Ecosystems

Vanishing central African glaciers threaten water supplies of millions
March 18, 2008 09:13 AM - WWF

Nairobi, Kenya – Nairobi, Kenya – Forget the snows of Kilimanjaro – Africa is at risk of losing the central African glaciers that feed the Nile and supply water to two million people. A WWF and partner organization team of 27 people of eight nationalities recently returned from the Rwenzori Mountains after gathering data showing that the mountain's glaciers have shrunk by 50 per cent in the last 50 years and more than 75 per cent in the last century.

Meltdown in the Mountains
March 17, 2008 09:25 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Zurich/Nairobi, 16 March 2008 - The world's glaciers are continuing to melt away with the latest official figures showing record losses, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today. Data from close to 30 reference glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicate that between the years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting and thinning more than doubled.

World Population Growth: Fertile Ground for Uncertainty
March 17, 2008 09:23 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C.—Growth in the human population abounds despite falling fertility rates, and where it heads in the future will continue to confound demographers, according to the latest Vital Sign Update from the Worldwatch Institute. With the number of women of childbearing age growing and future fertility trends unpredictable, closing the “gender gap”—the difference between women’s health, economic, educational, and political status relative to men—may be one key to slowing population growth.

Climate change could turn Ireland's green to brown
March 16, 2008 09:17 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The wearin' of the brown? Forty shades of beige? Climate change could turn Ireland's legendary emerald landscape a dusty tan, with profound effects on its society and culture, a new study released in time for St. Patrick's Day reported. Entitled "Changing Shades of Green," the report by the Irish American Climate Project twins science gleaned from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the musings of a poet, a fiddler, a fisherman, a farmer and others with deep connections to Ireland.

Revealed: The Secrets Of Successful Ecosystems
March 14, 2008 09:30 AM - Imperial College London

The study used a lab-based artificial ecosystem of communities of bacteria to examine what happens when the bacteria move around and evolve to live in different parts of the ecosystem over the course of hundreds of generations. The scientists measured the effect this dispersal of species has on the productivity and biodiversity of the ecosystem over all.

Indonesia lawmakers set to reject ASEAN haze pact
March 14, 2008 06:52 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian lawmakers are set to reject a Southeast Asian pact designed to fight cross-border smoke caused by forests fires, a legislator from an environmental commission said on Friday. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations approved the Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in 2002 and Indonesia, where most of the fires occur, is the only country that has not ratified it, drawing criticism from its neighbors affected by the annual haze.

Iceland likely to start whaling again
March 14, 2008 04:08 AM - Reuters

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Iceland is likely to start whaling again this summer in a move certain to draw the ire of conservationists, the BBC said on its Web site on Thursday. Iceland ended its ban on commercial whaling in 2006, but in August last year its fisheries ministry said it would not issue new quotas until market demand increased and an export agreement with Japan -- where whale meat is popular -- was in place.

Beer bottles, plastic cleared from Mt. Everest trail
March 14, 2008 04:06 AM - Reuters

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A Nepali airline cleared 17 tons of empty beer bottles and cans on Friday from around Lukla village, the main gateway for trekkers and climbers heading to Mount Everest base camp, a company official said. Thousands of trekkers and mountain climbers from around the world go to the scenic Khumbhu region every year, towered by the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) mountain.

The Fishy Business of Antidumping
March 13, 2008 09:49 AM - , Global Policy Innovations Program

Over the past decade antidumping (AD) cases have become a whale of a problem on the international trade scene. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), dumping occurs when “a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market.” The WTO late last month ruled that the United States was violating trade rules with its tax on shrimp imports from Thailand and India, damaging U.S. credibility as a free trader. The U.S. claimed that Thailand was selling at an unfairly low price.

Geotimes: The impending coastal crisis
March 13, 2008 09:43 AM - American Geological Institute

Coastlines are the most dynamic feature on the planet. In the March issue, Geotimes magazine looks into the risks of increased development along our coastlines and what that means for erosion, flooding and future development. As coastal communities grow, so does the call for human-made structures to prevent local beach erosion. But what do these structures mean for the overall health of surrounding coastal areas?

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