environment correspondent
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Feb 8, 2011

Analysis: Greenland of 1770s gives clues to chill winters

OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) – The icy winters suffered by Europe and North America for the last two years contrast with unusually mild weather in the Arctic, in a pattern first noted by a Danish missionary in Greenland in the 1770s.

Some scientists suggest climate change may be intensifying a natural oscillation. Others say that verdict would be premature and the pattern appears to be the same old natural one.

Feb 8, 2011

Greenland of 1770s gives clues to chill winters

OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) – The icy winters suffered by Europe and North America for the last two years contrast with unusually mild weather in the Arctic, in a pattern first noted by a Danish missionary in Greenland in the 1770s.

Some scientists suggest climate change may be intensifying a natural oscillation. Others say that verdict would be premature and the pattern appears to be the same old natural one.

Feb 7, 2011

“Green” job creation risks backfiring: Lomborg

OSLO (Reuters) – Investments to create new jobs in clean energies risk backfiring by curbing employment in other parts of the economy, a study commissioned by Danish “Skeptical Environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg said on Monday.

The report also said that jobs in green energies were often based on over-optimistic projections of a fast shift from fossil fuels in coming decades toward cleaner sources such as wind, solar or hydro power.

Feb 6, 2011

Mexican clean-up urged to help Caribbean tourism

OSLO (Reuters) – Pollutants ranging from pesticides to illicit drugs have been found in fresh water aquifers beneath a Caribbean resort in Mexico and could damage future tourism unless the region cleans up, a U.N.-backed study said on Sunday.

It said that samples taken from a labyrinth of water-filled caves beneath the “Riviera Maya” south of the city of Cancun showed contamination mainly from sewage, as well as from highways or even golf courses.

Jan 31, 2011

Fertilizing oceans seen fruitless in climate fight

OSLO (Reuters) – Fertilizing the oceans to boost the growth of tiny plants that soak up greenhouse gases is unlikely to work as a way to slow climate change, a U.N.-backed study showed on Monday.

Such “geo-engineering” schemes would be hard to monitor and were likely to store away only small amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Jan 31, 2011
via Environment Forum

Pure water from solar power; will it catch on?

Photo

 Remote villages in developing countries might benefit from these twin 40-ft long containers (left) — a water purification system driven by solar power — as a substitute for noisy diesel-powered generators, trucks bringing in water or people spending hours every day walking to fetch water.

That’s the hope of the makers, environmental technology group SwissINSO Holding Inc. The small company has recently won its first contracts to supply the systems to Algeria and Malaysia and is aiming to sell 42 units of what it calls the world’s “first high-volume, 100 percent-solar turnkey water purification system” in 2011.

Jan 30, 2011

Risk of new Chile quake seen after 2010 disaster

OSLO (Reuters) – The risk of a new earthquake may have increased in an area of Chile’s Pacific coast that suffered a massive quake and tsunamis last year that killed more than 500 people, a team of scientists said on Sunday.

They said the 8.8 magnitude February 27 quake had only partly broken stresses, deep in the Earth’s crust in an area south of Santiago, that have been building up since an 1835 quake witnessed by British naturalist Charles Darwin.

Jan 27, 2011

Arctic current warmer than for 2,000 years: study

OSLO (Reuters) – A North Atlantic current flowing into the Arctic Ocean is warmer than for at least 2,000 years in a sign that global warming is likely to bring ice-free seas around the North Pole in summers, a study showed.

Scientists said that waters at the northern end of the Gulf Stream, between Greenland and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, averaged 6 degrees Celsius (42.80F) in recent summers, warmer than at natural peaks during Roman or Medieval times.

Jan 26, 2011

Experts seek Arctic climate early warning system

TROMSOE, Norway (Reuters) – Scientists sought on Wednesday to pin down triggers for abrupt climate shifts in the Arctic, such as a feared runaway melt of Greenland’s ice sheet, to create an early warning system for governments.

“We need leading indicators to see when we are approaching a threshold so that we can stop before we reach it,” Carlos Duarte, a professor at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research, told a conference on “Arctic Frontiers” in Norway.

Jan 26, 2011

Castration seen as climate change aid for reindeer

TROMSOE, Norway (Reuters) – Indigenous Sami peoples in the Arctic may have found a way to help their reindeer herds cope with climate change: more castration.

Research by Sami experts shows that sterilized males can grow larger and so are better at digging for food — as Arctic temperatures vary more, thawing snow often refreezes to form thick ice over lichen pastures.