Local Citizens Group Granted Voice in Coal Ash Pollution Cases Against Duke Energy's Mayo and Hyco Lake Facilities
Published Oct 30, 2014 - 12:20:39 PM
A North Carolina Superior Court has allowed the Roanoke River Basin Association, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, to participate as a full party in an enforcement action with respect to two Duke Energy coal ash sites near the Virginia border: Roxboro Steam Station in Person County on Hyco Lake and Mayo Steam Station on Mayo Lake near Roxboro. As a full party, RRBA will have the same rights as Duke Energy and DENR in the litigation.
Nestling birds struggle in noisy environments
Published Oct 29, 2014 - 11:31:40 AM
Unable to fly, nestling birds depend on their parents for both food and protection: vocal communication between parents and offspring helps young birds to determine when they should beg for food and when they should crouch in the nest to avoid a predator seeking an easy meal.
Climate Change Impacts Countered By Stricter Fisheries Management
Published Oct 27, 2014 - 8:32:25 AM
A new study has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Niño, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Global boom in hydropower poses a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity
Published Oct 24, 2014 - 9:05:07 AM
An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity. A new database has been developed to support decision making on sustainable modes of electricity production. It is presented today at the international congress Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainability hosted by the University of Copenhagen.
Obama administration delays critical action to protect bees until at least 2016
Published Oct 24, 2014 - 6:13:47 AM
Today, at the 14th annual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign International Conference, the White House announced a several month delay in the release of its pollinator report. The Presidential Memorandum, issued by President Obama in June 2014, required this report and charged the EPA with assessing the effects of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bees and other pollinators within 180 days. But the EPA announced today that it would not release a regulatory decision on neonicotinoids before 2016.
BOFFFFs (big, old, fat, fertile, female fish) sustain fisheries
Published Oct 22, 2014 - 9:14:04 AM
Recreational fishermen prize large trophy fish. Commercial fishing gear targets big fish. After all, larger fish feed the egos of humans as well as their bellies.
New tracers can identify frack fluids in the environment
Published Oct 20, 2014 - 9:14:53 AM
Scientists have developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment.
Loss of big predators could leave herbivores in a thorny situation
Published Oct 20, 2014 - 9:09:50 AM
Global declines in carnivore populations could embolden plant eaters to increasingly dine on succulent vegetation, driving losses in plant and tree biodiversity, according to UBC research published today in Science.
Ice loss sends Alaskan temperatures soaring
Published Oct 17, 2014 - 12:29:26 PM
If you doubt that parts of the planet really are warming, talk to residents of Barrow, the Alaskan town that is the most northerly settlement in the US.
Shark nets must go following another whale entanglement
Published Oct 16, 2014 - 2:46:53 PM
A baby humpback whale caught today in shark nets on the Cooloola Coast is the eighth whale to be caught in Queensland’s nets this migration season.
Mercury in the Nation’s Streams—Levels, Trends, and Implications
Published Oct 15, 2014 - 9:37:32 AM
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health and the health of fish-eating wildlife. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited. This can result in mercury-contaminated fish in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.
After the crash: Butterflies rely on connections amid changing climate
Published Oct 15, 2014 - 9:21:31 AM
Butterflies in Canadian mountain meadows rebounded after a severe population crash. Why? It’s all about connections, found a study by the University of California, Davis, in collaboration with Western University in Ontario, Canada, and other North American institutions.
Lake Erie Increasingly Susceptible to Large Cyanobacteria Blooms
Published Oct 15, 2014 - 9:12:05 AM
Lake Erie has become increasingly susceptible to large blooms of toxin-producing cyanobacteria since 2002, potentially complicating efforts to rein in the problem in the wake of this year's Toledo drinking water crisis, according to a new study led by University of Michigan researchers.
LEGO ends 50 year link with Shell, after one million people respond to Save the Arctic campaign
Published Oct 14, 2014 - 9:14:52 AM
Following a Greenpeace campaign, LEGO published a statement this morning committing to 'not renew the co-promotion contract with Shell'. This decision comes a month after Shell submitted plans to the US administration showing it's once again gearing up to drill in the melting Arctic next year .
Due to landscape fragmentation, Brazil's rainforests are releasing more carbon dioxide than previously thought
Published Oct 7, 2014 - 9:39:46 AM
Because of the deforestation of tropical rainforests in Brazil, significantly more carbon has been lost than was previously assumed. As scientists of the Hemholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) write in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the effect of the degradation has been underestimated in fragmented forest areas, since it was hitherto not possible to calculate the loss of the biomass at the forest edges and the higher emission of carbon dioxide. The UFZ scientists have now closed this knowledge gap. According to their calculations, the forest fragmentation results in up to a fifth more carbon dioxide being emitted by the vegetation.
‘Amazon of UK’ being destroyed for grouse shooting
Published Oct 6, 2014 - 8:25:45 AM
Burning large tracts of heather on the peat-covered hills of Britain so that more red grouse can be reared for the rich to shoot has always been controversial.
Livermore scientists suggest ocean warming in Southern Hemisphere underestimated
Published Oct 6, 2014 - 8:23:39 AM
Using satellite observations and a large suite of climate models, Lawrence Livermore scientists have found that long-term ocean warming in the upper 700 meters of Southern Hemisphere oceans has likely been underestimated.
Study: Creepy Crawlers Play Key Role in Structure of Grasslands
Published Oct 2, 2014 - 2:09:07 PM
When asked to describe a forest or a meadow, most people would probably begin with the plants, the species diversity, or the color of the foliage. They probably wouldn’t pay much attention to the animals living in the soil.
New study suggests humans to blame for plummeting numbers of cheetahs
Published Oct 2, 2014 - 1:18:24 PM
A new study led by Queen's University Belfast into how cheetahs burn energy suggests that human activity, rather than larger predators, may force them to expend more energy and thus be the major cause of their decline.
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.