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Updated: 44 weeks 4 days ago

New York City Faces Increasing Risk From Climate Change, New Data Show

Tue, 06/11/2013 - 00:28
New York Times: The Bloomberg administration on Monday issued new warnings about New York City’s vulnerability to climate change, offering updated data to encourage businesses, residents and perhaps even future mayors to better prepare against hotter weather, fiercer storms and increased rainfall. Administration officials estimated that more than 800,000 city residents will live in the 100-year flood plain by the 2050s. That figure is more than double the 398,000 currently estimated to be at risk, based on new...
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By Degrees: What to Make of a Climate-Change Plateau

Mon, 06/10/2013 - 21:28
New York Times: As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming. The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace. The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists. True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not...
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Climate change threat to North Sea oil and gas output

Mon, 06/10/2013 - 20:59
Independent: The North Sea oil and gas industry is set to lose hundreds of millions of pounds a year as global warming threatens to unleash increasingly frequent and intense storms, producing bigger waves that could damage platforms and make it harder for staff to do their jobs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned today. Announcing that global greenhouse emissions jumped by 1.6 per cent to a new record last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the world is on course for a 4C temperature...
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Canada: New study looks at killer whale deaths to understand whales' lives

Mon, 06/10/2013 - 11:57
Yahoo!News: Researchers are learning a lot about the lives of orcas from the deaths of orcas, thanks to a team of experts from British Columbia and the United States. Though killer whale carcasses are on occasion found washed up on beaches around the North Pacific, few tests were being done to figure out why or how. The lack of information became a real concern when researchers noticed an alarming drop in the 1990s in the population of southern resident killer whales found around southern Vancouver Island...
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United Kingdom: Case for Severn barrage 'unproven'

Mon, 06/10/2013 - 06:46
BBC: The latest plan to build a barrage across the Severn to generate electricity has been severely criticised by a committee of MPs. Hafren Power had outlined a £25bn tidal scheme to generate up to 5% of the UK's electricity needs. But the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee said it could not recommend the plan. It said that on both economic and environmental grounds the case remained unproven. In 2010, the then Energy Secretary Chris Huhne pulled the plug on public efforts...
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Plastic Bags Litter Seafloor

Sun, 06/09/2013 - 16:52
Scientific American: You know what's becoming more common than fish in the sea? Plastic bags. Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute surveyed underwater video footage. They saw that plastic bags have become ubiquitous on the seafloor off the U.S. West Coast—even as far away as Hawaii. The institute's robot subs collected the videos over the last 22 years, mostly in and around Monterey Bay but also further afield. Technicians noted whenever it showed objects or animals. The footage spanned...
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Eight ways to solve world hunger

Sat, 06/08/2013 - 18:56
Guardian: PREVENT LAND GRABBING An ugly side of current scares over future food supply is wealthy, land-poor states, like those in the Gulf and South Korea, acquiring tracts of undeveloped countries to use as allotments. It is a campaigning cause of the multi-charity IF campaign against hunger. Ethiopia, Sudan, Madagascar and Cambodia have been targeted and a total area the size of Spain may already have been acquired. Problem: Hard to police. Difficult to distinguish between genuine investment in Africa...
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Climate science tells us the alarm bells are ringing

Sat, 06/08/2013 - 06:00
Washington Post: In a recent op-ed for The Post, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) offered up a reheated stew of isolated factoids and sweeping generalizations about climate science to defend the destructive status quo. We agree with the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology that policy should be based on sound science. But Smith presented political talking points, and none of his implied conclusions is accurate. The two of us have spent, in total, more than seven decades studying Earth's climate,...
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North Sea cod stocks 'on road to sustainability'

Sat, 06/08/2013 - 02:21
BBC: North Sea cod stocks are on the road to sustainability, according to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) research. The council, which certifies whether fish are being caught sustainably, says it is too soon to tell exactly when the North Sea fishery will be sustainable. But a spokesman said on current trends, it will be ready for certification within years rather than decades. Stocks would still be in recovery then, James Simpson said, but they would have passed an acceptable level. MSC...
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Cod stocks recover after years of overfishing

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 23:01
Guardian: Cod could be in for a revival at the fish counter as stocks recover after being overfished for decades. Eating cod has been regarded as close to a crime by environmentalists, and consumers have been urged to opt for alternatives such as gurnard. But a survey by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and other fisheries organisations suggests that effective management means cod is increasing. The standards body, which certifies certain fisheries as sustainable as a guide for consumers, said that...
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Large-scale biodiversity is vital to maintain ecosystem health

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 20:52
ScienceDaily: Over the years ecologists have shown how biological diversity benefits the health of small, natural communities. New analysis by ecologists at UC Santa Cruz demonstrates that even higher levels of biological diversity are necessary to maintain ecosystem health in larger landscapes over long periods of time. Think of it as patches on a quilt, says Erika Zavaleta, UCSC associate professor of environmental studies. Each patch may be a diverse habitat of plants, animals, and insects but it is equally...
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Report: Accidents Likely In Environmentally Fragile Seas

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 20:41
National Public Radio: Many of the world's most accident-prone waters for shipping are also among the most delicate marine ecosystems, according to a new study released Friday by WWF International. The fear of something like a major oil spill in environmentally sensitive waters comes as the number of vessels plying the world's oceans has risen 20 percent in the past 15 years, from 85,000 to 105,000, the report, released on World Oceans Day, says. "Since 1999 there have been 293 shipping accidents in the South China...
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Coral Reef Ecosystems Devastated by Climate Change

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 16:31
EcoWatch: Marine biologists’ worst fears seem to be confirmed: coral colonies take a long time to recover from catastrophic climate events. British and Brazilian biologists report in the Public Library of Science One (PLoS One) that the richest habitats of the sea could also be among the most vulnerable to climate change. Bleached coral at a site in Palau monitored by the Palau International Coral Reef Center, juxtaposed with healthy, living coral. The number and extent of bleaching events have been...
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Climate change in the Arctic affecting health in parts of Europe

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 14:30
PhysOrg: Climate change in the Arctic is more evident than in most parts of the world, with global warming moving at a rate of almost twice the global average. But this also has an effect on some parts of Europe, which is being investigated by the project ArcRisk ('Arctic Health Risks and Impacts on Health in the Arctic and Europe Owing to Climate-Induced Changes in Contaminant Cycling'). This project is being highlighted to mark World Environment Day. With funding of EUR 4.75 million (of which the EU...
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China's environmental problems are grim, admits ministry report

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:30
Guardian: China's environmental situation has been described as "grim" in an annual update on the country's environment released this week. The update by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said that overall pollution problems were serious last year and reporting on the update, the state-controlled newspaper China Daily said there has been a "marked deterioration in China's air, water and land quality". The 2012 Environmental Conditions Report addressed water and air pollution, the two types...
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As Extreme Weather Increases, Bangladesh Braces for the Worst

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 13:01
Yale Environment 360: Melting ice sheets, calving glaciers and rising sea levels: scenarios of impending inundation fill the news, while climate change skeptics assure us that these are long-term problems, part of the natural cycle of things. One thing is certain: These are multi-decade changes in a warming world, which we’re tempted to leave to future generations. But as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy forcibly reminded us here in the United States, warming brings more extreme weather events -- and the catastrophic...
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EU agrees to tighten its ban on 'shark finning'

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:37
Reuters: The European Union agreed on Thursday to tighten an existing ban on "shark finning", or slicing fins off sharks often while they are still alive, which environmental campaigners say is cruel and threatens the survival of some species. Once the change comes into effect, the ban will forbid shark finning by all vessels in EU waters and by all EU-registered vessels anywhere in the world, a move its supporters believe will put pressure on countries where the practice is common. "Shark finning is...
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This is what an ice-free Antarctica looks like

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 10:13
Grist: Check out the most detailed map of a continent never truly seen by human eyes: the de-iced surface of Antarctica. By virtually peeling back the frozen ice sheet and studying the land beneath, researchers can get a better sense of how the southern pole of our planet could react to climate change. Bedmap2 was created by the British Antarctic Survey, and used decades of data to produce this detailed view of the frozen continent. NASA’s contribution to the dataset includes surface measurements from...
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Japan: Water leak at Fukushima nuclear plant

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 06:01
BBC: Radioactive water is leaking from a storage tank at Japan's Fukushima plant, its operator says. Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said a worker discovered the leak on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Tepco also announced that it had found radioactive caesium in ground water around the plant. The plant was damaged in an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and has been hit by several leaks and power failures in recent months. Hundreds of huge water tanks have been constructed...
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BP to pump $1 billion into its Alaska drilling efforts

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 00:13
Grist: Not content with wrecking the Gulf of Mexico`s ecosystem, BP has announced that it is expanding its operations at the far northern end of the country, on Alaska`s North Slope. BP plans to increase its spending in the region by $1 billion over five years, increasing its fleet of oil rigs at the North Slope from seven to nine by 2016. The announcement came after state leaders reduced taxes on oil companies. In May, Gov. Sean Parnell (R) signed legislation that cuts oil taxes to a flat 35 percent...
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