Environmental scientists being urged to broaden the advice they give on global climate change
Published Sep 26, 2014 - 9:53:04 AM
Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, The University of Manchester researchers argue that scientists are expressing a strong desire to fix the problems highlighted by their studies into human-induced climate change.
If trees could talk: Forest research network reveals global change effects
Published Sep 26, 2014 - 9:50:18 AM
Permafrost thaw drives forest loss in Canada, while drought has killed trees in Panama, southern India and Borneo. In the U.S., in Virginia, over-abundant deer eat trees before they reach maturity, while nitrogen pollution has changed soil chemistry in Canada and Panama. Continents apart, these changes have all been documented by the Smithsonian-led Center for Tropical Forest Science-Forest Global Earth Observatory, CTFS-ForestGEO, which released a new report revealing how forests are changing worldwide.
New Report Highlights Ten American Species Our Children May Never See
Published Sep 25, 2014 - 2:02:27 PM
Our children are less likely to see monarch butterflies, a bumblebee, and a host of other once-common wildlife species due to farm pesticides, declining ocean health, climate change and dirty energy production, according to a new report by the Endangered Species Coalition. The report, Vanishing: Ten American Species Our Children May Never See, highlights ten disappearing species and the causes of their dramatic population declines. Additionally, the report identifies everyday actions that people can take to help slow the disappearance of our nation's iconic wildlife.
Study identifies gauntlet of man-made obstacles facing migrating pronghorn in greater Yellowstone
Published Sep 25, 2014 - 12:48:33 PM
One of North America's last remaining long-distance land migrations, better known as the Path of the Pronghorn, is being threatened by a mosaic of natural gas field development, highway traffic, and fencing in the upper Green River Basin, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. WCS scientists used a model traditionally applied to identify resource related stopovers for migrating animals in order to identify impediments to migration of pronghorn.
Report: The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking
Published Sep 17, 2014 - 7:40:05 AM
In recent years, the term "fracking" has come to mean far more than just the specific process of extracting oil and natural gas by injecting large volumes of various mixes of water, sand and chemicals deep underground, at extreme pressure, to create fractures in targeted rock formations.
Drought bites as Amazon’s ‘flying rivers’ dry up
Published Sep 15, 2014 - 7:01:40 AM
The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America's giant metropolis, is believed to be caused by the absence of the "flying rivers" − the vapour clouds from the Amazon that normally bring rain to the centre and south of Brazil.The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America's giant metropolis, is believed to be caused by the absence of the "flying rivers" − the vapour clouds from the Amazon that normally bring rain to the centre and south of Brazil.
Study maps 15 years of carbon dioxide emissions on Earth
Published Sep 12, 2014 - 9:36:18 AM
World leaders face multiple barriers in their efforts to reach agreement on greenhouse gas emission policies. And, according to Arizona State University researchers, without globally consistent, independent emissions assessments, climate agreements will remain burdened by errors, self-reporting, and the inability to verify emissions progress.
Rare Lynx Finally Gain Federal Protection Throughout U.S. But Feds Fall Short in Revising Critical Habitat
Published Sep 11, 2014 - 12:36:17 PM
After eight years of advocacy and litigation by WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) and the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC), today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) finally announced it will list the New Mexico population of Canada lynx as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act, and extend that protection to wherever lynx occur in the contiguous United States.
Weather patterns show climate is changing US
Published Sep 10, 2014 - 11:26:37 AM
The climate is changing . . . and America's heartland and southwest are changing with it.
In the southwestern state of Arizona, the streams may be drying up − and that could mean that native fish species will die out.
Research Shows Historic Decline in Pacific Walrus Population
Published Sep 9, 2014 - 11:06:43 AM
The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline. The 18 year decline identified by the study was not steady across that period. The decline was most severe in the mid-1980s, and then moderated in the 1990s.
Lawsuit Launched to Stop Out-of-control Wildlife Killing by Secretive Federal Agency in Idaho
Published Sep 9, 2014 - 10:30:59 AM
Four conservation organizations today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program over its large-scale, often secretive killing of wild animals in Idaho. The program kills millions of animals nationwide every year, and in 2013 killed more than 3,000 mammals in Idaho alone via aerial gunning, neck snares, foothold traps, and toxic devices known as M-44s that spray sodium cyanide into the victim's mouth, causing tremendous suffering and releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.
By 2090 the area burned by forest fires in the European Union could increase by 200% because of climate change
Published Sep 8, 2014 - 10:02:43 AM
Climate change is expected to contribute to a dramatic increase in forest fire damage in Europe, but better forest management could mitigate the problem, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Lawsuit Launched to Protect Northwest's Whales, Salmon, Shorebirds From Unprecedented Spike in Oil Shipments by Rail and Barge
Published Sep 4, 2014 - 11:05:13 AM
Amid a spike in oil shipments by rail and barge in the Pacific Northwest from near zero to millions of gallons a week, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Columbia Gorge today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency for failing to update oil-spill response plans and ensure endangered species won't be harmed by actions taken in response to oil spills.
Climate Change Science Aided by Huge but "Invisible" Efforts of Amateurs
Published Sep 4, 2014 - 10:21:09 AM
Hundreds of thousands of volunteer data collectors are due for some thanks from scientists, according to a new paper that reveals the role of citizen science in studies of birds and climate change. Data collected by amateurs underpins up to 77 percent of the studies in this field, but that fact is largely invisible by the time the research appears in journals, according to a study published today in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change
Published Sep 2, 2014 - 8:19:25 AM
A new study, published today in Nature Climate Change, suggests that – if current trends continue – food production alone will reach, if not exceed, the global targets for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2050.
Fish and Wildlife Service Urged to Speed Protection for Bat
Published Aug 28, 2014 - 8:17:41 AM
Two dozen conservation and animal-welfare groups sent a letter today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete its plan to protect the northern long-eared bat, a species found primarily in the eastern and midwestern United States. Opposition to the bat's protection under the Endangered Species Act — from timber, mining and energy industries as well as several state natural-resource agency officials — prompted the Fish and Wildlife Service to postpone a final decision on protecting the bat until spring 2015.
Heavy metal songs: Contaminated songbirds sing the wrong tunes
Full story: EHN
Winged Warnings: Built for survival, birds in trouble from pole to pole
Full story: EHN
NOAA’s Marine Debris Program reports on the national issue of derelict fishing traps
Published Aug 27, 2014 - 10:01:57 AM
Thousands of fishing traps are lost or abandoned each year in U.S. waters and become what are known as derelict traps, which continue to catch fish, crabs, and other species such as turtles. These traps result in losses to habitat, fisheries, and the watermen who depend on the resources -- losses that are largely preventable, according to a newly published NOAA study.
World's Largest Plastic Bottle Structure Draws Attention to Global Plastic Pollution Crisis
Published Aug 25, 2014 - 8:35:54 AM
After a flood created a dam where one could cross the Nera River by stepping on plastic bottles at the point of Danube where it enters Romania, the cu.podu project was born, explained Radu Rusu of EcoStuff. The goal of the project is to do something big enough to draw attention to the enormous quantities of litter dumped every day in the rivers and oceans around the world, like other organizations are doing including 5 Gyres Institute, which just finished a three-week sail from Bermuda to Iceland and found microplastic particles in every surface sample collected during the trip.
BirdLife and Lynx publish first ever illustrated world bird checklist
Published Aug 22, 2014 - 8:53:53 AM
Lynx Edicíons and BirdLife International have published the first ever Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. The checklist classification uses new criteria and recognises 462 new species which were previously treated as 'races' of other forms. The new total of 4,549 non-passerines implies that previous classifications have undersold avian diversity at the species level by as much as 10%.
Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury
Published Aug 20, 2014 - 9:27:56 AM
New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant.
Global warming is moistening the atmosphere
Published Aug 18, 2014 - 8:24:46 AM
We have long suspected that greenhouse gases which cause the Earth to warm would lead to a wetter atmosphere. The latest research published by Eul-Seok Chung, Brian Soden, and colleagues provides new insight into what was thought to be an old problem. In doing so, they experimentally verified what climate models have been predicting. The models got it right… again.
Human Contribution to Glacier Mass Loss on the Increase
Published Aug 15, 2014 - 8:20:19 AM
By combining climate and glacier models, scientists headed by Ben Marzeion from the University of Innsbruck have found unambiguous evidence for anthropogenic glacier mass loss in recent decades. In a paper published in Science, the researchers report that about one quarter of the global glacier mass loss during the period of 1851 to 2010 is attributable to anthropogenic causes. The fraction of human contribution increased steadily and accelerated to almost two thirds between 1991 and 2010.
How Much Is Nature Worth
Published Aug 13, 2014 - 11:05:45 AM
Ecosystem services – clean water, clean air, temperature regulation, food production, etc. – are the myriad ways in which people benefit from nature. Environmental economics is a growing field that, in part, tries to put a price tag on how much nature benefits people. The hope is that policy-makers and businesses will be more likely to preserve nature if they understand its importance.
Investment in Climate Change Adaptation can Help Promote the Livelihoods of 65% of Africans, finds new report
Published Aug 12, 2014 - 6:46:04 AM
Investment in climate change adaptation can help ensure that the impacts of climate change - including a projected 20 – 50 per cent decline in water availability – do not reverse decades of development progress in Africa, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Study: All penguin species at continuing risk from habitat degradation
Published Aug 6, 2014 - 12:20:41 PM
A major study of all penguin species suggests the birds are at continuing risk from habitat degradation. Writing in the journal, Conservation Biology, a group of internationally renowned scientists recommends the adoption of measures to mitigate against a range of effects including; food scarcity (where fisheries compete for the same resources), being caught in fishing nets, oil pollution and climate change. This could include the establishment of marine protected areas, although the authors acknowledge this might not always be practical. A number of other ecologically based management methods could also be implemented.
Proposed Rosemont Mine Threatens Rare Jaguar, Ocelot and Tucson's Water Supply
Published Aug 6, 2014 - 12:11:08 PM
The Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to again take an in-depth look at how the proposed Rosemont copper mine in southern Arizona will affect endangered species, including jaguars, ocelots and rare fish. Agency scientists, in earlier drafts of their "biological opinion" of the project, concluded the mine would not be compatible with endangered animals in the area, including the only jaguar known to be living in the United States. That conclusion was later reversed by a supervisor. The Service, though, announced earlier this year it would revisit that opinion in the face of new information.
Hawaii Farmers, Environmental Groups Defend Moratorium of GMO Crops
Published Aug 4, 2014 - 12:37:10 PM
A coalition of local farmers and environmental groups last week filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit to defend a Hawai'i County ordinance that imposes a moratorium on the expansion of genetically engineered (GE) crops on the Big Island. On Aug. 1, Center for Food Safety (CFS), and three Hawai'i Island farmers asked the court permission to join as defendants in a biotech industry lawsuit challenging the County of Hawai'i's Ordinance 13-121. The ordinance regulates GE organisms to prevent their environmental and economic harms, such as contamination of organic and conventional crops and wild plants and associated pesticide use. The coalition is jointly represented by counsel from CFS and Earthjustice.
IDA Designates Sedona, Arizona, the World's Eighth International Dark Sky Community
Published Aug 4, 2014 - 10:30:37 AM
The red rock scenery of Sedona has long been an iconic setting for Hollywood films about the Old West and a popular magnet for artists and tourists alike. Sedona is committed to preserving its small- town charm, and thanks to the sustained efforts of concerned residents, its dark night skies. In recognition of Sedona's efforts protecting this important natural resource, the International Dark-Sky Association has designated the city of Sedona the world's eighth International Dark Sky Community.