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:: Scientists analyse the extent of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification could change the ecosystems of our seas even by the end of this century. Biologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), have therefore assessed the extent of this ominous change for the first time. In a new study they compiled and analysed all available data on the reaction of marine animals to ocean acidification. The scientists found that whilst the majority of animal species investigated are affected by ocean acidification, the respective impacts are very specific. The AWI-researchers present their results as an Advance Online Publication on Sunday 25 August 2013 in Nature Climate Change.

:: 80% of Europeans are concerned about the environmental impact of products

According to a new survey, most Europeans would be prepared to change their purchasing habits and buy more environmentally-friendly products, but many feel they lack information and distrust manufacturers' environmental claims. The survey on the "Attitudes of Europeans towards building the single market for green products" indicates that more than three-quarters of respondents are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products if they were confident that the products are truly environmentally-friendly (77%). However, only slightly more than half of EU citizens feel informed (55%) about the environmental impacts of the products they buy and use.

:: A Decade of Climate Extremes

The world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes during the 2001-2010 decade, which was the warmest since the start of modern measurements in 1850 and continued an extended period of pronounced global warming. More national temperature records were reported broken than in any previous decade, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

:: World Invests $244 billion in 2012, Geographic Shift to Developing Countries

Installed capacity continues to grow as solar prices drop 30-40%, new wind installations surge. For only the second time since 2006, global investments in renewable energy in 2012 failed to top the year before, falling 12% mainly due to dramatically lower solar prices and weakened US and EU markets.

:: Sea level: one third of its rise comes from melting mountain glaciers

About 99% of the world’s land ice is stored in the huge ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, while only 1% is contained in glaciers. However, the meltwater of glaciers contributed almost as much to the rise in sea level in the period 2003 to 2009 as the two ice sheets: about one third. This is one of the results of an international study with the involvement of geographers from the University of Zurich.

:: WMO Annual Climate Statement Confirms 2012 as Among Top Ten Warmest Years

The World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate says that 2012 joined the ten previous years as one of the warmest — at ninth place — on record despite the cooling influence of a La Niña episode early in the year.

:: CO2 removal can lower costs of climate protection

Directly removing CO2 from the air has the potential to alter the costs of climate change mitigation. It could allow prolonging greenhouse-gas emissions from sectors like transport that are difficult, thus expensive, to turn away from using fossil fuels. And it may help to constrain the financial burden on future generations, a study now published by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) shows. It focuses on the use of biomass for energy generation, combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

:: Sea level rise: Jeopardy for terrestrial biodiversity on islands

Model calculations predict a sea level rise of about one meter by the end of this century and of up to five and a half meters by the year 2500. Until now there are few studies on the potential impacts of a rising sea level on biodiversity. Florian Wetzel and colleagues of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna together with Walter Jetz of Yale University, USA have now published modelling results for the Southeast Asia and Pacific regions. Their results show that many terrestrial vertebrates are vulnerable to sea level rise and the risk of extinction is highest for endemics found only on certain islands and already endangered species. Their findings are published online in the journal Global Change Biology.

:: Ways of a new water policy 4/4

A vision for the future: if the Bundestag, i.e. German Parliament, passes a water conservation law that requires builders to install efficient fixtures, promotes private retrofits such as water-saving showers, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers and demands a water penny from large consumers, we will soon consume only half as much water as we do today. Every year 25,000 liters of water per capita would thus be saved, i.e. 250,000 liters in ten years. A family of four would save a million liters of water without sacrificing any comfort.

:: Rare constellation of clouds and warm air allowed record-breaking 2012 ice melt in Greenland

Thin, low-lying clouds over the central Greenland Ice Sheet last July allowed the sun’s energy to warm the surface of the ice, while at the same time trapping infrared radiation near the surface which led to additional warming. This combination played a significant role in last summer's record-breaking melt, according to a new study by scientists at NOAA, the Universities of Wisconsin, Idaho and Colorado as well as at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL. The results of the study are published now in Nature.

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