Global warming headlines and climate change news for May 2011

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May 30 - Record carbon dioxide emissions in 2010
Carbon dioxide emissions reached a record high in 2010 after recovery from the global financial crisis began says the International Energy Agency. The hope of limiting global average temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius are looking increasingly unlikely, unless "bold and decisive" moves are made very soon. Read more.

May 29 - 2 Greenland glaciers lose 300 gigatons of ice
Researchers at Ohio State University have discovered that over the last ten years, two of the three of Greenland's largest glaciers have lost enough ice to fill Lake Erie if that ice were melted - approximately 300 billion tons of ice. Read more.

May 28 - Northern Australia's burping cattle emissions
Methane emissions from cattle grazing on tropical grasses in northern Australia is up to 30 per cent less than previously thought according to CSIRO - but it depends on what the cattle are feeding on. Cattle are estimated to create around 1.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per animal each year. Read more.

May 25 - Illegal logging in the Amazon continues
Illegal logging is still rampant in the Amazon; one of the world's most important carbon sinks. Authorities have swooped on illegal logging operation that destroyed more than 400 hectares before it was spotted using satellited imagery. Read more

May 23 - Time running out in climate change battle
Lowering carbon emissions isn't enough and there's no time left for further delay in the transition to a low or zero-carbon economy according to a recent report out of Australia, which warns the nation must be in the midst of a renewable energy revolution by 2020 to minimise irreversible damage from climate change. Read more.

May 22 - Climate change setting insurers on edge
Thunderstorms over the past three in the USA have cost nearly as much as the damage inflicted in the 9/11 event and the number of  natural disasters last year set a new record. Reinsurers in Europe are openly warning about anthropogenic climate change. Read more

May 21 - A busy hurricane season for the USA
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the USA could see increased hurricane activity this season, with as many as 18 named storms and 6 major hurricanes. One of the reasons for the outlook is Atlantic Ocean waters beingv up to two degrees warmer than average. Read more.

May 18 - IPCC tightens procedures
With climate change still questioned by some who amplify mistakes in data and studies to bolster their cause, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has developed new procedures for dealing with information and strengthen its processes in relation to increasingly complex climate assessments and more intense public scrutiny. Read more.

May 17 - Boston leaking methane
Hundreds of natural gas leaks have been located in Greater Boston. Aside from the economic costs of these leaks, natural gas is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas with many times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Read more.

May 16 - Southwest USA forecast: dust
A drier Southwest could mean a dustier region according to a recent study. Increased temperature and less soil moisture will reduce plant life that protects soil from being blown away by the region's winds. The knock-on effects will see air quality degrade in northern Utah’s cities and mountain snowpack melting faster. Read more.

May 12 - Melting ice unlocking Arctic treasures
As the world eyes the unlocked resources of a melting Arctic, Arctic nations are meeting to discuss rules for opening the vast region to fishing, tourism, oil and mineral exploration. However, the resources boom will have serious side effects elsewhere with current estimates that the melting ice will raise sea levels by up to 1.6 metres by the end of this century. Read more

May 11 - Algae and ocean acidification
Our oceans are a major carbon sink, but as they become saturated with carbon dioxide, they become more acidic. New research has found coccoliths, very small shells of calcium carbonate that host a number of species of alga, dissolve when seawater acidifies. Read more.

May 9 - Even the Vatican gets global warming
The Vatican has made a strongly worded statement about the need for action on climate change, saying "humans must act decisively now to avert a coming crisis" and urging all to become aware of the "serious and potentially reversible impacts" of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions connected with human activity. Read more.

May 8 - Climate change putting pressure on food prices
A Columbia University study has found climate change is already having a negative impact on food production and has increased the price of food by as much as 20%. While farmers in North America have mostly been unaffected by climate change, the study's co-author says it is unlike the USA will remain unscathed. Read more.

May 6 - Climate change impacting crop yields
According to researchers from Stanford and Columbia University, rising temperatures in recent years have seen wheat yields reduced by more than 10 percent in Russia and by a few percentage points each in India, France and China. Corn yields were also down a few percent in China, Brazil and France. While the losses aren't disastrous at this point, yields will become increasingly important factor in meeting the food needs of a rapidly growing global population. Read more

May 5 - Arctic melting faster, increasing sea level rise
The Arctic is melting more rapidly than expected and could contribute 2-3 feet more in global sea level rise by 2100 than previously predicted says a report from the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program. The report says the last six years have seen the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic region. Read more

May 5 - Heatwave deaths predicted to skyrocket
Rising temperatures combined with urban heat island effects could dramatically increase in the decades ahead. A recent study of the impact on a single city in the USA, Chicago, found it could see between 166 and 2,217 excess deaths per year attributable to heat waves in the last decades of this century. Read more.

May 5 - Climate change and koalas
An iconic Australian animal, the koala may come under serious threat through the effects of climate change forcing populations into closer proximity to humans. A government body is considering listing the species under The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Read more

May 3 - UK's hottest April in a century
Last month's temperatures in the UK were 3 to 5C warmer than is normal for April. Average temperature for the nation was 10.7C, considerably exceeding the previous warmest April on record of 10.2C, which occurred in 2007. In Central England, where records have been kept since 1659, April was the warmest for over 350 years. Read more

May 1 - USA's Pika threatened by climate change
A small member of the rabbit family, the Pika is particularly sensitive to climate variation and as such, warming temperatures have seen increasing numbers shift to higher altitudes. This may not be enough to save the Pika as their extinction rates from areas has increased 5-fold over the last decade. Read more.
 

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