In the news: October 30, 2006

Rich Nations' greenhouse gases up in 2004- Greenhouse gas emissions by industrialized nations rose in 2004 to the highest levels since the early 1990s. Emissions by 40 nations, including backers of caps under the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol and outsiders led by the United States, rose to 17.9 billion tones in 2004 from 17.8 billion in 2003 and 17.5 billion in 2000.

Mercury triggers premature birth- The more mercury pregnant women are exposed to, the greater chance they have of giving premature birth to babies. New study showed that women with high levels of mercury in cord blood are three to five times more likely to give premature birth, which is to deliver a child in less than 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Urgent climate action will cut economic fallout- A report on the economic costs of climate changes shows the longer the world waits to tackle global warming, the greater the bill will be. The report said that ignoring climate change could lead to economic upheaval on the scale of the 1930s Depression.

Caffeine-stoked energy drinks worry docs- Thirty-one percent of U.S. teenagers say they drink energy drinks. That represents 7.6 million teens, a jump of almost 3 million in three years. Nutritionists warn that the drinks, laden with caffeine and sugar, can hook kids on an unhealthy jolt-and-crash cycle. But the biggest worry is how some teens use the drinks. Some report downing several cans in a row to get a buzz, and a new study found a surprising number of poison-center calls from young people getting sick from too much caffeine.

Britain calls for tighter EU carbon emission limits- Britain wants tighter limits on greenhouse gases by Europe and other rich countries as a first step toward establishing a global carbon trading system to help reduce the cost of climate change.

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