Mercury and Selenium are Accumulating in the Colorado River Food Web
August 20, 2015 09:01 AM - USGS Newsroom
Although the Grand Canyon segment of the Colorado River features one of the most remote ecosystems in the United States, it is not immune to exposure from toxic chemicals such as mercury according to newly published research in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The study, led by the U.S. Geological Survey, found that concentrations of mercury and selenium in Colorado River food webs of the Grand Canyon National Park, regularly exceeded risk thresholds for fish and wildlife.
Scientists discover what causes soil acidification
August 19, 2015 02:28 PM - James Cook University
Australian and Chinese scientists have made significant progress in determining what causes soil acidification – a discovery that could assist in turning back the clock on degraded croplands.
How will global food supply be affected by climate change?
August 19, 2015 08:05 AM - Erik Stokstad, Science/AAAS
In 2007, drought struck the bread baskets of Europe, Russia, Canada, and Australia. Global grain stocks were already scant, so wheat prices began to rise rapidly. When countries put up trade barriers to keep their own harvests from being exported, prices doubled, according to an index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Just 3 years later, another spike in food prices contributed to the Arab Spring uprisings. Such weather-related crop disasters will become more likely with climate change, warns a detailed report released today by the Global Food Security (GFS) program, a network of public research funding agencies in the United Kingdom.
Help the Monarch recover
August 19, 2015 06:42 AM - DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION via The ECRReport, ECOreport
Jode Roberts has spent a lot of the summer checking out ditches and fields along the sides of roads, railways and trails. At first, he didn’t like what he was seeing. Roberts, who is leading the David Suzuki Foundation’s effort to bring monarchs back from the brink, was searching for signs that the butterflies had visited patches of milkweed plants. Despite the bleak start, he recently hit the jackpot: a half-dozen eggs and a couple of monarch caterpillars, calmly munching on milkweed leaves.
Over the past millennium, eastern monarch butterflies have migrated northward from Mexico in spring, arriving in southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes in early summer, where they lay eggs on the undersides of milkweed leaves. In the following weeks, their caterpillars hatch and eat a steady milkweed diet. In late summer, they form chrysalises and undergo the amazing transformation into butterflies. They then begin fattening themselves for the arduous return to the Mexican alpine forests where they overwinter.
The Fukushima Accident Lives On
August 18, 2015 12:14 PM - Dr Ian Fairlie, The Ecologist
New evidence from Fukushima shows that as many as 2,000 people have died from necessary evacuations, writes Ian Fairlie, while another 5,000 will die from cancer. Future assessments of fatalities from nuclear disasters must include deaths from displacement-induced ill-heath and suicide in addition to those from direct radiation impacts.
High levels of natural uranium identified in 2 major U.S. aquifers
August 17, 2015 03:30 PM - University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Nearly 2 million people throughout the Great Plains and California live above aquifer sites contaminated with natural uranium that is mobilized by human-contributed nitrate, according to a study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Quantifying CO2 from Streams
August 17, 2015 09:03 AM - University of Wyoming
Work by a University of Wyoming professor and a recent UW Ph.D. graduate has provided a more complete picture of the role of rivers and streams in the global carbon cycle.
Long-term Protection Achieved for the Sumatran Forest
August 14, 2015 07:59 AM - WWF Global
One of the last places on Earth where Sumatran elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist in the wild has received long-term protection. The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry approved a conservation concession – a lease of the land – covering 40,000 hectares of forest on the island of Sumatra.
Toxic blue-green algae pose increasing threat to nation's drinking, recreational water
August 13, 2015 01:41 PM - Oregon State University
A report concludes that blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the United States, and may increasingly pose a global health threat.
Greenland ice sheet's winds driving tundra soil erosion
August 13, 2015 08:52 AM - Dartmouth College
Strong winds blowing off the Greenland Ice Sheet are eroding soil and vegetation in the surrounding tundra, making it less productive for caribou and other grazing animals, carbon storage and nutrient cycling, a Dartmouth College study finds.