Ecosystems

Indonesia starts planting 79 million trees
November 28, 2007 05:47 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia, which has been losing its forests at a rapid pace in recent years, launched a campaign on Wednesday to plant 79 million trees ahead of next month's U.N. climate change conference in Bali.

"We have been negligent in the past, now we have to get our act together," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was quoted by state news agency Antara as saying as he planted saplings on the outskirts of Jakarta.

China warns of water shortage in lush Guangdong
November 28, 2007 02:23 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's green southern province of Guangdong is facing a huge water shortage due to pollution and inefficient use, state media said on Wednesday.

The threat to China's manufacturing centre, which also supplies neighboring Hong Kong with most of its water, meant that in three years only a third of its water demand would be met, the China Daily said.

Chile aims to clear fuel slick from Antarctic ship
November 27, 2007 07:43 PM - Reuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile said on Tuesday it sent a navy icebreaker to disperse a diesel fuel slick left by a cruise ship that sank in Antarctic waters last week.

More than 150 passengers and crew were evacuated safely by lifeboats on Friday from the Canadian-owned ship Explorer that hit ice off King George Island in Antarctica.

Green group urges Laos to stop dam expansion plan
November 27, 2007 10:20 AM - Reuters

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A major expansion of a hydropower dam in communist Laos will cause serious flooding, ruin fisheries and displace thousands of people living downstream, a Norwegian environmental group said on Tuesday.

Quake shakes Philippines, train services hit
November 27, 2007 06:36 AM - Reuters

There were no reports of casualties, but witnesses said people fled high-rise buildings in several places.

Bees Are the New Silkworms
November 26, 2007 11:35 AM - CSIRO

 Moths and butterflies, particularly silkworms, are well known producers of silk. And we all know spiders use it for their webs. But they are not the only invertebrates who make use of the strength and versatility of silk.

 "Most people are unaware that bees and ants produce silk but they do and its molecular structure is very different to that of the large protein, sheet structure of moth and spider silk. The cocoon and nest silks we looked at consist of coiled coils - a protein structural arrangement where multiple helices wind around each other. This structure produces a light weight, very tough silk," she says.

 

 

 

Accuracy of past hurricane counts good
November 26, 2007 10:10 AM - Penn State

Counting tropical storms that occurred before the advent of aircraft and satellites relies on ships logs and hurricane landfalls, making many believe that the numbers of historic tropical storms in the Atlantic are seriously undercounted. However, a statistical model based on the climate factors that influence Atlantic tropical storm activity shows that the estimates currently used are only slightly below modeled numbers and indicate that the numbers of tropical storms in the recent past are increasing, according to researchers.

Japan hit by moderate quake, no damage reported
November 26, 2007 09:50 AM - Reuters

The Japanese Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 5.9 and was centered 40 km (25 miles) deep under the sea off the coast of Fukushima, a prefecture around 240 km (149 miles) northeast of the capital, Tokyo.

Illuminating Study Reveals How Plants Respond to Light
November 26, 2007 08:41 AM - www.nsf.gov

Most of us take it for granted that plants respond to light by growing, flowering and straining towards the light, and we never wonder just how plants manage to do so. But the ordinary, everyday responses of plants to light are deceptively complex, and much about them has long stumped scientists.

Now, a new study "has significantly advanced our understanding of how plant responses to light are regulated, and perhaps even how such responses evolved," says Michael Mishkind, a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF).  This study, which was funded by NSF, will be published in the November 23, 2007 issue of Science.

Global delegation led by Valli Moosa meets Nelson Mandela
November 26, 2007 08:37 AM - IUCN

The governing body of the world's leading authority on biodiversity, the Council of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), met yesterday with President Nelson R. Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

The Council, led by its President Valli Moosa, includes the world's leading ecologists and environmentalists, and handed to President Mandela the latest updated IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The 2007 IUCN Red List concluded that 16,306 of the 41, 415 species listed are currently threatened with extinction.

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