Oceans need thousands of years to recover from climate change
Published Mar 31, 2015 - 8:16:56 AM
Ocean ecosystems that experience rapid upheaval because of climate change can take thousands of years to recover, according to an examination of fossilized ocean fauna on the seafloor by the University of California, Davis.
Citizen scientists map global forests
Published Mar 30, 2015 - 11:54:45 AM
New maps of global forest cover from the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA)'s Geo-Wiki team provide a more accurate view of global forests. The maps were published in the journal Remote Sensing of the Environment, and are freely available for exploration and download on the Geo-Wiki Web site.
Equatorial fish babies in hot water
Published Mar 30, 2015 - 8:37:51 AM
Scientists have discovered that rising ocean temperatures slow the development of baby fish around the equator, raising concerns about the impact of global warming on fish and fisheries in the tropics.
Mild winters not fueling all pine beetle outbreaks in western United States
Published Mar 30, 2015 - 8:33:56 AM
Warming winters have allowed mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the coldest areas of the western United States, but milder winters can't be blamed for the full extent of recent outbreaks in the region, a Dartmouth College and U.S. Forest Service study finds.
Antarctic ice shelves rapidly thinning
Published Mar 27, 2015 - 10:59:51 AM
A new study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego researchers has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica's floating ice shelves has recently decreased by as much as 18 percent in certain areas over nearly two decades, providing new insights on how the Antarctic ice sheet is responding to climate change.
Deadly Japan quake and tsunami spurred global warming, ozone loss
Published Mar 26, 2015 - 10:40:12 AM
Buildings destroyed by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake released thousands of tons of climate-warming and ozone-depleting chemicals into the atmosphere, according to a new study.
The first herd of wild horses runs free into pasture at former Soviet army military area in Czech Republic
Published Mar 24, 2015 - 10:38:25 AM
Instead of Soviet army tanks there are wild horses coming from England. That is what it looks like, from today, in the former military area of Milovice in the Czech Republic, which was occupied by one hundred thousand Soviet soldiers and their families for two decades. While the last transport with the Soviet soldiers left Milovice on 19th June 1991, today fourteen wild horses have been released into the former exercise area.
World's most productive river, food security for millions under threat from 2 dams
Published Mar 24, 2015 - 7:52:51 AM
Development of two dams on the Lower Mekong River in Laos is proceeding with potentially devastating impacts to the food security and livelihoods of 60 million people. The projects highlight the types of bad decisions and missed opportunities that threaten the world’s freshwater resources.
Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons causing significant mammal declines in Everglades National Park
Published Mar 24, 2015 - 7:52:08 AM
Nearly 80 percent of radio-tracked marsh rabbits that died in Everglades National Park in a recent study were eaten by Burmese pythons, according to a new publication by University of Florida and U.S. Geological Survey researchers.
Hormone-mimickers widespread in Great Lakes region wastewater, waterways and fish
Published Mar 23, 2015 - 8:59:46 AM
Larry Barber spent ten years testing water and fish in the Great Lakes region. But he wasn’t looking for the pollutants everyone’s heard of.
Mercury … PCBs … these are still problems. But there’s a lesser-known class of contaminants, which have insidious and concerning health impacts on aquatic creatures.
Earth at risk in new epoch ruled by destructive humans
Published Mar 23, 2015 - 8:23:58 AM
Nature has been replaced by humans as the driving force behind changes on the planet − and we need to take urgent action if we are to avoid our own destruction.
Wind power in the US generates enough electricity for more than 11 million homes, but needs government support for further growth
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 12:04:46 PM
The wind turbines are turning across America, and a major report by the US Department of Energy (DOE) says the wind energy sector now supplies 4.5% of the nation’s electricity.
Monster fish, indicator of ecosystem health, face extinction crisis
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 10:16:36 AM
People think of elephants, tigers and sharks as a bellwether for how the environment is doing, but monster fish, two dozen species of large freshwater fish weighing more than 200 pounds, are an alarming indicator of the health of aquatic ecosystems around the world.
Massive amounts of fresh water, glacial melt pouring into Gulf of Alaska
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 8:36:57 AM
Incessant mountain rain, snow and melting glaciers in a comparatively small region of land that hugs the southern Alaska coast and empties fresh water into the Gulf of Alaska would create the sixth largest coastal river in the world if it emerged as a single stream, a recent study shows.
Is too much artificial light at night making us sick?
Published Mar 19, 2015 - 9:34:22 AM
Modern life, with its preponderance of inadequate exposure to natural light during the day and overexposure to artificial light at night, is not conducive to the body's natural sleep/wake cycle.
Old King Coal is sick – but not dying fast enough to avert the risk of climate change reaching dangerous levels
Published Mar 18, 2015 - 10:19:17 AM
A global investigation into every coal-fired power plant proposed in the last five years shows that only one in three of them has actually been built. Researchers say that for each new plant constructed somewhere in the world, two more have been shelved or cancelled. They say this rate is significantly higher in Europe, South Asia, Latin America and Africa. In India, since 2012 six plants have been cancelled for each one built.
Conifers' helicoptering seeds are result of long evolutionary experiment
Published Mar 18, 2015 - 9:49:05 AM
The whirling, winged seeds of today’s conifers are an engineering wonder and, as UC Berkeley, scientists show, a result of about 270 million years of evolution by trees experimenting with the best way to disperse their seeds.
Groups Petition for Endangered Species Review of Montana's Rock Creek Mine Threats to Bull Trout, Grizzly Bears
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 7:24:53 PM
Conservation groups today petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take a new look at the harmful effects that the proposed Rock Creek Mine would inflict on imperiled bull trout and grizzly bears in light of recently disclosed information revealing threats to these species that the agency has never considered.
These 15 animal species have the lowest chance for survival: Researchers urge action
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 10:41:14 AM
Climbing rats, seabirds and tropical gophers are among the 15 animal species that are at the absolute greatest risk of becoming extinct very soon. Expertise and money is needed to save them and other highly threatened species.
Switch off the lights for bats
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 10:33:09 AM
New research has discredited the popular belief that street lighting is attractive to common bats. The study, carried out by scientists from the University of Exeter and Bat Conservation Ireland, found that bat activity was generally lower in street-lit areas than in dark locations with similar habitat. The findings have important implications for conservation, overturning the previous assumption that common bats benefited from street-lights because they could feed on the insects that congregated around them.
First global review on the status, future of Arctic marine mammals
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 8:46:49 AM
For Arctic marine mammals, the future is especially uncertain. Loss of sea ice and warming temperatures are shifting already fragile Northern ecosystems. The precarious state of those mammals is underscored in a multinational study led by a University of Washington scientist, published this week in Conservation Biology, assessing the status of all circumpolar species and subpopulations of Arctic marine mammals, including seals, whales and polar bears. The authors outline the current state of knowledge and their recommendations for the conservation of these animals over the 21st century.
Lawsuit Against EPA Launched to Protect Endangered Wildlife From New, Toxic Pesticide
Published Mar 16, 2015 - 11:19:08 AM
Conservation and food-safety groups submitted a formal notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency today for failing to protect threatened and endangered species, including butterflies, amphibians and birds, from flupyradifurone, a newly approved systemic insecticide. The EPA recognized that flupyradifurone could harm wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act but failed to consult with expert wildlife agencies as required by the Act before approving it on January 14, 2015. The new insecticide would be especially harmful to imperiled, solitary bees like the blue orchard bee. These agriculturally significant bees are prolific pollinators, already suffering from the effects of other systemic insecticides.
Whale Advocates Take to Boston Streets with Mobile Billboard: "Don't Buy From Icelandic Whalers"
Published Mar 16, 2015 - 5:00:48 AM
A mobile billboard—funded by a coalition of U.S. animal protection and conservation organizations—will take the message “Don’t Buy From Icelandic Whalers” to the streets of Boston this week.
Alberta Government chooses oil over water: new rules bow to corporate interests
Published Mar 14, 2015 - 11:52:47 AM
Today SumOfUs.org, Keepers of the Athabasca, Environmental Defence Canada and the Natural Resources Defense Council criticized the Alberta government for its decision to adopt weak new environmental regulations governing water usage in the oil sands industry today. The long-awaited Surface Water Quantity Framework (SWQF) and Tailings Management Framework set guidelines on how much water oil sands companies can extract from the Athabasca River, and guidelines regarding the management and production of toxic tailings waste.
Blue-green algae blooms can turn toxic in freshwater lakes and kill bathers, farm animals and pets
Published Mar 13, 2015 - 10:15:18 AM
Blue-green algae blooms that can turn toxic in freshwater lakes and can kill bathers, farm animals and domestic pets that drink the water are becoming more widespread across the world, according to new research.
Pollinating birds and mammals declining, reveals first global assessment of trends in the status of pollinators
Published Mar 13, 2015 - 7:25:54 AM
According to a new study by IUCN and partners, the conservation status of pollinating bird and mammal species is deteriorating, with more species moving towards extinction than away from it.
Ponds are disappearing in the Alaskan Arctic tundra
Published Mar 12, 2015 - 10:23:08 AM
Ponds in the Arctic tundra are shrinking and slowly disappearing, according to a new study by University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) researchers.
In Wintry Buffalo, a Café Heated Daily with Just Six Logs of Wood
Published Mar 11, 2015 - 9:27:12 AM
Upstate New York is known for brutal winters, but sometimes beauty and creativity can be born from harsh conditions. That’s the case in snowy Buffalo, where a new café prompts us to rethink how we heat — and use — the space we occupy in winter.
Urgent campaign to curb pollutants’ deadly effects causing millions of premature deaths
Published Mar 6, 2015 - 10:15:24 AM
They are called short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), but they play a significant role in global warming, as well as leading to serious health problems.
Direct evidence that drought-weakened Amazonian forests 'inhale less carbon'
Published Mar 6, 2015 - 8:05:00 AM
For the first time, an international research team has provided direct evidence of the rate at which individual trees in the Amazonian basin 'inhale' carbon from the atmosphere during a severe drought. They measured the growth and photosynthesis rates of trees at 13 rainforest plots across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, comparing plots that were affected by the strong drought of 2010 with unaffected plots. They found that while growth rates of the trees in drought-affected plots were unchanged, the rate of photosynthesis - by which trees convert carbon into energy to fuel their activities - slowed down by around 10 percent over six months. Their paper, published in the journal, Nature, concludes that trees may be channelling their more limited energy reserves into growth rather than maintaining their own health. Computer simulations of the biosphere have predicted such responses to drought, but these are the first direct observations of this effect across tropical forests.