Catastrophic Flooding from Ancient Lake May Have Triggered Cold Period
December 16, 2004 02:48 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)

Imagine a lake three times the size of the present-day Lake Ontario breaking through a dam and flooding down the Hudson River Valley past New York City and into the North Atlantic. The results would be catastrophic if it happened today, but it did happen some 13,400 years ago during the retreat of glaciers over North America and may have triggered a brief cooling known as the Intra-Allerod Cold Period.

Final Days: Leavitt Signs Sharp Increase In Unhealthy Pesticide
December 16, 2004 02:47 PM - Natural Resources Defense Council

Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Leavitt will release regulations today allowing a 2 million pound increase in 2005 in the use of methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting and cancer-causing farm chemical, in violation of both an international treaty and the Clean Air Act. This new action follows several other decisions by the Bush administration to allow more use of the pesticide.

WWF Calls for Risk Assessment, Greater Protections as Bering Sea Disaster Grows
December 16, 2004 02:46 PM - WWF-US

World Wildlife Fund today called on federal and Alaskan officials to follow up the Selendang Ayu wreck and fuel spill with a risk assessment of shipping routes in the Bering Sea, including the Great Circle Route, along which the spill took place. It is the primary shipping route between the west coast of North America and Asia. Among other things, the assessment should consider additional capacity for safety and habitat protection, and lead to the designation of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas around ecologically important areas in the Bering Sea, which would require shippers to take special precautions.

Environment Innovation Awards in Monaco
December 16, 2004 02:45 PM - World Land Trust

World Land Trust CEO John Burton was invited as a special guest at the award ceremony of the European Grand Prix for Innovation, which this year was dedicated to the Environment. During the Awards Dinner, John was given the opportunity to describe the Trust's work, and its innovative approach to conservation. In the course of the interview, a recorded phone message from Sir David Attenborough was broadcast to the 150 guests attending the ceremony explaining his support for the work of the WLT, and also his thoughts on the future of conservation.

Extreme Weather Losses Soar to Record High
December 16, 2004 09:33 AM - UN Environment Programme

2004 is set to go down in the history books as the most expensive year for the insurance industry world-wide as a result of hurricanes, typhoons and other weather-related natural disasters.

Students Teach Mega-bank To Keep Its Promises
December 16, 2004 09:32 AM - Rainforest Action Network

At 2:00 p.m. today, local area elementary school students will hand deliver over 700 colorful handmade posters from children around the world asking William B. Harrison, chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase, to keep his promise and stop lending money to projects that destroy endangered forests and cause global warming. The second graders, from Fairfield, Connecticut, Mr. Harrison’s current home, will represent children from North America to Southeast Asia who participated in a poster contest calling on the world’s second largest bank to keep its commitment and live up to environmental standards set by Citigroup and Bank of America earlier this year.

Swartz joins Great Ape Trust of Iowa
December 16, 2004 09:30 AM - Great Ape Trust of Iowa

An expert in the field of primate memory and learning has joined the scientific team at Great Ape Trust of Iowa. Dr. Karyl B. Swartz, former chair of the Department of Psychology at Lehman College of The City University of New York (CUNY), will serve as a resident scientist at the great ape research center in Des Moines. For three decades, Swartz has investigated the organization of memory, learning, attention and self-recognition in orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas and rhesus monkeys. Her early research efforts involved mother and infant recognition studies in non-human primates, which led to further scientific studies of primate cognition.

New California Energy Efficiency Standards will Save Consumers Money and Reduce Pollution, Says NRDC
December 15, 2004 06:04 PM - Natural Resources Defense Council

The California Energy Commission (CEC) today unanimously approved new appliance efficiency standards that will save energy, cut consumers' power bills and reduce air pollution. The standards will cover new products sold in California in 24 categories, including consumer electronics, swimming pool pumps and external power supplies. Upon full turnover of existing appliances, the standards will save more than 5,000 gigawatt/hours of energy per year, more than the amount of electricity used by all San Francisco residences.

Disruption of Wildlife Populations Forecast in Wildlife Society Report on Global Warming
December 15, 2004 05:56 PM - National Wildlife Federation

In the first comprehensive assessment of global warming's likely consequences for North American wildlife from the nation's leading group of wildlife professionals, comes a warning of possible major shifts in the ranges and the restructuring of entire plant and animal communities, and the disappearance of some forest types in the United States. The Wildlife Society report, Global Climate Change and Wildlife in North America, finds that "there is sufficient evidence to indicate that many species are already responding to warming, and that animals and plants are already exhibiting discernible range changes consistent with changing temperatures."

Salt-Water Minnow Research Helps Explain Human Cardiology Puzzle
December 15, 2004 05:54 PM - UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

If you’ve ever wondered why there are so many cholesterol drugs or why one person responds better to one particular medication over another seemingly similar product, a new paper published in the December issue of Nature Genetics may take us closer to finding the answers to those questions.

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