Ecosystems

150 million to face flood risk by 2070
December 4, 2007 05:02 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - As many as 150 million people in the world's big coastal cities are likely to be at risk from flooding by the 2070s, more than three times as many as now, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Climate change, population growth and urban development will mean the number at risk will rise from the current 40 million while total property and infrastructure exposure is forecast to rise to $35 trillion -- 9 percent of projected global GDP.

Climate change predicted to drive trees northward
December 3, 2007 08:56 AM - American Institute of Biological Sciences

Ranges may decrease sharply if trees cannot disperse in altered conditions The most extensive and detailed study to date of 130 North American tree species concludes that expected climate change this century could shift their ranges northward by hundreds of kilometers and shrink the ranges by more than half. The study, by Daniel W. McKenney of the Canadian Forest Service and his colleagues, is reported in the December issue of BioScience.

"Naughty" nations in a coal lot of trouble in Bali
December 3, 2007 07:35 AM - Reuters

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - It's not easy being green. Particularly if you are big polluters Saudi Arabia, the United States and Canada. All three earned the first "Fossil of the Day Awards" at U.N.-led climate change talks in Bali on Monday, with each receiving a little sack of coal adorned with their national flags at a mock award ceremony filled with boos and laughter.

The awards, a daily feature of annual Kyoto Protocol gatherings, are presented by youth delegations from around the world to heap scorn on nations accused of having less-than-green views.

Indonesia plants trees to offset Bali emissions
December 3, 2007 07:15 AM - Reuters

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia has planted millions of trees to soak up an estimated 50,000 tons of greenhouse gases to be emitted during U.N.-led climate talks in Bali, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said on Monday.

More than 10,000 politicians, officials, activists and journalists are expected to attend the December 3-14 talks on the tropical resort island. Delegates will discuss ways to widen a U.N.-led fight against global warming to all nations.

U.S. says seeks new climate deal, rejects Kyoto
December 3, 2007 04:41 AM - Reuters

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it would seek a new global deal to fight climate change after Australia's move to ratify the Kyoto Protocol isolated it as the only developed nation outside the current U.N. pact.

"We're not here to be a roadblock," U.S. delegation leader Harlan Watson said on the opening day of a December 3-14 meeting of almost 190 nations in Bali, Indonesia, seeking to agree a roadmap to work out a successor to Kyoto which runs to 2012.

Bali meet must spur investment
December 3, 2007 04:38 AM - Reuters

BALI (Reuters) - Climate talks launched in Bali on Monday must assure investors of future government backing for climate-friendly energy and building projects, said the host of the meeting, Indonesia's Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar.

The talks in Bali, attended by some 190 countries, will try and lay the foundations for a new climate change deal in time to replace or extend the Kyoto Protocol from 2013.

A key challenge will be to entice business to invest in cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change.

Australia steals show at Bali climate talks
December 3, 2007 03:42 AM - Reuters

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - Australia won an ovation at the start of U.N.-led climate change talks in Bali on Monday by agreeing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, isolating the United States as the only developed nation outside the pact.

Climate change may wipe some Indonesian islands off map
December 3, 2007 03:11 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Many of Indonesia's islands may be swallowed up by the sea if world leaders fail to find a way to halt rising sea levels at this week's climate change conference on the resort island of Bali.

p> Doomsters take this dire warning by Indonesian scientists a step further and predict that by 2035, the Indonesian capital's airport will be flooded by sea water and rendered useless; and by 2080, the tide will be lapping at the steps of Jakarta's imposing Dutch-era Presidential palace which sits 10 km inland (about 6 miles).

Between water and rock: a new science
December 2, 2007 09:59 AM - Virginia Tech

“In Montana, we are finding that nanoparticles are important in transporting toxic heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic, down the river,” said Hochella. “These particles are incredibly small – 5 to 10 nanometers. Historically, we have not even known the nanoparticles were there. Now we know that lead in solution is different than if it is attached to a particle. But finding the particles is not easy. And impact on bioavailability is still unknown.”

He asks, “Are the metals less toxic if they are associated with nanoparticles than if dissolved as atoms in water? If a person, animal, fish, or insect ingests th

Tunisia opens bank of genetic resources
December 1, 2007 12:37 PM - , SciDevNet

Tunisia's president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, inaugurated a national gene bank this month (11 November) to promote the development of sustainable agriculture in the country.

Located in Tunis, the National Gene Bank aims to preserve biological diversity and protect genetic resources, boost scientific research in agricultural biotechnology and promote sustainable genetic diversity for research into plant breeding and crop improvement.

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