Ecosystems

NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change
May 15, 2008 09:21 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

A new NASA-led study shows human-caused climate change has made an impact on a wide range of Earth's natural systems, including permafrost thawing, plants blooming earlier across Europe, and lakes declining in productivity in Africa. Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York and scientists at 10 other institutions have linked physical and biological impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that period.

Restoring fish populations leads to tough choice for Great Lakes Gulls
May 15, 2008 09:19 AM - Ecological Society of America

You might think that stocking the Great Lakes with things like trout and salmon would be good for the herring gull. The birds often eat from the water, so it would be natural to assume that more fish would mean better dining. But a new report published in the April journal of Ecology by the Ecological Society of America says that the addition of species such as exotic salmon and trout to the area has not been good for the birds, demonstrating that fishery management actions can sometimes have very unexpected outcomes.

Polar bears listed as U.S. threatened species
May 14, 2008 07:47 PM - Reuters

Polar bears were listed on Wednesday as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act because their sea ice habitat is melting away. But the new protection was not accompanied by any proposals to address either climate change, which environmentalists say causes the deterioration of the bears' habitat, or drilling in the Arctic for the fossil fuels that spur the climate-warming greenhouse effect.

OPINION: Water Trading in China: A Step Toward Sustainability
May 14, 2008 09:09 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

In recent years, scarcity and pollution of water have become the paramount environmental woe in China. Numerous reports and books have exposed China's water crisis, depicting a nation suffering in the face of black-running rivers and dried-up waterways. Nationwide, the per capita availability of fresh water is only one-quarter of the world average.

White House vs White Bear: Bush Must Decide Whether To Save The Polar Bear As The Ice Melts
May 14, 2008 09:01 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

It's a classic stand-off between one of the world's best loved animals and one of its most unpopular leaders, between the planet's largest bear and its most powerful man. And it comes to a head this week. On Thursday, by order of a federal judge, George W Bush must stop stalling on whether to designate the polar bear as a species endangered by global warming. The designation could have huge consequences for his climate-change policies; his administration would, by law, have to avoid doing anything that would "jeopardise the continued existence" of the mammal whose habitat is melting away.

Study sees threat from big-particle pollutants
May 14, 2008 08:15 AM - Reuters

On days when there is a lot of dust and other large-particle pollutants in the air, slightly more elderly people go to hospital emergency rooms with heart problems, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. There was also an increase in hospital visits by elderly patients complaining of respiratory illnesses when "coarse," or large, particle pollution was plentiful, although the rise was not significant, the researchers said.

Russian Youngsters See the Wood from the Trees to Win Volvo Adventure
May 13, 2008 09:31 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

A campaigning project to rescue and revive an endangered and environmentally-sensitive urban park in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has won the 2008 Volvo Adventure and the US$10,000 first prize, the five students of the 'Green Sail' team, beating off stiff competition at the World Final in Gothenburg today. Having won their own Russian national title, the power of five young students, Arthur Erofyev, Darya Aleksandrova, Mary Ermylova, Nastya Horytonova, Julia Udina was demonstrated on stage at the Gothenburg Convention Centre on Monday as they brought the plight of the park to the world in an inspired and impassioned presentation to the Volvo Adventure World Final jury and an audience of over 500 young environmentalists.

Sixty pandas safe after China quake
May 13, 2008 06:31 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Some 60 giant pandas at a Chengdu research centre near the worst hit part of the massive China earthquake are safe, Xinhua reported on Tuesday. But there was no word yet on the fate of pandas at another research centre at Wolong, near the epicentre of Monday's 7.9 magnitude quake.

Ignored warnings 'worsened' Myanmar cyclone disaster
May 12, 2008 09:02 AM - , SciDevNet

Experts say the inadequate response of the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to scientists' warnings, coupled with large-scale destruction of protective mangroves along its coasts, aggravated the devastation wreaked by tropical cyclone Nargis. The cyclone has killed an estimated 22,980 people so far, with millions rendered homeless by the disaster, which struck the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar last week (3 May).

Japan scientists warn Arctic ice melting fast
May 12, 2008 08:45 AM - Reuters

Arctic ice is melting fast and the area covered by ice sheets in ocean could shrink this summer to the smallest since 1978 when satellite observation first started, Japanese scientists warned in a report. Ice sheets in the Arctic Ocean shrank to the smallest area on record in late summer in 2007, researchers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said in a report on the website

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