Ecosystems

World sea levels to rise 1.5m by 2100: scientists
April 16, 2008 07:35 AM - Reuters

Melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warming water could lift sea levels by as much as 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) by the end of this century, displacing tens of millions of people, new research showed on Tuesday. Presented at a European Geosciences Union conference, the research forecasts a rise in sea levels three times higher than that predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year. The U.N. climate panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Brazilians urged to follow Chinese wisdom on springs
April 15, 2008 08:34 AM - WWF

With climate change focusing attention on water generally, WWF’s Brazil Springs Movement is promoting the theme that water sources need to be considered alongside water resources. Nominated areas include springs, headwaters and recharge areas such as mountain tops. “The focus of WWF-Brazil is to mobilize the country for the protection of water resources, both in quality and quantity,” said Denise Hamú, WWF-Brazil’s CEO.

Forests' long-term potential for carbon offsetting
April 15, 2008 08:08 AM - BioMed Central

As well as cutting our fossil fuel emissions, planting new forests, or managing existing forests or agricultural land more effectively can capitalise on nature’s ability to act as a carbon sink. Research published online in the open access journal Carbon Balance and Management shows that although planting trees alone is unlikely to solve our climate problems, large-scale plantations could have a significant effect in the longer term.

Coral flourishing at Bikini Atoll atomic test site
April 15, 2008 07:22 AM - Reuters

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Coral is again flourishing in the crater left by the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated by the United States, 54 years after the blast on Bikini Atoll, marine scientists said on Tuesday. A team of research divers visited Bravo crater, ground zero for the test of a thermonuclear weapon in the remote Marshall Islands on March 1, 1954, and found large numbers of fish and coral growing, although some species appeared locally extinct.

Sea Salt Worsens Coastal Air Pollution
April 14, 2008 08:50 AM - University of Calgary

Air pollution in the world's busiest ports and shipping regions may be markedly worse than previously suspected, according to a new study showing that industrial and shipping pollution is exacerbated when it combines with sunshine and salty sea air. In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, a team of researchers that included University of Calgary chemistry professor Hans Osthoff report that the disturbing phenomenon substantially raises the levels of ground-level ozone and other pollutants in coastal areas.

Congress Pushes for True Shark Finning Ban
April 14, 2008 08:31 AM - , Oceana

Washington, D.C. -- A recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has prompted Congress to introduce the "Shark Conservation Act of 2008." This legislation would close loopholes exposed in the court decision by improving existing laws, originally intended to prevent shark finning. The Act would require sharks to be landed with their fins, improving current laws that only require fins and carcasses to be landed in a specific ratio.

Bangladesh faces climate change refugee nightmare
April 13, 2008 08:29 PM - Reuters

DHAKA (Reuters) - Abdul Majid has been forced to move 22 times in as many years, a victim of the annual floods that ravage Bangladesh. There are millions like Majid, 65, in Bangladesh and in the future there could be many millions more if scientists' predictions of rising seas and more intense droughts and storms come true.

Halt in U.S. Pacific salmon fishing urged
April 12, 2008 08:24 AM - Reuters

SEATTLE (Reuters) - West Coast fisheries managers recommended on Thursday to halt virtually all commercial and sport salmon fishing in coastal waters off California and most of Oregon to preserve collapsing Chinook salmon stocks. The Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended what would be the strictest limits ever imposed on salmon fishing on the West Coast following a sharp decline on California's Sacramento River Chinook salmon run, typically one of the region's most abundant runs.

Mideast can avert impending water crisis: World Bank
April 11, 2008 09:05 AM - Reuters

RABAT (Reuters) - The Middle East is overusing limited water resources and the amount of water available per head will halve by 2050, leading to social strains as more people quit the countryside, the World Bank said on Thursday. But a crisis can still be averted if governments seize the opportunity to repair water networks, build new infrastructure including desalination plants and educate people not to waste limited resources, according to a report by the bank.

Farm Bill is Loaded with Pork and Environmentally Disastrous Provisions
April 11, 2008 09:02 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

f you've ever driven through the southern end of California's Central Valley in September, you're familiar with the grids of lint-strewn cotton fields that blur by for nearly 2 1/2 hours. You might even have pondered the wisdom of planting such a thirsty crop as cotton on a million acres -- an area larger than Yosemite National Park -- in a state facing a water crisis. Then again, you might ask a similar question about the half a million acres of rice, a grain adapted to the monsoons of Asia, on the valley's northern end.

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