Environment Correspondent
Deborah's Feed
Apr 23, 2010

Ocean chemistry changing at “unprecedented rate”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming are also turning the oceans more acidic at the fastest pace in hundreds of thousands of years, the National Research Council reported on Thursday.

“The chemistry of the ocean is changing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions,” the council said. “The rate of change exceeds any known to have occurred for at least the past hundreds of thousands of years.”

Apr 21, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Honk! Wheeze! Atchoo! It’s getting hot in Washington, and it’s not just the weather

Photo

Spring in Washington means cherry blossoms, azaleas and a collective wet sneeze from the hundreds of thousands of allergy sufferers in the region. This year, a long snow-covered winter may actually have protected plants while an early burst of summer-like temperatures called forth the blossoms, creating what felt to many like a pollen bomb.

Plants that would usually have bloomed in an orderly sequence — forsythia, daffodils, tulips, cherry blossoms, dogwood, azaleas and lilacs — are all flowering together. Cars, streets, pets and other plants are covered with a gritty yellow-green sneeze-inducing residue. Allergy symptoms are the common result, and they cost a bundle.

Apr 20, 2010

Spring comes 10 days earlier in changed U.S. climate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Spring comes about 10 days earlier in the United States than it did two decades ago, a consequence of climate change that favors invasive species over indigenous ones, scientists said on Tuesday.

The phenomenon known as “spring creep” has put various species of U.S. wildlife out of balance with their traditional habitats, from the rabbit-like American pika in the West to the roses and lilies in New England, the environmental experts said in a telephone news briefing.

Apr 15, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Earth’s missing heat could haunt us later: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means far more energy is coming into Earth’s climate system than is going out, but half of that energy is missing and could eventually reappear as another sign of climate change, scientists said on Thursday.

In stable climate times, the amount of heat coming into Earth’s system is equal to the amount leaving it, but these are not stable times, said John Fasullo of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, a co-author of the report in the journal Science.

Apr 14, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

The tweets of your life, now archived at the Library of Congress

Photo

Did you tweet what you had for breakfast today? If so, that bagel and coffee are now immortalized, sort of, as the Library of Congress has acquired the entire Twitter archive. Billions of 140-character musings, some 55 million tweets a day, just waiting to be read. You may wonder if anyone reads your tweets, but at least they’ll be in good company.

Even though Twitter has only been around since 2006, there are tweets that will live in history, such as Barack Obama’s message when he won the presidency in 2008: “We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion. All of this happened because of you. Thanks” — a pretty big message for 140 characters, and yet gets the story told.

Apr 14, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Exclusive: Climate change could raise cost of allergies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Climate change could push the cost of U.S. allergies and asthma beyond the current $32 billion annual price tag, conservation and health groups reported on Wednesday.

A warming planet makes for longer growing seasons that would produce more allergy-provoking pollen in much of the heavily populated eastern two-thirds of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said in their report.

Apr 14, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Climate change could raise cost of U.S. allergies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Climate change could push the cost of U.S. allergies and asthma beyond the current $32 billion annual price tag, conservation and health groups reported on Wednesday.

A warming planet makes for longer growing seasons that would produce more allergy-provoking pollen in much of the heavily populated eastern two-thirds of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said in their report.

Apr 13, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

World marine debris totals 10 mln pieces in 1-day cleanup

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 10 million pieces of trash were plucked from the world’s waterways in a single day last year. But for Philippe Cousteau, the beach sandals that washed up in the Norwegian arctic symbolized the global nature of the problem of marine debris.

“We saw flip-flops washing ashore on these islands in far northern Norway near the Arctic Circle,” Cousteau, a conservationist and grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, said in a telephone interview.

Apr 13, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

World marine debris totals 10 mln in 1-day cleanup

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) – More than 10 million
pieces of trash were plucked from the world’s waterways in a
single day last year. But for Philippe Cousteau, the beach
sandals that washed up in the Norwegian arctic symbolized the
global nature of the problem of marine debris.

“We saw flip-flops washing ashore on these islands in far
northern Norway near the Arctic Circle,” Cousteau, a
conservationist and grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques
Cousteau, said in a telephone interview.

Apr 7, 2010

Firms urge Obama to offer consumer energy info

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Almost 50 U.S. firms and organizations, including Google, General Electric and AT&T, urged President Barack Obama on Tuesday to let consumers know how much energy they use so they can decide where to cut back.

This could “unleash the forces of innovation in homes and businesses … reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers billions of dollars,” the group of 47 companies and organizations said in a letter to Obama.

    • 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."
    • Follow Deborah