Environment Correspondent
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Apr 13, 2012

Scientists examine a hot epoch to forecast climate future

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – To figure out what is likely to happen to Earth’s climate this century, scientists are looking 3 million years into the past.

They have concluded that the most revealing slice of time is the Pliocene Epoch, a warm, wet period between 3.15 million and 2.85 million years ago, when the world probably looked and felt much as it does now. Global temperatures and the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were similar to today’s climate, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Apr 13, 2012
via FaithWorld

Tennessee teacher law could boost creationism over evolution in state schools

A new Tennessee law protects teachers who explore the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of evolution and climate change, a move science education advocates say could make it easier for creationism and global warming denial to enter U.S. classrooms.

The measure, which became law Tuesday, made Tennessee the second state, after Louisiana, to enable teachers to more easily teach alternative theories to the widely accepted scientific concepts of evolution and human-caused climate change. At least five other states considered similar legislation this year.

Apr 12, 2012

Tennessee teacher law could boost creationism, climate denial

By Deborah Zabarenko

(Reuters) – A new Tennessee law protects teachers who explore the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of evolution and climate change, a move science education advocates say could make it easier for creationism and global warming denial to enter U.S. classrooms.

The measure, which became law Tuesday, made Tennessee the second state, after Louisiana, to enable teachers to more easily teach alternative theories to the widely accepted scientific concepts of evolution and human-caused climate change. At least five other states considered similar legislation this year.

Apr 4, 2012

Carbon dioxide helped end last ice age: U.S. researchers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions – similar to those caused by burning fossil fuels and other human activities now – helped heat the planet and end the last ice age some 11,700 years ago, scientists reported on Wednesday.

In a finding that offers a response to those skeptical about human-caused global warming, researchers from Harvard University, Oregon State University and other institutions reported in the journal Nature that rising temperatures followed increases in carbon dioxide.

Mar 28, 2012

U.N. report editor: Managing risk in a warming world

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One of the most interesting facets of a new United Nations climate change report is what’s not in it: much mention of curbing the greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere and in turn can spur some natural disasters.

“It is a change,” said Christopher Field, a top editor of the 600-page document released on Wednesday. “This report does focus on managing the risks of extreme disasters rather than changing those risks. Changing the risks is the mitigation agenda.”

Mar 28, 2012

Plan now for climate-related disasters: U.N. report

By David Fogarty and Deborah Zabarenko

(Reuters) – A future on Earth of more extreme weather and rising seas will require better planning for natural disasters to save lives and limit deepening economic losses, the United Nations said on Wednesday in a major report on the effects of climate change.

The U.N. climate panel said all nations will be vulnerable to the expected increase in heat waves, more intense rains and floods and a probable rise in the intensity of droughts.

Mar 23, 2012

US heat ‘unprecedented,’ 7,000 records set or tied

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – An “unprecedented”
March heat wave in much of the continental United States has set
or tied more than 7,000 high temperature records, and signals a
warming climate, health and weather experts said on Friday.

While natural climate variability plays a major role, it is
the addition of human-spurred climate change that makes this
particular hot spell extraordinary, the scientists said in a
telephone and web briefing.

Mar 21, 2012

Follow the money to catch illegal loggers: World Bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The same follow-the-money approach used to catch drug kingpins and human traffickers could be used to track down the big operators behind large-scale illegal logging, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Around the world, illegal loggers cut down an area of forest the size of a football field every two seconds, generating criminal proceeds of between $10 billion and $15 billion annually, the Bank said in a report,

Mar 15, 2012

Warm winter could spur corn, tree-killing beetles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As much of the United States basks in summer-like temperatures, weather and climate experts said this year’s warm winter could mean early corn planting, a risk of killing frost for apricots and a baby boom for tree-chomping bark beetles in the West.

The winter of 2011-12 was the fourth-warmest in the 117-year record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which uses meteorological winter, which ended on February 29. Astronomical winter runs until early March 20, when spring arrives at 1:14 a.m. EDT.

Mar 14, 2012

Floods spurred by rising seas threaten 5 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the nearly 5 million people who live along the U.S. coasts from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Coast, rising seas fueled by global warming have doubled the risk of so-called once-a-century floods, according to a trio of environmental reports released on Wednesday.

These new reports – one from the non-profit group Climate Central and two others published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters – offer a detailed picture of where the most severe risks are along coastlines of the contiguous 48 states.

    • 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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