Ecosystems

Magnitude 6.5 quake hits off Alaska's Aleutians: USGS
December 26, 2007 06:35 PM - Reuters

The quake, only 20.5 miles deep, struck at 2204 GMT 31 miles southeast of Nikolski, on Umnak island.

Broken Homes Damage the Environment
December 26, 2007 12:45 PM - Michigan State University Newswire

The data are in. Divorce is bad for the environment. A novel study that links divorce with the environment shows that a global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, that, in turn, take up more space and gobble up more energy and water. The research of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Climatic Chain Reaction Caused Runaway Greenhouse Effect 55 Million Years Ago
December 26, 2007 10:55 AM - Utrecht University

Analogous to the Earth's current situation, greenhouse warming 55 million years ago was caused by a relatively rapid increase of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This phase, known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), was studied using sediments that accumulated 55 million years ago on the ocean floor in what is now New Jersey. The new study shows that a large proportion of the greenhouse gases was released as a result of a chain-reaction of events. Probably due to intense volcanic activity, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere became higher and the ensuing greenhouse effect warmed the Earth.

The Danger of PBDEs
December 25, 2007 10:34 PM - UC Riverside

Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk - a potentially major concern for human health. In addition, these industrial chemicals have been associated with cases of feline hyperthyroidism, a potentially fatal condition in cats.

China says is no threat to world energy security
December 25, 2007 09:23 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it is not a threat to world energy security and energy issues should not be politicized, urging that conflicts in producing nations be resolved through dialogue and not military force. China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, also is too reliant on international crude markets for last minute oil supplies and needs to arrange more long-term deals, Beijing said in a policy paper released on Wednesday. "China did not, does not and will not pose any threat to the world's energy security," according to the paper, titled China's Energy Conditions and Policies. "China will, step by step, change the current situation of relying too heavily on spot trading of crude oil, encourage the signing of long-term supply contracts with foreign companies and promote the diversification of trading channels," the paper added.

Major study concludes that global warming is killing off coral
December 23, 2007 07:30 PM - Cornell University Communications

If world leaders do not immediately engage in a race against time to save the Earth's coral reefs, these vital ecosystems will not survive the global warming and acidification predicted for later this century. That is the conclusion of a group of marine scientists from around the world in a major new study published in the journal Science on Dec. 13.

Survey: Coal-Fired Power Plant Freeze Favored
December 22, 2007 06:34 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

DES MOINES, Iowa - Sending a clear message to state officials and presidential candidates, nearly four out of five Iowans (79 percent) -- including 69 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Independents -- think that "Iowa should focus on increased (energy) conservation steps and more fuel efficiency to reduce demand for electricity before it constructs new coal-fired power plants," according to a major new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) survey commissioned by Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Iowa Farmers Union and Plains Justice.

Japan Bows to Pressure on Humpback Whales - But Continues Largest Hunt Since Whaling Ban
December 22, 2007 05:54 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

YARMOUTH, Mass. - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW www.ifaw.org) today welcomed news that the Government of Japan has suspended plans to kill 50 humpback whales over the next several months. Today's announcement follows months of public and diplomatic pressure on Japan, which launched its whaling fleet on November 18.

Big Cypress National Preserve Threatened by Damaging Off-Road Vehicle Use
December 22, 2007 05:35 PM -

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A coalition of conservation groups today filed a lawsuit to protect Big Cypress National Preserve from damaging off-road vehicle use. The suit responds to a decision by the Park Service to open previously closed areas of the Preserve to swamp buggies and other off-road vehicles.

Brazil cracks down on illegal Amazon farm products
December 21, 2007 02:53 PM - Raymond Colitt, Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil has banned the sale of farm products from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon in an attempt to reverse months of increasing destruction in the world's largest rain forest, officials said on Friday. A decree signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday imposes fines for buying or trading goods such as beef or soy produced on illegally deforested properties.

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