Not so fast: Planting trees might cause warming?

Afforestation (planting trees) to mitigate climate change could cause warming rather than cooling globally due to non-carbon effects of land use change, according to new research from the University of Bristol.Global land use change and its interaction with the climate system is recognised as an important component of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s future climate scenarios.

Abrupt rise in greenhouse gases at end of last ice age may be because of permafrost

One of the most abrupt rises in the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at the end of the last ice age took place about 14,600 years ago. Ice core data show that the CO2 concentration at that time increased by more than 10 ppm (parts per million, unit of measure for the composition of gases) within 200 years. This CO2 increase, i.e. approx. 0.05 ppm per year, was significantly less than the current rise in atmospheric CO2 of 2-3 ppm in the last decade caused by fossil fuels. 

UK unveils first waste-fueled bus

The UK's first ever bus powered on human and food waste has taken to the road today which engineers believe could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport - cutting emissions in polluted towns and cities. The 40-seater Bio-Bus, which runs on gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that's unfit for human consumption, helps to improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines. Running on waste products that are both renewable and sustainable, the bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas.

Children's rights and child labor in hazardous jobs around the world

Nearly half of the countries that ratified the U.N. agreement still allow children to work in jobs that endanger their health and safety.Twenty-five years ago this month, the countries that compose the United Nations reached a landmark agreement that laid the foundation for much-needed strengthening of children’s rights and protections in nearly every country around the world.Today, the Convention on the Rights of the Child remains the only formal global effort to improve children’s rights and the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Only three U.N. member nations have not ratified the treaty: Somalia, South Sudan and the United States. 

EU Court Rules Against UK For Failure to Tackle Air Pollution

A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling.

Climate history of western US is more complex than previously thought

The climate 150 million years ago of a large swath of the western United States was more complex than previously known, according to new research from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. It’s been held that the climate during the Jurassic was fairly dry in New Mexico, then gradually transitioned to a wetter climate northward to Montana. But based on new evidence, the theory of a gradual transition from a dry climate to a wetter one during the Jurassic doesn’t tell the whole story, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, lead author on the study.

Researchers use social media to track air pollution

University of Wisconsin-Madison computer science researchers have developed a method for using social media posts to estimate air pollution levels with significant accuracy.

New School lunch programs not making the grade

New federal regulations requiring school meals to contain more whole grains, less saturated fat and more fruits and vegetables, while perhaps improving some aspects of the food being served at schools across the United States, may also be perpetuating eating habits linked to obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases, an analysis by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers has found.The reasons: Based on analysis of school meals and the new requirements, the whole grains served are mostly processed, which means they are converted into sugar when digested, and many of the required foods, like fruit and milk, contain added sugar because many schools opt to serve canned fruit, fruit juice, and flavored milk. The new requirements do not limit the amount of added sugar in school meals. The researchers are recommending that the requirements be expanded to limit added sugars and processed foods and to ensure carbohydrate quality.

Study Tracks Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Decline

In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent. The scientists, led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, found that survival of adult bears and cubs was especially low from 2004 to 2006, when most of the decline occurred. 

Obama Announces $3 Billion Pledge to U.N. Climate Fund

Right on the heels of his historic climate agreement with China, President Barack Obama announced a pledge of $3 billion to the United Nations’ thus far underfunded Green Climate Fund. The fund was formally established in 2010 at the U.N. Climate Change conference in Cancun. The purpose of the fund was to redistribute resources between the developed world and the developing world in order to assist developing countries in their effort to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.