Ecosystems

Human Life Expectancy Linked to Extinctions
April 16, 2014 04:14 PM - Dominic Rowland, MONGABAY.COM

Since the arrival of Homo sapiens, other species have been going extinct at an unprecedented rate. Most scientists now agree that extinction rates are between 100 and 1000 times greater than before humans existed. Working out what is driving these extinctions is fiendishly complicated, but a new study by scientists from the University of California, Davis and the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit suggests that human life expectancy may be partly to blame.

Weather throws a curve
April 16, 2014 07:14 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Apparently the intense curve of the jet stream can predict the variability of an entire season and it is part of a 4,000 year pattern. Last winter's curvy jet stream in North America resulted in mild western temperatures and harsher cold temperatures in the east. University of Utah researchers reveal that a similar pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, suggesting that it may worsen as Earth's climate warms.

Moth Study Reveals Hidden Climate Change Impacts
April 15, 2014 01:38 PM - Allison Winter, ENN

More and more studies are reporting climate change as the main culprit for not only species adaptation, but also for changes in population size. But a new study shows that population increases or decreases cannot only be attributed to increasingly warmer weather and that multiple factors play a role when it comes to species population.

IPCC concludes: Renewable energy shift is a must
April 15, 2014 10:34 AM - ENN Editor

Conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's are simple: rapid shifts to renewable energy are needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The IPCC's report was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by each major government in the world. The report documented increases in human-caused greenhouse gases, the source of those gases, and their climatic effect. The most significant conclusions resulting from IPPC report are: - Current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are not enough. - Energy supply is not the only thing driving emission increases. - Big changes will be needed to avoid disaster scenarios.

To bee or not to bee
April 15, 2014 09:33 AM - Staff, ClickGreen

Bumblebees are among the most loved and familiar of garden insects. The sight and sound of them buzzing from flower to flower is a quintessential part of summertime, but sadly these charismatic creatures are now struggling to survive. In our modern world of paved gardens and intensive agriculture our bumblebees find themselves hungry and homeless.

Climate Change: We have met the enemy and they are us
April 14, 2014 09:35 AM - ENN Editor

According to McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy, we have no one to blame but ourselves for global warming in the industrial era. Lovejoy and his research team have just completed an analysis of temperature data covering more than 500 years. This study all but rules out the possibility that global warming is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate.

Largest Cleanup in EPA History Proposed
April 14, 2014 08:14 AM - ENN Staff

In an historic action that will protect people's health and the environment, and benefit riverfront communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan to remove 4.3 million cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from the lower eight miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey. The sediment in the Passaic River is severely contaminated with dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants from more than a century of industrial activity. Ninety percent of the volume of contaminated sediments in the lower Passaic are in the lower eight miles of the river.

Who could EVER live in New Zealand's Kermadec Trench?
April 11, 2014 01:16 PM - Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institution Newsroom

An international team of researchers led by deep-sea biologist Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will use the world's only full-ocean depth, hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, and other advanced technology to explore life in the depths of the Kermadec Trench. The 40-day expedition, which begins on April 12th, kicks off an ambitious three-year collaborative effort funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the project, known as Hadal Ecosystem Studies (HADES), is to conduct the first-ever systematic study of life in ocean trenches, comparing it to the neighboring abyssal plain—flat areas of the seafloor usually found at depths between 3,000 and 6,000 meters.

2014 ten most endangered rivers
April 10, 2014 12:10 PM - ENN staff

American Rivers yesterday announced its annual list of America's Most Endangered RiversĀ®, naming California's San Joaquin River the Most Endangered River in the country. Outdated water management and excessive diversions, compounded by the current drought, have put the San Joaquin River at a breaking point.

City lights threaten rain forests by deterring bats
April 10, 2014 08:53 AM - Paul Sutherland, MONGABAY.COM

Fruit-eating bats play an important role in forest regeneration, collecting and spreading seeds far and wide. However, human development may be stymying bat-mediated dispersal. In a new study published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers found that fruit bats avoid feeding in light-polluted areas, which may significantly affect forest growth. Scientists from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin (IZW), undertook the study in Costa Rica, and focused on Sowell's short-tailed bats (Carollia sowelli), a species found throughout Central America and Mexico. The findings of their study indicate that artificial lights may deter these bats from feeding on fruit and spreading seeds by 25 to 50 percent.

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