Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scientists Find Bigger than Expected Polar Ice Melt

From Agence France Presse

GENEVA - Icecaps around the North and South Poles are melting faster and in a more widespread manner than expected, raising sea levels and fuelling climate change, a major scientific survey showed Wednesday.

The International Polar Year survey found that warming in the Antarctic is "much more widespread than was thought," while Arctic sea ice is diminishing and the melting of Greenland's ice cover is accelerating.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mass Migrations and War: Dire Climate Scenario

by Charles J. Hanley for AP

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - If we don't deal with climate changedecisively, "what we're talking about then is extended world war," theeminent economist said.

His audience Saturday, small and elite,had been stranded here by bad weather and were talking climate. Theycouldn't do much about the one, but the other was squarely in their hands. And so, Lord Nicholas Stern was telling them, was the potential for mass migrations setting off mass conflict.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Global warming seen worse than predicted

By Julie Steenhuysen for Reuters

(CHICAGO (Reuters) - The climate is heating up far faster than scientists had predicted, spurred by sharp increases in greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries like China and India, a top climate scientist said on Saturday.

"The consequence of that is we are basically looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we've considered seriously," Chris Field, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

Field said "the actual trajectory of climate change is more serious" than any of the climate predictions in the IPCC's fourth assessment report called "Climate Change 2007."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Parched: Australia Faces Collapse as Climate Change Kicks In

by Geoffrey Lean and Kathy Marks for The Independent/UK

Leaves are falling off trees in the height of summer, railway tracks are buckling, and people are retiring to their beds with deep-frozen hot-water bottles, as much of Australia swelters in its worst-ever heatwave.

On Friday, Melbourne thermometers topped 43C (109.4F) on a third successive day for the first time on record, while even normally mild Tasmania suffered its second-hottest day in a row, as temperatures reached 42.2C. Two days before, Adelaide hit a staggering 45.6C. After a weekend respite, more records are expected to be broken this week.

Ministers are blaming the heat - which follows a record drought - on global warming. Experts worry that Australia, which emits more carbon dioxide per head than any nation on earth, may also be the first to implode under the impact of climate change.

At times last week it seemed as if that was happening already. Chaos ruled in Melbourne on Friday after an electricity substation exploded, shutting down the city's entire train service, trapping people in lifts, and blocking roads as traffic lights failed. Half a million homes and businesses were blacked out, and patients were turned away from hospitals.