Ecosystems

U.N. Climate Talks Make Slow Progress
November 15, 2007 04:29 PM - Reuters

VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Delegates at crucial U.N. talks on the causes and effects of global climate change are making slow progress with an agreement still some way off, sources close to the discussions said on Thursday.

"The same governments which are usually hostile to binding emissions reductions, and especially the Kyoto Protocol, are also those who are blocking progress on agreeing to sound science as the basis for future action," said Stephan Singer, a climate expert at the WWF conservation group.

New south Florida nursery to focus on staghorn corals
November 15, 2007 09:46 AM - University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

In response to the need for localized efforts to protect and recover the surviving populations of the threatened staghorn coral, Diego Lirman, Ph.D., and James Herlan, researchers from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) have established an underwater nursery dedicated to the propagation of staghorn corals.

Yellowstone Viruses 'Jump' Between Hot Pools
November 15, 2007 09:36 AM - INL

A population study of microbes in Yellowstone National Park hot pools suggests viruses might be buoyed by steam to distant pools. The result, to be published online next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help to answer some fundamental questions about how microbes, and the viruses that infect them, impact their environment.

NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face
November 15, 2007 09:32 AM - NASA - JPL

PASADENA, Calif. – A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming.

Small Planets Forming in the Pleiades: Astronomers
November 15, 2007 09:06 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Small, rocky planets that could resemble the Earth or Mars may be forming around a star in the Pleiades star cluster, astronomers reported on Wednesday.

One of the stars in the cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters, is surrounded by an extraordinary number of hot dust particles that could be the "building blocks of planets" said Inseok Song, a staff scientist at NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology.

Greenpeace Blocks Shipment of Indonesian Palm Oil
November 15, 2007 08:35 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Greenpeace has blocked a tanker carrying more than 30,000 tonnes of palm oil from leaving an Indonesian port to protest against forest destruction blamed on plantations, the environmental group said on Thursday.

The protest came less than three weeks before a U.N. climate change meeting on the resort island of Bali, where delegates from 189 countries will debate ways to slow down global warming, including the impact of dwindling tropical rainforests.

China Defends Mega Dam, Guards Against Disaster
November 15, 2007 08:16 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China defended the environmental effects of its huge Three Gorges Dam on Thursday, with a senior official saying pollution was under control and threats from landslides under close guard.

The dam on the Yangtze River lies in the central province of Hubei and holds a 660-km (410-mile) reservoir. In September, an official warned of environmental calamity if landslides, siltage and pollution were not contained.

But in an implicit denial of that warning, the office director of the Three Gorges Project Committee, Wang Xiaofeng, said problems were manageable and within expectations.

 

U.S. groups Seek Protection for Loggerhead Turtles
November 15, 2007 08:03 AM - Reuters, Jim Loney

MIAMI  - Loggerhead sea turtles in U.S. Atlantic waters face extinction from commercial fishing and global warming and should be designated an endangered species, two environmental groups said on Thursday.

The ocean conservation group Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity are petitioning the U.S. government to win better protection for loggerhead habitats and nesting beaches along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

The petition to be filed on Thursday with the U.S. Commerce Department and the Department of the Interior serves as a warning that the groups could sue the U.S. government if it fails to act to protect the species.

Loggerhead nest counts in Florida have dropped nearly 50 percent in the last decade, according to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Island Nations Plan for Rising Seas, Mass Migration
November 14, 2007 08:33 AM - Ajay Makan -Reuters

Countries usually evacuate their citizens because of war or a sudden and catastrophic natural disaster.

For the Pacific island state of Kiribati, the climate change disaster facing the nation is no less dramatic but on a slower time scale and means preparing its 100,000 inhabitants for lives in nations less vulnerable to wild weather and rising seas.

As China's mega dam rises, so do strains and fear
November 14, 2007 08:03 AM - Chris Buckley -Reuters

The slopes of Chenjialing Village have shuddered and groaned lately, cracking and warping homes and fields, and making residents fear the banks of China's swelling Three Gorges Dam may hold deadly perils.

The vast hydro scheme is meant to subdue the Yangtze River, but as the water levels rise, parts of its shores have strained and cracked, dismaying scientists and officials and alarming villages such as Chenjialing in Badong County.

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