Author: Alister Doyle, Reuters, OSLO

  • “Hydro-diplomacy” needed to avert Arab water wars

    (Reuters) – The United Nations should promote “hydro-diplomacy” to defuse any tensions over water in regions like the Middle East and North Africa where scarce supplies have the potential to spark future conflicts, experts said Sunday. They said the U.N. Security Council should work out ways to bolster cooperation over water in shared lakes or rivers, from the Mekong to the Nile, that are likely to come under pressure from a rising world population and climate change.

  • Japan wind change to blow radiation over Pacific

    (Reuters) – Winds are set to blow low-level radiation from Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear power plant out over the Pacific Ocean in coming hours, easing health worries after drifting toward Tokyo early on Tuesday, experts said.

  • El Nino seen triggering next world warmth record

    Last year tied with 2005 as the warmest on record, according to U.S. agencies, but is likely to be overtaken soon by the next year with a strong El Nino weather event, experts said on Thursday. A gradual build-up of greenhouse gases from human activities is heating the planet but natural events such as El Nino, which every few years warms the surface of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, can have a far bigger immediate impact. “It will take an El Nino year to break the record, so possibly the next one,” said professor Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain.

  • Climate talks seek complex, interlocked deal

    U.N. climate talks starting in Mexico this month will seek a complex set of interlocking deals to slow global warming but will fall well short of a new treaty, the U.N.’s climate chief said on Wednesday. Christiana Figueres said that governments had lowered their sights for the November 29-December 10 talks in Cancun, Mexico, after the Copenhagen summit in December 2009 failed to reach a sweeping new U.N. pact to slow climate change. Even so, almost 200 nations faced a balancing act in Cancun, where governments were aiming for a less ambitious but still complex package deal.

  • Bangladesh, India most at risk from climate change

    Bangladesh and India are the countries most vulnerable to climate change, according to an index on Wednesday that rates the Nordic region least at risk. British consultancy Maplecroft said its rankings showed that several “big economies of the future” in Asia were among those facing the biggest risks from global warming in the next 30 years as were large parts of Africa. It said poverty and large low-lying coastal regions prone to floods and cyclones were among factors making Bangladesh the most exposed country. India, in second place, was vulnerable because of pressures from a rising population of 1.1 billion.