Cold snap, rain to wash away autumn warmth

Peter Hannam 2:14 PM   Sydney's balmy mid-autumn will be a fading memory as a strong cold front moves in and a developing east coast low brings heavy rain over much of eastern NSW from early next week.

March global temperatures set new highs, US agency NOAA says

Record warmth even before an El Nino event settles in.

Peter Hannam 9:07 AM   Global temperatures continued to climb last month, with combined land and sea-surface temperatures setting fresh records amid prospects of more to come as El Nino conditions form in the Pacific, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

AGL vows to exit coal-fired power plants as sun shines on solar

Coal's time is running out, AGL says.

Peter Hannam   AGL, the country's largest greenhouse gas emitter, has vowed to close all its existing coal-fired power stations by 2050 and will not build or buy new conventional plants in the meantime.

Warming of the Arctic will have global consequences

Shrinking: Arctic sea ice.

Chris Mooney   We often hear that climate change is radically reshaping the Arctic, a place many of us have never visited. As a result, it can be pretty hard to feel directly affected by what's happening up in a distant land of polar bears, ice floes and something odd called permafrost.

Climate change blamed as shifting flood plains plague Mozambique

Floods in Mozambique are being linked to climate change.

Tom Bowker   Over the last seven years the Mozambican village of Guguruni has housed hundreds of people whose homes elsewhere were destroyed by floods. This year it succumbed.

The world could follow Canberra's lead on climate change policy

Deputy chairwoman of the ACT Climate Change Council Professor Penny Sackett, ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell, and Nobel laureate Professor Brian Schmidt will attend the 4th Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability - 4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities in Hong Kong from April 23.

Clare Colley   Canberra is a world-leader when it comes to climate change policy, but Australia is still not doing enough to tackle the problem, former chief scientist Professor Penny Sackett says.

Global temperature records keep melting as Japan declares March the hottest on record

Global temperatures are on the rise, particularly over large areas of the Pacific.

Peter Hannam   Global temperature records continue to tumble with March coming in as the hottest in data going back to 1891, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency

Karl Kruszelnicki steps up concerns over 'flawed' Intergenerational Report

A screen grab of Dr Karl Kruszelnicki taken from the <i>Intergenerational Report</i> advertisement.

Matthew Knott   The man appearing on television screens across the country promoting the Abbott government's Intergenerational Report - Karl Kruszelnicki - has describing the document as "flawed" and admitting to concerns that it was "fiddled with" by the government.

Australia's renewable energy investment grinds to a halt

Grounded: Just one renewable energy project has been approved in the past six months.

Peter Hannam   Australia‚Äôs large-scale renewable energy industry has entered an investment freeze with just one project securing finance in the past six months amid political uncertainty, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Record sea-surface temperatures in Pacific point to record warmth in 2015 and 2016

Tillie the dog is not bothered by the global records for the Pacific.

Peter Hannam   Sea temperatures around Australia are posting "amazing" records that climate specialists say signal global records set in 2014 may be broken this year and next.

Odds now favour an El Nino event in 2015, Bureau of Meteorology says

Abnormally warm waters in the Pacific - with more warming to come, the bureau predicts.

Peter Hannam   Australia's chances of a hotter and drier than usual year have increased with the likelihood of an El Nino event forming in the Pacific Ocean this year now an odds-on risk, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

China to overtake US as top cause of modern global warming

China's greenhouse gas emissions are set to overtake the US's.

China is poised to overtake the United States as the main cause of man-made global warming since 1990, the benchmark year for U.N.-led action, in a historic shift that may raise pressure on Beijing to act.

Harvard blockade of president's office escalates climate protest

Harvard University is resisting pressure to ditch fossil fuels from its massive endowment.

Michael McDonald   As US universities face growing student pressure to divest fossil-fuel holdings from their more than $US500 billion ($658 billion) in endowments, Cambridge, Massachusetts, finds itself at the centre of a great divide.

Coal makes a comeback thanks to carbon price repeal

At present, there's nothing to stop us thinking coal will continue to play a dominant, even growing, role.

Clancy Yeates   Nine months after the carbon price was repealed, the good times are back for some of the most carbon-intensive electricity generators in the developed world.

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Dry, warm winter leaves Western US snowpack at record low

A skiier near Lake Tahoe on the California, Nevada border.

Meager precipitation and a premature spring thaw caused by unusually mild temperatures last month have left the US Western mountain snowpack, a key source of fresh surface water for the region, at record low levels, the government has reported.

Energy white paper has some huge black holes

SMH editorial dinkus

Was it an accident or wilful blindness? The federal government's 74-page energy white paper, released last week, contained just a single reference to climate change. Given the Abbott government's self-imposed blindness on this issue, we have to suspect it was the latter. The omission renders the document deeply flawed.

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Fossil fuel-free super funds pay off for investors

Keeping it super green: Nic Nelson has made the switch to a fossil fuel-free super fund and hasn't looked back.

Lucy Cormack   Nic Nelson was wandering through a market one morning when he was made an offer to shift his life savings to a fossil fuel free super fund.

US forecaster ups El Nino chance to 70 per cent for later this year

Pacific Ocean conditions remain favorable for an El Nino event this year.

A US government weather forecaster on Thursday raised its forecast for the chance of El Nino conditions during the Northern Hemisphere summer to 70 per cent, up from a 60 per cent chance last month, with a 60 per cent chance it lasts through autumn.

Acidic oceans blamed for Earth's worst mass extinction

A delicate balance - that is being  altered by carbon emissions.

It is one of science's enduring mysteries: what caused the worst mass extinction in Earth's history. And, no, it is not the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Scientists confirm Arctic could become a major source of carbon emissions

A warming arctic could be disastrous for greenhouse gas emissions.

Chris Mooney   As the frozen Arctic soil known as "permafrost" thaws, it could release large amounts of carbon - in the form of both carbon dioxide and methane - to the atmosphere. And this new source of greenhouse gas emissions could be large enough that it could substantially undermine attempts to cut down on emissions from fossil fuels.

Climate change a health hazard the White House aims to cure

President Obama has made tackling climate change a priority of his second term.

Justin Sink   President Barack Obama is warning that climate change will start affecting the health of Americans in the near future and he's recruiting top technology companies to help prepare the nation's health systems.

Study forecasts 70% loss of Western Canada's glaciers by 2100 from climate change

Canadian glaciers - and many others around the world - are shrinking as the planet warms.

John Schwartz   The glaciers of the Canadian West could shrink by 70 per cent by 2100, according to new research that has implications for predicting glacier loss around the world.

The Bjorn legacy: Lomborg and our aid program

The director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, Dr Bjorn Lomborg.

Markus Mannheim   Policymakers should embrace cost-benefit analyses, but be wary of their limits.

California imposes first water bans

Drought conditions show little sign of easing in California,.

unknown   California has taken the most drastic measure yet to combat the worst drought in the state's history.

Climate contrarian's Australian influence grows with uni deal

The controversial Bjorn Lomborg, now an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia.

Markus Mannheim   The controversial Dane has struck a four-year deal to run a policy research centre in Perth.

Renewable energy investment revs up worldwide

Tararua, New Zealand, described as the largest windfarm in the southern hemisphere

Samantha Masunaga   Global investment in renewable power and fuels reached $US270.2 billion ($355 billion) last year, nearly 17 per cent higher than in 2013, according to a new study on renewable energy investment from the United Nations Environment Programme.

Oceans might take thousands of years to recover from climate change, study suggests

Changing acidity in the oceans won't be easy to reverse, study finds.

Geoffrey Mohan   Naturally occurring climate change lowered oxygen levels in the deep ocean, decimating a broad spectrum of seafloor life that took some 1,000 years to recover, according to a study that offers a potential window into the effects of modern warming.

Australia not among rich nations releasing post-2020 emission goals on time

The emissions intensity of the power sector is on the increase.

Lisa Cox and Peter Hannam   The UN wants nations to release their longer-term targets well in advance of the Paris summit late this year that will aim to thrash out a new worldwide climate treaty.

Obama pledges emissions cuts in bid to boost UN climate talks

President Barack Obama has made climate change action a priority of his second term.

Alex Nussbaum   Facing Republican resistance at home and delays abroad, the Obama administration Tuesday pledged its most ambitious target yet for cutting global warming pollution.

March among Sydney's warmest as city dries off

Stormy times at Lurline Bay, Sydney, on March 30.

Peter Hannam   It may not have felt it but Sydney has just had one of its warmest March months on record with the city also clearly on the dry side.