Environment Correspondent
Deborah's Feed
Mar 9, 2011

2010 Russia heat wave due to natural variability: U.S

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The 2010 Russian heat wave that killed thousands and cut into that country’s grain harvest was primarily due to natural variability, not human-spurred climate change, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday.

There was plenty of circumstantial evidence pointing to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but close investigation showed this was not a major factor, the scientists said in research published online in Geophysical Research Letters.

Mar 7, 2011

Lean U.S. missions to Mars, Jupiter moon recommended

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Robotic missions to Mars and Jupiter’s icy moon Europa should top NASA’s to-do list for an upcoming decade of planetary exploration, the National Research Council recommended on Monday.

For the decade 2013-2022, five separate panels of scientists and experts agreed on a suite of missions that would get the greatest scientific return from money spent, recognizing that even these projects could be budget busters.

Mar 6, 2011

Strange life signs found on meteorites – NASA scientist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A NASA scientist reports detecting tiny fossilized bacteria on three meteorites, and maintains these microscopic life forms are not native to Earth.

If confirmed, this research would suggest life in the universe is widespread and life on Earth may have come from elsewhere in the solar system, riding to our planet on space rocks like comets, moons and other astral bodies.

Mar 4, 2011

Key genital measurement linked to male fertility

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) – When it comes to male
fertility, it turns out that size does matter.

The dimension in question is not penis or testicle size,
but a measurement known as anogenital distance, or AGD.

Mar 3, 2011
via Environment Forum

Is Earth due for a mass extinction?


It has all the signs of a sick good-news/bad-news tale. The bad news is that Earth may be ripe for a mass extinction, where 75 percent or more of the life on the planet vanishes forever.

The good news is it’s unlikely to happen for at least three more centuries.

Scientists writing in the journal Nature warn that we could be on the brink of a mass extinction, the kind of species loss that has happened just five times in the last 540 million years.

Mar 2, 2011
via Environment Forum

“The Harry Potter theory of climate”


Climate doesn’t change by magic.

Just ask Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. On a conference call with other scientists and reporters, Serreze and others linked climate change to the last two harsh winters over much of the United States and Europe. And they squarely blamed human-caused greenhouse gas emissions for the rise in world temperatures that got the process going.

“Climate doesn’t change all by itself,” Serreze said. “It’s not like the Harry Potter theory of climate, where he flicks his magic wand and the climate suddenly changes. Climate only changes for a reason.”

Mar 1, 2011

Extreme winter weather linked to climate change

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This winter’s heavy snowfalls and other extreme storms could well be related to increased moisture in the air due to global climate change, a panel of scientists said on Tuesday.

This extra moisture is likely to bring on extraordinary flooding with the onset of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, as deep snowpack melts and expected heavy rains add to seasonal run-off, the scientists said in a telephone briefing.

Feb 28, 2011

Planned science cuts could hurt U.S. economy: critics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Proposed budget cuts to scientific research institutions would put the United States at an economic disadvantage with China and India, a former George W. Bush administration official says.

Scientific and environmental communities are raising alarm over proposed reductions of funding for their programs in a bill passed in the House of Representatives that would cut overall spending through September by about $61.5 billion from current levels.

Feb 25, 2011
via Environment Forum

“Climategate” e-mails rear their ugly heads — again


How many investigations of climate scientists’ stolen e-mails does the world really need?

The answer, in Washington at least, appears to be five. And counting.

These are not investigations into who might have stolen the e-mails — that’s still publicly unknown. They’re investigating whether the scientists themselves manipulated data to bolster the case for human-caused climate change or tried to keep dissenting researchers from publishing their findings.

Feb 23, 2011

Climate change fuels “dire” threat to coral reefs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Globally warmer seas, rising carbon dioxide emissions and local factors like over-fishing have pushed the threat level on the world’s coral reefs into the danger zone, environmental advocates said on Wednesday.

More than 75 percent of all reefs — which harbor fish, attract tourists and shelter marine biodiversity — are currently threatened, the advocates from U.S. government and non-governmental organizations said in releasing a report, “Reefs at Risk Revisited.”

    • About Deborah

      "I started with Reuters in 1986 in New York City, moving to Washington DC two years later. I've covered the Winter Olympics in Calgary and Salt Lake City, a couple wars, the State Department, White House, Pentagon, several long trials and a presidential sex scandal. Since 2006, I've been reporting on the environment and climate change."
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