Ecosystems

WTO proposal limits fisheries subsidies
November 30, 2007 02:29 PM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - New negotiating proposals at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday impose tough limits on subsidies on fisheries, a move that delighted environmentalists concerned about overfishing.

The proposals, from Uruguay's WTO ambassador Guillermo Valles Galmes, who is chairing WTO negotiations on "rules" -- dumping, subsidies and fisheries subsidies -- do not propose a blanket ban on all subsidies to fisheries.

Microbes in ancient ice could give clues to life's origin
November 30, 2007 10:54 AM -

Riverside, California - Researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the University of Delaware have thawed ice estimated to be perhaps a million years old or more from above Lake Vostok, an ancient lake that lies hidden more than two miles beneath the frozen surface of Antarctica.

Currently, the research team, led by UC Riverside’s Brian Lanoil, an assistant professor of environmental sciences, is examining the eons-old water for microorganisms. Using novel genomic techniques, the team is trying to determine how the tiny, living “time capsules” survived the ages in total darkness, in freezing cold and without food and energy from the sun.

WHO concerned at new Ebola strain
November 30, 2007 10:25 AM - Reuters

The outbreak, announced by U.S. and Ugandan health officials on Thursday, is in Bundibugyo, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

Invasive species threaten land of the dodo
November 30, 2007 09:54 AM - By Ed Harris, Reuters

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Three centuries after the dodo's demise, the rich plant and animal life of Mauritius is still under threat, this time from exploding populations of non-native species such as Chinese guavas and Malagasy geckos.

Does the Electricity You Use Demolish Mountains?
November 30, 2007 09:13 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

A new Web-based tool allows U.S. residents to learn how their local electricity consumption may be linked to the destruction of landscapes in the Appalachia region of the eastern United States. With “My Connection,” a feature from North Carolina-based Appalachian Voices, users can enter their ZIP codes and use Google Earth to view the decimated mountains from which their power provider obtains coal. “When you can show people they have a direct connection to it, it makes it that much more relevant to their day-to-day life,” Mary Anne Hitt, the executive director of Appalachian Voices, told the Wall Street Journal.

Life In The Southern Ocean & Climate Change
November 29, 2007 11:26 AM - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

A ten-week expedition to the Lazarev Sea and the eastern part of the Weddell Sea opens this year's Antarctic research season of the German research vessel Polarstern. On the evening of November 28, just some two hours after an official ceremony at the Berlin Museum of Natural History honouring Polarstern's 25th anniversary of service, the research vessel will begin its 24th scientific voyage to the Southern Ocean from Cape Town.

Coal Use Rises Dramatically Despite Impacts on Climate and Health
November 29, 2007 08:48 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

In 2006, coal accounted for 25 percent of world primary energy supply. Due to its high carbon content, coal was responsible for approximately 40 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels, despite supplying only 32 percent of fossil fuel energy. Management of this plentiful but heavily polluting energy resource has tremendous implications for human welfare, the health of ecosystems, and the stability of the global climate.

World coal consumption reached a record 3,090 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2006, an increase of 4.5 percent over 2005. China led world coal use with 39 percent of the total. The United States followed with 18 percent. The European Union and India accounted for 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Asian nations face "unprecedented" water crisis: ADB
November 29, 2007 07:13 AM - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Developing countries in Asia could face an "unprecedented" water crisis within a decade due to mismanagement of water resources, the Asian Development Bank said in a report on Thursday.

The effects of climate change, rapid industrialization and population growth on water resources could lead to health and social issues that could cost billions of dollars annually, it said.

Indonesia increases security for climate change meet
November 29, 2007 04:47 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia will deploy 10,000 police and soldiers to guard a high-profile U.N. climate conference in the resort island of Bali, which has been the scene of deadly militant attacks in recent years, officials said.

Some 10,000 people from about 190 countries -- including ministers and senior officials -- are expected to gather in Bali from December 3 to 14 to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on cutting climate warming carbon emissions which expires in 2012.

 

1,000th rare whale shark identified in Mozambique
November 28, 2007 11:12 PM - Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The 1,000th whale shark, a rare and threatened species, has been discovered by researchers using a global program in which eco-tourists and scientists identify new sharks and lodge photographs on an online library.

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