Ecosystems

First West Australia cyclone forms
December 28, 2007 03:47 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The first cyclone of the West Australia storm season formed offshore on Friday, the government weather service said, serving a reminder to oil firms and miners of the potential for disruptions over the next four months. Tropical cyclone Melanie developed in the ocean about 600 km (370 miles) north-west of the seaside community of Broome, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

Barcoding An Entire Ecosystem
December 27, 2007 03:33 PM - Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY – In the middle of the South Pacific, about 12 miles west of Tahiti, is a tropical island that soon will emerge as a model ecosystem, thanks to the efforts of a U.S.-French research team led by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

Traditional medicine plants disappearing as demand rises
December 27, 2007 03:22 PM - Carol Campbell, SciDevNet

Johannesburg - A dwindling supply of wild medicinal plants is threatening South Africa's traditional medicine industry, according to new research. In a paper published by the nongovernmental organisation Health Systems Trust this month, researchers found that the demand for traditional medicine is higher than ever — stimulated by HIV/AIDS, unemployment and rapid urbanisation.

EPA, Dow Chemical Negotiate River Cleanups
December 27, 2007 03:06 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

CHICAGO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today extended a deadline with Dow Chemical to negotiate a settlement to conduct and finance an investigation, a study and interim cleanup actions for dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system. In October the EPA called for negotiations under provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund.

Deep-Ocean Drilling Researchers Target Earthquake and Tsunami Zone
December 27, 2007 01:48 PM - National Science Foundation

San Francisco — Researchers fresh from an eight-week scientific drilling expedition off the Pacific coast of Japan today reported their discovery of strong variation in the tectonic stresses in a region notorious for generating devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, the Nankai Trough. The scientists conducted their expedition aboard the new scientific drilling vessel Chikyu, drilling deep into the zone responsible for past and likely future tsunamis, and collecting physical measurements and images made using advanced borehole logging technology.

Wild Chimps Skip Menopause
December 27, 2007 01:15 PM - Steve Bradt, Harvard University Newswire

Boston - A pioneering study of wild chimpanzees has found that these close human relatives do not routinely experience menopause, rebutting previous studies of captive individuals which had postulated that female chimpanzees reach reproductive senescence at 35 to 40 years of age.

World outraged, fearful over Bhutto assassination
December 27, 2007 11:37 AM - Reuters

President George W. Bush condemned the killing as a "cowardly act" and urged Pakistanis to press ahead with a planned national election. Russia's top Asia diplomat said the assassination would "trigger a wave of terrorism.

Put biodiversity at centre of climate debate, says new
December 27, 2007 11:13 AM - IUCN

Unlike public opinion polls, the survey focuses on the views of professionals in a position to make or influence large decisions in their organizations and society. This focus, together with the survey’s large global sample, spread across all regions of the world and from governments at all levels, scientific institutions, business, and civil society, makes the survey unique.

Mars rovers find new evidence of "habitable niche"
December 27, 2007 10:49 AM - Cornell Chronicle

Inch by power-conserving inch, drivers on Earth have moved the Mars rover Spirit to a spot where it has its best chance at surviving a third Martian winter -- and where it will celebrate its fourth anniversary (in Earth years) since bouncing down on Mars for a projected 90-day mission in January 2004. Meanwhile, researchers are considering the implications of what Cornell's Steve Squyres, principal investigator for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, calls "one of the most significant" mission discoveries to date: silica-rich deposits uncovered in May by Spirit's lame front wheel that provide new evidence for a once-habitable environment in Gusev Crater.

Fisheries Should Be Regarded As Part Of Maritime Environment, Experts Urge
December 27, 2007 10:38 AM - Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.

The environmental perspective has already been established in legislation and international conventions on fisheries. However, on the implementation level the ecosystems approach is still in an elementary phase. If fisheries are to be sustainable in the future, new decision-making approaches and structures are needed for ecosystems threatened by fisheries and for regions in which environmental changes threaten the profitability of fisheries. By such measures it is possible to support interaction between various interests and perspectives and to promote versatile use of new information about the maritime environment.

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