environment correspondent
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Jun 5, 2014

Global warming damages corals vital to small islands: UN

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Global warming is causing trillions of dollars of damage to coral reefs, aggravating risks to tropical small island states threatened by rising sea levels, a U.N. report said on Thursday.

The rise in sea levels off some islands in the Western Pacific was four times the global average, with gains of 1.2 cms (0.5 inch) a year from 1993 to 2012, due to shifts in winds and currents, said the United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP).

Jun 4, 2014

US wins praise for carbon cuts at UN talks, told to do more

BONN, Germany, June 4 (Reuters) – The United States won
praise at U.N. talks on climate change on Wednesday for its plan
to cut carbon emissions, but a group of scientists said it too
little to put the world on track to limit global warming.

The European Union, which often says it is doing more than
the United States to lead a fight against global warming, told
the June 4-15 meeting of 170 nations that it would over-achieve
its targets for cutting greenhouse gases by 2020.

Jun 4, 2014

EU says successful in climate change goals as U.N. talks start

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – The European Union touted its success in cutting greenhouse gases at U.N. talks on climate change on Wednesday, where a U.S. plan to cut power plant emissions has lifted hopes for a global deal in 2015.

An adviser to the Chinese government also suggested on Tuesday that Beijing could cap its soaring emissions in coming years. That would be a big step for the world’s top emitter, which says it needs to burn coal to spur growth.

Jun 1, 2014

Obama’s U.S. carbon cuts likely to win muted applause abroad

OSLO, June 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s plan to
cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants, due to be
announced on Monday, will win muted applause abroad with some
hopes it could help a U.N. deal to fight climate change in 2015.

Emerging economies including China and India are likely to
be lukewarm because they have often said that Obama’s plans for
emissions cuts until 2020 – even if fully implemented – are far
short of the curbs they say are needed by the rich.

May 22, 2014

Warm Pacific may paradoxically cause U.S. winter freeze-study

THE HAGUE, May 22 (Reuters) – Unusually warm western Pacific
waters linked to global warming may be the paradoxical cause of
a bone-chilling winter in parts of the United States this year,
a scientific study said on Thursday.

The theory contrasts with other experts’ views, including
that the freeze was simply a freak natural event or that it was
linked to a thawing of the Arctic in recent years that sent a
blast of cold air south.

May 13, 2014

Norway bets on global warming in Arctic oil and gas drive

OSLO, May 13 (Reuters) – Norway wants to let oil and gas
companies drill in Arctic seas that were frozen as recently as
the 1980s even though some climate experts say it is too early
to trust global warming to keep the ice away.

Russia is also showing new interest in the Arctic despite
high costs in a region where governments are struggling to set
safety rules after BP’s 2010 blowout in the Gulf of
Mexico, the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

May 12, 2014

West Antarctic glaciers in “irreversible” thaw, raising seas -study

OSLO, (Reuters) – Vast glaciers in West Antarctica seem to be locked in an irreversible thaw linked to global warming that may push up sea levels for centuries, scientists said on Monday.

Six glaciers, eaten away from below by a warming of sea waters around the frozen continent, were flowing fast into the Amundsen Sea, according to the report based partly on satellite radar measurements from 1992 to 2011.

Apr 28, 2014

Natural gas-gobbling bacteria may help combat oil leaks

OSLO, April 28 (Reuters) – A type of bacteria that eats
natural gases may provide a small defence against leaks such as
BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 and curb global
warming, a scientific report said on Monday.

The study identified a strain of microbe able to grow on
both methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and propane. Both are
found in unrefined natural gas and scientists had previously
thought that bacteria could only grow on one or the other.

Apr 25, 2014

Rich nations’ greenhouse gas emissions fall in 2012, led by U.S.

OSLO (Reuters) – Industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1.3 percent in 2012, led by a U.S. decline to the lowest in almost two decades with a shift to natural gas from dirtier coal, official statistics show.

Emissions from more than 40 nations were 10 percent below 1990 levels in 2012, according to a Reuters compilation of national data submitted to the United Nations in recent days that are the main gauge of efforts to tackle global warming.

Apr 14, 2014

City growth by almost 2 Manhattans a day said key to climate-UN

OSLO, April 14 (Reuters) – The world’s urban areas are set
to grow by almost twice the size of Manhattan a day until 2030
and the design of future cities in Asia and Africa will be
crucial to slow global warming, a U.N. study showed on Monday.

The breakneck expansion means billion-dollar opportunities
for companies, ranging from greener construction of homes and
offices to improved rail and bus networks, according to a report
by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).