Ecosystems

China Olympic city battles "invading" algae
July 7, 2008 09:10 AM - Reuters

In China's Olympic co-host city Qingdao, sea breezes that usually bring relief from baking summer temperatures now bring a cloying stench from a massive algae bloom that locals fear will harm the city's bucolic image during the Games. "If we don't clean this up, we're done for," said local businessman Zhang Longfei, pointing at a blanket of green weed stretching far out to sea at Qingdao's No. 3 Bathing Beach.

Vague land ownership a factor in Amazon deforestation
July 4, 2008 10:09 AM - WWF

A “fragile” land tenure system and “a scarce presence” by the State were identified as key factors in rising Amazon deforestation last week. The diagnosis was delivered to the 3rd International Congress on Bioenergy last week by WWF-Brazil forest engineer Ana Euler, who said there was a need to re-discuss the Brazilian development model.

Beetle attack
July 4, 2008 09:48 AM - The Economist

OVER the past 14 years, a tiny insect no bigger than a grain of rice has laid waste a swathe of British Columbia’s forests so vast that the rust-red wasteland is visible from space. The mountain pine beetle has infested and killed over half the lodgepole pine forest in the centre of the province—an area larger than England.

Massive wildfires threaten two California towns
July 4, 2008 09:38 AM - Reuters

California firefighters made a desperate stand as darkness fell on Thursday to save more than 4,000 homes and other structures from a pair of out-of-control wildfires burning about 170 miles apart along the California coast. The most imminent danger was to homes around Goleta, near Santa Barbara, where flames were fast approaching 2,600 homes and transmission lines supplying power to 100,000 people on the central coast.

Tackling Qingdao's invading algae
July 3, 2008 09:48 AM - BBC News

Young recruits from the People's Liberation Army threw off their shoes and stood knee-deep in the thick green algae that has overwhelmed the Qingdao coastline. Locals say the algae has never been so thick here - agricultural and industrial pollution are thought to be responsible.

Penguins seen as 'canaries in climate coal mine'
July 1, 2008 12:07 PM - SeattlePI

Penguins have become the canaries in the global warming "coal mine," signaling the effects of climate change on oceans through their rapidly declining population.

Global Warming to Melt North Pole Ice Cover For First Time in Recorded History
June 30, 2008 10:18 AM - dailytech.com

After last year's thin ice cover, the North Pole is poised to vanish due to global warming in a short time DailyTech has previously covered the frantic pace of melt in Greenland, which is accelerating, dumping vast amounts of water into the sea. Meanwhile, the North Pole has been steadily melting away as well. Fortunately, the North Pole ice is floating, and thus will not affect sea levels, but its dissolution is an important indicator of warming.

Blair urges G8 2050 climate pact
June 27, 2008 10:22 AM - Reuters

Tony Blair urged the Group of Eight rich nations on Friday to agree to a global goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, despite signs top carbon emitter the United States would not back the target. "What we should do this year is to establish the workplan necessary so that we can get an interim target next year that is realistic," Blair told a news conference.

U.S. Ecosystem Report Indicates Trouble
June 27, 2008 09:40 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

Years of industrial and agricultural growth have left an indelible imprint on many formerly vibrant U.S. ecosystems. While nature is adept at resilience, the depletion and contamination of natural resources, especially water, may affect human health and wellbeing, a new report suggests.

Foreigners threaten Afghan snow leopards
June 27, 2008 09:10 AM - Reuters

Afghanistan's snow leopards have barely survived three decades of war. But now the few remaining mountain leopards left in Afghanistan face another threat -- foreigners involved in rebuilding the war-torn country. Despite a complete hunting ban across Afghanistan since 2002, snow leopard furs regularly end up for sale on international military bases and at tourist bazaars in the capital. Foreigners have ready cash to buy the pelts as souvenirs and impoverished Afghans break poaching laws to supply them.

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