Ecosystems

Spain's drought a glimpse of our future?

Barcelona is a dry city. It is dry in a way that two days of showers can do nothing to alleviate. The Catalan capital's weather can change from one day to the next, but its climate, like that of the whole Mediterranean region, is inexorably warming up and drying out. And in the process this most modern of cities is living through a crisis that offers a disturbing glimpse of metropolitan futures everywhere.

Vast bounty at risk from under protected oceans
May 26, 2008 09:17 AM - WWF

Bonn, May 26, 2008 –Oceans offer a vast bounty to mankind – in food, climate and coastal protection, medicine and new technologies – a new WWF Germany study of the ocean's value has found, but are at risk due to very low levels of protection from over-exploitation. WWF is urging the 190 Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, now meeting in Bonn, Germany, to conserve the wealth of our oceans.

Study Cites High Cost of Global Warming, Says Action Would Be Cheaper
May 26, 2008 09:06 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Doing nothing about global warming would cost America dearly for the rest of this century because of stronger hurricanes, higher energy and water costs, and rising seas that would swamp coastal communities, says a new study by economists at Tufts University. The study concludes that it would be cheaper to take aggressive action to cut greenhouse gas emissions than it would be to suffer the consequences of a changing world. "The longer we wait, the more painful and expensive the consequences will be," the report states.

More than 80% of World’s Fisheries In Danger From Overfishing
May 26, 2008 09:03 AM - , Oceana

Geneva -- A new report released by Oceana today concludes that more than 80 percent of the world's fisheries cannot withstand increased fishing activity and only 17 percent of the world's fisheries should be considered capable of any growth in catch at all. Too Few Fish: A Regional Assessment of the World's Fisheries shows there is very little room for further expansion of global fishing efforts.

Climate change 'will cost Andes US$30 billion'
May 23, 2008 08:20 AM - , SciDevNet

Climate change could cost Andean countries US$30 billion per year by 2025, according to a study. The study was commissioned by the Andean Community of Nations and carried out by the Peruvian University of the Pacific, with the support of specialists from Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.

Basic food crops dangerously vulnerable
May 22, 2008 08:51 AM - WWF

In the case of wheat, for instance, as a deadly new strain of Black Stem Rust devastates harvests across Africa and Arabia, and threatens the staple food supply of a billion people from Egypt to Pakistan, the areas where potentially crop and life-saving remnant wild wheat relatives grow are only minimally protected.

Climate change does double-whammy to animals in seasonal environments
May 22, 2008 08:32 AM - Penn State

Plant-eating animals in highly seasonal environments, such as the Arctic, are struggling to locate nutritious food as a result of climate change, according to research that will be published in the 21 May 2008 online edition of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Led by Penn State Associate Professor of Biology Eric Post, the research, which focused on caribou, suggests that not only are these animals arriving at their breeding grounds too late in the season to enjoy the peak availability of food.

Trash and burn: Singapore's waste problem
May 22, 2008 07:17 AM - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Creeping out of their condo after dark carrying illicit bags of garbage was not part of the life Sarah Moser and her husband envisioned for themselves before moving to tropical Singapore. But with recycling in its infancy on the island, such nocturnal escapades have become normal for the two academics.

Mixed feelings for Pakistan environmental assessments
May 21, 2008 09:25 AM - , SciDevNet

The practice of carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports is gaining ground in Pakistan, experts say, although questions about their quality remain. EIAs evaluate the biological, cultural, socioeconomic and environmental impacts of projects on the environment.

Environmental protection vital to reducing natural disaster impact
May 20, 2008 08:45 AM - WWF

Environmental degradation is a key factor turning extreme weather events into natural disasters, a new WWF report has found. Natural Security: Protected Areas and Hazard Mitigation, prepared with environmental research group Equilibrium, examines in detail the impacts of floods in Bangladesh (2000), Mozambique (2000 and 2001) and Europe (2006), heat waves and forest fires in Portugal (2003), an earthquake in Pakistan (2005) and the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katrina in the USA (2005) in illustrating the natural disaster prevention and mitigation potential of environmental conservation.

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