Shifting temperatures will affect flavors, quality of food
March 27, 2015 10:34 AM - S.E. Smith, Care2
Love scrumptious vegan pizza? You’d better enjoy it while you can, because climate change is moving in to hog a slice. According to an Australian report, Appetite for Change, climate change isn’t just going to decimate existing crops — it’s also going to change the way the survivors taste. And not in a good way. The researchers say that we’re going to be eating increasingly bland, tasteless, mushy food because of the way shifting temperatures are affecting farming, and in fact, it’s already started happening.
Antarctic ice loss is accelerating
March 27, 2015 07:08 AM - British Antarctic Survey
New research published this week in the journal Science Express describes how the ice shelves around Antarctica are thinning and therefore allowing more of the ice sheet behind them to flow into the sea.
Using nearly two decades of satellite data, the team of international researchers observed an acceleration of ice loss from the continent’s ice shelves, with an increase in loss of 70% in West Antarctica over the last decade. In the Amundsen and Bellingshausen regions, some ice shelves have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades.
How to reduce your car's impact
March 25, 2015 09:02 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
As we all know, cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles aren’t the best friends of the environment. However, for many of us it’s simply not practical to depend strictly on mass transportation or make the switch to an all-electric vehicle. As a green-thinking member of society, where does that leave you? What should your stance be on driving with relation to sustainability?
Massive marine sanctuary created in the Pacific
March 22, 2015 09:47 AM - Tex Dworkin, Care2
Mutiny on the Bounty is a tale about the Royal Navy ship Bounty. On April 28, 1789, Fletcher Christian led sailors in a mutiny against their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh. So the story goes, the captain was set afloat in a small boat along with crew members who were loyal to him, while the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island or Tahiti and burned Bounty off Pitcairn to avoid detection.
Today Pitcairn island’s population is about 50 people, including descendants of Fletcher Christian, and the surrounding waters where the Bounty supposedly went down in flames has just become the world’s largest contiguous ocean reserve.
This is great news for the sanctity of the Pacific ocean and its inhabitants.
Burmese Pythons are killing the rabbits in the Florida Everglades
March 21, 2015 10:34 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
How exactly DID Burmese Pythons get so numerous in the Everglades? Were they released by owners who didn't want them and they found they liked the ecosystem?
Nearly 80 percent of radio-tracked marsh rabbits that died in Everglades National Park in a recent study were eaten by Burmese pythons, according to a new publication by University of Florida and U.S. Geological Survey researchers.
A year later, there was no sign of a rabbit population in the study area. The study demonstrates that Burmese pythons are now the dominant predator of marsh rabbits, and likely other mid-sized animals in the park, potentially upsetting the balance of a valuable ecosystem.
Road kill: Recommendations to protect biodiversity
March 20, 2015 08:43 AM - Michelle Kovacevic, SciDevNet
Governments and donors must pay more attention to the environmental impact of road networks to limit their “devastating” effect on ecosystems, a study on global infrastructure expansion has warned. Road construction opens a “Pandora’s box” of negative impact, according to the authors of the paper, published this month in Current Biology. These include deforestation, animals hunted to extinction, land grabs by speculators betting on development, and wildfires.
Arctic sea ice continues to shrink
March 19, 2015 02:20 PM - World Wildlife Foundation
Arctic sea ice shrank to the lowest winter extent ever recorded, according to data released today by the US-based National Snow and Ice Data Center. The record-low ice level follows earlier news that 2014 was the warmest year since record keeping began.
An unusually warm February in parts of Alaska and Russia contributed to the record ice low. The winter reach of Arctic ice decreased 1.1 million square kilometres compared to the average maximum from 1981 to 2010. This represents an area more than twice the size of Sweden.
"This is not a record to be proud of. Low sea ice can create a series of reactions that further threaten the Arctic and the rest of the globe," said Alexander Shestakov, Director, WWF Global Arctic Programme.
Amazon forest trees dying younger, reducing carbon uptake
March 18, 2015 05:54 PM - University of Leeds
From a peak of two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year in the 1990s, the net uptake by the forest has halved and is now for the first time being overtaken by fossil fuel emissions in Latin America.
The results of this monumental 30-year survey of the South American rainforest, which involved an international team of almost 100 researchers and was led by the University of Leeds, are published today in the journal Nature.
New data show iron rain fell on early Earth
March 18, 2015 08:52 AM - Sandia National Laboratories
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine have helped untangle a long-standing mystery of astrophysics: why iron is found spattered throughout Earth’s mantle, the roughly 2,000-mile thick region between Earth’s core and its crust.
Oregon State University study provides new insight into forest life cycles and carbon storage
March 18, 2015 07:50 AM - Oregon State University
A century-long study in the Oregon Cascades may cause scientists to revise the textbook on how forests grow and die, accumulate biomass and store carbon.
In a new analysis of forest succession in three Douglas-fir stands in the Willamette National Forest, two Oregon State University scientists report that biomass – a measure of tree volume – has been steadily accumulating for 150 years. In the long term, such a trend is not sustainable, they said, and if these stands behave in a manner similar to others in the Cascades, trees will begin to die from causes such as insect outbreaks, windstorms or fire.
“Mortality will occur in the future,” said Mark Harmon, professor and Richardson Chair in Forest Science at OSU. “It just hasn’t arrived.”