Illegal trade contributes to placing cacti among world's most threatened species
Published Oct 5, 2015 - 10:09:27 AM
Thirty-one percent of cactus species are threatened with extinction, according to the first comprehensive, global assessment of the species group by IUCN and partners, published today in the journal Nature Plants. This places cacti among the most threatened taxonomic groups assessed on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ - more threatened than mammals and birds.
Massachusetts Begins Mass Environmental Rollback
Published Oct 1, 2015 - 8:40:58 AM
Governor Charlie Baker’s drive for wholesale repeal of regulations exceeding federal standards puts many of the Bay State’s most important environmental safeguards at risk, according to comments filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has unveiled a preliminary plan to implement this directive which names 28 sets of regulation subject to revision or repeal but this list may grow substantially next year when another 58 regulations will become “sunset” candidates.
Ocean Conservancy releases report outlining solutions to issue of plastic waste in oceans
Published Sep 30, 2015 - 9:07:48 AM
Ocean Conservancy today announced the global launch of Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean – a first-of-its-kind, solutions-oriented report in partnership with the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment that outlines specific land-based solutions for plastic waste in the ocean, starting with the elimination of plastic waste leakage in five priority countries (China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand).
Nearly half of US seafood supply is wasted
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:32:45 AM
As much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, new research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) suggests.
Extreme Pacific sea level events to double in future
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:28:05 AM
Many tropical Pacific island nations are struggling to adapt to gradual sea level rise stemming from warming oceans and melting ice caps. Now they may also see much more frequent extreme interannual sea level swings. The culprit is a projected behavioral change of the El Niño phenomenon and its characteristic Pacific wind response, according to recent computer modeling experiments and tide-gauge analysis by scientists Matthew Widlansky and Axel Timmermann at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and their colleague Wenju Cai at CSIRO in Australia.
Harder rains set to fall as the world warms
Published Sep 28, 2015 - 7:12:33 AM
In not quite the words of the singer Bob Dylan, a hard rain is going to fall. Australian scientists predict that precipitation extremes with large variability will emerge in the Northern Hemisphere in the coming decades as part of a “wettening trend”.
Solid waste disposal more than doubles EPA estimates
Published Sep 23, 2015 - 11:45:54 AM
A new Yale-led study indicates that we’re disposing of more than twice as much solid waste as we thought we were.
Feds Fail Sage Grouse
Published Sep 22, 2015 - 8:05:56 AM
After years of delay, today the federal government denied much needed Endangered Species Act protections to the imperiled greater sage grouse. The decision was made without the release of final land management plans aimed at protecting imperiled grouse populations across 10 western states. Instead of ensuring a future for the greater sage grouse, the proposed plans are replete with crippling flaws and loopholes rendering them inadequate to address threats from industrial development, livestock grazing, and invasive weeds. Questions remain regarding whether these fatal flaws will be corrected.
Sumatran Rhino likely to go extinct unless action is taken urgently, warns IUCN
Published Sep 22, 2015 - 8:04:39 AM
With fewer than 100 Sumatran Rhinos surviving in the wild, the species will likely become extinct unless the Indonesian Government urgently implements the Sumatran Rhino recovery plan, warns IUCN as the world celebrates World Rhino Day. The remaining 100 Sumatran Rhinos represent less than half of the population size estimated during the last IUCN Red List assessment of the species in 2008.
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee One Step Closer to Protection
Published Sep 18, 2015 - 10:31:42 AM
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today issued a positive 90-day finding for the rusty patched bumble bee, determining that protection under the Endangered Species Act may be warranted and initiating a status review of the species. This action resulted from a settlement agreement between the Xerces Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council and USFWS.
Saving the last groups of wild Sumatran rhinoceros
Published Sep 17, 2015 - 2:46:43 PM
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Indonesia Program carried out an island-wide survey of the last wild population of Sumatran rhinoceros, and now recommend that wildlife conservation managers consolidate the small population, provide strong protection for the animals, determine the percent of breeding females remaining and "recognize the cost of doing nothing."
EPA Agrees to Revisit Rules for Polluted Runoff by Next Year
Published Sep 17, 2015 - 8:07:20 AM
A federal court has approved a settlement in which the Environmental Protection Agency will update its national regulations for stormwater runoff, one of the nation’s largest sources of water pollution, by November 2016. The EPA agreed to the deadline after the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Center filed a lawsuit last year to force the agency to act, more than a decade after a federal court had first ordered EPA to do so.
Link between air pollution and increased deaths from heart disease affirmed
Published Sep 16, 2015 - 9:08:48 AM
In what is believed to be the largest, most detailed study of its kind in the United States, scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere have confirmed that tiny chemical particles in the air we breathe are linked to an overall increase in risk of death.
Australia is setting new heat records at 12 times the rate of cold ones
Published Sep 14, 2015 - 10:29:30 AM
Spring feels like a welcome relief from an Australian winter that felt very cold and very long. Melbourne has just shivered through its coldest winter in 26 years and Canberra hibernated through more cold nights than any winter since 1997.
Climate change could leave Pacific Northwest amphibians high and dry
Published Sep 8, 2015 - 9:15:59 AM
Far above the wildfires raging in Washington's forests, a less noticeable consequence of this dry year is taking place in mountain ponds. The minimal snowpack and long summer drought that have left the Pacific Northwest lowlands parched also affect the region's amphibians due to loss of mountain pond habitat.
The Mounting Problem: World's Cities Produce up to 10 Billion Tonnes of Waste Each Year, UN Study Estimates
Published Sep 8, 2015 - 6:32:03 AM
Inadequate waste management has become a major public health, economic and environmental problem, with 7-10 billion tonnes of urban waste produced each year and 3 billion people worldwide lacking access to controlled waste disposal facilities.
Only One Third of Europe’s Electronic Waste is Managed Correctly, Study Finds
Published Sep 8, 2015 - 6:25:25 AM
Mismanagement of discarded electronics within Europe involves a volume 10 times that of e-waste shipped to foreign shores in undocumented exports, according to a comprehensive 2-year investigation into the functioning of the used and waste electronics market.
Majority Female Ranger Unit from South Africa Wins Top UN Environmental Prize
Published Sep 7, 2015 - 7:28:52 PM
The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African and majority-women ranger group, has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nation's top environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award.
New international standards needed to manage ocean noise
Published Sep 2, 2015 - 10:52:18 AM
As governments and industries expand their use of high-decibel seismic surveys to explore the ocean bottom for resources, experts from eight universities and environmental organizations are calling for new global standards and mitigation strategies.
UCI study finds dramatic increase in concurrent droughts, heat waves
Published Sep 2, 2015 - 10:33:18 AM
Droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past, according to research by climate experts at the University of California, Irvine. Their findings appear today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
EPA’s Fracking Study Draws Criticism from the Public
Published Aug 28, 2015 - 11:35:19 AM
Today is the deadline to submit public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in response to their highly controversial study about fracking’s impact on drinking water. Food & Water Watch, Environmental Action, Breast Cancer Action and other advocacy groups delivered nearly 100,000 comments asking the EPA to redo their study with a higher level of scrutiny and oversight.
US scientists warn leaders of dangers of thawing permafrost
Published Aug 28, 2015 - 9:06:26 AM
As President Obama and high-level representatives of other nations converge in Anchorage, Alaska on August 30-31 for the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER), hosted by the U.S. Department of State, top U.S. climate scientists urge policymakers to address the critical problem of the thawing permafrost in the Arctic region.
Big Bow Fishing Tourney on Mississippi Leaves Disturbed Wake
Published Aug 27, 2015 - 9:39:38 AM
Bow fishing, the fastest-growing extreme sport in the U.S., has no place on a national wildlife refuge, according to a complaint jointly filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and Friends of Effigy Mounds. The “World Bowfishing Tournament” held in late July on the Upper Mississippi River has drawn both citizen complaints and an enforcement review by a state fish and game agency as well as a call for new federal prohibitions.
Prehistoric dogs learned new tricks as climate changed
Published Aug 24, 2015 - 1:14:41 PM
Man-made climate change is expected to have a “significant effect” on the wildlife of the planet. And, if fossil evidence is anything to go by, it could seriously alter the course of evolution.
USGS: Increasingly Severe Disturbances Weaken World’s Temperate Forests
Published Aug 24, 2015 - 12:14:21 PM
A new paper published today in Science magazine has synthesized existing studies on the health of temperate forests across the globe and found a sobering diagnosis. Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening some of these forests with transformation. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
UCI, NASA Researchers Find Link Between Amazon Fire Risk, Devastating North Atlantic Hurricanes
Published Aug 20, 2015 - 3:17:53 AM
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and NASA have uncovered a remarkably strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines. The climate scientists’ findings appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters near the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s calamitous August 2005 landfall at New Orleans.
Examining the fate of Fukushima contaminants
Published Aug 18, 2015 - 10:20:29 AM
An international research team reports results of a three-year study of sediment samples collected offshore from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in a new paper published August 18, 2015, in the American Chemical Society's journal, Environmental Science and Technology.
Meat Food Waste has Greater Negative Environmental Impact Than Vegetable Waste
Published Aug 16, 2015 - 6:29:38 PM
Approximately 31 percent of food produced in the U.S., or 133 billion pounds of food worth $162 billion, was wasted in 2011 according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that the type of food wasted has a significant impact on the environment. Although less meat is wasted (on average) compared to fruits and vegetables, the researchers found that significantly more energy is used in the production of meat compared to the production of vegetables. This wasted energy is usually in the form of resources that can have negative impacts on the surrounding environment, such as diesel fuel or fertilizer being released into the environment.
Government Documents Reveal That Killing Cormorants Won't Help Columbia River Salmon
Published Aug 12, 2015 - 2:03:56 PM
Conservation groups today called for an investigation after agency documents, released last week under court order, showed that killing double-crested cormorants will not benefit salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s own biologists found that fish not eaten by cormorants would be eaten by other predators, but nevertheless authorized the killing of more than 10,000 double-crested cormorants and destruction of more than 26,000 cormorant nests on East Sand Island near the mouth of the Columbia.
Antarctic fur seals have unique 'scent profile' to recognise their pups
Published Aug 11, 2015 - 4:14:50 PM
Researchers studying Antarctic fur seals have discovered their scent has a unique ‘profile’ which enables them to recognise their offspring and family members. Until now researchers thought voice recognition was mostly important for finding their young, but now it is proven that scent also plays a crucial part. The results are published this week (Monhttps://www.bas.ac.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=news#day 10 August) in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.