Ecosystems

Russian oil spill threatens drinking water
January 11, 2008 11:18 AM - Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian volunteers on Friday scooped dead ducks out of a river outside Moscow polluted by an oil spill from a nearby power plant that is threatening to spread and contaminate drinking water. The oil leaked into the River Dulov on Sunday. Conservation group WWF said the spill measured around 500 tonnes and accused authorities of playing down its size and being slow to respond.

Be wary of biotech lettuce experiments
January 11, 2008 09:50 AM - GM Watch.org

The Salinas Californian recently reported on a talk by Professor Henry Daniell, who was here to promote cultivation of drug-producing lettuce. The biotechnology industry has long hoped to use plants, including common food crops, to produce high-profit new drugs. It is worth noting that Daniell is not only an academic; he is also the founder of Chlorogen, Inc., a company that hopes to profit from these so-called 'pharm' crops.

Ocean Fertilization 'Fix' For Global Warming Discredited By New Research

Research performed at Stanford and Oregon State Universities suggests that ocean fertilization may not be an effective method of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, has been proposed as a possible solution to global warming because the growing algae absorb carbon dioxide as they grow.

It is too early to sell carbon offsets: scientists
January 11, 2008 09:07 AM - University of East Anglia

Prof Watson said: "While we do envision the possibility of iron fertilisation as an effective form of carbon offsetting, we believe larger scale experiments are needed to assess the efficiency of this method and to address possible side effects. "There remain many unknowns and potential negative impacts."

World warming despite cool Pacific and Baghdad snow
January 11, 2008 06:51 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Climate change is still nudging up temperatures in the long term even though the warmest year was back in 1998 and 2008 has begun with unusual weather such as a cool Pacific and Baghdad's first snow in memory, experts said. "Global warming has not stopped," said Amir Delju, senior scientific coordinator of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) climate program.

Glaciers grew even when alligators lived in Arctic
January 10, 2008 03:01 PM - Reuters

Giant glaciers formed about 90 million years ago when alligators thrived in the Arctic, overturning the belief that all ice melts in a "super greenhouse" climate, researchers said on Thursday. The study, based on organic molecules in ocean sediments and chemicals in ancient fossil shells, indicated there were ice sheets in Antarctica during parts of the Turonian period, one of the warmest times in history when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Population Emergency

The report of a demographic study, coordinated by the Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), commissioned by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), was published recently. The work was performed by a joint team involving scientists from the IRD and specialist academics from Belgium, Cameroon, France and the Ivory Coast (2). They examined the recent and projected future population trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationships between these tendencies and the development of the region. This review effectively demolished some generally accepted ideas, in particular the one that Sub-Saharan Africa is underpopulated.

Italy's "trash tsar" takes charge
January 9, 2008 09:27 AM - Reuters

NAPLES (Reuters) - A government-appointed "trash tsar" took charge of a waste crisis in Naples on Wednesday after residents sealed off a suburb with barricades to stop it becoming a dumping ground for mountains of garbage. Images of the historic port city wallowing in its own filth have shocked Italians and embarrassed the ruling centre left coalition of Prime Minister Romano Prodi, which also holds office at the local and regional level in Naples.

Drought-hit Cyprus considers importing water
January 9, 2008 03:27 AM - Reuters

Drought-stricken Cyprus may import water to beat a crippling shortage that is threatening to tap the island's reservoir reserves dry, its agriculture minister said on Wednesday. The decision to bring water in sea tankers from Greece would depend on weather over the next two months, but the outlook for rain was not promising, Photis Photiou said.

Japan feels the heat: global warming pushing temps higher
January 8, 2008 10:33 PM - Reuters

The average temperature in Japan could rise by up to 4.7 degrees Celsius (8.5 Fahrenheit) this century unless steps are taken to combat global warming, the Environment Ministry said on Wednesday. Japan, the world's second-biggest economy, could face a rise in the average temperature of 1.3-4.7 C (2.3-8.5 F) in the 2070-2099 period from levels registered in 1961-1990, the ministry said in a report.

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