Ecosystems

USGS: Florida Aquifers and Drinking Water Supplies Contaminated With Pesticides, VOC's
September 5, 2007 01:06 PM - USGS News Service

TAMPA Fla. - As populations increase around areas with public water-supply wells in the northern Tampa Bay region there are corresponding increases in contamination. According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, human activities are polluting ground-water supplies. In the first phase of the study, 30 randomly-selected public-supply wells were sampled prior to treatment and analyzed for the presence of 258 compounds generated by humans such as pesticides and volatile organic compounds. The northern Tampa Bay area was selected for study because a large percentage of the population relies on ground-water resources from the Upper Floridan aquifer for drinking water supply.

Another Quake Shakes Mexico's Gulf of California
September 5, 2007 12:54 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An earthquake hit Mexico's Gulf of California on Tuesday, not far from the site of a stronger quake recorded on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The magnitude 5 quake hit about 100 miles north of the resort of Los Cabos on the tip of Baja California, at a depth of 6.2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Smugglers Nabbed At Russian-China Border With Tiger Pelts, Hundreds Of Bear Paws
September 5, 2007 10:03 AM - , Wildlife Alliance

Vladivostok, Russia — Border police and Federal Security Bureau have collaborated in the arrest of a band of smugglers attempting to ship 480 bear paws as well as a tiger pelt and skeleton across the Russian-Chinese border Russian border police and federal security agencies found the smugglers on August 17th, attempting to cross the border by boat across Lake Khanka, 300 kilometers from Vladivostok. The smugglers - Chinese nationals - were working to feed the vast underground market for wildlife products in the People's Republic, where wildlife products are sold widely for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as luxury goods as status symbols.

Sicily's Mount Etna erupts, no danger to residents
September 5, 2007 07:24 AM - Reuters

Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano spewed out lava late on Tuesday in its latest spectacular eruption. Sparks lit the night sky and a small stream of lava was flowing down the volcano into an uninhabited valley but there was no danger to villages lower down on the slopes, officials said.

Britain To Decide On Human-Animal Embryo Research
September 4, 2007 09:26 PM - Tim Castle, Reuters

LONDON - British regulators will decide on Wednesday whether to permit the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos for research into illnesses such as Parkinson's, Motor Neurone Disease and Alzheimer's. Research in the controversial area has been on hold in Britain for nearly a year awaiting the outcome of a public consultation conducted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Two teams of scientists have applied to the HFEA for permission to inject human cell nuclei into hollowed-out cow egg cells to overcome a shortage of donated human eggs.

Hurricanes Felix, Henriette, Set Records, Wreak Havoc
September 4, 2007 09:10 PM - Paul Kiernan, Associated Press

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico - Felix walloped Central America's remote Miskito coastline and Henriette slammed into resorts on the tip of Baja California as a record-setting hurricane season got even wilder Tuesday with twin storms making landfall on the same day. Felix roared ashore before dawn as a Category 5 storm along Nicaragua's remote northeast corner - an isolated, swampy jungle where people get around mainly by canoe. The 160 mph winds peeled roofs off shelters and a police station, knocked down electric poles and stripped humble homes to a few walls.

Global Warming Link To Hurricanes Dean And Felix, Possible But Unknown
September 4, 2007 05:25 PM - Michael Christie, Reuters

MIAMI - Despite growing consensus that global warming may spawn stronger tropical cyclones, weather experts believe it is too soon to blame climate change for the unprecedented punch of back-to-back monster hurricanes. Hurricane Felix, a top-ranked storm on forecasters' Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity, slammed into Central America on Tuesday. Hurricane Dean, also a Category 5, battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on August 21. It was the first time on record that two Atlantic hurricanes had made landfall as Category 5 storms in the same season, and only the fourth time since records began in 1851 that more than one Category 5 had formed in a year.

England's Dying Sherwood Forest Needs Money
September 4, 2007 03:37 PM - Reuters

LONDON - Sherwood Forest, home to Britain's legendary Robin Hood who took from the rich and gave to the poor, needs money -- 50 million pounds ($100 million) to be precise. Nearly half of Sherwood's remaining oak trees are dead or dying and the rate of death is accelerating from an average of one a year for the past 20 years to five a year now mainly because of old age.

Greece Brings Deadly Fires Under Control
September 3, 2007 08:08 AM - Reuters, Karolos Grohmann

ATHENS, Greece - Forest fires that have ravaged Greece for more than 10 days have largely come under control after killing 64 people and leaving thousands homeless, the fire brigade said on Monday. Dozens of villages in the southern Peloponnese peninsula and the island of Evia north of the capital have burned down while hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine forest have been destroyed in the fires that broke out across central and southern Greece.

N.Korea Agrees To Disable Nuclear Program In 2007
September 2, 2007 03:29 PM - Laura MacInnis, Reuters

GENEVA - North Korea agreed in weekend talks with the United States to fully account for and disable its nuclear programs by the end of this year, negotiators said on Sunday. "We had very good, very substantive talks," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill told reporters. "One thing that we agreed on is that (North Korea) will provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programs and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year, 2007."

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