Ecosystems

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.

African quakes kill at least 30
February 3, 2008 08:18 AM - Reuters

KIGALI (Reuters) - Earthquakes struck Rwanda and neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, killing at least 30 people and seriously injuring 350 more, officials said. The two quakes struck close together in Africa's Great Lakes region hours apart along the western Great Rift Valley fault.

Dutch to explore new ways to defend coastline
February 3, 2008 07:10 AM - Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Friday it would explore new ways of protecting its coastline from the effects of climate change, including the use of ground-breaking sensor technology. The Netherlands, which has a quarter of its territory below sea level, will spend 22 million euros ($32.7 million) on anti-flooding projects. Companies and research organizations will contribute an additional 23 million euros.

Caviar export quota undermines harvesting ban
February 2, 2008 10:10 AM - WWF

Russia's application for a caviar export quota makes nonsense of a commercial caviar harvesting ban intended to help the recovery of the decimated sturgeon populations of the Caspian Sea basin, WWF Russia has claimed. "If the Government allows export, de-facto it allows commercial sturgeon fishing," says Alexey Vaisman, Senior Programme Officer for Europe-Russia for Traffic, the world wildlife trade monitoring network which is a joint programme of WWF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Congo Wetlands reserve to be world's second largest
February 2, 2008 10:06 AM - WWF

WWF has welcomed the World Wetlands Day declaration of the world’s second largest internationally recognized and protected significant wetlands reserve in the Congo as a clear sign of the world’s increasing interest in the green heart of Africa. The nearly 6 million hectares of inundated forest making up the Grand Affluents wetland in the middle reaches of the Congo River was one of five wetlands in the Congo and the Cameroon to be notified under the RAMSAR Convention on internationally significant wetlands today.

African, Asian crops 'to be hit hard by climate change'
February 1, 2008 01:16 PM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] Crops in South Asia and Southern Africa are likely to be worst hit by climate change and need greater investment in agriculture development and adaptation strategies, say US scientists. The conclusions, reported today (1 February) in Science, are based on an analysis of climate risks for crops in 12 food-insecure regions.

News Species Discovered in Africa: Giant Elephant-Shrew
February 1, 2008 08:33 AM - ENN

Although there is unquestionably much left to be discovered about life on Earth, charismatic animals like mammals are usually well documented, and it is rare to find a new species today—especially from a group as intriguing as the elephant-shrews, monogamous mammals found only in Africa with a colorful history of misunderstood ancestry. Like shrews, these small, furry mammals eat mostly insects. Early scientists named them elephant-shrews not because they thought the animals were related to elephants but because of their long, flexible snouts.

Colombia, Costa Rica 'top ten' for environment
February 1, 2008 08:09 AM - , SciDevNet

Colombia and Costa Rica are among the top ten nations in a ranking of excellence in environmental performance. The 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), conducted by US universities Yale and Columbia, was announced last week (23 January) at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Scientists see looming water crisis in western U.S.
January 31, 2008 02:04 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A water supply crisis is looming in the western United States thanks to human-caused climate change that already has altered the region's river flows, snow pack and air temperatures, scientists said. Trends over the past half century foreshadow a worsening decline in water, perhaps the region's most valuable natural resource, even as population and demand expands in western states, researchers led by a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography wrote in the journal Science on Thursday.

Antarctic ice riddle keeps sea-level secrets
January 31, 2008 08:22 AM - Reuters

TROLL STATION, Antarctica (Reuters) - A deep freeze holding 90 percent of the world's ice, Antarctica is one of the biggest puzzles in the debate on global warming with risks that any thaw could raise sea levels faster than U.N. projections. Even if a fraction melted, Antarctica could damage nations from Bangladesh to Tuvalu in the Pacific and cities from Shanghai to New York. It has enough ice to raise sea levels by 57 meters (187 ft) if it melted, over thousands of years.

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