Ecosystems

Climate change "not luxury" for Africa
December 14, 2007 04:19 AM - Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Industrialized countries have a moral responsibility to help Africa mitigate the effects of climate change, Kenya's Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai said on Friday.

"For the global South, especially Africa, environmental issues are not a luxury," the environmental activist said in an article in Kenya's Business Daily newspaper on the final day of climate change talks in Bali.

 

Chemical Spill Threat in China
December 14, 2007 03:35 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - A ship carrying 130 tons of a corrosive chemical was sinking on China's vast Yangtze River on Friday, but there was immediate no sign of pollution, state media said.

The ship was carrying liquid caustic soda and was sinking in the middle reaches of China's longest river, Xinhua news agency said.

Merck Fined $1.5M, Settles Clean Water Act Violations, Fined $1.5 Million, Must Overhaul Disposal System, Invest Millions
December 13, 2007 09:23 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON - Merck, the global pharmaceutical research company, has agreed to resolve violations of federal and state water pollution control regulations arising from spills including a June 2006 spill at its pharmaceutical plant outside of Philadelphia, announced Pat Meehan, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

 

Progress declared in Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts
December 13, 2007 09:08 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -  Pennsylvania's combination of mandatory requirements and environmental stewardship has led to sizeable reductions in nutrient and sediment pollution to the Chesapeake Bay since 2004.

The Governor Rendell also announced that Pennsylvania will use its strengths in agriculture and alternative energy development to push for important federal farm legislation and technological breakthroughs in producing biofuels.

Senate oks energy bill to cut vehicle fuel use
December 13, 2007 08:09 PM - By Tom Doggett, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate late on Thursday approved a broad energy bill to increase the fuel efficiency of U.S. cars and trucks by Congress for the first time since 1975 and significantly boost production of renewable motor fuels like ethanol.

Lice from fish farms threaten Canadian wild salmon
December 13, 2007 05:13 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Infestations of sea lice at salmon farms on Canada's west coast are threatening local wild pink salmon populations and could result in their extinction in another four years, Canadian researchers said on Thursday.

Scientists uncover how plants invaded the land, learned to survive heat, drought
December 13, 2007 04:21 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

Berkeley -- Some 400 million years ago, on a lifeless lakeshore lapped by waves, floating algae learned to survive in the open air and launched an invasion that transformed the Earth into a green paradise. The secrets of these first steps onto land are now being revealed thanks to the sequencing of a modern descendent of these first land dwellers, a dainty moss called Physcomitrella patens that sprouts on recently exposed shorelines, quickly fruits, and then dies.

 

Scientists unlock secret of emerging chikungunya virus's spread
December 13, 2007 03:54 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

University of Texas  -  A simple protein change in the chikungunya virus enables it to adapt to new mosquito hosts and spread to more regions, new research shows. Studies at the US-based University of Texas Medical Branch have found that a single amino acid change in the protein of the virus's outer shell helps it adapt to a new mosquito host, Aedes albopictus. The findings were published last in PLoS Pathogens.

Native American astronomer reaches out to native students
December 13, 2007 03:40 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Dennis Lamenti believes he is the only Native American astronomer in the U.S. with -- or working on -- a graduate degree. He now has another goal: to re-introduce astronomy to thousands of Native American students nationwide.

The IU graduate student is planning a spring Bloomington campus visit, and later a retreat for Native American students at a national observatory. It's a nation-wide event,designed to bring more Native Americans to the field of astronomy while introducing his culture's astronomic heritage to the world.

Clarity in muddy debate over mud
December 13, 2007 03:20 PM - Indiana University Bloomington Newswire

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Geologists have long thought muds will only settle when waters are quiet, but new research by Indiana University Bloomington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology geologists shows muds will accumulate even when currents move swiftly. Their findings appear in this week's Science.

This may seem a trifling matter at first, but understanding the deposition of mud could significantly impact a number of public and private endeavors, from harbor and canal engineering to oil reservoir management and fossil fuel prospecting.

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