Australia joins Climate and Clean Air Coalition

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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– Updated from 0830-1700 BST (GMT+1)


Latest news: Monday 1 October

Last updated: 1720

Global: New research suggests that estimates of how much CO2 the land can absorb must be cut by almost a quarter. Climate models typically assume that oceans, soils and plant life would absorb around half of all the additional carbon that humans emit. However, a study in Nature suggests that a limited supply of nutrients will limit the extent to which additional CO2 can be extracted from the atmosphere. (Nature)

USA: A social media platform has been established to allow the public to make sure their pension and investment funds are accounting for climate change. Fund managers are legally obliged to protect investors from major risk, under which the effects of climate change fall. It is estimated that 55% of pensions are invested in high carbon assets. (The Australian)

UK: Government plans to merge its Antarctic research division, the British Antarctic Survey, with the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, has triggered protests from scientists who say the move would cut studies of polar climate change and rising sea levels. (Reuters)

Worldwide: It pays to be a forerunner in climate change mitigation, according to new research. The study found industrialised countries can profit from taking early action on greenhouse has emission cuts, even if the rest of the world delays. (PIK)

The Netherlands:Amsterdam is set to go green with Europe’s first electric scooter-taxi. Ruben Beugels, the brains behind the new form of public transport says he sees the scooters bridging the gap, helping people get from using public transport to arriving at their final destination. (Reuters)

USA: Climate change deniers have been offered a $5000 bounty to prove that more than 5% of ‘credible’ American scientists dispute global climate change. The website TruthMarket, which says it aim to ‘publicly expose false political, commercial and activist claims and reinforce true claims’ has put up the cash. To win you need to: Provide verifiable evidence that significantly less than 95% of American scientists believe in the reality of Global Climate Change and that humans are a likely cause.

Australia: Secretary for climate change and energy efficiency, Mark Creyfus said the country has agreed to work with the US state of California to promote global emissions markets. (Bloomberg)

UK: Speaking at the Labour Party’s Conference, Ed Miliband has said that the party would scrap energy regulator Ofgem and replace it with a new watchdog, which would have the power to force energy companies to pass cuts in wholesale energy prices to customers. The Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Caroline Flint, has said the move would help drive green investment. (Business Green)

UK: A network of rapid charging points that can recharge an electric car in around 15-30 minutes are to be installed in motorway service stations around the country. With a half hour charge filling 80% of most cars’ batteries – around 80 miles of power – the move could open up a new market for electric vehicles. (Telegraph)

RTCC: This week we’re focusing on the role forests play in regulating the climate, soaking up CO2 emissions and providing a home to vast numbers of flora and fauna. Our partners at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have written some fascinating reports that we will feature over the next six days.

Today: What role do forests play in addressing climate change; five facts you may have forgotten about forests; communities from the Amazon and Congo basin in pictures

Australia: Julia Gillard’s government has announced it will join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a UN led initiative aimed at cutting down on short-lived pollutants such as soot and methane. (Reuters)

Japan: The government in Tokyo has announced it will introduce an environment tax aimed at curbing the use of fossil fuels. The tax, which will be imposed on fossil fuels, including crude oil and natural gas, is in line with the government’s aims to cut emissions by 25% by 2020 – on 1990 levels. (New Kerala)

Oceans: Fish species could shrink in size by up to 25% because of climate change. Researchers modelled the impact of rising temperatures on more than 600 species between 2001 and 2050. (BBC)

UK: Scientists from Scotland suggest that a giant dust cloud in space, blasted off an asteroid could act like a sunshade for Earth and help combat climate change. The researchers calculated that the largest near-Earth asteroid, 1036 Ganymed, could maintain a dust cloud large enough to block out over 6% of the solar radiation that would normally reach the planet. (Space.com)

USA: New research has warned that a warmer and drier climate in the future could cause widespread tree death in the Southwest US and could cause major changes in the distribution of forests and species. (e! Science News)

UK: Campaign groups, including Greenpeace and Oxfam, are warning the UK government that ignoring global warming would be ‘reckless’. They warn that just 50 months remain to prevent a critical threshold in combating climate change being breached. (Guardian)

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