Ecosystems

Student uses the "environment of disease" to predict the next outbreak
December 5, 2007 11:01 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Manhatten, KS - - It was one of those things you hear about on the news: an outbreak of monkeypox in the Chicago area. An animal dealer placed infected rats from Africa next to a crate of prairie dogs. The disease spread to the prairie dogs, which were then sold in pet stores across the nation. Dozens of people in multiple states were sickened from contact with the animals.

The incident gave a Kansas State veterinary medicine graduate student, Christine Ellis a little bit of global perspective. At the time, she was working as an associate veterinarian at The Midwest Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital in the Chicago area.

Protecting old-growth forests in Poland
December 5, 2007 09:08 AM -

Warsaw, Poland – Over 100,000 signatures have been forwarded to the Polish government, calling for the protection of Europe’s last remaining stands of natural forests.

The signature drive is part of a WWF campaign to safeguard ancient woodlands in Poland’s Bialowieza Primaeval Forest from logging and other unsustainable forest activities.

 

Uganda plans to boost forest cover
December 5, 2007 06:20 AM - Reuters

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda will plant millions of trees in the next four years at a cost of $253 million, as it tries to restore dwindling forest cover to 30 percent of its area from 22 percent, the government said on Wednesday.

Like many African countries, Uganda suffers from rampant deforestation that dries up rivers, triggers soil erosion and threatens wildlife, especially birds and primates.

Bangladesh to seek aid for mangrove forest
December 5, 2007 06:07 AM - Reuters

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh will seek emergency funds from the World Heritage Center to restore the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Sundarban mangrove forest, badly mauled by last month's killer cyclone, officials said on Wednesday.

Cyclone Sidr, which struck the Bangladesh coast on November 15 with winds of 250 kph (155 mph), killed around 3,500 people, made millions homeless and destroyed a large part of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

River runs purple and contaminates Greek town
December 5, 2007 02:43 AM - Reuters

OINOFYTA, Greece (Reuters) - The river started turning purple 10 years ago, but the people in the small Greek town of Oinofyta who were losing loved ones to cancer never thought of blaming the water.

Like it or not, uncertainty and climate change go hand in hand
December 4, 2007 04:32 PM - Vince Stricherz, University of Washington Newswire

Seattle - Despite decades of ever more-exacting science projecting Earth's warming climate, there remains large uncertainty about just how much warming will actually occur.

Two University of Washington scientists believe the uncertainty remains so high because the climate system itself is very sensitive to a variety of factors, such as increased greenhouse gases or a higher concentration of atmospheric particles that reflect sunlight back into space.

 

 

 

Scottish government to review Trump plans
December 4, 2007 03:13 PM - Andrew Hough, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - The Scottish government said on Tuesday it would review controversial plans by U.S. tycoon Donald Trump to build a $2 billion golfing development in Scotland after they were rejected by the local council.

It said it was intervening because the project, to build two championship golf courses, around 1,000 homes, a luxury hotel and 36 villas on a pristine stretch of northeast Scotland's coast, was too "important" to be dealt with by the council.

Record breaking year for climate
December 4, 2007 10:03 AM - WWF - Climate Change

 Bali, Indonesia – The past year has seen more weather records smashed as extreme events take a firmer hold of the planet, says WWF at the start of the UN climate change conference.

The overview from the global conservation organization, Breaking Records in 2007 – Climate Change, shows record lows for sea ice cover in the Arctic, some of the worst forest fires ever seen and record floods.

Good news for coral reefs in the age of climate change
December 4, 2007 09:50 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society.

Finally, some good news about the prospects of coral reefs in the age of climate change. According to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, corals may actually survive rising ocean temperatures in 'tough love' seas with wide-ranging temperatures.

Researchers discovered that coral reefs in sites with varying seasonal temperatures are more likely to survive the 'hot pulses' of Climate Change. Conversely, reefs living in environments with stable but higher temperatures are more susceptible to "bleaching," a global phenomenon where beneficial algae are "evicted" by corals, ultimately leading to the reef's demise.

150 million to face flood risk by 2070
December 4, 2007 05:02 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - As many as 150 million people in the world's big coastal cities are likely to be at risk from flooding by the 2070s, more than three times as many as now, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Climate change, population growth and urban development will mean the number at risk will rise from the current 40 million while total property and infrastructure exposure is forecast to rise to $35 trillion -- 9 percent of projected global GDP.

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