February 2013 climate change news

February 28 - Even more spent on fossil fuel subsidies
Globally, governments doled out more than $620 billion to subsidize fossil fuel energy in 2011; 20 percent more than in 2010. $131 billion of that figure went to fossil fuel based electricity generation. Read more

February 25 - Climate change to impact productivity
Rising temperatures and humidity could reduce the world’s labor capacity to 80 percent during summer months - double the effect these factors have today. The effect would double again by if global carbon emissions are not substantially reduced. Read more.

February 21 - Kerry on Climate Change
The USA's newly-minted Secretary of State, John Kerry, has not minced words on the topic of climate change in his first major speech in the position. Kerry said failure to act on climate change may be the only thing this generation is remembered for. Read more.

February 20 - Oil sands' appalling energy return
One unit of natural gas is needed to create less than three units of oil-based energy derived from tar sands in Canada. This not only makes it incredibly energy intensive, but piles on greenhouse gas emissions associated with the extraction. Read more.
February 19 - Marshall Islands' climate change plea.
Low lying islands, including the Marshall Islands, want the UN Security Council to recognise that climate change is an international security threat and one that jeopardises the survival of low-lying states; some of which are already seeing a related exodus as water becomes contaminated and food production becomes an issue. Read more.

February 18 - Climate change denial - or consensus denial?
University of Queensland's John Cook argues there is no such thing as climate change denial. What exists is denial of scientific consensus he says and techniques of consensus denial are easily identifiable. Read more.

February 15 - Hand feeding polar bears?
The time may come, and soon, that polar bear populations may need to receive supplemental food from humans during ice-free periods in the Arctic and/or be relocated. In the worst case scenario, some may need to be killed. Read more.

February 13 - Obama to ramp up climate change efforts
In his fifth State of the Union Address, US President Barack Obama called for for oil-funded technology research to help kick the nation's oil habit, a doubling of energy efficiency in 20 years and stated if Congress won't take action on climate change, his administration will. Read more.

February 11 - Climate change worsening US storm
A senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research believes climate change will add snowfall totals from the storm battering Northeast USA by by 5 to 10 percent. Read more.

February 10 - Work less, save the world
The Center for Economic and Policy Research believes even a 0.5 per cent annual reduction in the length of the average working week could cut between eight and 22 per cent of every degree of global warming expected to occur by 2100. Read more.

February 8 - Renewables beat fossil fuels for power in Australia
In Australia, new wind farms can now produce electricity cheaper than new coal fired and gas based power generation plants - and solar PV isn't far behind. Read more.

February 6 - US power plant emissions decrease
Indicating power generation is using less on coal and more on natural gas and renewable sources, greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants dropped 4.6 percent in 2011 according to the US EPA. Read more.

February 4 - A 'new kind of rain' for the UK
Chairman of the UK's Environment Agency says the UK is experiencing a new kind of rain and Britons should prepare for more flooding, more frequently. Read more.

February 3 - Hottest January on record for Australia
The fact that January was the hottest month on record won't be a huge surprise for many Australians, but what is remarkable is it occurred outside of an El Nino or drought year. Read more.

February 2 - Insurers funding climate havoc
Claims are being made that major insurance companies are funding major oil and gas exploration in the Arctic; which could unlock more fossil fuels to add to the world's climate change woes. Read more.

February 2 - US Energy Secretary Steven Chu resigns
Secretary Chu's resignation was accompanied by a lengthy letter outlining the successes and challenges of boosting renewable energy uptake in the USA during his tenure and takes a parting shot at climate change deniers. Read more

February 2 - Amazon tree mortality revised
The Amazon, commonly referred to as the lungs of the world, is doing it tough due to storm and drought damage - and estimates of tree mortality may be off by 9-17 percent according to a a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more

February 2 - Climate influences flu
A team of scientists studying influenza outbreaks and climate patterns found warm winters are usually followed by heavy flu seasons. With the world warming, flu is likely to have a bigger impact in the years ahead. Read more.

February 1 - Scientists warn of misinformation campaign.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has flagged that a misinformation campaign about renewable energy will be launched this year; "brought to you by the Koch brothers and other large players in the fossil-fuel industry". Read more.