Agriculture

Exxon Plan to develop biofuel from algae

Exxon Mobil Corp will invest $600 million over the next five to six years on trying to developing biofuel from algae, even though the oil major has said renewables will be only a small part of global energy supply. Exxon, placing its largest financial bet on renewable fuels, is forming a research and development alliance with Synthetic Genomics Inc, a privately held company that focuses on gene-based research, the company said on Tuesday.

What caused global warming 55 million years ago?
July 15, 2009 08:05 AM - Canada.com from Agence France-Presse

A runaway spurt of global warming 55 million years ago turned Earth into a hothouse but how this happened remains worryingly unclear, scientists said on Monday. Previous research into this period, called the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, estimates the planet's surface temperature blasted upwards by between five and nine degrees Celsius in just a few thousand years.

Sustainable palm oil gets boost in China
July 14, 2009 10:00 AM - WWF

Major China-based producers and users of palm oil have announced they intend to provide more support for sustainable palm oil, an important boost for efforts to halt tropical deforestation.

Limit antibiotic use on U.S. livestock, says the FDA
July 14, 2009 07:50 AM - Reuters

The Food and Drug Administration believes antibiotics should be used on livestock only to cure or prevent disease and not to promote growth, a common use, said a high-ranking FDA official on Monday. Principal deputy FDA commissioner Joshua Sharfstein said restrictions on livestock use would reduce the opportunity for bacteria to develop resistance to drugs used by

Cassavas get cyanide hike from carbon emissions
July 13, 2009 10:58 AM - NewScientist

ONE of Africa's most important food crops is likely to become increasingly toxic as a result of carbon emissions.

Declining Aral Sea: Satellite Images Highlight Dramatic Retreat
July 12, 2009 07:03 AM - Editor ENN, adapted from materials from the European Space Agency

Envisat images highlight the dramatic retreat of the Aral Sea’s shoreline from 2006 to 2009. The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth-largest inland body of water, but it has been steadily shrinking over the past 50 years since the rivers that fed it were diverted for irrigation projects. By the end of the 1980s, it had split into the Small Aral Sea (north), located in Kazakhstan, and the horse-shoe shaped Large Aral Sea (south), shared by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Climate Bill Debate Postponed By Senate
July 11, 2009 06:43 AM - Christopher Joyce, NPR

Legislation to slow climate change rolled into the Senate this week and almost immediately ground to a halt. After two days of hearings, Democratic leaders agreed to mothball the measure until September. They blamed a full schedule on health care reform and the president's Supreme Court nominee for the delay.

New S.F. Food Policy Boosts Local Farms
July 10, 2009 10:24 AM - Tilde Herrera, GreenBiz.com

San Francisco has adopted what may be the country's first county food policy that aims to improve access to healthy food while supporting local agriculture and reducing shipping-related greenhouse gas emissions.

G8 Urges Economic Stability Measures, Fails to Pass Climate Bill
July 9, 2009 06:45 AM - , Triple Pundit

Today in L’Aquila, Italy, the Group of 8 (G8) Summit failed to pass unanimously a climate bill which would have mandated halving of global CO2 emissions by 2050 as part of the Group’s larger economic-stabilization plan. The Group – consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, and Russia – believed passage of the bill would likely have broken the deadlock over sharing of the burden of cutting greenhouse gasses. The bill’s passage also would have laid the groundwork for an expected future U.N. climate pact in Copenhagen in December.

Despair flows as fields go dry and unemployment rises
July 6, 2009 09:30 AM - Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times

San Joaquin Valley farms are laying off workers and letting fields lie fallow as their water ration falls.

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