environment correspondent
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Oct 6, 2012

Nobel peace committee aims to stop eavesdroppers

OSLO (Reuters) – The Nobel Peace Prize committee is tightening security to prevent eavesdroppers on decisions that can infuriate the powerful.

“We have taken certain precautions,” Geir Lundestad, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, told Reuters in his office in central Oslo.

Oct 3, 2012

Romans, Han Dynasty were greenhouse gas emitters: study

OSLO (Reuters) – A 200-year period covering the heyday of both the Roman Empire and China’s Han dynasty saw a big rise in greenhouse gases, according to a study that challenges the U.N. view that man-made climate change only began around 1800.

A record of the atmosphere trapped in Greenland’s ice found the level of heat-trapping methane rose about 2,000 years ago and stayed at that higher level for about two centuries.

Sep 30, 2012

Fish to shrink as global warming leaves them gasping for oxygen

OSLO, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Fish are likely to get smaller on
average by 2050 because global warming will cut the amount of
oxygen in the oceans in a shift that may also mean dwindling
catches, according to a study on Sunday.

Average maximum body weights for 600 types of marine fish,
such as cod, plaice, halibut and flounder, would contract by
14-24 percent by 2050 from 2000 under a scenario of a quick rise
in greenhouse gas emissions, it said.

Sep 28, 2012

Swift action needed to save world’s declining fisheries-study

OSLO (Reuters) – Swift action is required to save many of the world’s fisheries that are declining faster than expected, a study in a leading scientific journal shows.

A recovery of fisheries could increase worldwide landings by up to 40 percent, helping to feed a global human population that is forecast to rise from 7 billion to 9 billion between now and 2050, according to the report in Friday’s edition of Science.

Sep 28, 2012

Many nations lag in plan to slow extinctions by 2020-UN

OSLO/SINGAPORE, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Many nations need to do
more to slow extinctions of animals and plants under U.N.
targets for 2020 that would also save the world economy billions
of dollars a year, U.N. experts say.

Only a few countries — including France, Guatemala and
Britain — have so far adopted new national plans to tackle
threats such as pollution or climate change in line with a
sweeping pact agreed in Japan in 2010.

Sep 19, 2012

Man-made salt marshes fail to meet European demands on plants-study

OSLO (Reuters) – Man-made salt marshes meant to slow coastal erosion in England are failing to comply with European rules that demand they should be as rich in plant life as natural wetlands, a study showed on Thursday.

The report points to future problems for many nations in protecting coastlines under threat from sea level rise caused by global warming. Salt marshes, or tidal wetlands, are habitats for many plants and creatures from fish to migratory birds.

Sep 19, 2012

Climate change threatens nature from coffee to Arctic fox-forum

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (Reuters) – Climate change is a threat to everything from coffee plantations to Arctic foxes and even a moderate rise in world temperatures will be damaging for plants and animals in some regions, experts said on Wednesday.

Habitats such as coral reefs or the Arctic region were among the most vulnerable to global warming, scientists said at a conference in Lillehammer, south Norway, organized by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Sep 18, 2012

Arctic sea ice thaw may be accelerated by oil, shipping

OSLO, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Local pollution in the Arctic from
shipping and oil and gas industries, which have expanded in the
region due to a thawing of sea ice caused by global warming,
could further accelerate that thaw, experts say.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said there
was an urgent need to calculate risks of local pollutants such
as soot, or “black carbon”, in the Arctic. Soot darkens ice,
making it soak up more of the sun’s heat and quickening a melt.

Sep 13, 2012

Trillion-dollar nature needs boardroom seat, says U.N. economist

SINGAPORE/OSLO (Reuters) – Nature lacks a seat in the boardrooms of most big companies even though it provides valuable resources that should have a price tag, one of world’s most influential green economists said.

Ignoring nature’s value risks “mayhem” for corporations and mankind in the rush for profits and finite resources, Pavan Sukhdev, formerly of Deutsche Bank and a United Nations goodwill ambassador told Reuters.

Sep 11, 2012

Norway follows EU with CO2 compensation scheme

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway followed the European Union on Tuesday with a $90 million scheme to encourage energy-intensive industries to stay in the country, a move analysts said highlighted weaknesses in Europe’s flagging carbon market.

“The purpose is to prevent the Norwegian manufacturing industry from moving their enterprises to countries with less strict climate regulations,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.