January 2012 climate change headlines and global warming news
January 31 - Climate change could impact wheat yields
Stanford University scientists believe an increase in temperatures of just two
degrees could reduce the wheat growing season by 9 days, resulting in a
20% yield loss. Read
January 29 - UK faces more killer summers
While UK's summers aren't all that hot compared to some regions of the
world, its population simply isn't accustomed to extended periods of
heat, leading to mortalities during these times. According to UK
government-funded research, British summers will increasingly get hotter while winters will be milder and
wetter and the hotter summers could result in up to 5,900 extra deaths a year by 2050.
January 28 - Hungry polar bears turn to duck eggs
Bears in Quebec that would usually feed primarily on seals have been
prevented from doing so due to the retreat of ice; so they are
increasingly turning their attention to other food sources - such as the
eggs of the elder duck. The predation has grown to levels that threaten
the species. Read
January 26 - Waning solar output will not stop warming
The sun is continually cycling in terms of it's output; but even as it
moves into a period of less intensity, that is unlikely to be enough to
stop average global temperatures from rising according to a scientist at
the UK's Met Office. Read
January 25 - Ocean acidity levels skyrocket
Carbon dioxide emissions from human activity have created a change in ocean acidity
in some regions up to a hundred times greater than the natural rate of change between the Last Glacial Maximum and pre-industrial times
according to a researcher from the International Pacific Research Center.
January 23 - Arctic freshwater "dome" could affect
An 8,000 cubic km dome of fresh water developing in the western Arctic Ocean could disturb currents that have a major impact on European weather patterns if it enters the North Atlantic in large volumes.
January 21 - Carbon dioxide driving fish nuts
Evidence showing high carbon dioxide levels in sea water are disrupting a key brain receptor in fish has been published in the journal Nature. High carbon dioxide stimulates a receptor in the fish brain leading to over-excitement of certain nerve signals.
January 19 - China imposing emission limits
China's government had directed five cities and two provinces to put in
place limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Guandong Province, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai,
Chongqing and Shenzhen will need to draw up plans and set aside a fund dedicated to the project.
January 18 - Birds not keeping up with temperature shifts
During the last 20 years, Europe has warmed and while and set temperatures have shifted northwards by around 250 kilometers, bird and butterfly communities have not moved at the same rate; causing concern for a Professor of Animal Ecology.
January 15 - Climate scientist threatened
MIT researcher Kerry Emanuel has received a number of threats, including some against his wife, after a recent interview was published. While threats aren't uncommon in the field, Emanuel was surprised by the viciousness of the emails he received.
January 13 - U.S. power plants major emissions contributor
According to a recent report from the USA's
Environmental Protection Agency, power plants released 72% of all
greenhouse gases reported to the agency in 2011 - 2,324 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mmtCO2e).
January 12 - Texas leads USA in carbon emissions
Things are bigger in Texas and that includes greenhouse gas emissions.
The state's fossil fuel industries have a big impact, generating 294 million tons of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 according to data from the USA's
Environmental Protection Agency. Read
January 11 - London's Mayor launches anti-idling campaign
Car exhaust is a major source of all sorts of pollution, including
greenhouse gases. London's Mayor has launched a new anti-idling
campaign, encouraging drivers to turn off their engines when stationary
for more than a minute. Read
January 8 - Baby harp seals threatened by melting ice
Storms and warmer temperatures are melting ice cover required by harp
seals during their first weeks of life. In 2010, most harp seal pups
didn't survive due to the issue. Read
January 7 - Maldives eyes Australia as climate refuge
The Maldives is a group of low-lying islands under imminent threat from
climate change, with 14 islands already abandoned due to the encroaching
sea. The Maldives president recently indicated that as more of his
nation's islands become uninhabitable, Australia should prepare for an
influx of climate refugees from his nation. Read
January 5 - Australians must prepare for extreme weather
With 80 per cent of Australia's population living within 50 kilometres of the
coast, the nation is likely to be one of the countries most severely affected by climate change
says IAG, one of the country's largest insurers. Flooding in Queensland
last year racked up damage bills among the highest of any natural
disaster globally in 2011. Read
January 4 - Australian surf clubs running out of beach
Rising sea levels and increasing storm intensities due to climate change
are already being felt by some surf clubs in Australia that are
literally running out of beach area. In some locations, a bad storm
could see clubhouses being swept away. Read
January 3 - 2011 a record breaking year for tornadoes
April 2011 saw the highest month of tornadoes of any month in U.S. history: 753 - and that wasn't the only tornado related record broken or equalled last year.
January 2 - Global warming - CO2 or land mismanagement?
Peter Andrews, the Australian who invented the term Natural Sequence
Farming, believes the basis of global warming is a scam and the real
cause behind extreme weather is the mismanagement of land. Read
January 2 -2011 Austin's hottest
Austin in Texas, a state gripped by an ongoing drought, experienced its hottest year on
record in 2011, with an average temperature of 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
2011 was also the 11th driest year on record. Read
January 2 - Frogs sent south-west to beat climate change
A rare Australian species of frog has been relocated to an area outside
its known range in a bid to protect the species from being wiped out by
bushfires or changes to climate. Read
January 1 - California low carbon fuel regulation blocked
Last week, a U.S. federal judge blocked enforcement of California legislation to favor producers of fuels with
lower greenhouse gas emissions, stating it unconstitutionally discriminated against producers outside of the state.
January 1 - EU airline carbon tax takes effect
From today, flights to and from the EU will be subject to a carbon
tax. While 85% of the permits will be issued free, the remainder will
need to paid for by the airlines. If they fail to do so, the airline
involved will be fined. The move has created tensions in China and the
USA, with the former warning of a trade war over the issue. Read