Ex-official defends changing climate change reports: A former White House official accused of improperly editing reports on global warming defended his editing changes on Monday, saying they reflected views in a 2001 report by the National Academy of Sciences. House Democrats said the 181 changes made in three climate reports reflected a consistent attempt to emphasise the uncertainties surrounding the science of climate change and undercut the broad conclusions that man-made emissions are warming the earth. — Guardian

Dirt-poor solution to climate change: Earlier research into slowing global warming from fossil fuel pollution suggested that soil could be a good place to store excess carbon. But the latest research warns otherwise, says a report on the Science and Development Network website (www.scidev.net). Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may turn soil from a potential carbon sink into a carbon source, according to a recent study. — SABC

Birds respond to global warming: The Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. The brown pelican is the state bird of Louisiana. But now, as climate change seems to be leaving its first footprints here, local scientists worry that the Washington area may be slowly trading one for the other. About 1,000 brown pelican chicks hatched in Maryland last year. That was about 1,000 more of the birds, ungainly fish-eaters comfortable in the steamy Southeast, than there were in the state in 1985. — Washington Post

Murray-Darling “in endangered top 10”: The Murray-Darling river basin is among the top 10 most endangered river systems in the world, according to a report by conservation group WWF. The report, which highlights “the most menacing threats” to the world’s river basins, says invasive species — such as the European carp and the mosquito fish — are the key threat to the Murray-Darling. — The Age

Canada to end oil sands aid, add green-car rebates: Canada’s minority Conservative government, pressured to do more on the environment, will phase out some oil sands tax incentives, introduce rebates for hybrid vehicles, tax gas guzzlers and subsidise renewable fuels. The opposition New Democratic Party, which has enough votes to keep the Conservatives in power, had made eliminating accelerated capital cost allowances for oil sands a price for its support. — Reuters