A huge research ship costing £200 million has been commissioned, which will probe the oceans and climate of the arctic and Antarctic, George Osborne will announce today.
The new vessel, to be operated by the British Antarctic Survey, will replace the UK’s two current polar exploration ships, which are nearing the end of their lives.
Although primarily for research, the government said the ship would also allow Britain to “maintain our presence” around the British territories in the South Atlantic.
Tensions have been mounting in the Falklands over recent years. Earlier this month Argentina accused the UK of provocation over plans to hold military exercises in the Islands. Continue reading
Saving the planet from climate change is ‘beyond our ability’ and we should stop wasting time trying to tackle global warming, a leading scientist has claimed
James Lovelock, who first detected CFCs in the atmosphere and proposed the Gaia hypotheses, claims society should retreat to ‘climate-controlled cities’ and give up on large expanses of land which will become inhabitable.
Lovelock, who has just published his latest book A Rough Ride To The Future, claims we should be ‘strengthening our defences and making a sustainable retreat.’ Continue reading
A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off northern Chile late yesterday in the wake of the fatal major quake on Tuesday, but there were no reports of damage and a precautionary tsunami alert along the coast and in neighbouring Peru was called off.
It was the strongest of several aftershocks that followed the 8.2-magnitude quake blamed for six deaths in the same region on Tuesday.
Chile’s emergency office Onemi said there were no initial reports of casualties or serious damage from the latest quake. Continue reading
The United Nation’s head of climate change issues stressed yesterday that the Earth’s warming trend, believed by many to be caused by people, can still be eased.
Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told journalists that societies have to move to conserve the planet.
“Yes, of course it is difficult, but what is going to be even more difficult, substantially more difficult, is to deal with alternatives,” he said at an IPCC gathering in Japan.
“In other words, if we don’t stabilise the climate of this planet, then these impacts are going to be progressively more serious,” Pachauri said. Continue reading
Much of the extreme weather that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe and the Pacific region last year can be blamed on human-induced climate change, the UN weather agency has said.
The World Meteorological Organisation‘s annual assessment said 2013 was the sixth-warmest year on record. Thirteen of the 14 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century.
Rising sea levels are leading to more damage from storm surges and coastal flooding, the agency’s secretary-general Michel Jarraud said.
Typhoon Haiyan, which struck in November, killed at least 6100 people and caused billions of pounds worth of damage in the Philippines and Vietnam. Continue reading
China has suffered from increasingly bad levels of air pollution, resulting in both health and environment fears. However, scientists have said that the air quality in the country is now so bad that conditions are similar to those that would be experienced in a “nuclear winter”, according to scientists.
Researchers in China have suggested that the heavy smog levels caused by air pollution could have a severe impact on the country’s food chain. With the lack of sunlight breaking through the thick smog, photosynthesis within plants has been slowed down. This impacts growth of all crops, harming agriculture, which could have an economic impact. Continue reading