UK FACES FOOD SECURITY CATASTROPHE AS HONEYBEE NUMBERS FALL, SCIENTISTS WARN

 

The UK faces a food security catastrophe because of its very low numbers of honeybee colonies, which provide an essential service in pollinating many crops, scientists warned on Wednesday.

 

New research reveals that honeybees provide just a quarter of the pollination needed in the UK, the second lowest level among 41 European countries. Furthermore, the controversial rise of biofuels in Europe is driving up the need for pollination five times faster than the rise in honeybee numbers. The research suggests an increasing reliance on wild pollinators, such as bumblebees and hoverflies, whose diversity is in decline.

 

Read more at www.theguardian.com

 

WINTER DELUGES MAY BECOME THE NORM FOR BRITAIN

 

Britain should brace itself for even soggier winters in future, according to climate change projections which show that the country will get warmer and wetter over the next 20 years.

 

Average winter temperatures will rise by as much as 5.4F (3C) by 2035, with rainfall increasing by up to 12 per cent, the first projections for regional climate change suggested.

 

As more heavy rain, high tides and gale force winds were forecast to bring further flooding to parts of Britain this weekend, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its final report breaking down the impact of global warming for individual areas. It is the first time it has brought climate models together to make seasonal and regional projections.

 

Read more at www.telegraph.co.uk

 

EU TO CUT CARBON EMISSIONS BY 40% BY 2030

 

Europe will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, the toughest climate change target of any region in the world, and will produce 27% of its energy from renewable sources by the same date.

 

The landmark deal was reached after grinding negotiations dragged on to the deadline of 11am on Wednesday, as warring factions within the European commission and member states fought over whether to water down the proposals.

 

The EU is now the first to set out emissions reduction targets ahead of a crunch meeting of world governments in Paris in 2015 that will decide a global framework for avoiding dangerous levels of global warming. Every other major developed and developing economy is expected to set out its own binding national emissions target within the next year, for the United Nations talks to go ahead.

 

Read more at www.theguardian.com

 

STARVED POLAR BEAR PERISHED DUE TO RECORD SEA-ICE MELT, SAYS EXPERT

 

A starved polar bear found found dead in Svalbard as "little more than skin and bones" perished due to a lack of sea ice on which to hunt seals, according to a polar bear expert.

 

Climate change has reduced sea ice in the Arctic to record lows in the last year and Dr Ian Stirling, who has studied the bears for almost 40 years and examined the animal, said the lack of ice forced the bear into ranging far and wide in an ultimately unsuccessful search for food.

 

Read more at www.theguardian.com

 

NEWTOK, ALASKA: AMERICA'S FIRST CLIMATE REFUGEES

 

Sabrina Warner keeps having the same nightmare: a huge wave rearing up out of the water and crashing over her home, forcing her to swim for her life with her toddler son.

 

"I dream about the water coming in," she said. The landscape in winter on the Bering Sea coast seems peaceful, the tidal wave of Warner's nightmare trapped by snow and several feet of ice. But the calm is deceptive. Spring break-up will soon restore the Ninglick River to its full violent force.

 

Read more at www.guardian.co.uk

 

NICHOLAS STERN: 'I GOT IT WRONG ON CLIMATE CHANGE – IT'S FAR, FAR WORSE'

 

Lord Stern, author of the government-commissioned review on climate change that became the reference work for politicians and green campaigners, now says he underestimated the risks, and should have been more "blunt" about the threat posed to the economy by rising temperatures.

 

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Stern, who is now a crossbench peer, said: "Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then."

 

Read more at www.guardian.co.uk

 

GLOBAL CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS SET TO PASS 400PPM MILESTONE

 

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and is likely to pass the symbolically important 400ppm level for the first time in the next few days.

 

Readings at the US government's Earth Systems Research laboratory in Hawaii, are not expected to reach their 2013 peak until mid May, but were recorded at a daily average of 399.72ppm on 25 April. The weekly average stood at 398.5 on Monday.

 

Read more at www.guardian.co.uk

 

CLIMATE CHANGE WILL BRING GREATER EXTREMES IN WEATHER, WARNS GOVERNMENT'S CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISER

 

Climate change will bring greater extremes in weather, the Government's outgoing chief scientific adviser has warned as he called for urgent action to tackle global warming.

 

Professor Sir John Beddington said the effects of climate change on the weather were already being felt in the UK.

 

Read more at www.independent.co.uk

 

SCIENCE MOVES STEP CLOSER TO DEVELOPING HYDROGEN AS CHEAP AND CLEAN ENERGY FORM

 

Scientists have harnessed the principles of photosynthesis to develop a new way of producing hydrogen – in a breakthrough that offers a possible solution to global energy problems.

 

The researchers claim the development could help unlock the potential of hydrogen as a clean, cheap and reliable power source.

 

Read more at www.independent.co.uk

 

 

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