Climate Live: Climate change driving salmon evolution, UK flooding to cost £860m by 2015 and San Francisco officials ban Apple

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Wednesday 11 July

Last updated: 1700 BST

Latest news

An international team of scientists have reconstructed the climate in northern Europe over the last 2,000 years using the information provided by tree-rings. It is assumed that the warmer summer temperature make for wider rings and the team say they have found a long term cooling trend that lasted right up until the Industrial Revolution.

BP has announced that it is going to halt its plan to drill for 100 million barrels of oil off the coast of Alaska saying: “The project, as it’s designed right now, doesn’t meet BP’s standards.”

The European Commission put forward proposal today to implement targets to further reduce emissions from car and vans. Commenting on the plans, Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said:

”With our proposals we are not only protecting the climate and saving consumers money. We are also boosting innovation and competitiveness in the automotive sector. And we will create substantial numbers of jobs as a result. This is a clear win-win situation for everyone. This is one more important step towards a competitive, low-carbon economy. More CO2 reductions beyond 2020 need to be prepared and these will be considered in consultation with stakeholders.”

BONN UPDATE: Bernadittas Muller from the Philippines delegation has said there is no trust between countries on climate finance because of bad experiences with development aid. She also stressed the importance of a stable, continuous funding system in the future: “Finance must be predictable, we can’t make long term adaptation plans if the finance is not predictable.”

BONN UPDATE: Jessica Brown from the US State Department has questioned why countries are not acknowledging the fast-start finance the country has donated: “It’s counter productive. When governments don’t acknowledge our support it makes it harder for us to go back to our government and get more support.”

The European Commission is expected to publish plans to tighten limits on how much CO2 cars and vans can emit. It is the latest in a series of measure aims at meeting EU goals on cutting fuel bills and curbing emissions. The binding 2020 targets have so far divided the industry.

UK consumers have around £30 billion worth of clothes that hang in their wardrobes having not been worn for over a year, according to a new report. The study aims to offer a look at the impacts of clothing on the environment.

BONN UNFCCC #LTFchat: Watch live coverage via webcast

Could climate change be behind the rainy summer being experienced in the UK this summer? Dr Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office Hadley Centre says it could as global warming causes more water to evaporate into the air, causing increased chances of heavier downpours.

And with more downpours meaning more flooding – over 3,000 properties have been flooded since May in the UK– Ministers are warning flood protection could cost the country £860 million by 2015 – at a time when public money available has been reduced.

Climate change could be driving the evolution of salmon.  Records over the last 30 years show nature has increasingly selected in favour of fish that migrate from the ocean, upriver to spawn, earlier in the year. Researchers say it is very difficult to tell if a species is changing its pattern or evolving genetically – or both.

Following news last week that Apple had removed its products from a green certification scheme designed to identify electronic devices environmental impact, city officials in San Francisco have announced they plan to block local government agencies from buying new computers from the company.

Top tweets

With rain and flooding in the UK, and heatwaves and wildfires in the US, extreme weather is still the hot topic of conversation this week…



Photo of the day

Yesterday saw scientists from across Canada march in their white-coats in protest over cuts to science and environment research. This picture came from @ZoeCaron on Twitter…

Video of the day

To celebrate the introduction of cycle routes on Google Maps, Sustrans released this great little video…

And with the International Coral Reef Symposium taking place in Cairns this week scientists are warning that accelerated climate change are putting increased pressure on the world’s coral reefs. The World Resources Institute have put together this cartoon video to help explain the threats to the corals….

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