Global warming headlines and climate change news for July 2011

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July 30 - Arctic fires spewed massive amounts of carbon
The Arctic tundra in Northern Alaska is usually a massive carbon sink, but according to researchers, a fire in the region in 2007 released more carbon into the atmosphere through the burning of carbon-rich soil than the entire Arctic Tundra absorbs over an entire year. Read more.

July 28 - Florida Keys submerged by 2100?
According to a report from Natural Resources Defense Council, Miami could see a 1.5- to 2.3-foot sea-level increase by 2050 and 3 to 5 feet by 2100. The situation for the Florida Keys may be even more dire, with more than 90 percent of land area at risk of being lost to rising seas by 2100. Read more

July 27 - Georgia's coastline under threat
The U.S. state of Georgia's coastline and marshes that play a critical role in the region's economy are under threat from inundation. Researchers have predicted sea level rise on the Georgia coast of between 30 cm to 1 meter by 2100, which could have a negative effect on white shrimp, blue crabs, and intertidal Georgia oysters that thrive in marshlands. Read more.

July 26 - Addressing climate change by not mentioning it
It's been suggested the most effective way to deal with climate change is not to deal directly with climate change - that policymakers will see more progress by not housing energy innovation, extreme weather strategies and pollution reduction under a climate policy roof. Read more

July 25 - Fungus, rice and climate change
Increased heat and lack of water are expected to have a negative impact on rice yields in the years ahead; but scientists have discovered a fungus that increases the yield of rice and with less water that may help to mitigate the expected effects of climate change. Read more.

July 24 - Airports growing fuel crops to offset carbon
Two airports in Michigan, each of which use 1 million gallons of fuel in planes and ground equipment each day, are trialing growing fuel crops to help provide fuel to run machinery and to sequester carbon. 1,700 acres will be planted with mustard seed and canola. Read more.

July 23 - Dozens die in USA heat wave
A massive heat wave blasting some areas of the U.S has killed at least 24 people over the last week. During the first three weeks of July, a dozen weather stations have seen record daytime temperatures and 93 have recorded the highest night time temperatures in their history. Read more

July 22 - A polar bear's epic swim
A polar bear has swum for 9 days straight, covering 686 kilometers. While polar bears are skilled swimmers, such long journeys are not common, but may become more so as warming seas melt the ice they seek.  Read more

July 21 - Island nations call for help
The President of Nauru, speaking on behalf of island nations under threat of inundation from rising seas has asked the United Nations Security Council for help; stating that climate change is as great a threat as as nuclear proliferation or terrorism and will cause conflict. Read more

July 20 - New form of carbon dioxide sponge developed
Scientists in the United States have developed a relatively low cost new porous material that can capture carbon dioxide and could be used in coal fired power stations; however, Australian experts say it is still many years away from practical application. Read more.

July 19 - Monckton told to "cease and desist"
Lord Christopher Monckton, a vocal opponent of action to address climate change and a man who has continually questioned humanity's role in global warming, has again been directed by the House of Lords to "cease and desist" repeated claims of being a member of the Upper House. Monckton has never been a member of the House of Lords. Read more.

July 18 - Somalia drought crisis deepens
Somalia's drought and unrest is becoming one of the world's worst humanitarian crises for decades says the United Nations. The region has had no rain for the past two years and has also seen a spike in food prices. Somalians are trekking as far as 50 miles to reach refugee camps in Kenya that are already bursting at the seams. Read more.

July 17 - Climate change hits hard on food prices
Droughts, floods and other extreme weather events has seen the United Nations, banks and governments all agreeing that high food prices are here to stay. The cost of some food items has almost doubled in a year, a situation the World Bank says has forced 44 million extra people into extreme poverty. Read more. Read more.

July 16 - Forests' crucial role in carbon dioxide removal
A recent study has found  the world's established forests remove 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, representing  nearly 33% of the emissions associated with fossil fuel use each year. Forests are not the only land-based ecosystems that mop up emissions - farmland, grassland, deserts, and tundra all play an additional role. Read more.

July 15 - Soil microbes and greenhouse gases
In an unexpected example of amplification effects cause by high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, Researchers have discovered increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere causes microbes in soil to release even more potent greenhouse gases - methane and nitrous oxide. Read more.

July 13 - When jellyfish attack
Swarms of jellyfish have forced the shutdown of power plants in Japan, Scotland and Israel in the last few weeks after clogging water intake filters. Warmer sea temperatures, fertilizer rich runoff providing an abundance of nutrients and overfishing of jellyfish predators are thought to be the causes of growing numbers of the creatures. Read more.

July 12 - Climate change and the 6th mass extinction
There have been 5 mass extinctions in the Earth's history and the sixth is likely already under way. One in ten species could be extinct by the end of this century due to the effects of climate change according to researchers at the University of Exeter. Increasing temperatures, rainfall patterns changing and increasingly acidic oceans are taking their toll on the future of already vulnerable species. Read more.

July 11 - Seaweed - the next frontier in biofuels
Seaweed may hold the key to scaling up biofuel production without needing to use food crops or arable land. Kelp can grow a foot per week, and already covers vast areas of our oceans; making it a good candidate for a carbon neutral fuel source. Read more.

July 10 - Australia unveils carbon pricing details
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced details of the nation's new carbon pricing package due to kick off from July 1 next year and as an interim arrangement until Australia's emissions trading scheme is implemented in 2015. Read more

July 10 - Germany approves CCS testing
Germany has given the nod to trials of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, amid protests that it is unsafe and will perpetuate the use of fossil fuels for power generation. A 250-megawatt demonstration CCS-enabled power plant is expected to be constructed soon in the Eastern state of Brandenburg at a cost of 1.5 billion. Read more.

July 8 - USA facing further flooding
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say more flooding will continue in the USA through the summer and may even rival the Great Flood of 1993. Many rivers in the upper Midwest and northern Plains are already flooded and additional threats are coming from warmer temperatures over the Rockies, which will trigger increased snow melt. Read more

July 5 - Melting ice opens up sea routes
An increasing amount of shipping activity is occurring on the Northern Sea Route which traverses the Siberian coast - made possible by global warming melting sea ice. Cargo shipments along the route could increase from just 3 million tonnes annually to 30 million tonnes in the near future. Read more

July 4 - Sea level could rise 3 feet within a century
Ocean warming could accelerate the melting of ice sheets over the next hundred years, causing a greater sea level rise than previously expected - up to 3 feet. The melting won't be uniform as different areas will experience different sub-surface temperature rises, with waters off the Greenland coast rising as much as 3.6 F and in Antarctica by up to 0.9 F. Read more.

July 4 - Australia set to announce carbon pricing
The Australian Government has announced it will announce its carbon pricing policy this coming Sunday. Australia's carbon price is intended to be a stopgap measure until such time a proper emissions trading scheme can be implemented. Read more. Read more.

July 3 - Aircraft can alter weather around airports
Areas near commercial airports have been found to at times see a small but measurable increase in rain and snow when aircraft take off and land under certain atmospheric conditions. Aircraft create further cooling as they punch through clouds, causing crystals to form which then gather more weight and become precipitation. Read more.

July 2 - A return to coal in the UK?
While renewable energy has been on the increase in the UK, so too has emissions intensive coal fired power generation; up 7% in the first quarter of 2011. Some believe operators of inefficient coal stations are making the most of them before they are closed in a few years' time, others say the spike in coal consumption is due to British Gas taking some of its less efficient gas fired power stations offline due to increases in gas prices. Read more.

July 2 - Climate change, ozone and plant damage
Climate change may significantly increase the risk of ozone damage to plants in northern and central Europe by 2100 say researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Ground-level ozone damage impacts on crop yields in agriculture and reduces forest growth. Read more.
 

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