Today’s Climate: February 9, 2009

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Scientists Plan Emergency Summit on Climate Change (Guardian)

The March meeting follows studies suggesting that global warming could strike harder and faster than expected. "This is not a regular scientific conference," one organizer said. "This is a deliberate attempt to influence policy."

Experts Link Australian Wildfire Ferocity to Climate Change (AFP)

Australia is the most fire-prone continent on Earth, and government scientists said today that climate change appears to be making its wildfires even more ferocious.

Quarter of UK Homes to be Offered Eco-Makeovers (Guardian)

Britain’s energy and climate secretary is expected to announce an ambitious plan this week targeting 7 million homes with better insulation and renewable energy retrofits to slash fuel bills and cut global warming pollution.

Obama Faces Decisive Week on Economic Stimulus Plan (Los Angeles Times)

President Obama plans a prime time news conference tonight and will be hitting the road this week to sell his stimulus plan, including its energy efficiency and renewable energy elements, directly to the American public.

Japan PM to Draft ‘Green New Deal’ (AFP)

Japan’s prime minister will order his ministries to draft a "Green New Deal" this week to slash greenhouse gases and counter the twin threats of climate change and the economic downturn, the business daily Nikkei reports.

N. Ireland Environment Minister Blocks Climate Change Ads (BBC)

Environment Minister Sammy Wilson faced demands for his resignation after he wrote that a government advertising campaign that urges people to reduce energy consumption and cut carbon dioxide output "was not welcome" because he did not believe that "man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change."

Kiribati, Threatened by Rising Seas, May Buy Land to Relocate Its People (Bloomberg)

Kiribati, a Pacific island-nation in danger of being submerged because of global warming, may purchase land elsewhere to relocate its people, its president says. “The alternative is that we die, we go extinct.” It is the second island-nation after the Maldives to float the idea.

Tar Sands Boom Hits a Sticky Patch (Guardian)

After five years of frenetic building and activity, a race to extract crude from vast tracts of the Canadian oil sands has abruptly stalled, hit by a collapse in the price of a barrel of oil from a peak of $147 last July to barely $40.

Climate Change Leads to Early Flowering in Himalayas (India Today)

A festival of flowers celebrated in the Himalayas from mid-March to mid-April may miss the usual flavor this year because of early flowering of the spring flowers. Rhododendrons and reinwardtia usually bloom in March, but they are already in full bloom, almost 45 days ahead of schedule.

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