Scientists warned this week that global warming will be "stronger than expected and sooner than expected", after a new analysis showed carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere much faster than predicted. Experts said the rise was caused by soaring economic development in China, and a reduction in the amount of carbon pollution soaked up by the world's land and oceans.
A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world's scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a United Nations expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss "may no longer be avoided" because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
A radical plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions by rationing the carbon use of individuals is being drawn up by British government officials. The scheme could force consumers to carry a swipe card that records their personal carbon allocation, with points knocked off each time they buy petrol or tickets for a flight.
European officials are under mounting pressure to tighten the pollution limits on European industry in the second phase of its flagship emissions trading scheme. Such a move is essential, critics said, to restore the scheme's credibility and to make a meaningful contribution to tackling climate change.
Flowerbeds and hanging baskets are banned, but patios are legitimate. The driveway is allowed, although the car parked there is off limits. And commercial vehicles can still be cleaned, except for taxis, which count as private motorcars. Confused? Millions of home-owners in the United Kingdom were recently, as sweeping hosepipe bans came into force across London.
Humans have provoked the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs were wiped out 65-million years ago, according to a United Nations report that calls for unprecedented worldwide efforts to address the slide. The report paints a grim picture of life on Earth, with declining numbers of plants, animals, insects and birds across the globe.
Scientists working in Antarctica have discovered an alarming rise in sea temperature that threatens to disrupt populations of penguins, whales, seals and a host of smaller creatures within a few decades. The new study shows the ocean west of the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by more than a degree since the 1960s
Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking freshwater supplies will create up to 50Â -million environmental refugees by the end of the decade, experts warned this week. Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, said creeping environmental deterioration already displaced up to 10Â -million people a year.
Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet 000 that the planet will cool over the next decade. The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.
A British bus company is testing a new secret weapon that it hopes will help forward its push to cut its polluting emissions -- sheep urine. The company, Stagecoach, has fitted a bus in the southern English city of Winchester with a tank containing the animal waste, which is sprayed into exhaust fumes to reduce emissions of harmful nitrous oxides.
A third killer earthquake may be lurking beneath the Indian Ocean, seismologists say. Last Monday's quake was caused by an increased geological stress set up by the giant earthquake in December, and they fear the process will repeat itself. Phil Cummins, a seismologist, said: "There is a chance that the next segment further to the south-east could rupture sooner than we expected. But we can't predict the time."