Ecosystems

Plate Tectonics May Take a Break
January 7, 2008 10:01 AM - Carnegie Institution of Washington

Plate tectonics, the geologic process responsible for creating the Earth’s continents, mountain ranges, and ocean basins, may be an on-again, off-again affair. Scientists have assumed that the shifting of crustal plates has been slow but continuous over most of the Earth’s history, but a new study from researchers at the Carnegie Institution suggests that plate tectonics may have ground to a halt at least once in our planet’s history—and may do so again.

South Korea to ban single-hulled tankers after spill
January 7, 2008 02:38 AM - Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea will ban single-hulled tankers from traveling in its waters by 2011, earlier than the international regulation that calls for a ban from 2015, Seoul's maritime ministry said on Monday. A single-hulled tanker was involved in South Korea's worst oil spill in December, leaking around 10,500 tons of crude oil after a seabound crane mounted on a barge punched holes in the tanker's hull.

Heavy rains flood drought-hit Australian farmers
January 7, 2008 01:29 AM - Reuters

Heavy rains and flooding in northeast Australia have been both a blessing and a curse for drought-hit farmers, but more rain is needed to break a seven-year drought. Farm officials say a series of storms have delivered heavy, but sporadic, rain in two of Australia's largest agricultural states, Queensland and New South Wales.

Floods kill six in central Mozambique
January 6, 2008 11:02 AM - Reuters

MAPUTO (Reuters) - Floods in central Mozambique have killed six people, driven thousands from their homes and forced others to seek refuge in trees and on rooftops, a senior official said on Sunday. The head of Mozambique's national relief agency INGC, Paulo Zucula, said the flooding caused by torrential rains had cut major transport links to neighboring countries.

21 Things You Didn't Know You Can Recycle
January 6, 2008 09:35 AM - www.coopamerica.org

Garbage. Americans produce more and more of it every year, when we need to be producing less. Even the most waste-conscious among us can feel overwhelmed by the amount of household waste that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and compost bins can handle. That’s why our editors spent the summer of 2007 investigating the state of waste management in our country, putting this list togther for you, explaining how we can get serious about the three R’s – reducing, reusing, and recycling — and divert more waste away from landfills.

Strong earthquake hits Greece
January 6, 2008 03:18 AM - Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) - An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck Greece on Sunday, shaking people out of bed and sending panic-stricken villagers into the streets but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake woke residents in the capital Athens, where 143 people were killed in 1999 by an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale. Greece is often rattled by earthquakes, most causing no serious damage.

North Atlantic Warming Tied To Natural Variability
January 5, 2008 04:14 PM - Duke University

This striking pattern can be explained largely by the influence of a natural and cyclical wind circulation pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), wrote authors of a study published Jan. 3, in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. Winds that power the NAO are driven by atmospheric pressure differences between areas around Iceland and the Azores. "The winds have a tremendous impact on the underlying ocean," said Susan Lozier, a professor of physical oceanography at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences who is the study's first author.

Northern plants 'losing carbon' due to warming
January 5, 2008 04:05 PM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] Global warming could cause plants in northern regions to lose carbon to the atmosphere rather than sequester it, according to a new international study. The research, published in Nature yesterday (3 January), looked at atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and carbon dioxide held in ecosystems such as forests in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 20 years.

California snowpack low, showing less water supply
January 5, 2008 02:36 AM - Reuters

Snow water is an important factor for determining the coming year's water supply for hydroelectric generation, as well as the reservoir level for the state and local water supply. California gets more than 17 percent of its power from hydroelectric generation, according to the California Energy Commission.

EPA halts river clean-up talks with Dow Chemical
January 5, 2008 02:24 AM - Reuters

The EPA's region 5 office had previously extended negotiations that began in October in an attempt to reach a final agreement on the clean-up of cancer-causing dioxins from the Tittabawassee River system near Dow's Midland, Michigan, headquarters.

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