environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Feb 23, 2011

U.N. “climate vulnerability” list urged to guide aid

OSLO (Reuters) – A climate “vulnerability index” to judge which developing countries are most at risk from global warming and in need of aid is among the proposals submitted to a U.N. body ahead of new climate talks in April.

The proposal is among submissions to the United Nations that also show a deep split between rich and poor countries about how to oversee billions of dollars to help developing nations adapt to impacts such as droughts, heatwaves, floods or rising seas.

Feb 22, 2011

Forest bugs seen aided by creeping climate change

AAS, Norway, Feb 22 (Reuters) – A spruce tree has smothered
a few beetles by oozing resin from its trunk, repelling an
attack by bugs that seem to be advancing northwards with climate
change in a threat to forests and timber companies.

Other sickly spruce trees scarred by bark beetles have been
less successful in the snow-covered forest near Oslo, where
scientists are seeking ways to halt insects whose relatives have
caused millions of dollars in damage in North America.

Feb 22, 2011

Scott’s Antarctic creatures may give climate clue

OSLO (Reuters) – Tiny Antarctic marine creatures first collected by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1901 may help scientists understand future climate change, a study showed on Tuesday.

The century-long record of the seabed-dwelling animals, known as bryozoans and looking like branching twigs on the seabed, also hints that an Antarctic sea has started to absorb more carbon in recent decades.

Feb 21, 2011

Tougher EU climate goal could boost GDP: study

OSLO (Reuters) – A tougher European Union goal for cutting greenhouse gas emissions could create jobs and boost economic growth by 2020, rather than slow it down as many EU governments fear, a study said on Monday.

A shift to emissions cuts of 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, from the EU’s existing 20 percent target, would help spur innovation and investment in a low-carbon economy after the financial crisis, it said.

Feb 18, 2011

Curbing soot could slow climate change: U.N.

OSLO (Reuters) – Strict curbs on soot and ozone air pollution would limit global warming by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 F) in a step toward achieving tough world climate goals, a U.N.-backed study showed on Friday.

Stricter limits on “black carbon” soot and tropospheric ozone — a greenhouse gas that is a big component of smog — would also clear the air and so reduce human deaths and improve crop yields, especially in Asia, it said.

Feb 18, 2011

Saudi Arabia seeks share of $100 billion climate aid fund

OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is a special case in need of climate aid if the world shifts to clean energy, the world’s top oil exporter told the United Nations ahead of a Monday deadline for proposals about slowing global warming.

Almost 200 nations agreed in Mexico in December to a package of measures including a new fund to help poor nations, due to be worth $100 billion annually from 2020, find ways to adapt to climate change and protect tropical forests.

Feb 17, 2011

U.N. biodiversity panel could guide on trade, farms

OSLO (Reuters) – A U.N. scientific panel meant to help safeguard animal and plant species should help guide governments with practical studies of issues such as trade, farming or energy, experts said on Thursday.

They said the panel, whose role has not yet been clearly defined, should also do more to value nature. Past studies have estimated, for instance, that the world’s coral reefs provide annual services worth $172 billion, from fisheries to tourism.

Feb 17, 2011

Analysis: Governments to debate Kyoto climate dilemma

OSLO (Reuters) – Governments are looking at ways to keep the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol going beyond 2012 in some form to defuse a standoff between rich and poor nations that threatens efforts to tackle global warming.

Negotiators from almost 200 nations will meet in Bangkok from March 3-8, after side-stepping the Kyoto issue at their last meeting in Mexico in December.

Feb 17, 2011

Governments to debate Kyoto climate dilemma

OSLO, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Governments are looking at ways to
keep the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol going beyond 2012 in some form to
defuse a standoff between rich and poor nations that threatens
efforts to tackle global warming.

Negotiators from almost 200 nations will meet in Bangkok
from March 3-8, after side-stepping the Kyoto issue at their
last meeting in Mexico in December.

Feb 9, 2011

Past Antarctic cooling may help global warming study

OSLO (Reuters) – Sea temperatures off the Antarctic Peninsula have cooled over the past 12,000 years, according to a study on Wednesday that may help scientists understand the impact of modern global warming on the frozen continent.

Scientists want to learn more about Antarctica because even a thaw of the fringes could raise sea levels and swamp low-lying coasts. The continent, discovered only in 1820, contains enough ice to raise world sea levels by 57 meters (187 ft).