Ecosystems

Logging road threatens rare peat dome, tigers
March 26, 2008 09:41 AM - World Wildlife Fund

Pekanbaru, INDONESIA – In an investigative report published today by Eyes on the Forest, evidence shows that a new logging road in Riau Province -- strongly indicated as illegally built by companies connected to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) -- is cutting into the heart of Sumatra’s largest contiguous peatland forest, a rare hydrological ecosystem that acts as one of the planet’s biggest carbon stores. The road would allow APP and affiliated companies to restart clearance of natural forest and destruction of deep peat soil at any time in a globally recognized conservation area, according to Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of local NGO network Jikalahari, Walhi Riau, and WWF-Indonesia.

Climate change threatens Amazonian small farmers
March 26, 2008 09:36 AM - Indiana University

A six-year study of Amazonian small farmers and their responses to climate change shows the farmers are vulnerable to natural catastrophes and risky land use practices, say Indiana University Bloomington anthropologists Eduardo Brondizio and Emilio Moran. The researchers report in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (now accessible online) that an increase in climate anomalies like El Nino could ultimately drive many small farmers to ruin, forcing them into Brazilian cities that may be ill-equipped to employ, house and feed them.

Conservationists in Melanesia mourn death of colleague
March 26, 2008 09:33 AM - WWF

Conservationists in the Melanesia area are mourning the death of Belgian-born botanist Henri Blaffart, swept away in by a flooded river in northern New Caledonia on March 21. “Henri Blaffart was an exceptional man, and an remarkably effective wildlife and wildlands conservation professional,” said WWF New Caledonia Country Programme Director Ahab Downer, who survived the river crossing.

Western Canadian pine beetle infestation spreads
March 26, 2008 07:49 AM - Reuters

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - About half of the marketable pine trees in West Coast Canadian province of British Columbia have been ravaged by a nearly decade-long beetle infestation, according to new government statistics. The outbreak of mountain pine beetles has affected trees over an area of 13.5 million hectares (33.4 million acres) in the Western Canadian province, which is a major source of softwood lumber exports to the United States.

Slab of Antarctic ice shelf collapses amid warming
March 26, 2008 07:36 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images show that a large hunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf has started to collapse in a fast-warming region of the continent, scientists said on Tuesday. The area of collapse measured about 160 square miles of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, according to satellite imagery from the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Chinese dams threaten Cambodia's forests, farmers
March 26, 2008 07:21 AM - Reuters

CHAY ARENG RIVER, Cambodia (Reuters) - Along the Chay Areng valley in Cambodia's remote Cardamom mountains, children still scamper barefoot through one of mainland southeast Asia's last remaining tracts of virgin jungle. If they take the same paths in a few years, they will probably have to be swimming.

Tibet's Lithium
March 25, 2008 09:38 AM - , Private Landowner Network

As of the end of 2005 there were something like 2 billion cell phones in service worldwide. Certainly there are more than that now. Without lithium batteries cell phones would be a completely different animal. Bigger and heavier, you wouldn’t be stuffing one into a pant’s pocket. Now that the standard is set the cell phone industry is reliant on lithium for its existence.

How Safe is the U.S. Food Supply ?
March 25, 2008 09:15 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Jill Kohl was a healthy young woman in early August 2006. A marathon runner, the 2000 Wahlert High School graduate was attending graduate school in Milwaukee. She ran regularly and was careful to eat a diet of healthy foods. But just a few days after eating a spinach salad late that month, Kohl started to experience flu-like symptoms.

Black carbon pollution emerges as major player in global warming
March 24, 2008 09:31 AM - University of California - San Diego

Black carbon, a form of particulate air pollution most often produced from biomass burning, cooking with solid fuels and diesel exhaust, has a warming effect in the atmosphere three to four times greater than prevailing estimates, according to scientists in an upcoming review article in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego atmospheric scientist V. Ramanathan and University of Iowa chemical engineer Greg Carmichael, said that soot and other forms of black carbon could have as much as 60 percent of the current global warming effect of carbon dioxide, more than that of any greenhouse gas besides CO2.

Coral's Addiction to 'Junk Food'
March 24, 2008 09:28 AM - www.coralcoe.org.au

Over two hundred million humans depend for their subsistence on the fact that coral has an addiction to ‘junk food’ - and orders its partners, the symbiotic algae, to make it. This curious arrangement is one of Nature’s most delicate and complex partnerships – a collaboration now facing grave threats from climate change.

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