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Eco-news archive: November-December 2009

Copenhagen climate talks
Copenhagen chaos sets world on track for 3.5°C
(Dec 19, 2009)

Western leaders began to leave Copenhagen in the early hours of Saturday morning, claiming to have secured a global agreement to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. But the deal provoked immediate anger for failing to include concrete measures to reach that target, and scientists at the talks said it would set the world on a path to 3.5 degrees of warming by 2100.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

ocean waves
Ocean acidification rates pose disaster for marine life, major study shows
(Dec 10, 2009)

The world's oceans are becoming acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the last 55m years, threatening disaster for marine life and food supplies across the globe, delegates at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen have been warned. Ocean acidification – the facts says that acidity in the seas has increased 30% since the start of the industrial revolution. Many of the effects of this acidification are already irreversible and are expected to accelerate, according to the scientists.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

parched ground
This decade 'warmest on record'
(Dec 8, 2009)

The first decade of this century is "by far" the warmest since instrumental records began, say the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization. Their analyses also show that 2009 will almost certainly be the fifth warmest in the 160-year record. Burgeoning El Nino conditions, adding to man-made greenhouse warming, have pushed 2009 into the "top 10" years.

Read more. Source: BBC

Minke whales in the Antarctic
Major sea level rise likely as Antarctic ice melts
(Nov 30, 2009)

Sea levels are likely to rise by about 1.4m (4ft 6in) globally by 2100 as polar ice melts, according to a major review of climate change in Antarctica. Conducted by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, it says that warming seas are accelerating melting in the west of the continent. Ozone loss has cooled the region, it says, shielding it from global warming.

Read more. Source: BBC

This year 'in top five warmest'
(Nov 25, 2009)

This year will be one of the top five warmest years globally since records began 150 years ago, according to figures compiled by the Met Office. The UK's weather service projects that, unless there is an exceptionally cold spell before the end of the year, temperatures will be up on last year. Climate sceptics had pointed out that the temperature rise appeared to have stalled in the last decade or so.

Read more. Source: BBC

Antarctic scene
World's last bastion of stable ice now thawing
(Nov 25, 2009)

We thought it was one of the Earth's last remaining regions of stable ice. Now it seems the East Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass since 2006 and could become a significant source of sea level rise, according to data from gravity-measuring satellites.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

generating station in California
Earth 'heading for 6C' of warming
(Nov 18, 2009)

Average temperatures across the world are on course to rise by up to 6C without urgent action to curb CO2 emissions, according a new analysis. Emissions rose by 29% between 2000 and 2008, says the Global Carbon Project. All of that growth came in developing countries, but a quarter of it came through production of goods for consumption in industrialised nations.

Read more. Source: BBC

Greenland coast
Greenland ice loss 'accelerating'
(Nov 12, 2009)

The Greenland ice sheet is losing its mass faster than in previous years and making an increasing contribution to sea level rise, a study has confirmed. Published in the journal Science, it has also given scientists a clearer view of why the sheet is shrinking. The team used weather data, satellite readings and models of ice sheet behaviour to analyse the annual loss of 273 thousand million tonnes of ice.

Read more. Source: BBC

Amazon deforestation
Amazon deforestation 'record low'
(Nov 12, 2009)

The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has dropped by 45% and is the lowest on record since monitoring began 21 years ago, Brazil's government says. According to the latest annual figures, just over 7,000 sq km was destroyed between July 2008 and August 2009. The drop is welcome news for the government in advance of the Copenhagen summit on climate change.

Read more. Source: BBC

Kihansi spray toad
Species' extinction threat grows
(Nov 3, 2009)

More than a third of species assessed in a major international biodiversity study are threatened with extinction, scientists have warned. Out of the 47,677 species in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 17,291 were deemed to be at serious risk. These included 21% of mammals, 30% of amphibians, 70% of plants and 35% of invertebrates.

Read more. Source: BBC


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