August 2013 climate change news
August 29 - Oceans storing majority of heat
Nearly all the excess heat trapped in the Earth's atmosphere is entering the oceans and being stored
there according to a leaked UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
report draft. Read
August 28 - Hurricane Perry?
Environmental activist group 350 Action wants to see future hurricanes named after politicians who don't support action on climate change.
August 26 - Warming waters threaten krill
Antarctic krill are the primary food source for many species and have become an important product for humans too. But with Antarctic waters warming, this could have a massive impact on krill numbers, shrinking them by up to 20%.
August 23 - Process to turn CO2 into pavers
A research pilot plant in Australia will trial turning carbon emissions into bricks and pavers.
$9 million will be spent on the trial over the next four years; which
will occur at the University of Newcastle. Read
August 21 - 80cm sea level rise possible this century
According to a leaked draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest update, sea levels could rise more than 80 centimetres this century and average temperatures could increase by 5 degrees.
August 19 - Tree CO2 uptake slowing
A reliance on existing trees to mop up carbon dioxide could be
misplaced. Forests in Europe may be reaching their carbon saturation
point say researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre. Read
August 18 - Colorado River's unprecedented water crisis
Record-low flows in the Colorado River and the rapidly diminishing reservoirs of lakes Mead and Powell
have triggered an announcement of huge reductions in the amount of water
that will be allowed to flow downstream. Read
August 18 - UK families getting energy-wise
Families in the UK are using nearly 25% less energy than in 2005 a
result of improved energy efficiency and rising energy costs. Read
August 18 - New Zealand nobbles emissions target
New Zealand's government had previously considered an emissions cut of 10 percent to 20
percent below 1990 levels by 2020, but has now said it would commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions
5 percent. Read
August 18 - Australia to blame for sea level fall
There was an incredibly small drop in sea levels in 2011; one that
caused some climate deniers to crow - but it seems it was due to the
massive amount of rain that fell on Australia. Read
August 18 - Finally, solar panels on the White House
It's taken years, but solar panels will finally once again grace the
roof of the White House soon. Read
August 18 - Plants are moving on up
A University of Arizona led research team has determined that Southwestern plants are being
forced grow at higher elevations due to an increasingly warmer and drier climate.
The determination was possible thanks to the existence of a dataset compiled 50 years ago.
August 18 - Heatwave affected areas to double
Regions of the world
impacted by heatwaves are set to double in size by 2020 says a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
August 13 - Swamp rats could spread
Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey believe as winters warm, an invasive pest in the USA called the nutria could migrate across the
August 12 - Carbon sequestration - nature does it better
Instead of expensive and risky carbon capture and storage or
geoengineering, a group of German scientists believes large forests planted with Jatropha could slow climate change while also greening the world's deserts.
August 10 - Significant methane leaks from gas production
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with many time the global warming
potential (GWP) of carbon dioxide. A new study has backed earlier findings of high rates of methane leakage
(aka fugitive emissions) from natural gas fields. Read
August 7 - Old growth trees critical carbon sinks
Large trees store store up to half the above-ground biomass, and
consequently carbon, in tropical forests; adding even more importance to
their existence. Read
August 6 - The Arctic's dark ice
Arctic ice isn't just disappearing - what remains is growing darker and
less reflective. Part of the 'darkening' is a result of the increasing
incidence of shall ponds on the ice. Reduced reflectivity means the ice
absorbs more solar radiation, quickening the pace of melting and heat
August 5 - Climate change spreading disease
An group of disease ecologists believes climate change is increasing the spread of infectious diseases, which could have a dramatic impact particularly in poorer parts of the world.
August 4 - Climate change spurs violence
A study from the University of California, Berkeley, has found even small jumps in temperature or decreases in rainfall can trigger an increased incidence of violence. The researchers estimate a 2C rise in global temperature could result in personal crimes increasing by approximately 15%, and group conflicts rise by more than 50% in some parts of the world.
August 2 - Gas a "gangplank" to a hotter future
A retired oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques
has warned gas is not a clean fuel and rather than being a bridge to a
renewable energy future, it will be a gangplank to a warmer world. Read
August 2 - Heatwave in China killing fish
The terrestrial inhabitants of China aren't the only ones suffering
during its heatwave. Thousands of fish have succumbed to the heat and
the carcasses are causing concern with regard to river water pollution. Read
August 2 - Climate change picking up pace
Stanford University researchers believe the rate of climate change
occurring over the next 100 years will be 10 times more rapid than the rate of any climate shift in the past 65 million years.
August 1 - Runaway greenhouse conditions closer?
For a "runaway greenhouse" effect to occur on a planet, a lower thermal radiation threshold
than previously believed may kick off the process say astronomers at the University of Washington and the University of Victoria.
August 1 - Arsenic dust and climate change
America's West is getting dustier due to climate change and with those
conditions comes an increasing threat from airborne arsenic. Read
August 1 - 1,400 US cities threatened by inundation
If global climate emissions continue to increase, 23 feet of sea level
rise may be locked in by the end of this century resulting 1,429 US municipalities
being mostly submerged at high tide. Read
August 1 - Boulder eyes 80% carbon emissions reduction
In a recent meeting, a majority of Boulder City Council members said they supported an emissions reduction goal of 80 percent by 2050 - and renewable energy will play a crucial role.