Ecosystems

Traces of unapproved GMO trait found in U.S. corn
February 22, 2008 05:33 PM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Traces of an unapproved genetically modified trait were found in U.S. corn planted in 2006 and 2007 but the grain poses no threat to food or feed safety, said the U.S Agriculture Department on Friday. The 2008 corn crop will not be affected when it is planted this spring across the United States, the world's largest corn exporter.

Congo, Rwanda and Uganda united to save mountain gorillas
February 22, 2008 09:41 AM - WWF

Borders will matter less to central Africa’s mountain gorillas, following the launch of a strategic conservation plan and an associated project which covers adjoining areas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are only about 720 gorillas left in the tropical mountain forests shared by the three countries, the Central Albertine Rift Area Network. The gorillas’ natural habitat is threatened by the destruction of these forests and the great apes themselves are victims of poachers.

Greece seen facing bleak climate future
February 22, 2008 09:34 AM - Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will face droughts, higher temperatures and sea levels, and desertification that will damage agriculture and tourism because of climate change, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said on Friday. "The problem of parched land and drought will intensify and desertification will speed up (in Greece)," Dimas said in a speech. "Areas in seaside towns like Thessaloniki and Messolongi, will most likely find themselves under water."

Salamanders, headwater streams critical in food chain
February 22, 2008 09:32 AM - University of Missouri-Columbia

A collaborative study, with MU graduate student Bill Peterman, recently published in the journal Freshwater Biology, revealed the biomass (total mass of an organism in an area) of the black-bellied salamander far exceeds any previous estimates, and the contribution of the species and its habitat may be critical in the food chain. While the ecological role of the salamander is not fully understood, radio-telemetry and mark-recapture tracking methods used in the study indicate the salamanders are a critical component in the productivity of headwater streams, possibly ensuring the survival of other species of fauna.

Warmer World May Mean Less Fish
February 22, 2008 09:25 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Monaco/Nairobi, 22 February 2008 - Climate change is emerging as the latest threat to the world's dwindling fish stocks a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests. At least three quarters of the globe's key fishing grounds may become seriously impacted by changes in circulation as a result of the ocean's natural pumping systems fading and falling they suggest.

U.S. ends protection for wolves in northern Rockies
February 22, 2008 05:32 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, listed as endangered for more than three decades, no longer need protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. government said on Thursday. Environmental groups disagreed, saying the species has not fully recovered and vowed to sue to continue to protect wolves from hunting and other methods of killing that the groups said would likely follow the government's move.

Tonnes of dead fish wash up on Taiwan beaches
February 22, 2008 02:48 AM - Reuters

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Tonnes of fish, from carp to exotic tropical specimens, have washed up dead along 320 km of beach on Taiwan's outlying islands because of cold temperatures, a local official said on Friday. About 45 tonnes of fish, some wild and some farmed, appeared on the tourism-dependent Penghu Island archipelago in the Taiwan Strait from February 14 following a cold snap, county environmental staffer Hsu Ching-fang said.

Chile government hands out water in major drought
February 21, 2008 12:51 PM - Reuters

SANTA ROSA, Chile (Reuters) - Chile is suffering its worst drought in decades, and the government is handing out emergency drinking water along a quarter of the Andean nation's length as wells dry up. Farmers in small towns in south-central Chile have lost crops and livestock in the drought blamed on the weather phenomenon La Nina.

Magnitude 6.0 quake shakes corner of Nevada
February 21, 2008 11:58 AM - Reuters

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near the town of Wells in northeastern Nevada at dawn on Thursday, shaking residents in their beds and causing some damage, the U.S. Geological Survey and residents reported. There were no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries, but a Wells resident said that there were fires at the town grocery store and the truck stop.

Greenland's Rising Air Temperatures Drive Ice Loss At Surface And Beyond
February 21, 2008 09:35 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

Greenland's enormous ice sheet is home to enough ice to raise sea level by about 23 feet if the entire ice sheet were to melt into surrounding waters. Though the loss of the whole ice sheet is unlikely, loss from Greenland's ice mass has already contributed in part to 20th century sea level rise of about two millimeters per year, and future melt has the potential to impact people and economies across the globe. So NASA scientists used state-of-the-art NASA satellite technologies to explore the behavior of the ice sheet, revealing a relationship between changes at the surface and below.

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