Ecosystems

Middle East collaborates on seismic mapping
February 14, 2008 09:17 AM - , SciDevNet

Earth scientists from Israel, Jordan and Palestine have formed a research partnership to map seismic activity in the region. The collaboration began last month (January), according to lead scientist Hillel Gilles Wust-Bloch from the Minerva Dead Sea Research Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and the team are due to have a meeting next week (21 February).

Britain's Prince Charles urges rainforest funding
February 14, 2008 09:00 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Charles, called on Thursday for a global fund to preserve tropical rainforests from destruction. "In the simplest of terms, we have to find a way to make the forests worth more alive than dead," the heir to the British throne told the European Parliament in an address.

Las Vegas water source could run dry by 2021
February 13, 2008 09:40 AM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Chances are about even that Lake Mead, the prime source of water for the desert city of Las Vegas, will run dry in 13 years if usage is not cut back, according to study released on Tuesday. The finding is the latest warning about water woes threatening the future of the fast-growing U.S. casino capital and comes amid a sustained drought in the American West.

Australia sees La Nina weather staying for months
February 13, 2008 05:28 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A mature La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific continued to influence the climate of eastern Australia and was forecast to remain until at least the end of the southern autumn, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Wednesday. La Nina weather patterns, the opposite of El Ninos, are associated with wet weather in eastern Australia and Southeast Asia.

Field Dispatch: Natural Habitat Antarctica Trip Pt.1
February 12, 2008 10:01 AM - Sybille Klenzendorf,, WWF

I am actually on my way - and I couldn't be more excited! Years of anticipation and hard work have finally paid off, and I'm headed to Antarctica. A world of ice and rock, water and sky, wind and cold. And, some of the richest, most unspoiled wildlife habitat on Planet Earth. I'm writing this from my cabin in the ice-hardened, former Russian research vessel: the Professor Multanovskiy. Recently converted to passenger service, the Multanovskiy is carrying me and 74 other souls (passengers, crew, and staff) to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Financing the Transition from a Brown to a Green Global Economy
February 11, 2008 09:51 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Nairobi/Monaco, 11 February 2008 - The biggest gathering of environment ministers to take place since the climate change breakthrough in Bali will be happening in Monaco later this month under the theme "Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge". More than 100 ministers from across the globe are scheduled to attend the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) - the world's forum for environment ministers -alongside senior figures from industry and economics; science; local government; civil society, trades unions and intergovernmental bodies.

Magnitude 5.4 quake hits northern Mexico: USGS
February 9, 2008 04:11 AM - Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.4 quake struck close to the northern Mexican city of Mexicali in Baja California on Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there was no immediate report of any casualties or damage. The USGS said the very shallow quake, only 4.3 miles deep, was centered 16 miles southeast of Mexicali, a city with an estimated population of one million.

Harsh winter kills more than 750 in Afghanistan
February 9, 2008 03:31 AM - Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) - More than 750 people have perished as a result of severe cold and heavy snowfalls this winter across Afghanistan, a government official said on Saturday. The cold spell, the worst in decades in the impoverished and mountainous central Asian country, has also killed nearly 230,000 cattle, said Noor Padshah Kohistani of the National Disaster Management Commission.

Tenth of China's forests damaged by blizzards
February 9, 2008 02:36 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - About one-tenth of China's forests were damaged by recent winter storms, the worst in at least five decades, and in the hardest-hit regions nearly 90 percent of forests were ruined, Xinhua news agency said on Saturday. The State Forestry Administration (SFA) said total losses reached 17.3 million hectares of forest in 18 provinces in southern China, said Xinhua.

Coral Reefs May Be Protected By Natural Ocean Thermostat

The research team, led by NCAR scientist Joan Kleypas, looked at the Western Pacific Warm Pool, a region northeast of Australia where naturally warm sea-surface temperatures have risen little in recent decades. As a result, the reefs in that region appear to have suffered relatively few episodes of coral bleaching, a phenomenon that has damaged reefs in other areas where temperature increases have been more pronounced. The study* lends support to a much-debated theory that a natural ocean thermostat prevents sea-surface temperatures from exceeding about 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) in open oceans. If so, this thermostat would protect reefs that have evolved in naturally warm waters that will not warm much further, as opposed to reefs that live in slightly cooler waters that face more significant warming.

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