Ecosystems

U.N. says floods affect 100,000 Ethiopians
August 28, 2007 08:19 AM - Reuters

More than 100,000 people have been affected by floods in Ethiopia and 17 have died of waterborne disease, the United Nations said on Tuesday. "Approximately 103,000 people in Amhara, Tigray, South Sudan Nations and Nationalities Peoples State and Gambella regions have been affected by floods," the U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA said in a report following days of heavy rains.

Malaysia discovers "Singapore-size" water reservoir
August 28, 2007 07:51 AM - Reuters

Malaysia has discovered water caverns roughly the size of Singapore, a government official said on Tuesday, dispelling fears that Selangor, its most developed state, could run dry in three years. Initial studies reveal the existence of water-filled granite caverns in Batang Padang, a district in northern Perak state, which can be tapped for use as early as 2009, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Lim Keng Yaik told reporters.

China puts summer flood death toll at 1,138
August 28, 2007 07:43 AM - Reuters

Stronger relief efforts helped limit damage and loss of life from droughts and flooding in China this summer, but floods still killed more than 1,100 people, officials said on Tuesday. Torrential rain has inundated large swathes of China's east, south and southwest since June despite a smaller number of typhoons and tropical storms so far this year, while a prolonged heatwave and drought have afflicted several eastern provinces.

New Maine Wind Turbine Protects Seabirds
August 27, 2007 08:57 PM - Krishna Ramanujan

Appledore Island, Maine - It's a wind turbine, with a heart, some might say, and the ability to swing out of the way of migrating birds. This custom-designed tower by Robert Pechie, engineer and CEO of Northeast Wind Energy, has a counterbalance and a pivot-point built into the long mast that holds the turbine and allows operators to easily swing the turbine down for maintenance, educational inspections or to protect migrating birds.

MIT aims for kinder, gentler scallop dredge
August 27, 2007 03:16 PM - MIT

The director of MIT Sea Grant's Center for Fisheries Engineering Research wants to build a better dredge-even though he's the first to admit that current dredges do a fine job of catching the creatures. What current dredges don't do, says Goudey, is take into consideration unintended consequences, such as damaging bottom habitat -- a concern since the 1986 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act introduced the issue of essential fish habitat.

Recycling Styrofoam: 15 Million Pounds Diverted From Northeast Landfills
August 27, 2007 03:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. - A New York furniture company has found a second life for what once use to go to landfills: packaging styrofoam. Some of the recycled byproducts are made into consumer household plastic items such as picture frames, egg cartons, lunch trays, video and audio cassette casings as well as bathroom fixtures including counter tops, sinks and tub and shower surrounds.

Analysis: Weak Laws, Neglect Behind Greek Fires
August 27, 2007 12:00 PM - Dina Kyriakidou

ATHENS - Weak zoning laws, careless farmers and smoldering garbage dumps are the main reasons for the forest fires that have killed 63 and destroyed whole rural economies in Greece in recent days, Greenpeace said on Monday. The fires, fanned by strong winds, have engulfed whole villages, forcing thousands to flee their homes, and burned millions of hectares of woods and farmland dried by summer heat. Greece has declared a state of emergency and sought help from its EU partners. The prime minister, facing parliamentary elections on September 16, indicated arsonists might have been responsible and vowed to punish them.

Sand-Like, Pulverized Glass Seen as One Solution to Florida Beach Erosion
August 27, 2007 10:50 AM - Brian Skoloff, Associated Press

Picture a beautiful beach spanning miles of coastline, gently lapped by aqua-colored water -- and sprinkled with glass. Ouch? Think again. It feels just like sand, but with granules that sparkle in the sunlight.

Hawaii's First Passenger Services Sets Sail Despite Court Cloud over Environmental Concerns
August 27, 2007 10:37 AM - Jaymes Song, Associated Press

Loaded with people paying a discount fare of just $5, the $95 million Hawaii Superferry made its maiden run Sunday with a rushed launch for a three-hour voyage to Maui -- the first passenger ferry service between the islands.

Indian Ocean sees smallest tuna catch in 11 years
August 27, 2007 10:18 AM - Reuters

Tuna fishermen in the Indian Ocean have landed their smallest catch for 11 years, a report and industry sources said on Monday, with possible explanations ranging from over-fishing to global warming. "The total catches recorded ... during the first four months of 2007 is estimated at 75,000 tonnes, the lowest catch reported for that period since 1996," the multinational Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) said in a report seen by Reuters on Monday.

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