Climate change headlines and global warming news for August 2011

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August 31 - Hannah, Hansen arrested at protest
In recent days, actress and activist Daryl Hannah and NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen have been arrested outside the White House while protesting against the establishment of a pipeline from Canada's tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Hansen has previously stated that should the pipeline go ahead, it would mean "game over" in relation to fighting climate change. Read more.

August 30 - Air & water concerns trump climate change
A survey of 25,000 Internet users in 51 countries has found the issue of climate change taking somewhat of a back seat to what are considered more immediate concerns such as job security, clean water and other environmental issues. Air pollution (77%) and water pollution (75%) are cited by the Nielsenís 2011 Global Online Environment & Sustainability Survey as being top concerns. Read more.

August 29 - Climate change's impact on mental health
A study by the Climate Institute, has found catastrophic weather events are causing anxiety in children a level not seen since the Cold War. For adults, climate change's more extreme effects will lead to an increased incidence of depression, substance abuse and suicide. Read more.

August 28 - 2% of Cuba could be lost to rising seas
Cuba's beaches are already being affected by a a side effect of climate change, with the coastline retreating by an estimate 4 feet a year. By 2050, 985 square miles of the nation could be submerged by rising seas. Read more.

August 27 - Hansen challenges Obama on oil sands pipeline
NASA scientist James Hansen, the man among the first to alert the world about anthropogenic climate change, said that if U.S. President Barack Obama gives the nod to the Keystone XL pipeline, he will be "greenwashing" in relation to commitments to addressing climate change. Read more.

August 26 - Heat threatens Texas electricity grid
As Texas continues to bake in triple-digit temperatures, electricity demand increases - a combination that can threaten mains grid supply. Twice this month wide disruptions have only been narrowly averted. Peak-hour demand has exceeded 66,000 MW on 15 days during August so far. Read more.

August 25 - Climate change threatens forestry jobs
With some tree species expected to become less productive with lower rainfall and increased temperatures, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics warns jobs in commercial forestry regions could be lost due to a changing climate. Read more.

August 24 - "Climategate" scientist cleared
Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania scientist caught up in the so-called "climategate" affair has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a National Science Foundation enquiry, which has confirmed the findings from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís inspector general and a separate panel of scientists from three countries. Read more.

August 23 - Tar sands oil pipeline protesters arrested
A sit-in at the White House to protest the development of a pipeline from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to American refineries at the Gulf of Mexico has seen 100 protesters arrested so far. Aside from massive damage to the environment where the tar sands oil is extracted, extraction is a carbon dioxide intensive operation. The protesters also fear major spillages of the unrefined and highly toxic substance should the pipeline be established. Read more.

August 22 - Court action attempts to block coal mine
An environmental group in Australia has commenced landmark court case to try to block the development of a coal mine on the basis of the carbon emissions it will be responsible for. Friends Of The Earth say the mine would make a mockery of the Australian Government's attempts to combat climate change. Read more.

August 21 - Climate change threatens Inuit traditions
The climate is changing so fast in Greenland that traditional lifestyles of its Inuit inhabitants are under threat, causing all sorts of additional problems. Where ice used to be 1 to 2 meters thick, it's now just centimeters; disrupting hunting activities and travel. Read more.

August 20 - Severe weather costs U.S. $35 billion in 2011
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the United States has  experienced nine separate weather related disasters during 2001, each with an economic loss of $1 billion or more. This ties the record set in 2008 and overall, this yearís losses have so far amounted to more than $35 billion. Read more

August 19 - Acidic oceans threaten oyster industry
Massive oyster kills have been linked to episodes of spikes in salt water acidity, caused by excessive carbon dioxide levels that when combined with sea water create carbonic acid. Oyster farmers in some regions are battling to save their industry through using sophisticated monitoring systems to warn them when such events occur. Read more

August 17 - Extreme heat damaging infrastructure in U.S.
Extreme heat is affecting water pipes in several U.S. states. Oklahoma has experienced 685 water main bursts since July; which is around about four times the normal rate. Read more

August 16 - Western Australia a high risk for inundation
A new report from Australia's Climate Commission states coastal Western Australian towns are among the most at risk of being swamped by rising seas - an effect of climate change. Up to 28,900 buildings may be affected by regular flooding. Read more.

August 15 - Malaria impacting birds in Britain.
Malaria isn't a disease often associated with Britain, but it seems that malaria has been having an increasing impact on the nation's birds - and some scientists believe climate change is playing a role. Read more

August 14 - An ice free Arctic in our lifetimes
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believe the Arctic will be ice-free during summer several decades earlier than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast; with the first such event occurring within many people's lifetimes. Read more.

August 13 - Carbon tax reversal would cost $27 billion
Australia's Opposition has vowed to scrap the Government's carbon tax if it takes power after the next election, but it won't be cheap. It's been revealed it would cost $27 billion to reverse the tax, which includes $24 billion to be refunded to companies that would have already purchased carbon permits. Read more.

August 12 - Climate change may increase ozone damage
By the end of this century, climate change may be responsible for ozone damage to plants in northern and central Europe. According to Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, while the ozone layer high above the Earthís surface protects us against the sunís ultraviolet rays, when it is formed at ground level through a reaction between exhaust fumes, heat and sunlight, it is toxic to humans and plants. Read more.

August 8 - Al Gore gets hot under the collar
A frustrated Al Gore let fly at an Aspen Institute media forum recently; incensed by the oil, steel, utilities and other industries enlisting lobbyists to cloud the climate debate and using tactics similar to those employed by tobacco companies to delay the implementation of the surgeon general's report for four decades. Read more

August 6 - Bioplastics and greenhouse gases
Bioplastics are an alternative to traditional plastics that are often made from petrochemicals. However, researchers at North Carolina State University have found biodegradable plastics can release large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, while decomposing. Read more.

August 5 - Greenland vs. Antarctica and ice melt.
While much attention has been focused on Greenland's ice sheet and its role in sea level rise in the future as a result of climate change, a new report says West Antarctica is where the most ice melt will occur, based on events 125,000 years ago when the West Antarctic ice sheet alone accounted for half of a sea level rise of 13 - 20 feet. Read more.

August 3 - A hellish summer for the U.S.
Extreme heat has claimed the lives of at least 60 people in the United States and this year may eclipse 2007 when 5,420 high temperature records were broken. This year, the National Weather Service also revised temperature averages by around half a degree upwards to create a "new normal." Read more.

August 2 - A glacierless Glacier National Park?
There were 150 glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park in the 19th Century, today there are only 25 and even those may have disappeared by 2020. The disappearance of the glaciers will mean the loss of a reliable supply of water that helps sustain the Park's diverse range of plants and animals; some of which are already endangered species. Read more.

August 2 - IPCC contemplates geoengineering
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently assessing the potential impacts and side effects of geoengineering - processes that would deliberately manipulate the environment to tackle climate change. The IPCC's findings will appear in its Fifth Assessment Report, due to be finalized in 2014. Read more.

August 1 - Antarctic mountains rising
Snow melt in Antarctica is having an odd effect on some mountains. With the weight of frozen water lifted, the solid land beneath is bouncing up at a rate of up to around 5 millimeters a year. In Greenland the change is even more dramatic, around 4 centimeters a year in some locations. Read more.

August 1 - Palau threatened by rising seas, temperatures
If you haven't heard of the island nation of Palau, you certainly wouldn't be alone. Situated 500 miles off the Philippines coast, it's one of the world's youngest and smallest nations. All is not well in this island paradise. Palau's 20,000 or so residents are already battling the effects of climate change. Residents have experienced a trend of ocean water contaminating their fields and some of Palau's unique marine creatures are under threat from rising temperatures. Read more

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