Aussie kids’ green tips to go global: Australian school students will soon be able to swap their top environmental tips with millions of pupils around the world thanks to a groundbreaking computer program developed Down Under. The program, known as the Study Wizz, will be launched in London on Wednesday (GMT) with the hope it will play a key role in tackling the global threat of climate change by teaching students about caring for the environment. SMH

Global warming hits China: There are few more startling embodiments of climate change than the current health of China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, in the southeastern province of Jiangxi. As is now customary in discussions involving global warming, the following statistics are liable to alarm. The surface area of Poyang Lake has shrunk to 50 square kilometers from its peak of more than 3,000 during the summer–it is 1.67% of its size six months ago. Forbes

Three salamander species discovered in Costa Rica: Scientists from the Natural History Museum of London have discovered three new species of salamander in south-eastern Costa Rica. This brings the nation’s total to forty-three species, meaning that this small tropical nation contains approximately nine percent of the world’s salamanders … The finding of these new species comes at an imperative time. Perhaps no animal taxon is more threatened than amphibians. Scientists have stated that without action one-third to a half of amphibians may go extinct. Dr. Monro believes that although “there have been far fewer studies of salamanders than anurians” salamanders are believed to be just as threatened as frogs and toads. Monga Bay 

Polar bears vie with oil for US government focus: The U.S. government will soon decide whether polar bears are in danger because global warming is melting their icy habitat. But last week, the government offered some of that habitat as a place to drill for oil. Strangely enough, both those decisions are the province of the Interior Department. The department’s Fish and Wildlife Service is supposed to announce a decision by Wednesday whether polar bears should be listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A department spokesman said that deadline would probably pass with no decision. Reuters

50 people who could save the planet: Last year ended with the incongruous image of 10,000 politicians, businessmen, activists and scientists from 190 countries emitting vast quantities of greenhouse gases as they flew home from Bali clutching the bare bones of a global agreement on climate change. The agreement was to keep on talking to try to reach a deal by 2010. It was a diplomatic triumph, achieved after rows and high dramas, but it leaves all nations a mighty hill to climb. There is no agreement on what emission cuts need to be made by when or by whom, and the US is still deeply reluctant to do anything. It is a roadmap with no signposts. Guardian