La Niña is Spanish for “the girl-child.” The term is used to describe the cyclical cooling of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

La Niña is the lesser known sibling of El Niño, which means “the boy-child.” While El Niño often results in strong warm weather in the Pacific — which can trigger drier conditions in eastern Australia — La Niña is associated with wetter than normal conditions. The presence of La Niña often means the east coast of Australia and parts of Southeast Asia will see more rain, flooding, monsoons and possibly cyclones.

Read more: La Niña in a nutshell


Climate cureIt sounded like a panacea for climate change: “geo-engineering” the atmosphere to block some sunlight and counter global warming. Now scientists scrutinizing the approach say it could produce dangerous cascade effects, severely disrupting weather and agriculture—and might fail to block the worst of the greenhouse effects anyway.

Two prominent climate scientists raised the possibility of geo-engineering in 2006, and it’s been invoked as the world’s emergency escape hatch ever since—a quick fix to stabilize or even reverse the heating of the planet. It would head off worsening heat waves, droughts, and rising sea levels. The estimated price is right, too. A 2009 analysis found that geo-engineering would cost only $2 billion or so a year, chump change compared with converting from CO2-producing coal, oil, and natural gas to wind, solar, nuclear, and biofuels.

Read more: A Climate Cure’s Dark Side


More Critical Than Ever by Senator Edgardo Angara

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in two years, crude oil prices in Africa and Asia broke the $100-per-barrel barrier, threatening many countries’ steady recovery from the global economic and financial crisis.

Filipinos will be hit by the oil price increase where it hurts the most — food and commodities that will become more expensive because of skyrocketing transport costs. In fact, we are already feeling the effects of rising fuel pump prices. Public transportation will cost more after the approved increase in taxi fares and the planned application for fare hike by jeepneys and buses.

Read more: Shifting to renewable fuel


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