Ecosystems

Sharks disappearing as fin chopping rises
February 17, 2008 11:54 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Populations of tiger, bull, dusky and other sea sharks have plummeted by more than 95 percent since the 1970s as fisherman kill the animals for their fins or when they scoop other fish from the ocean, according to an expert from the World Conservation Union, or IUCN. At particular risk is the scalloped hammerhead shark, whose young swim mostly in shallow waters along shores all over the world to avoid predators.

Salmon's brain gives clues to pesticides toxicity in people
February 16, 2008 09:19 AM - ENN

In his research, scientist Nat Scholz examines how pesticides that run off the land and mix in rivers and streams combine to have a greater than expected toxic effect on the salmon nervous system. These pesticides are widely used in the United States and their occurrence as mixtures in the food supply for humans may also pose an unexpected risk for people.

Cyclone heads for West Australia mining region
February 16, 2008 01:51 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A powerful cyclone off the Western Australia coast was showing signs of intensifying and was likely to cross the country's remote Pilbara mining region over the next two days. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said on Saturday Tropical Cyclone Nicholas was traveling slowly and was 510 km (320 miles) north north-east of Karratha. On current predictions, it is expected to intensify to a Category 4 cyclone from category 2 currently.

China tightens rules on industrial land use: report
February 15, 2008 07:41 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has tightened rules on industrial land use, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, as part of a broader effort to control the rampant development of farmland for non-agricultural purposes. The new rules issued by the Ministry of Land and Resources are effective immediately and limit administrative and living areas of industrial land to a maximum 7 percent of the total area in any given development project, Xinhua said.

Middle East collaborates on seismic mapping
February 14, 2008 09:17 AM - , SciDevNet

Earth scientists from Israel, Jordan and Palestine have formed a research partnership to map seismic activity in the region. The collaboration began last month (January), according to lead scientist Hillel Gilles Wust-Bloch from the Minerva Dead Sea Research Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and the team are due to have a meeting next week (21 February).

Britain's Prince Charles urges rainforest funding
February 14, 2008 09:00 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Charles, called on Thursday for a global fund to preserve tropical rainforests from destruction. "In the simplest of terms, we have to find a way to make the forests worth more alive than dead," the heir to the British throne told the European Parliament in an address.

Las Vegas water source could run dry by 2021
February 13, 2008 09:40 AM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Chances are about even that Lake Mead, the prime source of water for the desert city of Las Vegas, will run dry in 13 years if usage is not cut back, according to study released on Tuesday. The finding is the latest warning about water woes threatening the future of the fast-growing U.S. casino capital and comes amid a sustained drought in the American West.

Australia sees La Nina weather staying for months
February 13, 2008 05:28 AM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A mature La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific continued to influence the climate of eastern Australia and was forecast to remain until at least the end of the southern autumn, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Wednesday. La Nina weather patterns, the opposite of El Ninos, are associated with wet weather in eastern Australia and Southeast Asia.

Field Dispatch: Natural Habitat Antarctica Trip Pt.1
February 12, 2008 10:01 AM - Sybille Klenzendorf,, WWF

I am actually on my way - and I couldn't be more excited! Years of anticipation and hard work have finally paid off, and I'm headed to Antarctica. A world of ice and rock, water and sky, wind and cold. And, some of the richest, most unspoiled wildlife habitat on Planet Earth. I'm writing this from my cabin in the ice-hardened, former Russian research vessel: the Professor Multanovskiy. Recently converted to passenger service, the Multanovskiy is carrying me and 74 other souls (passengers, crew, and staff) to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Financing the Transition from a Brown to a Green Global Economy
February 11, 2008 09:51 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Nairobi/Monaco, 11 February 2008 - The biggest gathering of environment ministers to take place since the climate change breakthrough in Bali will be happening in Monaco later this month under the theme "Mobilizing Finance for the Climate Challenge". More than 100 ministers from across the globe are scheduled to attend the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) - the world's forum for environment ministers -alongside senior figures from industry and economics; science; local government; civil society, trades unions and intergovernmental bodies.

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