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Report: 122 Species of Colombian Birds Facing Extinction

A new study, The State of the Birds in Colombia 2014, produced by a leading conservation group in Colombia, Fundación ProAves, reports that decades of deteriorating ecosystem conditions have led to 122 of the country’s 1,903 bird species now facing extinction.

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Federal and Local Action Needed to Protect Hawaii's Spinner Dolphins

The best way to protect wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii while also maintaining the local tourism industry that depends on them is through a combination of federal regulations and community-based conservation measures, finds a new study from Duke University.

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New Report Documents Human Impacts of Marcellus Shale Drilling in Pa.

Communities in Pennsylvania experiencing high-intensity Marcellus Shale drilling also are seeing significant increases in crime, housing costs, traffic fatalities and their rate of sexually transmitted diseases, a new analysis from the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative released today confirmed.

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Global CO2 emissions increase to new all-time record, but growth is slowing down

2013 saw global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production reach a new all-time high. This was mainly due to the continuing steady increase in energy use in emerging economies over the past ten years. However, emissions increased at a notably slower rate (2%) than on average in the last ten years (3.8% per year since 2003, excluding the credit crunch years).

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Urban Stream Contamination in U.S. Increasing Rapidly Due to Road Salt

Average chloride concentrations often exceed toxic levels in many northern United States streams due to the use of salt to deice winter pavement, and the frequency of these occurrences nearly doubled in two decades.

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Climate policy pledges are an important step forward but fall short of 2°C

Pledges to reduce emissions in China, Europe and the US provide an important step forward for climate change action, but a more comprehensive effort is needed to stabilize the climate below critical thresholds. Climate finance can cover investment gaps and alleviate distributional tensions, a new study shows.

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Deep concern over invisible threat to Antarctic glaciers

The Antarctic ice shelf is under threat from a silent, invisible agency – and the rate of melting of glaciers has trebled in the last two decades.

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Japanese and U.S. Groups Argue Case to Save Dugongs From U.S. Military Base Expansion in Japan

American and Japanese conservation groups argue their case to halt construction of a U.S. military airstrip in Okinawa, Japan, before a U.S. federal court today*. The U.S. base expansion would pave over some of the last remaining habitat for critically endangered Okinawa dugongs, ancient cultural icons for the Okinawan people and marine mammals related to manatees. The dugong is listed as an object of national cultural significance under Japan’s Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties, the equivalent of the U.S. National Historic Protection Act.

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Rep. Grijalva Introduces Legislation to Protect Wild Cats & Canids

Today, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation to help protect wild felid and canid species, including the jaguar, snow leopard, African wild dog and African lion. The Rare Cats and Canids Act authorizes up to $5,000,000 per year to help fund conservation programs in nations within the range of rare species natural habitats.

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New Research Shows Nearly 50% of Mexico's Children At Risk of Mental Retardation from Lead Poisoning

In November 2014, the journal Annals of Global Health published "Blood Lead Levels in Mexico and Pediatric Burden of Disease." The research concluded that although blood lead levels (BLL) have decreased significantly in Mexico over the past 35 years, they remain significantly elevated. In urban areas, the post-leaded gasoline average BLL is still more than 4.5 times higher than the level in the US (5.52 vs 1.2 ug/dL).

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In the ocean, the most harmful plastic is too small to see

There are at least 268,000 tonnes of plastic floating around in the oceans, according to new research by a global team of scientists.

The world generates 288m tonnes of plastic worldwide each year, just a little more than the annual vegetable crop, yet using current methods only 0.1% of it is found at sea. The new research illustrates as much as anything, how little we know about the fate of plastic waste in the ocean once we have thrown it “away”.

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The Jaws Effect: biting review finds shark hunt policy based on movie myths

The film Jaws has heavily influenced Western Australia’s stance on sharks, a review of over a decade of state government policy has found.

Dr Christopher Neff of the University of Sydney has examined the narratives and shark hunt policies implemented by different WA Governments between 2000 and 2014 and found striking similarities to the 1975 Spielberg classic.

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Last decade sees dramatic increase in chance of extreme hot European summers

The chances of extreme hot summers across parts of Europe have increased dramatically since the early 2000s, according to a new study by the Met Office.

In 2004, the Met Office published a paper ( Stott et al, 2004) which looked at the extreme European heatwave of 2003 and found that it had become more than twice as likely due to human influence on the climate. It was the first formal 'attribution study' of such an event.

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Record Progress Made by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Backlog of Endangered Species Awaiting Protection

After several decades when endangered plants and animals were allowed to languish indefinitely on a waiting list, an annual federal summary released today reveals that for the second year in a row, the number of species waiting for Endangered Species Act protection decisions remains below 150 — the lowest number since the list, in its current form, was created in the 1990s.

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Experts Warn of Dangers of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals to Wildlife

The use of the veterinary pharmaceutical diclofenac in Spain is placing Europe’s vulture populations at risk and should be banned, according to a paper published by a team of veterinarians and biologists in the journal Science this week.

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Arabian Sea humpback whales isolated for 70,000 years

Scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the Environment Society of Oman, and other organizations have made a fascinating discovery in the northern Indian Ocean: humpback whales inhabiting the Arabian Sea are the most genetically distinct humpback whales in the world and may be the most isolated whale population on earth. The results suggest they have remained separate from other humpback whale populations for perhaps 70,000 years, extremely unusual in a species famed for long distance migrations.

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Climate turbulence deals costly blow to olive oil yield

Attention all those cooks who cannot produce a meal without adding a splash or drizzle of olive oil. The price of your favourite culinary ingredient is rising fast – driven in large part by changes in climate.

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Amazon Assembly Unifies Resistance to Dams on Brazil's Tapajós River

Tensions are building over the Brazilian government's polemic plans to circumvent the law in order to dam the Tapajós River. On November 27th, representatives of a diverse coalition of threatened indigenous peoples and other traditional communities assembled with religious leaders and activists to challenge a new Amazon mega-dam complex. The "Caravan to Resist Dams in the Amazon" unified forces among the indigenous Munduruku, riverbank communities, social movements and NGOs, with three bishops from the Brazilian Amazon including Erwin Krautler of the Xingu River, winner of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award. The protest marked the largest resistance action to date in the region and was held at in the remote São Luiz do Tapajós community, threatened with a mega-dam of the same name.

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Politics, not severe weather, drive global-warming views

Scientists have presented the most comprehensive evidence to date that climate extremes such as droughts and record temperatures are failing to change people’s minds about global warming.

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Conservationists Call on Mexico to Save Vaquita

On the day before Mexico’s National Day of Conservation, conservation groups are calling on the Mexican government to enact forceful protective measures to save the critically endangered vaquita, a tiny porpoise species that only inhabits the upper Gulf of California. With fewer than 100 vaquita left and the porpoise’s extinction predicted by 2018, urgent action — including the prohibition of gillnetting throughout its full range — is essential to save this species. In response to the crisis, the Mexican government is expected to announce its plans for vaquita conservation measures tomorrow.

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We have not seen an ice free period in the Arctic Ocean for 2,6 million years. We may see it in our lifetime.

“We have not seen an ice free period in the Arctic Ocean for 2,6 million years. However, we may see it in our lifetime.” says marine geologist Jochen Knies. In an international collaborative project, Knies has studied the historic emergence of the ice in the Arctic Ocean. The results are published in Nature Communications.

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Arctic conditions may become critical for polar bears by end of 21st century

Shifts in the timing and duration of ice cover, especially the possible lengthening of ice-free periods, may impact polar bears under projected warming before the end of the 21st century, according to a study published November 26, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Stephen Hamilton from University of Alberta and colleagues.

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Geoengineering could worsen climate change

Geoengineering – which sometimes seems to be the despairing climate scientist’s Plan B – simply won’t work. It won’t offer a quick fix to the planet’s burden of global warming, and it will be difficult to convince anybody that it could work at all.

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Toolkit for ocean health

The ocean is undergoing global changes at a remarkable pace and we must change with it to attain our best possible future ocean, warns the head of The University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute.

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Global warming cynics unmoved by extreme weather

What will it take to convince skeptics of global warming that the phenomenon is real? Surely, many scientists believe, enough droughts, floods and heat waves will begin to change minds.

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Before and After Cattle Grazing (VIDEO)

This is a prime example of the over-grazed landscape that Western Watersheds Project seeks to protect through its many efforts.

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Another Albino Dolphin Captured in Taiji's Infamous Cove

Ten months after the world was captivated by a beautiful juvenile albino bottlenose dolphin who was captured from among a superpod of dolphins driven into the cove in Taiji, Japan, an albino Risso’s dolphin was driven into the cove and taken captive yesterday in Taiji (Nov. 23 Japan Time), Sea Shepherd’s volunteer Cove Guardians report. The albino Risso’s dolphin was part of the 15th pod of Risso’s captured this season. The Cove Guardians have named the newly captive albino dolphin “Shiro,” which means “white” in Japanese.

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Protecting forests alone would not halt land-use change emissions

Global forest conservation measures meant to mitigate climate change are likely to drive massive cropland expansion into shrublands or savannahs to satisfy the ever-growing hunger for arable land. The consequent changes in land use could cause substantial greenhouse gas emissions, a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change shows. In contrast to previous assumptions, conservation schemes that focus only on forests may thus fail to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from land-use change. If ecosystem protection policies aim at climate protection, they need to cover the whole range of land types, according to comprehensive computer simulations. To compensate for such restrictions on land use, intensification of agriculture to generate higher yields is important.

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Fall of ancient civilization offers climate warning

Two scholars have a new explanation for the collapse of one of the great Bronze Age civilizations. The Assyrian empire of the 7th century BC – based in Nineveh, in what is now northern Iraq – may have collapsed at least in part because of a population explosion and climate change in the form of sustained drought.

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Don't Drink the Water: Study Shows Well Contamination Across Southeastern Wisconsin, Finds Links With Coal Ash

A study released by Clean Wisconsin finds that more than one in five wells across Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties are contaminated with molybdenum at levels above the state health advisory level. Families and schools in the area are being forced to buy bottled water or install expensive purification systems to avoid the toxic metal, which is found in coal ash.

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