Ecosystems

Canada Wind Industry Grows Amid Opposition Storms
August 31, 2007 01:02 PM - Jonathan Spicer, Reuters

TORONTO - Canada's fledgling wind power industry, late off the global starting blocks, has stumbled on growing local resistance to the idea of massive turbines dotting the country's relatively unmarked landscape. Although polls show widespread support for the renewable energy source, a growing number of companies say that support quickly fades among those who must live alongside wind farms, leading to project delays and extra costs.

Spreading deserts threaten world food supply
August 31, 2007 12:53 PM - Robert Evans -Reuters

Spreading deserts and degradation of farm land due to climate change will pose a serious threat to food supplies for the world's surging population in coming years, a senior United Nations scientist warned on Friday. M.V.K. Sivakumar of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said the crunch could come in just over a decade as all continents see more weather-related disasters like heat waves, floods, landslides and wildfires.

China says 278 cities have no sewage treatment
August 31, 2007 08:47 AM - Reuters

More than half China's 1.3 billion population, including 278 cities, live without any form of sewage treatment, state media said on Friday, quoting city planning officials. And eight of those cities have populations of more than 500,000, Zhao Baojiang, chairman of the China association of city planning, was quoted as saying. In its rapid development into the world's fourth-largest economy, China has been struggling to curb horrific water and air pollution.

New National Park Created In Colombia's Amazon
August 31, 2007 08:17 AM - WWF

The Colombian government has announced the creation of a new national park, adding to further protection of the Amazon. The SerranĂ­a de los Churumbelos Auka Wasi National Park, covering 97,180ha, is part of a corridor stretching from the lowlands of the Amazon Basin to the slopes of the Andean Mountains.

Cold Weather Cuts Kenya Flowers
August 30, 2007 05:13 PM - Reuters

Cold weather has caused a 20 percent drop in Kenya's production of fresh flowers, the country's second biggest foreign exchange earner after tourism, a leading flower producer said on Thursday.

Hydrologists To Study Climate Change Effects On Sierra Lakes
August 30, 2007 02:34 PM - UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, California - Researchers will try to understand how climate change affects the rate of atmospheric deposition of nutrients - elements or compounds essential to the growth and survival of organisms - in mountain lakes. They'll also be looking at how increases in the deposition of such nutrients threaten the lakes' plant and animal species. Fossil fuel combustion by humans has multiple effects, one of which - an increase in greenhouse gas emissions - results in climate change and an increase in atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen. More available nitrogen, in turn, results in increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition.

Spain Warns Of Virus Threatening Dolphins
August 30, 2007 01:00 PM - Reuters

MADRID - Spain has asked authorities around the Mediterranean and adjoining seas for help in monitoring an infection which threatens a protected species of dolphin, warning it may become an epidemic. "The virus identified is practically the same one which provoked a massive epidemic in the 1990s and could affect other species of the whale family, such as pilot whales,"the Environment Ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday.

China Warns: Rising Seas Will "Engulf" Tract Of Pearl River Delta
August 30, 2007 12:08 PM - Reuters

BEIJING - A huge swathe of China's booming Pearl River Delta will be "engulfed" by rising sea water by the middle of the century because of global warming, state media said on Thursday, quoting weather officials. Some 1,153 square km (445 square miles) of coastal land would be flooded by 2050, with the bustling cities of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, Zhuhai and Foshan the worst affected, the China Daily said, quoting the provincial water authority.

New U.S. Test: CO2 Could Make Grasslands 'Unusable'
August 30, 2007 10:26 AM - Maryke Steffens, SciDevNet

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could change the nature of grasslands and decrease their usefulness as grazing pastures, say researchers. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week (27 August). If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, important grazing areas in parts of Africa, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mongolia, and southern and South East Asia could be under threat, according to lead author Jack Morgan, a plant physiologist from the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.

Water-Soaked Planet-Forming Region Near Star Seen
August 30, 2007 07:40 AM - Will Dunham, Reuters

Scientists looking at a fledgling solar system have observed for the first time how water, considered a necessary ingredient for life, begins to make its way to newly forming planets.

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