Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Arctic ice melts faster but shrinks less

According to initial findings from US scientists, ice floating on the Arctic Ocean melted unusually quickly this year but did not shrink down to the record minimum area last seen in 2007. However, 2010's summer Arctic ice minimum remains the third smallest recorded by satellites.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Call to stop fossil fuel subsidy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged nations to stop subsidising fossil fuels and claims that in 2009 governments (mainly in the developing world), spent $312bn subsidising coal oil, gas and coal even though they agree these fuels cause climate change.

The IEA has argued that removing the subsidies would be the most expedient way to control the soaring demand for energy whilst cutting carbon emissions by nearly 6%.

According to the IEA, vested interests and political inertia are the main stumbling blocks to making progress on the issue.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Inbred bumblebees 'face extinction threat'

Albert Einstein once said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”

Some of the UK's rarest bumblebees are at risk of becoming extinct as a result of inbreeding, research suggests. It seems that the lack of genetic diversity is making the bees more vulnerable to a number of threats, including parasitic infection. Scientists warn that some populations of bees are becoming increasingly isolated as a result of habitat loss.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Brazilian government gives the go-ahead for huge Amazon dam

The proposal to build a hydro-electric dam on the Xingu river, a tributary of the Amazon in the northern state of Para, has long been a source of controversy. The project was originally abandoned in the 1990s following widespread protests both in Brazil and around the world.

Environmental groups say the 6km-long (3.75-mile) long dam will threaten the survival of indigenous groups, and the lives of up to 50,000 people could be affected as 500 sq km (190 sq miles) of land would be flooded.

If it goes ahead it will become the world's third biggest hydroelectric dam.