Ecosystems

North Atlantic Warming Tied To Natural Variability
January 5, 2008 04:14 PM - Duke University

This striking pattern can be explained largely by the influence of a natural and cyclical wind circulation pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), wrote authors of a study published Jan. 3, in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. Winds that power the NAO are driven by atmospheric pressure differences between areas around Iceland and the Azores. "The winds have a tremendous impact on the underlying ocean," said Susan Lozier, a professor of physical oceanography at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences who is the study's first author.

Northern plants 'losing carbon' due to warming
January 5, 2008 04:05 PM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] Global warming could cause plants in northern regions to lose carbon to the atmosphere rather than sequester it, according to a new international study. The research, published in Nature yesterday (3 January), looked at atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and carbon dioxide held in ecosystems such as forests in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 20 years.

California snowpack low, showing less water supply
January 5, 2008 02:36 AM - Reuters

Snow water is an important factor for determining the coming year's water supply for hydroelectric generation, as well as the reservoir level for the state and local water supply. California gets more than 17 percent of its power from hydroelectric generation, according to the California Energy Commission.

EPA halts river clean-up talks with Dow Chemical
January 5, 2008 02:24 AM - Reuters

The EPA's region 5 office had previously extended negotiations that began in October in an attempt to reach a final agreement on the clean-up of cancer-causing dioxins from the Tittabawassee River system near Dow's Midland, Michigan, headquarters.

Smell-wars between butterflies and ants
January 4, 2008 09:08 AM - University of Copenhagen

Among humans, making yourself smell more alluring than you really are is a fairly harmless, socially accepted habit that maintains a complete perfume industry. However, it is a matter of life and death for caterpillars of large blue butterflies that dupe ant workers into believing them to be one of the ant’s own larvae. In a publication in the journal Science this week , researchers from the Centre for Social Evolution (CSE) at the University of Copenhagen show that caterpillar deception is also a matter of smell, and that there is an ongoing co-evolutionary arms race in smell similarity between cheaters and their victims.

Las Vegas to Build World’s First 30 Story Vertical Farm
January 4, 2008 08:53 AM - nextenergynews.com

Las Vegas the tourist mecca of the World is set to begin development of the World’s first vertical farm. The $200 million dollar project is designed to be a functional and profitable working farm growing enough food to feed 72,000 people for a year and provide another tourist attraction to the city that does everything in a larger than life way.

Groups seek to stop relicensing of nuclear plants
January 4, 2008 07:35 AM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A coalition of East Coast environmental and anti-nuclear groups filed a petition with U.S. regulators on Thursday to suspend all pending relicensing efforts by nuclear reactors in the United States. A coalition called Stop the Relicensing of Oyster Creek joined with Riverkeeper to petition the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to suspend the license renewal process "until objective and independent analysis" is used, the groups said in a release.

Sugarcane ethanol: Brazil's biofuel success
January 3, 2008 10:48 AM - , SciDevNet

Thirty years ago, when one litre of ethanol was worth three times more than one litre of gasoline, most nations would not have considered investing in it as a biofuel. But Brazil took this path, and now produces the cheapest ethanol in the world. Brazil's favorable conditions and tradition for culturing sugarcane — the most efficient raw material for the production of ethanol — were essential for developing the sector.

Asset manager says bet on future scarcities
January 3, 2008 10:44 AM - Reuters

Over 9 billion people are expected to compete for the globe's resources by 2050, up from a population of around 6.6 billion currently, according to the United Nations.

Croatia seizes Italian trawler for illegal fishing
January 3, 2008 08:27 AM - Reuters

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia's navy seized an Italian trawler in Croatian territorial waters on Thursday, in the first such incident since Zagreb enforced a protected fishing zone in the Adriatic despite opposition from the European Union. "According to my information, a Croatian military ship caught an Italian trawler illegally present in (Croatia's) territorial waters. The trawler has been taken to a port on the (southern Adriatic) island of Vis for an investigation," a Transport and Maritime Ministry official told Reuters.

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