Author: Alistair Lyon, Reuters Special Correspondent, BEIRUT

  • Arab world among most vulnerable to climate change

    Dust storms scour Iraq. Freak floods wreak havoc in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Rising sea levels erode Egypt’s coast. Hotter, drier weather worsens water scarcity in the Middle East, already the world’s most water-short region. The Arab world is already suffering impacts consistent with climate change predictions. Although scientists are wary of linking specific events to global warming, they are urging Arab governments to act now to protect against potential disasters. There are huge variations in per capita greenhouse gas emissions across the region with very high rates for several oil and gas producers. Qatar recorded the world’s highest per capita emissions with 56.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006, while Egyptians emitted just 2.25 tonnes each, U.N. figures show.

  • Glimpse of an Asteroid Possible Now

    NASA tracks asteroids all the time. They are difficult or impossible for the rest of us to ever glimpse. Now, the most prominent asteroid in the sky can be seen with binoculars — and perhaps even the naked eye, if you are in an area with reasonably dark skies at night. Tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 17, Vesta, the second most massive object in the asteroid belt, reaches what astronomers like to call “opposition.” An asteroid (or planet or comet) is said to be “in opposition” when it is opposite to the sun as seen from Earth.