Climate Live: Arctic sea ice hits record lows, ecology drone monitor conservation and Al Gore praises Australia’s climate action

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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– Updated from 0900-1700 BST (GMT+1)

Latest news – Tuesday 21 August 

1700: The EPA’s rule setting strict limits on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions has been abandoned by the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit who sent the rule back to the agency for revision and told it to administer its existing Clean Air Interstate Rule in the interim.

The rule was designed to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 73% and nitrogen oxide by 54% at coal-fired power plants from 2005 levels.

1600: A group of researchers believe they have developed an eco-friendly way to clean up oil spills. This new method uses just a handful of ingredients, none of which are petroleum-based, and all of them commonly found in foods such as chocolate, ice cream and peanut butter.

1500: The Philippine President Benigno Aquino is said to have signed a law creating a one billion peso (around $24 million) survival fund to combat climate change and pay for adaptation projects in the country.

14oo: The World Meteorological Organisation has called on nations to urgently adopt drought-management policies as farmers from Africa to India struggle with a lack of rainfall and theUSexperiences its worst drought in decades.

1300: Could Australia be the first non-European industrialised country to sign up to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol? Hopes have been raised after the opposition coalition offered ‘in principle support’ to the idea.

1145: Australia’s Climate Commission – a group set up by the Federal Government to provide independent information on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon price – has released a new report tracking the international efforts to tackle climate change.

It found efforts are accelerating rapidly.

1030: The Carbon Brief takes a look at the debate surrounding claims the UK could have the ‘climate of Madeira’ by 2060.

BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth, which first argued the claims (that they say were based on findings from the Met Office’s UK Climate Projections) have come under fire from the Met Office Head of Climate Impacts Richard Betts, who says the premise of the programme was based on “inaccurate information.”

0930: UK fish consumption in 2012 has already matched what the seas can supply for a year – leaving the country reliant on imports. A report from the New Economics Foundation calculated that annual fish supplies from seas can only satisfy demand for 233 days.

0830: Arctic sea ice is expected to reach record lows next week – and then continue to melt – according to a scientist from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Ecology drones, unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor wildlife are being used to track endangered species, spot poachers and chart forest loss.

Former US vice-president Al Gore has praised Australia’s climate change action saying the Gillard government’s carbon price has “inspired the world” to press ahead with measures to tackle climate change.

Oil company Shell are in talks with the US government in an attempt to speed up its planned summer drilling programme in the Arctic by starting work before final approvals have been secured. The company are running out of time to carry out their exploratory drilling before sea-ice begins to build up again.

Top Tweets


Image of the day The Climate Commission in Australia tracks global action on climate change…

 Today’s video

One of the most bizarre publicity stunts to date? Here’s the video of weather forecaster Michael Fish – infamous for telling the British public not to worry in 1987 just hours before the worst storm since 1703 hit – apparently base jumping from a building to raise awareness of climate change…

A lot of hype has been surrounding the video – mainly over whether Fish did the jump himself or was aided by a stunt double…

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