Ecosystems

UK to spur research into climate impact on poor
February 6, 2008 09:36 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will increase research into the possible impacts of climate change on the world's most vulnerable people, including deeper poverty and conflict, the international development minister said. Secretary of State Douglas Alexander said his department will spend 20 million pounds ($39.25 million) a year over the next five years, a tenfold increase, to pinpoint where global warming will hit hardest and show how to proof development against more extreme weather and rising seas.

Art Exhibit Melting Ice / A Hot Topic: Envisioning Change will travel to Monaco
February 6, 2008 09:23 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

The Natural World Museum (NWM) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have revealed plans to bring their innovative and highly celebrated art exhibit, "Melting Ice / A Hot Topic: Envisioning Change", to the Principality of Monaco in honor of the official programming for the Tenth Special Session of UNEP's Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum on Globalization and Environment: Financing the Climate Challenge. This forum is the largest gathering of environmental leaders from across the globe.

Ecuador volcano spews rock, hundreds evacuated
February 6, 2008 07:48 AM - Reuters

BANOS, Ecuador (Reuters) - Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spewed molten rock, gas and ash on Wednesday, increasing its activity and prompting authorities to evacuate hundreds of villagers living on the shadow of the mountain. Tungurahua, which means "Throat of Fire" in the native Quichua language, is a volcano 80 miles south of the capital, Quito. It last erupted in August 2006 and has been rumbling and belching up rock, gas and ash since January.

Indian law 'strangulates' biodiversity research
February 5, 2008 10:23 AM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] A group of Indian botanists say that the country's stringent biodiversity laws are stifling research. In an article in the latest issue of Current Science (25 January), published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, the scientists say India's "draconian" rules on free exchange of biological samples could "totally isolate Indian biodiversity researchers and is akin to a self-imposed siege on scientists in the country".

California to Require Net-Zero-Energy Buildings
February 5, 2008 10:11 AM - , BuildingGreen

Every two years, the California Energy Commission (CEC) releases an Integrated Energy Policy Report in which it makes recommendations for energy policy in the state, including changes to Title 24, the energy efficiency portion of the building codes. In its 2007 report, CEC recommends adjusting Title 24 to require net-zero-energy performance in residential buildings by 2020 and in commercial buildings by 2030. According to Panama Bartholomy of CEC, the commission does not need new legislation to incorporate these goals and is already moving to put them in place. “The 2008 standards will get us closer to these recommendations,” he said, referring to the Title 24 update currently moving through the state’s rulemaking process.

Dutch mull ideas to defend coast from rising seas
February 4, 2008 10:34 AM - Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch water experts met on Monday to look at ways of protecting the nation's fragile coast from rising sea levels, including one proposal to build man-made islands -- one in the shape of a massive tulip. "We will discuss plans that can change the Netherlands forever," Economy Minister Maria van der Hoeven told the meeting at a seaside hotel in Scheveningen overlooking the North Sea.

Roost Of Millions Of Migratory Swallows Threatened
February 4, 2008 09:14 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society scientists say the site is only one of two known roosts in Cross River State, a coastal region in southeastern Nigeria. The site is approximately two kilometers outside of Cross River National Park. Preliminary surveys by WCS indicate that the site may attract millions of swallows and be of international significance. The roost appears to be under threat of destruction from advancing farms and may require conservation measures to survive, according to WCS, which has already contacted park officials to see if the roost can be formally protected.

China battles "coldest winter in 100 years"
February 4, 2008 04:38 AM - Reuters

CHENZHOU, China (Reuters) - Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.

Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls
February 3, 2008 09:51 AM - NOAA

A warming global ocean — influencing the winds that shear off the tops of developing storms — could mean fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States according to new findings by NOAA climate scientists. Furthermore, the relative warming role of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans is important for determining Atlantic hurricane activity.

Agriculture is Altering Mississippi River Chemistry
February 3, 2008 09:26 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana - Over the past 50 years, farming has altered the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River, injecting more carbon dioxide into the river and raising river discharge, finds a study by researchers at Louisiana State and Yale universities. LSU Professor R. Eugene Turner and graduate student Whitney Broussard, along with their colleagues at Yale, tracked changes in the discharge of water and the concentration of bicarbonate, which forms when carbon dioxide in soil water dissolves rock minerals.

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