Ecosystems

China to crack down on rich flouting one-child rule
September 15, 2007 09:24 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Rich Chinese people who flout the country's family planning policies, which usually limit couples to one child, will face higher fines under tougher new enforcement guidelines, state media said on Saturday. The China Daily said the move to assess fines in line with the violator's income came in response to widespread concern that current fines did not serve as enough of a deterrent to the well-off, essentially allowing them to treat the fines as a fee for having more than one child.

Island Building Aids River's Habitat
September 15, 2007 08:41 AM - Associated Press

On the Mississippi River below the verdant bluffs that mark the far southern Minnesota-Wisconsin line, the federal government is waging a multi-million dollar campaign against the elements.

Indonesia quake toll rises to 17 dead
September 15, 2007 08:33 AM - Reuters

The toll from a severe earthquake on Indonesia's Sumatra island last week has risen to 17 dead and 88 injured, while more than 13,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, officials said on Saturday.

Arctic sea route opens
September 15, 2007 08:30 AM - Reuters

The Arctic's Northwest Passage has opened up fully because of melting sea ice, clearing a long-sought but historically impassable route between Europe and Asia, the European Space Agency said. Sea ice has shrunk in the Arctic to its lowest level since satellite measurements began 30 years ago, ESA said, showing images of the now "fully navigable" route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Ancient whale remains found from Ano Nuevo Island
September 14, 2007 04:22 PM - UC berkeley News

Berkeley, California - A fossilized whale skeleton excavated 20 years ago amid the stench and noise of a seabird and elephant seal rookery on California's Año Nuevo Island turns out to be the youngest example on the Pacific coast of a fossil whale fall and the first in California, according to University of California, Berkeley, paleontologists.

What is a Tropical Forest?
September 14, 2007 03:56 PM - The Rainforest Alliance

"Tropical forests" encompass the idyllic rainforest, the remote cloud forest, and the lesser-known but equally endangered dry forest, pine savanna, and much, much more. They are not one ecosystem, but millions of unique ecosystems. Tropical forests are both the fearsome Jungle of our fantasy and the fertile Eden of our myth. They are the central nervous system of our planet -- a hotbed of evolution, life, and diversity.

Smithsonian researchers develop models to assess wetland health
September 14, 2007 02:25 PM - Smithsonian

Healthy wetlands perform vital ecological functions in a watershed. But assessing their condition and ability to perform those functions is not easy, especially as wetlands are disappearing fast due to human encroachment.

Greenpeace blockades wood pulp shipment
September 14, 2007 10:53 AM - Reuters

Quebec - Greenpeace's 50-metre ship Arctic Sunrise blocked the Jaeger Arrow from leaving the port of St-Fulgence on the Saguenay River near Chicoutimi, Quebec, about 460 kilometers (288 miles) northeast of Montreal, said Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. The Jaeger Arrow was carrying about 6,500 tones of pulp from the Saint-Felicien, Quebec, mill of SFK Pulp Fund destined for forest-products company Stora Enso's Kabel facility in Germany, Greenpeace said.

Tropical Storm Ingrid weakens in open Atlantic
September 14, 2007 10:49 AM -

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Ingrid, the ninth named storm of the 2007 hurricane season, weakened marginally on Friday as it churned far out in the Atlantic and was not expected to become a hurricane, U.S. forecasters said.

Foot and mouth found in second culled herd
September 14, 2007 10:44 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Cattle culled at a second farm in southern England have tested positive for foot and mouth disease, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. The herd was at a farm in Egham, in Surrey, close to one at which the disease was first found on Tuesday.

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