October 2011 global warming headlines and climate change news

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October 31 - Storm knocks out power to millions
A freak October storm cut electricity to more than 3 million homes and businesses across America's Northeast - and the power could be out for days. An unusually early snowstorm has occurred while many trees still have leaves; meaning they caught more snow and overloaded branches, which then snapped and caused extensive damage. Read more.

October 30 - Winter droughts a new normal
A new study from the NOAA has found wintertime droughts in the Mediterranean are becming increasingly common in the region - and humans are partly to blame. In the last two decades, the region has experienced 10 of the driest 12 winters on record. Read more.

October 29 - Climate monitoring satellite launched
NASA has successfully launched a weather monitoring satellite, part of the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP). The satellite will collect data on long-term climate change and short-term weather conditions, making "America a more weather-ready nation," according to Mary Glackin, NOAA's deputy undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere. Read more.

October 28 - Warming seas threaten seaweed
An important habitat and food source for many animals, seaweed is another organism under threat from climate change. Researchers in Australia say temperate species are moving to cooler environments - but there is only so far they can go before hitting warmer waters again and as such, some species may become extinct. Read more.

October 27 - A 500 year sea level rise
Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have estimated that under a worst case scenario, sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by 2100 and 5.5 meters by the year 2500. Under a best case scenario where emissions are somehow reined in, there will still be substantial sea level rise, but nowhere near as dramatic - 60 cm by 2100 and 1.8 meters by 2500. Read more.

October 26 - China's glaciers melting
China joins a list of nations losing their glaciers and while it hardly seems like news these days, the implications of glacial melt are quite serious as they play a critical role in the wellbeing of ecosystems and supporting human populations. Read more.

October 25 - Climate change & Russia's killer heatwave 
The results of a new computer model show the heat wave in Russian last year that killed 700 people was more than likely to have been a result of climate change. The conditions experienced in July 2010 were unprecedented in the region since records began in the 19th century. Read more.

October 24 - Biomass fuels not so good for climate change
Researchers from Oregon State University say managing forests for biofuel production for electricity generation will increase carbon dioxide emissions from the forests by a minimum of 14 percent. The researchers state removal of debris from forests will release more carbon dioxide than if it is burned in situ or leaving it altogether. Read more.

October 23 - Global temperature rises not "normal" 
Further undermining the arguments of many skeptics that rises in global temperatures are normal, a climate researcher in Sweden has found simultaneous warming events in the northern and southern hemispheres such as is being experienced today has not occurred in the past 20 000 years. Read more.

October 22 -Study may change climate skeptic views
The recently released Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, based on more than 1.6 billion weather reports calculations from over 39,000 unique stations, aimed to resolve criticism of the former temperature analyses. While the project received funding from bodies connected with lobbying against action on climate change; the findings show the Earth is warming, and not as part of a natural cycle. Read more.

October 21 - Tea industry threatened by climate change
Changing climate in one of the world's most productive tea growing regions, Assam in India, is impacting on yields; with each hectare producing on average 185 kilograms less in 2010 compared to 2001.  Read more.

October 20 - Begin climate change migrations now
A report coming out of the UK has recommended moving people from areas prone to the worst effects of climate change now before they happen, as it will be cheaper and easier to do so than after those events occur. Read more

October 19 - Texas climate change cover up?
A scientist claims Texas's environmental agency will not publish his research on a bay in the state unless he delete key references to rising sea levels and human association with climate change. The Rice University oceanographer says it amounts to censorship and is an attempt to mislead the public. Read more.

October 18 - IPCC sea level rise projection too low
IPCC predictions of less than a half a meter sea level rise in the next 100 years may have underestimated the threat as they did not take into account the dynamic effects of melting ice sheets. New estimates show the sea will rise approximately 1 meter in the next century. Read more.

October 16 - Climate change, coffee and Starbucks
Global coffee chain Starbucks says it has been pushing the U.S. government to take action on the issue of climate change, with little effect. Starbucks' motives aren't just warm and fuzzy - it says its farmers were already seeing the effects of a changing climate that threaten the coffee growing industry. Read more.

October 15 - EU crisis threatens climate action
Action on climate change has lost its political priority across the EU as member nations battle to stave off an even worse economic crisis and fears the issue will not be one covered in elections are growing. Read more

October 12 - Australia's carbon tax passes
Hailed by some as a victory for the environment, damned by others as an ineffective, half-baked, watered down grab for cash and one that will only redistribute wealth increasingly in favor of the wealthy, Australia's carbon tax legislation was passed in the nation's House of Representatives today. Read more.

October 10 - Carbon capture project failing
A £1bn UK government project to construct a prototype carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Longannet in Scotland is in serious financial trouble and a company involved is expected to exit the program. Scottish Power, Shell and the National Grid are concerned about the project's commercial viability without heavier public backing. Read more

October 5 - IEA calls for end to fossil fuel subsidies
Half a trillion dollars was spent last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels. The IEA and OECD believe scrapping inefficient subsidies would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Read more.

October 4 - Tuvalu's water emergency
Already threatened by rising seas as a result of global warming, a more immediate threat has emerged in Tuvalu - a lack of drinking caused by diminished rainfall. The tiny island nation says in some areas, just days remain before potable water will run out. Read more.

October 3 - Gadget addiction boosting emissions
The coveting of electricity-guzzling appliances is making carbon emission targets increasingly unlikely to be achieved, according to report from the UK's Energy Saving Trust. The number of domestic gadgets and appliances in the average UK household had more than tripled between 1990 and 2009. Read more.

October 3 - Britain records hottest October day 
30 degrees Celsius may not sound all that hot, but it's considering "sizzling" in the UK. The nation has recorded its warmest end to September for more than a century and the "freak weather" has spilled into October. Read more.

October 2 - A warming world and forests
While a warming climate is benefiting some plants, many forests are feeling the strain from climate change; not only succumbing to direct and indirect effects, but also removing their carbon sequestration benefits in the process. Read more.

October 1 - Canada's vanishing ice shelves
One of Canada’s Arctic ice shelves has nearly disappeared, and several others reduced significantly over the recent northern summer. Serson Ice Shelf was 79.15 square miles, but melted into two sections three years ago. What remained this summer of the remnants was just 9.65 square miles and 2 square miles. Read more

 

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