Ecosystems

Poor children main victims of climate change: U.N.
April 29, 2008 08:01 AM - Reuters

Millions of the world's poorest children are among the most vulnerable and unwitting victims of climate change caused by the rich developed world, a United Nations report said on Tuesday, calling for urgent action. The UNICEF report "Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility" measured action on targets set in the Millennium Development Goals to halve child poverty by 2015. It found failure on counts from health to survival, education and sex equality.

Australia splashes A$13 bln to secure water supplies
April 29, 2008 02:09 AM - Reuters

The Australian government outlined plans to secure water supplies and repair ailing rivers on Tuesday, to protect the nation's drought-hit food bowl, which produces about A$22 billion ($21 billion) worth of food exports. The A$13 billion 10-year water plan includes A$3 billion to buy river water back from irrigators in the Murray-Darling River basin, which produces 41 percent of Australia's agriculture, as well as money to secure water for the nation's thirsty cities.

Insects Use Plants Like A Telephone
April 28, 2008 08:36 AM - Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones. Subterranean insects issue chemical warning signals via the leaves of the plant. This way, aboveground insects are alerted that the plant is already ‘occupied’. Aboveground, leaf-eating insects prefer plants that have not yet been occupied by subterranean root-eating insects. Subterranean insects emit chemical signals via the leaves of the plant, which warn the aboveground insects about their presence. This messaging enables spatially-separated insects to avoid each other, so that they do not unintentionally compete for the same plant.

The Biofuels Scam, Food Shortages and the Coming Collapse of the Human Population
April 26, 2008 09:39 AM - Mike Adams , Organic Consumers Association

It was one of the dumbest "green" ideas ever proposed: Convert millions of acres of cropland into fields for growing ethanol from corn, then burn fossil fuels to harvest the ethanol, expending more energy to extract the fuel than you get from the fuel itself! Meanwhile, sit back and proclaim you've achieved a monumental green victory (President Bush, anyone?) all while unleashing a dangerous spike in global food prices that's causing a ripple effect of food shortages and rationing around the world. I think politicians need to spend less time bragging about their latest greenwashing schemes and more time studying The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Earthquake In Illinois Could Portend An Emerging Threat
April 25, 2008 10:08 AM - Washington University in St. Louis

To the surprise of many, the earthquake on April 18, 2008, about 120 miles east of St. Louis, originated in the Wabash Valley Fault and not the better-known and more-dreaded New Madrid Fault in Missouri's bootheel. The concern of Douglas Wiens, Ph.D., and Michael Wysession, Ph.D., seismologists at Washington University in St. Louis, is that the New Madrid Fault may have seen its day and the Wabash Fault is the new kid on the block.

Plan to reverse global warming could backfire
April 25, 2008 05:15 AM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A proposed solution to reverse the effects of global warming by spraying sulfate particles into Earth's stratosphere could make matters much worse, climate researchers said on Thursday. They said trying to cool off the planet by creating a kind of artificial sun block would delay the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by 30 to 70 years and create a new loss of Earth's protective ozone layer over the Arctic.

More space for species in Europe
April 24, 2008 08:07 AM - World Wildlife Fund

Brown bears, wolves, lynx, owls and black storks have been given vast new areas to roam in as the European Commission accepted new areas corresponding to two-thirds the size of The Netherlands to its Natura 2000 network of protected natural areas. Many of the new areas are in central and eastern Europe, including a significant part of the Carpathian Mountains. Slovakia has added a wealth of sites, including for example the traditional farming area of Mala Fatra.

Arctic ice seen melting faster than anticipated
April 24, 2008 07:16 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Arctic ice may be melting faster than most climate change science has concluded, the conservation group WWF said in a report published on Thursday. It found that ice in Greenland and across the Arctic region was retreating "at rates significantly faster than predicted in previous expert assessments."

Earth Day 2058: A Vision
April 22, 2008 10:35 AM - Tensie Whelan, Rainforest Alliance

Here is an educated guess at what the world might look like by Earth Day 2058 -- not a prediction or a warning, but more of a natural extension of current trends, some of them hopeful ones: The hot job is that of sustainable design engineer. In 2058, all products, processes, services, packaging have to be designed to sustainable standards —minimal use of water in production, manufacturing and export, minimal use of petrochemicals due to limited availability and high price, minimal use of energy inputs, and so on.

Sudden Oak Death Pathogen Is Evolving, Restriction On Movement Of Infected Plants Urged
April 21, 2008 07:54 AM - http://www.berkeley.edu/

The pathogen responsible for Sudden Oak Death first got its grip in California's forests outside a nursery in Santa Cruz and at Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County before spreading out to eventually kill millions of oaks and tanoaks along the Pacific Coast, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. It provides, for the first time, evidence of how the epidemic unfolded in this state. "In this paper, we actually reconstruct the Sudden Oak Death epidemic," said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley associate extension specialist and adjunct professor, and principal investigator of the study. "We point to where the disease was introduced in the wild and where it spread from those introduction points."

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