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Water shortages as a result of rising temperatures will not do as much damage as feared, evidence from ancient trees suggests

AmazonAlthough the study says the Amazon can adapt to a warmer world, it still faces an extreme threat from deforestation. Photograph: Gerd Ludwig/ Gerd Ludwig/Corbis

It is generally acknowledged that a warming world will harm the world's forests. Higher temperatures mean water becomes more scarce, spelling death for plants – or perhaps not always.

According to a study of ancient rainforests, trees may be hardier than previously thought. Carlos Jaramillo, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), examined pollen from ancient plants trapped in rocks in Colombia and Venezuela. "There are many climactic models today suggesting that … if the temperature increases in the tropics by a couple of degrees, most of the forest is going to be extinct," he said. "What we found was the opposite to what we were expecting: we didn't find any extinction event [in plants] associated with the increase in temperature, we didn't find that the precipitation decreased."

Read more: World's forests can adapt to climate change, study says

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The fifth UN-REDD Policy Board meeting, which took place in Washington DC, US, from 4-5 November 2010, approved US$15.2 million for five new countries, and confirmed or pledged funds of US$7.4 million.

Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Paraguay received approvals for US$3 million, $6.4 million and $4.7 million, respectively, after having presented the Board with full national REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks) readiness programmes. Solomon Islands and the Philippines were allocated approximately US$500,000 each for their initial national programmes.

Read more: UN-REDD Policy Board Approves Funding for Five New Countries

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Businesses around the world should change the way they think in order to tackle the global issues of climate change, the Business Summit on Climate Leadership recently.

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. (HSBC) chief executive Peter Wong said that the challenge today is to change the business-as-usual approach. Wong was the keynote speaker of the summit.

“Businesses must learn to be more creative and more efficient in meeting the global challenges of climate change,” Wong said. “It is time to review our business models, the way we conduct business, and exceed the expectations consumers and shareholders have of business.”

Read more: HSBC urges businesses to protect environment

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