 10 - Belief in climate change vs. global warming
Researchers from University of Michigan say Republicans are far more skeptical of “global warming” than of "climate change", with 44 percent believing “global warming” is real compared to 60.2 percent feeling the same about "climate change." Read more.

March 9 - Ice sheet melt increasing ahead of predictions
As oceans warm up, they expand, increasing sea levels; as do melting glaciers. However, the biggest contributor to current rising sea levels appears to be the melting Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets - and much sooner than forecasts have predicted. In 2006, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets lost a combined mass of 475 gigatonnes, over 70 gigatonnes more than mountain glaciers and ice caps . Read more.

March 8 - Australia's carbon tax backlash
Australia's government is struggling to sell its proposal for a carbon tax, further complicated by constant reminders of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's broken election promise not to introduce a carbon tax until after the next election - a point the Opposition has seized on and is using very effectively. A recent poll shows 48 percent of those surveyed are against the concept of a carbon price, 35 percent support it and 18 percent are still undecided. Read more

March 7 - Malaria in Tanzania's highlands
Illness in the Tanzania highlands has in the past been mainly confined to ailments associated with cool and wet weather, but a new threat is emerging - malaria. In the Rungwe district, over 100,000 malaria cases were reported in 2009, up 25% in just 3 years. Read more.

March 6 - Canada's receding tundra threatens caribou
Up to 44 per cent of Canada's vast tundra region could be replaced by boreal forest or shrub environments by 2099 and the nation's iconic Caribou could be negatively affected by the change in landscape. Only small patches of tundra may exist by the end of the century and the transformation has already begun. Read more

March 5 - Rising carbon dioxide cause plants to retain water
The density of pores that permit plants to breathe has decreased by over a third in the last 150 years say researchers. This has an effect of decreasing the  the amount of water vapour the plants release into the atmosphere; creating questions about the effect on global water cycles. Read more.

March 3 - Cholera threat looms over North America
North America could seen a return of cholera due to the increase in rain events sparked by climate change increasing the likelihood of sewage system malfunctions. The disease which kills millions of people around the world each year was wiped out in North America by 1900. Read more.

March 3 - Australia, the lucky carbon country
Australia will be able to hit its carbon emissions target by simply claiming offsets from revegetation of cleared land, regional forest agreements and ceasing the logging of native forests a recent report states. Australia is also in the midst of a heated battle over carbon pricing. Read more.

March 2 - China acknowledges climate change threat
China's Environment Minister, Zhou Shengxian, said his nation would take a more active approach in ascertaining whether developments in the country such as factories would contribute to climate change through a new risk assessment process. Read more.

March 2 - Food prices soar, raising fears of hunger & riots
Heavy rains in Australia, droughts and fires in Russia and Ukraine, desertification in China are all helping to push food prices to record highs, raising fears of a similar or even worse scenario such as food-related riots that occurred in more than 30 countries in 2008. Read more.

March 2 - Australia's carbon tax to fund overseas projects
Australia's proposed price on carbon would generate revenue billions of dollars of revenue, some of which would be diverted to a United Nations fund designed to transfer wealth from rich countries to help undeveloped nations adapt to global warming. Read more.
 

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