Antarctic ice safety band at risk
Published Feb 8, 2016 - 9:26:22 AM
Antarctica is surrounded by huge ice shelves. New research, which includes using data from satellites such as ESA’s heritage Envisat, has revealed that there is a critical point where these shelves act as a safety band, holding back the ice that flows towards the sea. If lost, it could be the point of no return.
Half of the large carnivore attacks are due to the imprudence of human behavior
Published Feb 4, 2016 - 10:24:35 AM
"To go running when is dark, leaving children unattended in carnivore zones, approaching a female with young, approaching wounded animal in hunting and walking with an unleashed dog along the said areas, are the main causes of the attacks" explain the CSIC researcher Vincenzo Pentariani, Doñana Biological Station.
Pikas in Peril: Tiny Mountain Mammal Faces Uncertain Future
Published Feb 3, 2016 - 8:52:11 AM
Scientists from the National Park Service (NPS) and three western universities predict a complex future for populations of the diminutive and charismatic pika. The hamster-sized member of the rabbit family lives in rocky, icy patches in the western United States.
South Carolina Groundwater Contamination Plummets after Coal Ash Removal
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 10:36:37 AM
According to a January 29, 2016 report, groundwater contamination has dramatically declined along the Catawba-Wateree River after coal ash removal by South Carolina utility South Carolina Electric and Gas. Under a settlement negotiated by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Catawba Riverkeeper, SCE&G agreed to remove the coal ash from its Wateree facility on the banks of the Catawba-Wateree River near Columbia, South Carolina, upstream of the Congaree National Park. The coal ash is being moved to a lined landfill away from the river where it is stored dry.
Man-made climate change helped cause south of England floods, say scientists
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 10:12:59 AM
Human-induced climate change increased the risk of severe storms like those that hit the south of England in the winter of 2013/14, causing devastating flooding and costing several people their lives.
Study finds toxic pollutants in fish across the world's oceans
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 11:32:12 AM
A new global analysis of seafood found that fish populations throughout the world's oceans are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants, collectively known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego also uncovered some good news?concentrations of these pollutants have been consistently dropping over the last 30 years.
Human impact has created a 'plastic planet,' research shows
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 11:18:30 AM
Planet Earth's oceans and lands will be buried by increasing layers of plastic waste by the mid-century due to human activity, according to research led by the University of Leicester.
ALDF Sues to Lift Park Service Closure of Yellowstone Park During Bison Trapping/Slaughter
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 5:40:46 PM
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Jamie M. Woolsey of the private Wyoming law firm Fuller, Sandefer & Associates, L.L.C., and two constitutional law professors filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of journalist Christopher Ketcham and wild bison advocate Stephany Seay, who are seeking access to Yellowstone Park’s controversial bison trapping operations that lead to the slaughter of hundreds of bison. The lawsuit argues that the First Amendment guarantees citizens and journalists reasonable, non-disruptive access to the publicly funded national park.
Protect Greater Sage-Grouse From Mining, Urge Conservation Groups
Published Jan 20, 2016 - 2:53:25 PM
More than 80 bird and habitat-conservation organizations have signed a comment letter supporting a proposed 10-million acre mineral withdrawal to protect Greater Sage-Grouse habitat from hard rock mining. The letter also urges the Bureau of Land Management to go further and protect all priority sagebrush habitat, as scientists have recommended.
Banned pollutants threaten Europe’s remaining orcas
Published Jan 19, 2016 - 1:00:19 PM
Killer whales are facing the threat of extinction in European waters as a result of lingering toxic chemicals banned as far back as the 1980s, according to research led by international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and published today in the journal Scientific Reports.
U.S. Supreme Court Allows Habitat Protections to Stand for Rare Southern California Fish
Published Jan 13, 2016 - 9:01:10 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court today let stand the protection of 9,300 acres of critical habitat for Southern California’s Santa Ana sucker, a small native fish that has vanished from nearly 95 percent of its historic range since the 1970s. The habitat designation had been the focus of long-running legal challenges. The Supreme Court declined to review the case today.
Manmade Mercury Emissions Decline 30 Percent from 1990-2010
Published Jan 13, 2016 - 8:39:12 AM
Between 1990 and 2010, global mercury emissions from manmade sources declined 30 percent, according to a new analysis by Harvard University, Peking University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, and the University of Alberta. These results challenge long-standing assumptions about mercury emission trends.
Freshwater vulnerability threatens developing nations' stability, Stanford researchers find
Published Jan 11, 2016 - 9:55:55 AM
Many nations and regions already facing uncertain political futures must contend with a growing threat to stabilization: freshwater vulnerability.
NASA's CORAL Campaign Will Raise Reef Studies to a New Level
Published Jan 7, 2016 - 7:26:07 AM
A new three-year NASA field expedition gets underway this year that will use advanced instruments on airplanes and in the water to survey more of the world’s coral reefs in far greater detail than has ever been assessed before. The COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) will measure the condition of these threatened ecosystems and create a unique database of uniform scale and quality.
Drought, heat take toll on global crops
Published Jan 6, 2016 - 2:38:16 PM
Drought and extreme heat slashed global cereal harvests between 1964 and 2007 - and the impact of these weather disasters was greatest in North America, Europe and Australasia, according to a new study published in Nature led by UBC and McGill University researchers.
Asian carp could cause some Lake Erie fish species to decline, others to increase
Published Jan 5, 2016 - 6:50:46 AM
If they successfully invade Lake Erie, Asian carp could eventually account for about a third of the total weight of fish in the lake and could cause declines in most fish species -- including prized sport and commercial fish such as walleye, according to a new computer modeling study.
Salish Sea energy projects show need for ecosystemwide view
Published Jan 4, 2016 - 11:12:53 AM
Energy-related developments in the Salish Sea between Washington and British Columbia underscore the need for a transnational approach to assessing the risks to the entire ecosystem, according to a study by the SeaDoc Society, a program of the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, part of the area’s indigenous Coast Salish people.
China clamps down on coal
Published Jan 3, 2016 - 9:29:05 AM
China says it will not approve any new coal mines for the next three years. The country’s National Energy Administration (NEA) says more than 1,000 existing mines will also be closed over the coming year, reducing total coal production by 70 million tons.
Reptile fossils offer clues about elevation history of Andes Mountains
Published Dec 29, 2015 - 10:30:06 AM
On an arid plateau in the Andes Mountains of southern Bolivia, a Case Western Reserve University researcher flagged what turned out to be the fossil remains of a tortoise nearly five feet long -- a find indicating this highland was likely less than a kilometer above sea level 13 million years ago.
River ecosystems show 'incredible' initial recovery after dam removal
Published Dec 28, 2015 - 10:12:54 AM
A songbird species that flourishes on the salmon-rich side of dams in the western United States struggles when it tries to nest on the side closed off from the fish and the nutrients they leave behind.
A Major Blow to South Africa’s Canned Lion Hunting Industry as African Lions Gain Protection Under U.S. Law
Published Dec 27, 2015 - 9:22:52 AM
In a move that is likely to put a major dent in South Africa’s canned hunting industry for lions — a practice involving the shooting of these majestic predators in fenced enclosures in a pay-to-slay arrangement— the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced Monday that it will institute important new measures to protect lions under the Endangered Species Act. The move comes after lions suffered a 60 percent population decline across much of Africa, and its most direct impact is to restrict the import of lion trophies from African countries to the United States, the world’s largest importer.
New research shows decline in population and breeding success of Antarctic seabird
Published Dec 21, 2015 - 8:59:37 AM
A fifty year study of the charismatic seabird, the southern giant petrel, on the Antarctic island of Signy shows its population has halved and its breeding success has declined in the last 10-20 years. The results by scientists at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are published this month in the journal Polar Biology online.
Climate Change Rapidly Warming World’s Lakes
Published Dec 17, 2015 - 11:07:57 AM
Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a new study spanning six continents.
West Coast marine mammals respond to shifting conditions, new research shows
Published Dec 16, 2015 - 9:27:04 AM
Humpback whales off the West Coast consume thousands of pounds of krill, plankton and small fish each day. Research shows that humpback diets reflect their surroundings, with the truck-sized whales filter-feeding on vast amounts of krill when cold upwelling waters prevail, but switching to schooling fish such as anchovies when warmer waters take over and the fish grow abundant.
Tiny phytoplankton have big influence on climate change
Published Dec 16, 2015 - 9:18:19 AM
As nations across the globe negotiate how to reduce their contributions to climate change, researchers at Penn are investigating just how the coming changes will impact the planet. What's clear is that the effect extends beyond simple warming. Indeed, the very physics and chemistry of the oceans are also shifting, and are forecast to change even more in the coming decades.
When trees die, water slows
Published Dec 16, 2015 - 9:15:03 AM
Mountain pine beetle populations have exploded over the past decade due to warmer temperatures and drier summers, and these insects have infected and killed thousands of acres of western pine forests. Researchers have predicted that as trees died, streamflow would increase because fewer trees would take up water through their roots.
Land use may weaken amphibian's capacity to fight infection and disease
Published Dec 16, 2015 - 9:12:28 AM
Man-made changes to the environment may be damaging the immune systems of a species of frog whose populations have drastically declined since the 1970s, according to a new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the Holden Arboretum.
North Slope permafrost thawing sooner than expected
Published Dec 15, 2015 - 2:34:39 PM
New projections of permafrost change in northern Alaska suggest far-reaching effects will come sooner than expected, scientists reported this week at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
NASA Examines Global Impacts of the 2015 El Niño
Published Dec 15, 2015 - 8:21:40 AM
People the world over are feeling, or soon will feel, the effects of the strongest El Niño event since 1997-98, currently unfolding in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. New satellite observations are beginning to show scientists its impact on the distribution of rain, tropospheric ozone and wildfires around the globe.
Researchers show a popular mercury measuring system yields inaccurate data
Published Dec 15, 2015 - 8:03:44 AM
Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have found that an instrument the scientific community commonly uses to measure mercury in the air yields inaccurate results.