Army drafts drought plans
November 2, 2007 09:53 AM - Matthew Bigg -Reuters
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed on Thursday reducing the flow of water from Georgia rivers into Alabama and Florida in a bid to resolve a tussle among the three states over water use during a drought.
The states will also work on a fresh plan for the corps on how to respond to the drought, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne told a news conference that followed a meeting of the governors of the three southeastern states.
Nordic nations sound alarm over melting Arctic
October 31, 2007 02:18 PM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - Nordic nations sounded the alarm on Wednesday about a quickening melt of Arctic ice and said the thaw might soon prove irreversible because of global warming. Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland also urged all governments to agree before the end of 2009 a broader U.N. plan to curb greenhouse gases in succession to the Kyoto Protocol. "The Arctic and the world cannot wait any longer," environment ministers from the five nations said in a joint statement after talks in Oslo. The five all have Arctic territories.
Cemeteries not just for the dead, say architects
October 31, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Cemeteries should not just be for the dead but could become places of relaxation and exploration, a British architects' lobby group said on Wednesday. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said cemeteries were originally intended as public open spaces and, in some towns and cities, cemeteries account for up to half of the green open spaces. "Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too," said CABE director Sarah Gaventa.
Parrotfish on menu puts coral at risk
October 31, 2007 01:37 PM - Ben Hirschler, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - The delicate balance of the Caribbean's coral reefs is in jeopardy as more parrotfish end up on dinner plates, international scientists said on Wednesday. The colorful grazing fish, named for their parrot-like beaks which are used to scrape up algae, play a vital role in stopping seaweed from smothering coral. But their numbers are now being threatened by over-fishing. New research based on computer modeling shows parrotfish are a key defense in preventing the vulnerable Caribbean reefs from becoming a very different ecosystem -- one dominated not by living coral but by blooms of algae or seaweed.
US To Study Wildlife Vs. Wind Turbines
October 31, 2007 12:22 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Washington - A special wind turbine advisory committee will study and advise the Secretary and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on ways to avoid or minimize the impact f wind turbines on wildlife and their habitats. The study only concerns land-based wind energy facilities.Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today named 22 individuals to serve on the panal. "By some estimates, wind power could provide clean and renewable electricity to meet up to 20 percent of the nation's energy needs," said Secretary Kempthorne. "This committee will help examine issues, such as site selection and turbine design, so we can develop wind resources while protecting wildlife."
Moderate earthquake hits Northern California
October 31, 2007 01:16 AM -
OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck in a rural area about 9 miles northeast of San Jose, California, Silicon Valley's biggest city, on Tuesday night, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The earthquake was felt across the San Francisco Bay Area just before 8:05 p.m. (11:05 p.m. EDT). There were no immediate reports of major damage but the San Jose Mercury News Web site reported phone service failed in a part of Palo Alto, home to Hewlett-Packard computer company and Stanford University.
It said the quake caused minor damage and residents poured out of apartments in downtown San Jose to survey the damage.
Southeast drought leads to spat over lake
October 30, 2007 02:33 PM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters
LAKE LANIER, Georgia (Reuters) - A large, man-made lake in north Georgia is at the center of a political storm over how to distribute water resources between three states in the face of the region's worst drought in decades. Lake Lanier stands near the head of a watershed that feeds the booming city of Atlanta about 45 miles to the south, leading to accusations that the city is consuming more than its fair share of water.
Healthy planet, places and people at risk
October 30, 2007 10:14 AM - Research Australia
Australians face increasingly large-scale health risks from our expanding impact on the natural environment, ranging from increases in weather extremes and dengue fever to obesity, diabetes and mental health.Twelve of Australia’s top health and medical researchers have contributed to a new report which concludes that rapid environmental and climatic changes pose increasing risks to the health of Australians.
The importance of mangrove conservation in tsunami prone regions
October 30, 2007 10:11 AM - Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Agricultural expansion rather than shrimp farming is the major factor responsible for the destruction of tropical mangrove forests in the tsunami-impacted regions of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biogeography.
More than dozen dead as storm drenches Hispaniola
October 29, 2007 10:02 PM - German Marte, Reuters
SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - More than a dozen people died in the Dominican Republic on Monday after Tropical Storm Noel dumped torrential rain on the Caribbean country, sending thigh-high water surging through streets and cutting power to thousands.
Hundreds of families were left homeless after the 14th named storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season poured 10 to 30 inches of rain on the Dominican Republic and over the treeless hillsides of Haiti, its neighbor on the island of Hispaniola.
The head of the Dominican National Emergency Committee, retired Gen. Luis Luna Paulino, said 13 deaths had been confirmed.
He said there was a report of a family buried when their house collapsed on them and another of a family in a car killed by a falling wall. "If those two accidents are confirmed then the deaths climb to 18," he said.