The Mediterranean Sea classified as the sixth highest region for the accumulation of plastic debris on the planet
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 8:49:11 AM
The amounts of plastic debris in the Mediterranean are comparable to those reported for the great accumulation areas located in the centres of the oceans.
Man-made gas drilling, not an earthquake, responsible for continuing Indonesian mud volcano disaster
Published Jun 30, 2015 - 8:18:02 AM
New research led by the University of Adelaide hopes to close the debate on whether a major mud volcano disaster in Indonesia was triggered by an earthquake or had man-made origins.
Las Vegas Butterfly Gains 5,214 Acres of Protected Critical Habitat Under Endangered Species Act
Published Jun 29, 2015 - 9:54:22 AM
Following an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected 5,214 acres of critical habitat for the Mount Charleston blue butterfly in Clark County, Nev. Fewer than 100 of the tiny butterflies are known to survive. The Mount Charleston blue is found nowhere on Earth except for the Spring Mountains outside Las Vegas.
Countering utility claims, report says solar panel owners provide net benefits
Published Jun 24, 2015 - 5:59:38 PM
Homes and businesses with solar panels deliver more benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, a report said today, countering increasing complaints from utilities that solar homeowners don’t pay their fair share.
Environmental, Farmer, and Consumer Groups Demand Higher Standards for Genetically Engineered (GE) Crop Regulations
Published Jun 22, 2015 - 10:02:53 AM
Today, nearly 40 organizations and businesses, representing millions of consumer and farmer members across the country, submitted recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)’s regarding the agency’s potential changes to biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act (PPA). The groups argue that APHIS should 1) regulate genetically engineered crops based on the process, not product, 2) add broadly defined noxious weed provisions to its regulations, 3) utilize its authority to regulate to the fullest extent, and 4) regulate via binding federal regulations. In addition, to date nearly 150,000 people have submitted comments to APHIS in support of these recommendations.
Texas Becomes 10th State to Ban Trade of Shark Fins
Published Jun 22, 2015 - 9:37:54 AM
On Saturday, June 20, Texas became the 10th U.S. state to ban the trade of shark fins, when Gov. Greg Abbott signed H.B. 1579 into law, introduced by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-District 38). This law ensures that Texas will no longer participate in the global fin trade that is largely responsible for the decline of sharks around the world.
Alaska Confirms 60 Percent Decline in Rare Wolf Population, Still Plans Trapping and Hunting Season
Published Jun 22, 2015 - 8:09:06 AM
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is planning a 2015-2016 trapping and hunting season on rare Alexander Archipelago wolves in the Prince of Wales Island area, despite scientific data confirming a 60 percent decline in the wolf population in just one year. The population of wolves on the island could be as few as 50.
Prenatal DDT Exposure Tied to Nearly Four-fold Increase in Breast Cancer Risk
Published Jun 17, 2015 - 9:17:04 AM
Women who were exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT in utero were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as adults than women who were exposed to lower levels before birth, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). A more estrogenic form of DDT that is found in commercial DDT, o,p’-DDT, was largely responsible for this finding.
A third of the world's biggest groundwater basins are in distress
Published Jun 17, 2015 - 8:30:39 AM
Two new studies led by UC Irvine using data from NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites show that civilization is rapidly draining some of its largest groundwater basins, yet there is little to no accurate data about how much water remains in them.
Temperatures soar to danger point for sun-loving creatures
Published Jun 16, 2015 - 3:18:20 PM
Scientists in California have identified a cold-blooded killer as global warming brings new hazards for ectotherms − creatures that cannot regulate their own body heat.
Bioethicists: Climate change isn't just people hurting polar bears. It's people hurting people.
Published Jun 16, 2015 - 9:16:14 AM
From heat waves to damaged crops to asthma in children, climate change is a major public health concern, argues a Michigan State University researcher in a new study.
View of 'nature as capital' uses economic value to help achieve a sustainable future
Published Jun 16, 2015 - 7:15:16 AM
Researchers today outlined in a series of reports how governments, organizations and corporations are successfully moving away from short-term exploitation of the natural world and embracing a long-term vision of 'nature as capital' -- the ultimate world bank upon which the health and prosperity of both the human race and the planet depend.
New study shows Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species
Published Jun 16, 2015 - 7:14:28 AM
New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044.
Non-GMO Project says no to synthetic biology
Published Jun 15, 2015 - 8:29:44 AM
Friends of the Earth applauds the launch of the Non-GMO Project’s most recently updated Standard, which clarifies that ingredients derived from synthetic biology are included in the organization’s definition of genetically engineered organisms and in their list of prohibited substances for micro ingredients. This change ensures that moving forward, ingredients derived from synthetic biology will not be allowed in the more than 33,000 products that are Verified by the Non-GMO Project, North America’s only third party verification program for non-GMO food and products. Synthetic biology -- or synbio -- is a new set of “extreme” genetic engineering techniques that include using synthetic DNA to reengineer organisms, such as yeast and algae, to produce substances they would not normally produce.
Long-lived carbon dioxide warms world for many millennia
Published Jun 15, 2015 - 8:25:25 AM
Gun the engine, and the ignition of fossil fuel produces not just working energy but heat that dissipates quickly into the atmosphere. But it also produces carbon dioxide that dissipates into the atmosphere.
USF biologists: biodiversity reduces human, wildlife diseases and crop pests
Published Jun 15, 2015 - 7:34:24 AM
With infectious diseases increasing worldwide, the need to understand how and why disease outbreaks occur is becoming increasingly important. Looking for answers, a team of University of South Florida (USF) biologists and colleagues found broad evidence that supports the controversial 'dilution effect hypothesis,' which suggests that biodiversity limits outbreaks of disease among humans and wildlife.
Conservation Groups Denounce Icelandic Attempts to Ship Whale Meat Through Russian Waters
Published Jun 12, 2015 - 10:42:09 AM
WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) have discovered that, in the latest desperate effort to prop up a dying industry, Hvalur hf, Iceland’s fin whaling company, has joined forces with Aquaship, a shipping company with a troubling record, to transport meat from endangered fin whales through Russian waters to Japan.
Study: changing climate prompts boreal forest shift in Alaska
Published Jun 12, 2015 - 7:32:34 AM
With warming summer temperatures across Alaska, white spruce tree growth in Interior Alaska has declined to record low levels, while the same species in Western Alaska is growing better than ever measured before.
Last Call for Larsen B: Likely to disintegrate completely before end of the decade
Published Jun 11, 2015 - 11:03:16 AM
A recent NASA study found that the last remaining section of Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf, which partially collapsed in 2002, is weakening and is likely to disintegrate completely before the end of the decade.
Dramatic Ice Sheet Collapse 135 Thousand Years Ago Triggered Strong Global Climate Change
Published Jun 11, 2015 - 10:52:44 AM
An international team of scientists has found that the climatic events that ended the ice age before last are surprisingly different to those of the last ice age.
Impact of insecticides on the cognitive development of 6-year-old children
Published Jun 10, 2015 - 9:34:30 AM
In an article published in the journal Environment International, researchers from Inserm (Inserm Unit 1085 – IRSET, the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health, Rennes), in association with the Laboratory for Developmental and Educational Psychology, LPDE (Rennes 2 University), provide new evidence of neurotoxicity in humans from pyrethroid insecticides, which are found in a wide variety of products and uses. An increase in the urinary levels of two pyrethroid metabolites (3-PBA and cis-DBCA) in children is associated with a significant decrease in their cognitive performances, particularly verbal comprehension and working memory. This study was carried out on nearly 300 mother and child pairs from the PELAGIE cohort (Brittany).
Sea Shepherd Resolves Contempt Dispute with Japanese Whalers
Published Jun 9, 2015 - 9:47:46 AM
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit marine conservation organization, has resolved its long-running legal dispute with Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) over whether Sea Shepherd and its affiliated parties were in contempt of a 2012 injunction entered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Aluminium: A new factor in the decline of bee populations?
Published Jun 8, 2015 - 8:39:40 AM
A new scientific study has found very high amounts of aluminium contamination in bees, raising the question of whether aluminium-induced cognitive dysfunction is playing a role in the decline of bumblebee populations.
Current mobile contracts damaging the environment, research finds
Published Jun 8, 2015 - 8:38:52 AM
Research published today in the journal the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment has called for an overhaul of the way mobile devices are manufactured and contracted, in order to stop the harmful effects on the environment caused by current business models.
New Born Free Foundation Report Confirms Captive Dolphins Can Be Successfully Returned to the Wild
Published Jun 5, 2015 - 2:19:59 PM
This week, the Born Free Foundation launched a ground-breaking scientific report, Back to the Blue, detailing the successful rescue, rehabilitation, and release of two captive dolphins, Tom and Misha.
Air pollution below EPA standards linked with higher death rates
Published Jun 4, 2015 - 9:44:32 AM
A new study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that death rates among people over 65 are higher in zip codes with more fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) than in those with lower levels of PM2.5. It is the first study to examine the effect of soot particles in the air in the entire population of a region, including rural areas. The harmful effects from the particles were observed even in areas where concentrations were less than a third of the current standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Elephant population census in Tanzania reveals catestrophic decline
Published Jun 3, 2015 - 6:58:23 AM
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu yesterday announced the latest estimates of elephant populations in Tanzania, demonstrating a catastrophic decline over the past decade, with numbers plummeting from an estimated 109,051 in 2009 to 43,330 in 2014. A government press release concluded that it was highly likely that the decline was caused by poaching for ivory.
Burning Wood Pellets from U.S. Hardwood Forests Results in More Carbon Emissions than Burning Coal
Published Jun 2, 2015 - 9:12:08 AM
A new analysis by experts in carbon lifecycle modeling, Spatial Informatics Group LLC, reveals that using wood pellets made from hardwood trees cut down in eastern North Carolina and Virginia forests as currently practiced by Enviva, a U.S. supplier for UK power company Drax, will produce 2 1/2 times more carbon pollution than continuing to burn coal for 40 years and more than three times coal’s carbon over 100 years. Ironically, the increasing demand for the wood pellets that Enviva makes from U.S. forests stems from UK policies intended to lower the carbon pollution responsible for climate change.
Overheating Earth staggers into Last Chance Saloon
Published Jun 1, 2015 - 9:30:28 AM
The text of the agreement on how the world will tackle climate change and set targets that will keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels is being negotiated in Bonn this week.
Human caused fires burn in Northwest Territories in Canada
Published Jun 1, 2015 - 7:03:59 AM
As the weather starts to heat up so do the incidents of wildfires. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected about a dozen fires burning in the Northwest Territories in Canada on May 28, 2015. The fires are outlined in red. Summer weather brings warm, sultry days, but it also brings summer storms and lightning, which is one of the natural ways that fires begin.