April 2013 climate change news

April 30 - Plant "clouds" shade the planet.
Plants aren't just useful in the battle against climate change for their carbon dioxide sequestering abilities. It appears they also emit that help shade the planet, offsetting around 1 percent of warming globally just through this phenomenon. Read more.

April 29 - CO2 levels highest in 3 million years
The world looks set to break the 400 parts per million mark of carbon dioxide very soon; the first time that has happened since the Pliocene era when average global temperatures were far warmer and sea levels much higher than today. Read more.

April 27 - Biochar not as stable as thought
Biochar has been given a lot of positive attention for its potential to lock away carbon - but it may not be as stable as believed. Instead of staying in the soil, it appears it may dissolve. Read more.

April 25 - China to slash HFC-23 production
Carbon dioxide isn't the only greenhouse gas - and many other greenhouse gases have many times the warming potential of CO2. HFC-23, a hydro-fluorocarbon and super greenhouse gas, has 14,800 time more global warming potential than carbon over 100 years. China has said it will discontinue the majority of its HCFC production. Read more.

April 24 - Greenpeace activists board coal freighter
A freighter loaded with thermal coal mined in Australia has been boarded by Greenpeace activists who state they are drawing attention to the fact that Australia cannot claim to be playing a part in avoiding dangerous climate change while it allows the export of coal to continue. Read more.

April 23 - Lightening the carbon impact of wireless networks
With wireless networks set to grow globally by 460 per cent over the next couple of years, this also means more energy consumption - and carbon emissions. Australian researchers are helping to design networks that could be up to 1,000 times more energy efficient than currently. Read more.

April 21 - Economists warn of the carbon bubble
With much of the value of fossil fuel companies hinged on reserves still in the ground; a financial crisis on the scale of the GFC could occur if they are unable to extract those fuels due to carbon constraints. It's a very tricky situation. Read more.

April 18 - Turning carbon emissions into toothpaste
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux in France plans to capture the carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation process and convert it into sodium bicarbonate; which will be then sent to pharmaceutical companies to be used for making toothpaste. Read more.

April 15 - Antarctic ice melting ten times faster
Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian National University report that Antarctic summer ice melt is now occurring 10 times more rapidly than it did 600 years ago and the most rapid melt has occurred in the last 50 years. Read more.

April 14 - Emissions in China boosting national temperatures.
Researchers in China have linked warmer daily minimum and maximum temperatures in their nation with climate change. The daily maximum and daily minimum for the hottest day and night of the year in China increased by 0.92C between 1961 and 2007 and the the maximum and minimum for the coldest day and night of the year by 2.83C during the same period. Read more.

April 12 - Wine threatened, wine threatens
A new study warns climate change will likely force many vineyards to move to cooler regions. That's bad news for the industry, but also to the environment generally as it will lead to habitat loss, a decline in biodiversity, and put increased pressure on water resources. Read more.

April 11 - Tropical Andes glaciers disappearing
Many of the glaciers of the tropical Andes may soon disappear; posing a serious threat to the summer water supply for millions of people. Over the last 30 years the glaciers have receded by between nearly a third and a half. Read more.

April 10 - US students to learn more about climate change
Climate change may feature more prominently in the education of US students under proposed new national science standards. However, each state will decide whether or not to adopt the standards. Read more.

April 8 - Sri Lanka: of droughts and flooding rains
The line "of droughts and flooding rains" is from a poem about Australia - but it's increasingly applying in other countries also. A long drought and subsequent floods have left many in Sri-lanka in a desperate situation. Read more.

April 7 - Coal power in Australia weakens
Coal fired power generation in eastern Australia's energy mix has continued to drop, along with carbon emissions. Hydro, wind and solar power have reached a a record share of 12.6 percent. Read more.

April 4 - Canada boreal forest die-off
Climate change is probably killing more trees in Canada's boreal forest than previously predicted. Trees most at risk are young ones, an unsettling prospect given the majority of forests in Canada have an average tree age of under 80 years. Read more.

April 3 - Australia's climate changing - permanently
Australian climate scientists have given the nod to a major report that states in some regions, Australia's climate has shifted permanently. The best that can be hoped for now is for the changes to stabilise and not worsen. Read more.

April 2 - Hansen to leave NASA
The man who put climate change on the radar of so many people, Dr. James Hansen, is leaving NASA so he can focus more on his climate-related work. Read more.

April 2 - More algae blooms for Lake Erie.
Heavy rains, a side effect of climate change, sending nutrient rich runoff from farmland into Lake Erie will result in more widespread blooms of algae. By surface area, Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America. Read more.

April 1 - Coming soon: a greener Arctic
A recent study has determined green areas in the Arctic could increase up to 50 per cent by the 2050's. While it sounds attractive, there could be negative implications for affected ecosystems. Read more.

April 1 - Natural gas levels elevated in Manhattan
A preliminary report on a study of fugitive emissions of natural gas in Manhattan has found levels are such that natural gas no longer has an edge over other types of fossil fuels with regard to climate change. Natural gas is primarily made up of methane - a powerful greenhouse gas with 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Read more.