environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Jan 29, 2015

Storms like U.S. blizzard may get stronger but less frequent: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Large storms like the blizzard that battered New England this week may become more severe but less frequent as the Earth’s climate changes, scientists said on Thursday.

The Canadian-led study noted that warmer air can hold more moisture, meaning more fuel for rain, hail or snow, and found knock-on effects on how the atmosphere generates storms.

Jan 29, 2015

Build better roads in developing world to bolster food supplies -study

OSLO, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Billion-dollar investments in basic
transport and electricity in developing nations are among the
best ways to curb hunger by 2030 since a quarter of all food is
now wasted after harvest, according to a report issued on
Thursday.

A total of $239 billion invested over the next 15 years, in
road and railway connections to connect farms to markets and in
electricity supplies to improve cold storage, would yield
benefits of $3.1 trillion by safeguarding food, it said.

Jan 26, 2015

Severe La Nina weather events in Pacific may double due to warming

OSLO (Reuters) – Extreme “La Nina” weather events that cool the Pacific Ocean and can disrupt weather worldwide will paradoxically happen almost twice as often in a warming world, an international team of scientists said on Monday.

Severe La Ninas, linked to both floods and droughts as well as more landfalls by Atlantic hurricanes, would happen on average every 13 years in the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, compared with once every 23 years last century, the researchers said.

Jan 26, 2015

Last year tied with 2010 as warmest on record: British data

OSLO (Reuters) – Last year tied with 2010 as the hottest on record, in a new sign of long-term global warming stoked by human activities, according to British data on Monday that back up U.S. findings of record-breaking heat in 2014.

The worldwide data, compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia from records stretching back to 1850, showed average surface temperatures last year were 0.56 degree Celsius (1.0 Fahrenheit) above the long-term average of 1961-90.

Jan 22, 2015

U.N. asks countries for climate plans after record warm 2014

OSLO (Reuters) – The United Nations asked governments on Thursday to submit plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions as the building blocks of a deal due in Paris in December to limit global warming, after scientists said 2014 was the hottest year on record.

Governments have agreed an informal deadline of March 31 to submit plans as the basis of the U.N. deal to slow climate change, which nearly all climate scientists say is mainly due to rising emissions of man-made greenhouse gases.

Jan 22, 2015

Sanctions sap allure of Russia’s Arctic shipping route

OSLO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Western sanctions on Russia are restricting the Arctic shipping route along its north coast to domestic cargoes and energy exports with many foreign firms staying away after test voyages on a fabled short-cut between Europe and Asia.

A decline in foreign shipments on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in 2014, interrupting gains in recent years as ice retreats, dims prospects for a shipping lane that is often seen as a rare positive side-effect of global warming.

Jan 20, 2015

Norway moves Arctic ice edge north, oil firms on alert

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s government invited firms to drill for oil and gas further inside the Arctic Circle on Tuesday, putting it at loggerheads with opposition parties as it seeks to open up new fields at a time of declining output.

Under a redefinition of risks of sea ice between 1984-2013 against a more southerly 1967-89 benchmark, the industry would gain access to acreage 60 to 70 kilometers (40-45 miles) north of already accessible areas.

Jan 15, 2015

Climate change, extinctions signal Earth in danger zone: study

OSLO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – - Climate change and high rates of extinctions of animals and plants are pushing the Earth into a danger zone for humanity, a scientific report card about mankind’s impact on nature said on Thursday.

An international team of 18 experts, expanding on a 2009 report about “planetary boundaries” for safe human use, also sounded the alarm about clearance of forests and pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilisers.

Jan 14, 2015

Sea level rise quickens more than thought in threat to coasts

OSLO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Sea level rise in the past two decades has accelerated faster than previously thought in a sign of climate change threatening coasts from Florida to Bangladesh, a study said on Wednesday.

The report, reassessing records from more than 600 tidal gauges, found that readings from 1901-90 had over-estimated the rise in sea levels. Based on revised figures for those years, the acceleration since then was greater than so far assumed.

Jan 9, 2015

Nordic countries point the way to cashless societies

STOCKHOLM/OSLO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Nordic countries are
leading a shift by rich nations towards cashless societies,
providing a test case for whether the lower cost and convenience
of using cards and smartphones for payments outweigh the risks
of fraud and some people being left behind.

Helped by wide use of computers even among the elderly,
broad trust in the state and big business and only small black
economies, people in Sweden and neighbouring countries are fast
embracing cards, the Internet and apps for financial
transactions, and forsaking notes and coins.