Ecosystems

Overweight Trucks Damage Infrastructure
September 11, 2007 07:32 AM - Aprol Castro -Associated Press

More than a half-million overweight trucks are allowed onto the nation's roads and bridges - an increasingly routine practice that some officials say is putting dangerous wear and tear on an already groaning infrastructure.

Water Fleas Spreading In Wisconsin Lakes
September 10, 2007 03:22 PM - Jill Sakai, University of Wisconsin

WISCONSIN - The spiny water flea, a small but aggressive aquatic invasive species, has made its way into another of Wisconsin's lakes, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers reported last week. The spiny water flea, an aquatic invasive species with a barbed spine twice as long as its body, has infested two inland lakes in Wisconsin. Spread from lake to lake by boaters, it may negatively impact native lake ecosystems by preying on native species and competing with young fish for food.

Libya Creates World's Largest Sustainable Development
September 10, 2007 11:06 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Libya - Libya today announced the creation of an unprecedented sustainable development on its beautiful northern Mediterranean coast. The massive project includes a world class sustainable resort and spa, extensive wind and solar on the coast and desert area, growth of biofuel crops, closed loop water systems, sustainable transportation, housing, and the creation of a huge national ecological parkland that includes protection of the Mediterranean ocean and incorporates Tripoli and other cities. The 5,500 square kilometer development, called Green Mountain, covers an area that is home to diverse animal and plant species and historic and archaeologically rich sites.

Strong 6.8 earthquake hits Colombia west coast
September 10, 2007 08:24 AM - Reuters

A strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit near the west coast of Colombia on Sunday night, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but local authorities said there were no immediate reports of serious damage.

Crews Work to Contain Fire in Sierras
September 10, 2007 07:56 AM - Associated Press

Crews worked through the night to fight a wildfire that has blackened 62,000 acres in the northeast Sierra Nevada and was only 15 percent contained.Shifting winds sent smoke from the growing wildfire heading back toward the San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco Bay area Sunday, authorities said.

Study: Asteroid Breakup Likely Cause Of Mass Earth Extinction
September 9, 2007 12:49 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Boulder, Colo. — New research says it started as an asteroid vs. asteroid collision and breakup far above earth, and got worse from there, with large chunks eventually striking earth and the moon. After years of analysis and computer modeling, scientists now believe the impact that wiped out dinosaurs and other life forms on Earth some 65 million years ago began with a breakup event in the main asteroid belt. A joint U.S.-Czech team from Southwest Research Institute and Charles University in Prague thinks the parent object of asteroid (298) Baptistina broke up when it was hit by another large asteroid.

More CO2, Plants Less Thirsty, Rivers Higher
September 9, 2007 12:15 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

University of Exeter, UK - Rising carbon dioxide levels will increase river levels in the future, according to a team of scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. The findings, published on 30 August 2007 in the journal Nature, suggest that increasing carbon dioxide will cause plants to extract less water from the soil, leaving more water to drain into rivers which will add to the river flow increases already expected due to climate change.

In A Warmer World, Birch Trees Will Edge Out Aspens
September 9, 2007 12:03 PM - University of Michigan News

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Birches will likely drive out many aspens in northern forests as mounting levels of carbon dioxide force the trees to compete more fiercely for soil nutrients in the coming decades, a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues have concluded. Carbon dioxide is emitted when fossil fuels are burned, and it's a heat-trapping gas blamed for global warming. But rising carbon dioxide levels also have a fertilizing effect on trees and other plants, making them grow faster than they normally would.

Undercover US-Mexican Sting Nabs 5: Attempted Sale Of Protected Turtles, Wildlife
September 9, 2007 11:26 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON — A three-year US-Mexican police undercover investigation has resulted in the arrest of five people, now charged with trade in protected species and items made from parts of those animals. Investigators say the five were engaged in international trade of exotic skins and parts manufactured from sea turtles and other protected species of wildlife.

PBS Documentary: The Silence Of The Bees
September 9, 2007 10:52 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

NEW YORK, - From crop fields to hi-tech labs, scientists and bee experts are investigating a rapidly unfolding ecological nightmare. The Silence of the Bees premieres on Sunday, October 28 at 8 p.m. eastern on PBS (check local listings). Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates the series. It was shot on high definition cameras. Honeybees are responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat. Each year, they pollinate $14 billion worth of crops and seeds in the U.S. alone. Their total decimation would be catastrophic from the local to the global level -- failed businesses, skyrocketing food prices, unsustainable labor costs, and depleted supplies of fruits, nuts, vegetables, plants, and more.

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