Ecosystems

Smithsonian researchers develop models to assess wetland health
September 14, 2007 02:25 PM - Smithsonian

Healthy wetlands perform vital ecological functions in a watershed. But assessing their condition and ability to perform those functions is not easy, especially as wetlands are disappearing fast due to human encroachment.

Greenpeace blockades wood pulp shipment
September 14, 2007 10:53 AM - Reuters

Quebec - Greenpeace's 50-metre ship Arctic Sunrise blocked the Jaeger Arrow from leaving the port of St-Fulgence on the Saguenay River near Chicoutimi, Quebec, about 460 kilometers (288 miles) northeast of Montreal, said Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. The Jaeger Arrow was carrying about 6,500 tones of pulp from the Saint-Felicien, Quebec, mill of SFK Pulp Fund destined for forest-products company Stora Enso's Kabel facility in Germany, Greenpeace said.

Tropical Storm Ingrid weakens in open Atlantic
September 14, 2007 10:49 AM -

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Ingrid, the ninth named storm of the 2007 hurricane season, weakened marginally on Friday as it churned far out in the Atlantic and was not expected to become a hurricane, U.S. forecasters said.

Foot and mouth found in second culled herd
September 14, 2007 10:44 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Cattle culled at a second farm in southern England have tested positive for foot and mouth disease, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. The herd was at a farm in Egham, in Surrey, close to one at which the disease was first found on Tuesday.

Shell lays off Alaska oil staff amid environmental fight
September 14, 2007 07:10 AM - Reuters

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has begun laying off workers in Alaska amid an ongoing legal battle that has held up the company's plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea, the company said in a statement. Shell had planned to drill up to four oil exploration wells on its Sivulliq prospect in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north coast this summer.

New Sumatra quakes rock Indonesia
September 14, 2007 06:58 AM - Ahmad Pathoni -Reuters

Frightened residents on Indonesia's Sumatra island huddled in tents outside their damaged homes on Friday, traumatized by the latest of more than 40 aftershocks since a huge earthquake struck two days ago. Indonesia's meteorology agency issued on Friday the latest in a series of tsunami warnings after another strong quake in Sumatra, although it was lifted about an hour later.

Curbing Key Chemicals Could Beat Kyoto Climate Goals
September 13, 2007 08:36 PM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - Curbs on chemicals that damage the ozone layer could have a side-effect of reducing far more greenhouse gases than the main U.N. plan for confronting climate change, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Thursday. About 191 governments will meet in Montreal from September 17 to 21 to seek ways to speed up freezing on production and phasing out ozone-depleting HCFC gases, widely used in fridges and air conditioners, that also trap heat in the atmosphere. "If governments accept accelerated action on HCFCs, we can look forward to not only a faster recovery of the ozone layer, but a further important contribution to the climate change challenge," Achim Steiner, head of UNEP, said in a statement.

One Bird, One Record Non-Stop Journey: New Zealand To Alaska And Back
September 13, 2007 06:20 PM -

WASHINGTON - A female Bar-tailed Godwit, a large, streamlined shorebird, has touched down in New Zealand following an epic, 18,000-mile-long (29,000 km) series of flights tracked by satellite, including the longest non-stop flight recorded for a landbird. The US Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center tracked the odyssey of the bird as part of an ongoing collaborative effort with colleagues in California and New Zealand. The scientists were hoping to better understand potential transmission of avian influenza by migratory birds.

Survey: 65 Percent of Americans Oppose Mountaintop Removal
September 13, 2007 03:27 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON, - Two out of three Americans (65 percent) oppose the Bush Administration's proposed rule "to ease environmental regulations to permit wider use of 'mountain top removal' coal mining in the U.S.," according to a national opinion survey.

Tuvalu about to disappear into the ocean
September 13, 2007 08:45 AM - Reuters

The tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu on Thursday urged the rest of the world to do more to combat global warming before it sinks beneath the ocean. The group of atolls and reefs, home to some 10,000 people, is barely two meters on average above sea-level and one study predicted at the current rate the ocean is rising could disappear in the next 30 to 50 years.

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