Ecosystems

Untouched forests store 3 times more carbon: study
August 4, 2008 12:27 PM - Reuters

Untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests, said a new Australian study of "green carbon" and its role in climate change.

Congo Basin passes 1 million ha milestone in swing to sustainable forestry
August 4, 2008 09:00 AM - WWF

WWF today announced that more than one million hectares of Congo Basin forests have achieved certification under the world’s leading sustainable forestry scheme. The world’s second largest block of rainforests, the Congo Basin is a haven for indigenous peoples and endangered species like elephants and gorillas. It is also important in sequestering carbon and safeguarding water supply and quality.

Climate chill came exactly 12,679 years ago: study
August 2, 2008 08:24 AM - Reuters

A drastic cooling of the climate in western Europe happened exactly 12,679 years ago, apparently after a shift to icy winds over the Atlantic, scientists said on Friday, giving a hint of how abruptly the climate can change. The study, of pollens, minerals and other matter deposited in annual layers at the bottom of Lake Meerfelder Maar in Germany, pinpointed an abrupt change in sediments consistent with a sudden chill over just one year.

Climate change means more floods for a drying Thames basin
August 1, 2008 11:15 AM - WWF

A drying Thames river basin in the UK would still face five times the current risk of flooding by 2080, a recent assessment of the effects of climate change has found. The Thames Vulnerability Assessment Report prepared by WWF-UK also found dire results for fish and wildlife, the lawns and flowerbeds of the traditional English garden and London’s antiquated sewers and drains.

Congo launches review of logging contracts
July 31, 2008 08:43 AM - Reuters

Congo, home to the world's second largest tropical forest, launched a review of all timber contracts on Wednesday in an effort to clean up a business rife with corruption and to recoup millions of dollars in lost taxes. The World Bank-sponsored initiative will look at 156 deals. Most were signed during a 1998-2003 war and subsequent interim government accused of awarding numerous dubious logging and mining contracts.

How vulnerable to flooding is New York City?
July 31, 2008 08:02 AM - American Meteorological Society

A report just released in the most recent issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society offers hope that a new high-resolution storm surge modeling system developed by scientists at Stony Brook University will better be able to predict flood levels and when flooding will occur in the New York metropolitan area.

Feds Protect Huge Areas of the Bering Sea from Trawling
July 30, 2008 09:22 AM - , Oceana

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced Friday that nearly 180,000 square miles of the Bering Sea will be closed to destructive bottom trawling to protect important seafloor habitats and marine life effective August 25, 2008. These in-the-water protections reflect an approach first developed by Oceana, and supported by local communities and other conservation organizations, that freezes the current area, or "footprint," where trawling already occurs in the Bering Sea and prevents trawlers from expanding into previously untrawled areas.

Oceanic Acidification - The Scenario In 100 Years' Time
July 30, 2008 09:08 AM - , Global Warming is Real

A new study by scientists into the future effects of acidic sea water shows that the reduced pH value of the oceans’ surface waters will have drastic results in around 100 years’ time. The scientists, from Sweden and Australia, carried out the world’s first research into how a lowered pH of the sea’s surface water affects marine animal life. In their project, they allowed sea urchins of the species Heliocidaris Erythrogramma to fertilize themselves in water where the pH has been lowered from its normal 8.1 to a pH value of 7.7. This means an environment three times as acidic, and corresponds to the change expected by the year 2100.

Wetlands 'must be preserved' say experts
July 30, 2008 08:59 AM - , SciDevNet

Participants in an international wetlands conference have issued a declaration urging recognition of the importance of wetlands and calling for basic wetlands research.

Southern African wetland region to become world’s largest protected freshwater site
July 28, 2008 10:16 AM - WWF

An area of the Democratic Republic of Congo containing the largest body of fresh water in Africa has been added to the Ramsar Convention’s list of Wetlands of International Importance, making it the largest region ever to be designated as such. At more than six-and-a-half million hectares, the Ngiri-Tumba-Maingombe area is twice the size of Belgium and has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity anywhere in the world. It is also a major carbon sink.

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