Ecosystems

Unearthing of large tusk in Arabian Desert suggests once greener pastures
April 4, 2014 09:49 AM - ENN Staff

Working in conjunction with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, researchers from the University of Oxford have discovered two pieces of a tusk that when combined measure six feet in length. The researchers believe it is from a Palaeoloxodon or a "straight tusked elephant". An elephant's carpal bone was recovered in a separate study done by a Swiss team in the Nefud Desert just five meters away. The sand layer dates back to approximately 325,000 years and the elephant is believed to be of the same age.

Wild Bees Improve Farm Revenues by Boosting Crop Yields
April 3, 2014 01:09 PM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

Investing in habitat that attracts and supports wild bees in farms is not only an effective approach to helping enhance crop pollination, but it can also pay for itself in four years or less, according to Michigan State University research. The paper, published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Ecology, gives farmers of pollination-dependent crops tangible results to convert marginal acreage to fields of wildflowers, said Rufus Isaacs, MSU entomologist and co-author of the paper.

Filipino vulnerability
April 3, 2014 11:24 AM - By Esperanza Garcia, Worldwatch Institute

Climate change has been a constant reality for many Filipinos, with impacts ranging from extreme weather events to periodic droughts and food scarcity. The most affected populations are coastal residents and rural communities that lack proper disaster preparedness.

Tropical Pacific Ocean Acidification Occurring Much Faster Than Expected, NOAA Finds
April 3, 2014 08:13 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

Change is taking place in the tropical Pacific Ocean, where NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) researchers have found that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have increased as much as 65 percent faster than atmospheric CO2 since 1998. Rising CO2 concentrations of this magnitude indicate that tropical Pacific waters are acidifying as fast as ocean waters in the polar regions, which may have grave repercussions for marine food webs, biodiversity, fisheries and tourism.

American's energy usage jumps in 2013
April 2, 2014 01:08 PM - ENN Staff

Despite many individual efforts to decrease energy usage for 2013 increased by 2.3 Quadrillion thermal units over the previous year. These statistics have been monitored and presented by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the most recent energy flow charts measuring renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy.

NASA study finds Arctic melt is now 15 days longer than 30 years ago
April 1, 2014 10:48 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

The length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade, and an earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness, according to a new study by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.

Seaweed forests could help power tropical islands
April 1, 2014 06:45 AM - Jan Piotrowski, SciDevNet

Harvesting seaweed 'forests' and feeding them into large underwater digesters could one day meet the world's energy needs, with nine per cent of the ocean floor being enough to replace fossil fuels entirely, according to an ambitious idea. Even a more immediate and realistic use of seaweed — a major untapped resource — would greatly increase the self-sufficiency and sustainability of small island states, but limited investment is preventing the roll-out of relevant technologies, marine biofuel experts have said.

A sooner Spring and a later Autumn suggests the new normal
March 28, 2014 10:36 AM - University of Southampton newsroom

A study by the University of Southampton suggests that on average the end of Autumn is taking place later in the year and Spring is starting slightly earlier. A team of researchers examined satellite imagery covering the northern hemisphere over a 25-year period (1982 - 2006), and looked for any seasonal changes in vegetation by making a measure of its 'greenness'. They examined in detail, at daily intervals, the growth cycle of the vegetation — identifying physical changes such as leaf cover, color and growth.

Antarctic ice study reveals accelerated sea level rise
March 27, 2014 10:17 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Six massive glaciers in West Antarctica are moving faster than they did 40 years ago, causing more ice to discharge into the ocean and global sea level to rise, according to new research. The amount of ice draining collectively from those half-dozen glaciers increased by 77 percent from 1973 to 2013, scientists report this month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Grocery giant commits to zero-deforestation policy for palm oil sourcing
March 26, 2014 02:01 PM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM

Safeway has become the latest company to establish a policy that excludes deforestation-linked palm oil from its products. Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY), the second biggest U.S. grocery chain, made the commitment in response to a shareholder proposal by the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

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