Ecosystems

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.

Japan welcomes spring with first cherry blossoms
March 24, 2008 08:36 AM - Reuters

Cherry blossoms flowered in Tokyo and two other prefectures in Japan, the first of this season in designated observation areas across the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Saturday. The emergence of the delicate, pale pink blooms is something of a national obsession, the focus of close media attention during the month or so it takes for the "cherry front" to move from south to north.

Flood in Kazakhstan leaves thousands without water
March 24, 2008 03:10 AM - Reuters

ALMATY (Reuters) - Thousands of people were left without fresh water in Kazakhstan on Monday after a major flood disrupted water supplies in the southwest of the Central Asian state, the Emergencies Ministry said. Spring flooding is a recurring problem across Central Asia but an abrupt rise in temperatures following weeks of severe cold has exacerbated the problem this year.

Countering an approaching water crisis
March 22, 2008 09:30 AM - National Science Foundation

As growing demand for clean water stretches even the resources of the world's largest industrialized nations, scientists and engineers are turning to new technology and novel ideas to find solutions. Mark Shannon of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign joined a slate of world leaders in water resource research to address this crisis in a review paper in the March 20, 2008, issue of Nature.

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