Ecosystems

Early Recovery of Nature-Based Tourism Good for Kenya and Good for Biodiversity
March 6, 2008 09:07 AM - UNEP

Berlin/Nairobi, 6 March 2008-Tourism can play a key role in restoring economic activity and employment in Kenya and in doing so play its part in bringing peace and stability to the East African country, the head of the UN Environment Programme(UNEP)said today. Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director was speaking on the eve of his departure to Berlin, Germany which this week is hosting one of the world's biggest tourism fairs.

Warming climate may cause arctic tundra to burn
March 5, 2008 09:31 AM - Public Library of Science

Bozeman – Research from ancient sediment cores indicates that a warming climate could make the world’s arctic tundra far more susceptible to fires than previously thought. The findings, published this week in the online journal, PLoS ONE, are important given the potential for tundra fires to release organic carbon – which could add significantly to the amount of greenhouse gases already blamed for global warming.

Hibernation-like behavior in Antarctic fish -- on ice for winter
March 5, 2008 09:26 AM - British Antarctic Survey

Scientists have discovered an Antarctic fish species that adopts a winter survival strategy similar to hibernation. Reporting this week in the journal PLoS ONE, the online journal from the Public Library of Science, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the University of Birmingham reveal, for the first time, that the Antarctic ‘cod’ Notothenia coriiceps effectively ‘puts itself on ice’ to survive the long Antarctic winter.

Controversial Russian oil pipeline defeated
March 5, 2008 09:14 AM - WWF

WWF-UK is celebrating the successful culmination of four years of campaigning today, after Sakhalin Energy announced the withdrawal of its request for government backing for its controversial oil and gas project in the Russian Far East. "WWF is delighted that Sakhalin Energy's application for financial backing from the UK government has proved unsuccessful," said James Leaton, Oil and Gas Policy Advisor for WWF-UK.

Bamboo Fabric - The Naked Truth
March 4, 2008 09:25 AM - , White Apricot

Yes, it’s true. Bamboo fabric uses a chemical process to turn its cellulosic fibers into fabric. And yes, it’s also true that the process is similar to rayon production and is, in fact, considered a sub-category of rayon. The production of rayon has been in existence since the mid 1800’s and since then has undergone many iterations. More recently, new processes have been developed which enable plant-based fibers (such as bamboo) to be utilized in the production of fabric.

Aussie group eyes breeding plan for endangered tuna
March 4, 2008 07:57 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian company said on Tuesday it had developed the first artificial breeding plan for the endangered southern bluefin tuna, in high demand for sashimi and sushi. According to a 2006 report by Australian, New Zealand, South Korean and Japanese officials, southern bluefin tuna catches are unsustainable with an even chance that all fish capable of laying eggs will be gone by 2030 if current catch levels continue. Clean Seas Tuna Ltd said the successful collection of captive southern bluefin tuna sperm and eggs at its base in South Australia state could pave the way to year-round production of the fish.

Will global warming increase plant frost damage?
March 3, 2008 09:12 AM - American Institute of Biological Sciences

Widespread damage to plants from a sudden freeze that occurred across the Eastern United States from 5 April to 9 April 2007 was made worse because it had been preceded by two weeks of unusual warmth, according to an analysis published in the March 2008 issue of BioScience. The authors of the report, Lianhong Gu and his colleagues at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators at NASA, the University of Missouri, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that the freeze killed new leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruit of natural vegetation, caused crown dieback of trees, and led to severe damage to crops in an area encompassing Nebraska, Maryland, South Carolina, and Texas. Subsequent drought limited regrowth.

China's killer "yellow dust" hits Korea and Japan
March 3, 2008 05:03 AM - Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea closed schools on Monday and its factories producing memory chips stepped up safeguards, as a choking pall of sand mixed with toxic dust from China covered most of the country and other parts of Asia. The annual "yellow dust" spring storms, which originate in China's Gobi Desert before sweeping south to envelop the Korean peninsula and parts of Japan, are blamed for scores of deaths and billions of dollars in damage every year in South Korea.

Protesters and whalers clash in Southern Ocean
March 3, 2008 03:09 AM - Reuters

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Anti-whaling activists clashed with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean on Monday, prompting a diplomatic complaint from Tokyo to Canberra and a rebuke for the activists from the Australian government. Members of the hardline Sea Shepherd group threw bottles and containers of foul-smelling substances at the Japanese factory ship the Nisshin Maru as part of the organization's campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt.

Future ‘Battlegrounds’ for Habitat Conservation Very Different to Those in Past
March 2, 2008 08:30 AM - University of California - San Diego

Their study, published online February 28 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provides a guide for conservationists of the areas of our planet where conservation investments would have the most impact in the future to limit extinctions and damage to ecosystems due to rapid human-driven climate and land-use change.

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