The United Nations took a step towards a new climate treaty on Friday by publishing the first draft negotiating texts to help bridge a "great gulf" between options for rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The list of birds threatened with extinction has grown fractionally; a new sign that governments are failing to meet a 2010 global conservation goal, an annual review of birds showed on Thursday.

The world faces disputes over the seabed from the South China Sea to the North Pole at a May 13 UN deadline for claims meant as a milestone towards the final fixing of maritime boundaries.

Rich nations have outlined "encouraging" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions so far but the United States and others may be able to make tougher curbs, the head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat said on Tuesday.

- A planned new U.N. climate pact is shaping up to be a mildly tougher version of the existing Kyoto Protocol rather than a bold treaty to save what U.S. President Barack Obama has called a "planet in peril."

A $500 million North Atlantic shrimp fishery may be vulnerable to climate change that could disrupt the crustaceans' life cycle and mislead them into hatching when food is scarce, scientists said.

A thaw of the Arctic linked to global warming may slow a drive to get rid of industrial chemicals that are harming indigenous people and wildlife, an expert said on Monday.

The major nations meeting for discussions on climate change in Washington on Monday and Tuesday each have different goals for curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.

China, the United States, the European Union, Russia and India are top world emitters. Targets they set will go a long way to decide the ambition of a new U.N. deal to fight global warming due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

Arctic nations agreed on Wednesday to crack down on soot that is darkening ice around the North Pole and hastening a thaw that they also blamed on global warming.

Low-lying Bangladesh risks devastating impacts from rising world sea levels caused by climate change with risks that millions will be forced from their homes this century, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said.

She told Reuters that rich nations would have to help the densely populated country of 150 million people, possibly by opening their borders to environmental refugees.