December 2011 global warming headlines and climate change news

December 30 - Quebec on the cusp of climate change chaos
The province of Quebec in Canada has experienced another warmer year and while some of its population may be welcoming this, an expert warns Quebec coastlines are in danger; as are the northern communities built on permafrost and the province's forests may not be able to adapt to rising temperatures fast enough. Read more.

December 27 - Peru's glacier crisis
Meltwater from glaciers Cordillera Blanca, crucial to a large number of Peru's population, are now in decline 20 - 30 years earlier than predicted. , is decreasing 20 years sooner than expected, according to a new study. Water flows are now estimated to be as much as 30 percent less during the dry season. Read more.
December 26 - Climate change's impact on chocolate
Originally an expensive delicacy, chocolate may be heading back that way again. A recent study has found land suitable for cocoa production could be halved by 2050 due to temperature increases. Read more

December 21 - Drought kills millions of trees in Texas
The Texas Forest Service says the state's ongoing drought, soaring temperatures and high winds have caused the death of anywhere between a hundred million and half a billion trees - not including those lost in fires. Read more

December 20 - Winemakers prepare for climate change
One of Spain's biggest winemakers has seen the writing on the wall - increasing temperatures in their region have spurred the company into shifting its vineyards. The threats to the industry aren't confined to Spain, with many regions under threat of the negative impact on grapes if temperatures get too high. Read more.

December 17 - Quebec to implement carbon cap and trade
While Canada may be ending its participation in the Kyoto Protocol, Quebec is implementing a cap-and-trade system to help the province reach its greenhouse gas reduction target of 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Read more.

December 16 - Massive methane plumes in Arctic Ocean
Methane plumes of over 1,000 meters diameter have been discovered bubbling in the Arctic Ocean, leading a research team who previously estimated methane emissions from the region to be around eight million tonnes a year to state that figure may have been a significant underestimate. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with many times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Read more

December 15 - Climate change = more unwanted cats
Australia's RSPCA says cat breeding cycles are becoming longer - now stretching from October until May. Animal refuges have reported marked increases in the number of kittens in the state of Queensland in recent years. Read more.

December 13 - Canada to exit Kyoto Protocol
Canada, a country with a burgeoning emissions intensive oil sands industry, has announced it is not economically feasible for the country to continue under the Kyoto Protocol and will exercise its legal right to pull out of the agreement. Read more.

December 12 - Climate deal panned by green groups
While some of the participants in the Durban talks may be patting themselves on the back, many green groups have seen the results of COP17 as a failure, with the head of one organisation stating it amounted to a death sentence for Africa and small island states. Read more.

December 11 - Climate talks deal reached - Kyoto extended
After discussions went into overtime at COP17 in Durban, the Globe and Mail reports an agreement has been struck to start negotiations that would place all countries under the same legal requirements for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Read more. The Kyoto Protocol will also be extended for another five years. Read more.

December 10 - Second massive storm heads for UK
The entire UK is in the path of a massive storm with hurricane force winds, likely to hit on Monday evening.  Scotland is still recovering from a hurricane-like storm which occurred just a few days ago; packing winds of up to 165mph. Read more.

December 9 - Glacier recedes a kilometer in a year
Chile's Jorge Montt Glacier has receded by a kilometer in just a year. The glacier had been stable up until the 1990's when it receded 7 miles in 7 years. Read more.

December 8 - 2C limit won't halt dangerous climate change
James Hansen, the scientist that alerted the world to the threat of global warming, says the 2C temperature rise limit goal isn't safe and won't prevent extreme changes to climate occurring. Dr. Hansen has gone as far to say the 2C goal is a recipe for disaster. Read more.

December 7 - Comprehensive climate deal a no-go
According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a comprehensive climate deal my not be achievable in the short term due to resistance from China and India in negotiating a legally binding greenhouse gas reduction treaty. Read more

December 3 - Light at the end of the climate change tunnel
Paul Gilding, a former leader of GreenPeace, believes the climate crisis can no longer be averted and humanity must look towards coping with the disasters ahead. On a brighter note, Mr. Gilding believes that after calamity strikes, a better world awaits us. Read more.

December 2 - 50% of greenhouses gases from 5 nations
Over half the carbon emissions generated globally originate from just 5 countries -China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan. The index of 176 nations and their emissions ranking was compiled by British-based risk analysis firm Maplecroft. Read more.

December 2 - England's drought could continue
Drought isn't a term often associated with the UK, but a drought has been affecting parts of England since June and could extend into next summer. Read more

December 2 - Climate change already driving evolution
Evolution can be an incredibly slow process, but some species are already adapting to warming temperatures through changes in their biology - such as the ladybug. Read more.

December 1 - COP17 success in doubt
Brazil and China have warned there will be no agreement resulting from COP17 talks in Durban, South Africa, without industrial nations signing up to another round of reductions under the Kyoto Protocol; with China's envoy saying the whole international system on climate change will be in peril without the commitment. Read more.

December 1 - Banks financing climate change
A study has reviewed the portfolios of 93 major banks and discovered coal financing to the coal industry totaled $309.4 billion since 2005. Between 2005 and 2010, coal financing has almost doubled. Read more

December 1 - Permafrost thaw emissions a major threat
Carbon emissions from thawing permafrost may have been grossly underestimated and could be 2.5 times greater than models predicted. The ramifications are huge, as once it begins and unlike other human activities that generate carbon emissions; methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the permafrost won't be able to be reversed or slowed down. Read more.