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Tropical forest changes 'explained by multiple factors'
March 20, 2008 10:43 AM - , SciDevNet
Changes in the growth and species composition of tropical forests cannot be fully explained by global environmental changes, say researchers. Recent studies in the Amazon rainforest have suggested that changes such as the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (see Carbon emissions 'may alter forest growth patterns') and other factors such as nutrient deposition, temperature, drought frequency and irradiance are increasing the productivity and biomass of forests.
Aid needed to help China make carbon cuts
March 18, 2008 09:28 AM - , SciDevNet
nternational carbon funds should be aggressively directed towards helping China avoid the use of carbon-rich technologies, say Ning Zeng and colleagues in this Science article. Action is needed despite significant gains in energy efficiency, they note, because based on current economic growth rates and levels of carbon intensity (emissions per unit of gross domestic product) China's emissions by 2030 will equal today's entire global output.
China/EU alliance 'could be key to low-carbon energy'
March 13, 2008 09:31 AM - , SciDevNet
[BEIJING] China and the European Union (EU) can significantly advance low-carbon technologies if they cooperate closely on technological development and market access, according to a new report. 'Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security for China and Europe', outlines common challenges faced by the China and the EU in dealing with the impact of climate change on energy security — despite differences in their economic development.
Conservation areas 'neglected' under current efforts
March 12, 2008 10:16 PM - , SciDevNet
The most important areas for biodiversity conservation are neglected under current protection efforts, researchers say. Scientists from the US-based University of California San Diego (UCSD) investigated whether current methods of locating conservation reserves are adequate to deal with future environmental changes.
UN: Climate danger for Middle East, North Africa
March 10, 2008 09:26 AM - , SciDevNet
Climate change is likely to cause agricultural losses in the Middle East and North Africa, threatening the food security of many countries, the UN has warned. A report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released at a conference in Cairo, Egypt, last week (1—5 March), reviewed studies and models of predicted climate-change impacts over the period 1980—99 and for 2080—99 — including reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Indian government boosts science spending
March 7, 2008 12:42 AM - , SciDevNet
[NEW DELHI] India's new science budget, announced last week (29 February) includes a 16 per cent increase in science spending. The 2008—09 budget also includes a new fund to attract students to science careers, the establishment of three new Indian Institutes of Technology and a rise in funds for manned space missions. The total science budget is just over US$6 billion (around 242 billion Indian Rupees), compared with last year's budget of around US$5 billion.
Convert Guantanamo to Disease Research Centre
March 6, 2008 11:54 PM - , SciDevNet
Guantanamo Bay detention camp should be converted into a biomedical research institute dedicated to combating the diseases of poverty in the Western hemisphere, says Peter J. Hotez. In an editorial in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, he says the move would tap into the tradition of vaccine diplomacy that began 50 years ago — when Moscow and Washington put aside ideological differences to collaborate on the development of a live polio vaccine at the height of the Cold War.
Earth sciences need a higher profile
March 6, 2008 05:39 PM - , SciDevNet
Let's encourage the mood of political cooperation on the big issues during the International Year of Planet Earth, says Nasser Ennih. The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) — launched earlier this month in Paris — is an opportunity to use the knowledge, experience and publications of the world's estimated 500,000 earth scientists to better inform decision-makers and politicians about how to achieve sustainable development.
Scientists aid arrest of fake drug producers
February 22, 2008 09:52 AM - , SciDevNet
[BEIJING] The results of analyses of fake antimalarials which led to the arrests of counterfeit drug producers in China have been published. An international consortium of scientists, known as 'Operation Jupiter', conducted physical, chemical and biological analyses on 391 samples of the antimalarial drug artesunate from South-East Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Brave new world: Gulf seeks bold science initiatives
February 21, 2008 10:24 AM - , SciDevNet
The Gulf States are investing in radical initiatives to strengthen science but results are not guaranteed, reports Waleed Al-Shobakky. Farouk El-Baz routinely shifts between two views of the Gulf countries. One day the Egyptian-American geologist will be in his Boston office poring over detailed satellite images of the Arabian Peninsula. The next he will be continuing his study from a much closer range, flying to Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates to do his geology fieldwork — and to serve as a science adviser.