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Bananas could replace potatoes in warming world

Climate change could lead to bananas becoming a critical food source for millions of people, a new report says.
Researchers from the CGIAR agricultural partnership say the fruit might replace potatoes in some developing countries.

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Earth sunblock only needed if planet warms easily

An increasing number of scientists are studying ways to temporarily reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the earth to potentially stave off some of the worst effects of climate change. Because these sunlight reduction methods would only temporarily reduce temperatures, do nothing for the health of the oceans and affect different regions unevenly, researchers do not see it as a permanent fix. Most theoretical studies have examined this strategy by itself, in the absence of looking at simultaneous attempts to reduce emissions.
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The mathematics of leaf decay

The natural decay of organic carbon contributes more than 90 percent of the yearly carbon dioxide released into Earths atmosphere and oceans. Understanding the rate at which leaves decay can help scientists predict this global flux of carbon dioxide, and develop better models for climate change. But this is a thorny problem: A single leaf may undergo different rates of decay depending on a number of variables: local climate, soil, microbes and a leafs composition. Differentiating the decay rates among various species, let alone forests, is a monumental task. 
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Climate 'causes leaves to narrow'

Leaves are getting narrower on some plant species as a result of changes to the climate, a study has suggested.
A team of Australian researchers studies specimens from the wild and from herbarium collections stretching back more than 120 years.
Analysis of the herbarium samples found that leaf width had decreased by two millimetres.

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Gaia creator rows back on climate

The scientific maverick James Lovelock says climate catastrophe is not so certain as he previously suggested.
Dr Lovelock, one of the world's leading environmental thinkers once warned climate change would reduce mankind to a few breeding pairs in the Arctic.
Today on BBC Radio 4 he gave credit to scientists who question the inevitability of conclusions from climate change computer models.

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Thousands of trees planted to test climate change

Thousands of trees are being planted along the west coast of Europe as part of an international experiment to test the affects of climate change on different species.
Forest researchers will use the experiment to see how thirty different species cope in warmer conditions and with pests and disease.

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Update for world temperature data

Researchers have updated HadCRUT - one of the main global temperate records, which dates back to 1850.
One of the main changes is the inclusion of more data from the Arctic region, which has experienced one of the greatest levels of warming.

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Autumn's birds delay migration

Geese, ducks and swans that spend winter in wetlands of Northern Europe are changing their migration patterns as temperatures rise, say scientists.
Researchers in Finland found some waterfowl delayed migrations by up to a month compared with 30 years ago.

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Antarctic rocks help uncover clues about sea level changes

Ancient rocks embedded in the West Antarctic ice sheet could help scientists improve predictions of rising sea levels.
A collaborative project, including Northumbria University and the University of Edinburgh, will see researchers use sensor technology and chemical analysis to investigate how these half-a-million-year-old rocks made it to the surface of the ice sheet.
Their findings will indicate whether the ice sheet melted at the warmest point between the two most recent global ice ages, some 120,000 years ago, when sea levels rose by up to six metres. Melting ice would have exposed the rocks to more cosmic radiation than if they had remained embedded in the ice sheet, where they are now.
The research, led by the University of Edinburgh, will shed light on whether the ice sheet played a role in rising sea levels between the ice ages.

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Journal editor resigns over 'problematic' climate paper

The editor of a science journal has resigned after admitting that a recent paper casting doubt on man-made climate change should not have been published.
The paper, by US scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell, claimed that computer models of climate inflated projections of temperature increase.
It was seized on by "sceptic" bloggers, but attacked by mainstream scientists.
Wolfgang Wagner, editor of Remote Sensing journal, says he agrees with their criticisms and is stepping down.

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