Ecosystems

Thailand could support as many as 2,000 wild tigers, 3 times current level
December 28, 2007 12:07 PM - , Wildlife Alliance

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's parks and wildlife reserves could hold up to 2,000 wild tigers, about three times their current level, but only if the government steps up efforts to control poaching, researchers said Monday. The country's Western Forest Complex, 6,900 square miles (18,000 square kilometers) of protected jungle habitat, currently holds 720 tigers, according to a study by Thailand's Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

Unethical Ethanol Tariff
December 28, 2007 12:00 PM - Adam Dean, Global Policy Innovations Program

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and U.S. President Bush met last week at Camp David to discuss the future of ethanol. As the world's largest producer of sugar and a pioneer in the production of ethanol, Brazil is a key ally in Bush's plan to reduce America's foreign oil dependence and environmental footprint. Imports of Brazilian ethanol could be a major step toward achieving Bush's goal of reducing American gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next ten years. As ethanol can be produced from sugar, increased consumption of the fuel in the United States could also lead to a higher commodity price for sugar producers in Brazil, with the potential to lift thousands out of poverty.

Netherlands has another record warm year
December 28, 2007 09:52 AM - Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The average temperature in the Netherlands in 2007 matched 2006, the warmest year in 300 years, and the Dutch meteorological institute said it was a sign of global warming. The average temperature in 2007 was 11.2 degrees Celsius (52.16F) which, along with 2006, is highest average since Dutch temperatures were first measured in 1706, the KNMI institute said on Friday. The normal annual average is 9.8 degrees.

First West Australia cyclone forms
December 28, 2007 03:47 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The first cyclone of the West Australia storm season formed offshore on Friday, the government weather service said, serving a reminder to oil firms and miners of the potential for disruptions over the next four months. Tropical cyclone Melanie developed in the ocean about 600 km (370 miles) north-west of the seaside community of Broome, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

Barcoding An Entire Ecosystem
December 27, 2007 03:33 PM - Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY – In the middle of the South Pacific, about 12 miles west of Tahiti, is a tropical island that soon will emerge as a model ecosystem, thanks to the efforts of a U.S.-French research team led by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

Traditional medicine plants disappearing as demand rises
December 27, 2007 03:22 PM - Carol Campbell, SciDevNet

Johannesburg - A dwindling supply of wild medicinal plants is threatening South Africa's traditional medicine industry, according to new research. In a paper published by the nongovernmental organisation Health Systems Trust this month, researchers found that the demand for traditional medicine is higher than ever — stimulated by HIV/AIDS, unemployment and rapid urbanisation.

EPA, Dow Chemical Negotiate River Cleanups
December 27, 2007 03:06 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

CHICAGO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today extended a deadline with Dow Chemical to negotiate a settlement to conduct and finance an investigation, a study and interim cleanup actions for dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system. In October the EPA called for negotiations under provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund.

Deep-Ocean Drilling Researchers Target Earthquake and Tsunami Zone
December 27, 2007 01:48 PM - National Science Foundation

San Francisco — Researchers fresh from an eight-week scientific drilling expedition off the Pacific coast of Japan today reported their discovery of strong variation in the tectonic stresses in a region notorious for generating devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, the Nankai Trough. The scientists conducted their expedition aboard the new scientific drilling vessel Chikyu, drilling deep into the zone responsible for past and likely future tsunamis, and collecting physical measurements and images made using advanced borehole logging technology.

Wild Chimps Skip Menopause
December 27, 2007 01:15 PM - Steve Bradt, Harvard University Newswire

Boston - A pioneering study of wild chimpanzees has found that these close human relatives do not routinely experience menopause, rebutting previous studies of captive individuals which had postulated that female chimpanzees reach reproductive senescence at 35 to 40 years of age.

World outraged, fearful over Bhutto assassination
December 27, 2007 11:37 AM - Reuters

President George W. Bush condemned the killing as a "cowardly act" and urged Pakistanis to press ahead with a planned national election. Russia's top Asia diplomat said the assassination would "trigger a wave of terrorism.

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