environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
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).

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.