Study shows some permafrost carbon transported by river to the ocean
August 6, 2015 07:15 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
As temperatures rise, some of the organic carbon stored in Arctic permafrost meets an unexpected fate—burial at sea. As many as 2.2 million metric tons of organic carbon per year are swept along by a single river system into Arctic Ocean sediment, according to a new study an international team of researchers published today in Nature. This process locks away carbon dioxide (CO2) - a greenhouse gas - and helps stabilize the earth’s CO2 levels over time, and it may help scientists better predict how the natural carbon cycle will interplay with the surge of CO2 emissions due to human activities.
“The erosion of permafrost carbon is very significant,” says Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Associate Scientist Valier Galy, a co-author of the study. “Over thousands of years, this process is locking CO2away from the atmosphere in a way that amounts to fairly large carbon stocks. If we can understand how this process works, we can predict how it will respond as the climate changes.”
How changing land use pattern in the Caribbean is impacting storm risks
August 5, 2015 07:22 AM - José Rodriguez-Llanes, Catholic University of Louvain, SciDevNet
Turning natural landscapes in the Caribbean into urban areas or farmland may increase the risk of people dying from floods and storms, scientists suggest.
In a study published by Scientific Reports last month (8 July), researchers from Anguilla’s health ministry and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium investigate which factors make the region more prone to deaths related to these disasters. Out of 20 variables, they found that using a greater proportion of land for agriculture and having a higher percentage of people living in urban areas were consistently linked with deadlier floods and storms.
UN adopts resolution to attack wildlife crime
August 2, 2015 08:14 AM -
Faced with an unprecedented surge in wildlife crime, the UN this week adopted a historic resolution committing all countries to ramp up their collective efforts to end the global poaching crisis and tackle the vast illegal wildlife trade. Initiated by Gabon and Germany and co-sponsored by 84 other nations, the UN General Assembly resolution, Tackling the Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife, is the result of three years of diplomatic efforts and is the first time that every nation has acknowledged the seriousness of wildlife crime and the urgent need to join forces to combat it.
Not all whaling is the same
July 30, 2015 06:44 AM - David Lusseau, The Ecologist
The Faroe Islands' annual 'grindadráp', in which hundreds of pilot whales are slaughtered with knives and hooks, is a horrifying spectacle, writes David Lusseau. But unlike industrial whaling it poses no threat to the species. And is it really any worse than the industrial factory farming that we routinely ignore?
Anyone that signs a petition to stop the Faroese grindadráp only to go home and roast a chicken that never saw daylight or moved much when it was reared is a hypocrite.
In the mid-20th century pilot whaling still took place in many north Atlantic nations such as the US and Canada.
Offshore Wind Power Comes to the US
July 29, 2015 03:33 PM - S.E. Smith, Care2
The United States marked an energy milestone this week as construction began on a pilot offshore wind program that will be used to test the economic feasibility of offshore wind energy. According to the Bureau of Energy, some four million megawatts of power lie in wait off the coasts and the shores of regions like the Great Lakes, where wind blusters far stronger than it does on land — and even a few miles an hour makes a big difference with turbines.
Canada ranks #2 for most LEED buildings
July 28, 2015 01:24 PM - Roy L Hales, ECOreport
Though LEED is not the world’s only green building rating system, it is the most widely used and recognized. Thus it is no small thing that, for the second year in a row, Canada is #2 for LEED building in the World.
Ocean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now
July 26, 2015 08:37 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.
Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.
Welcome three new National Monuments
July 17, 2015 06:59 AM - Judy Molland, Care2
Using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906, President Obama announced last week that he was creating three new national monuments. The President designated scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.
Together, the new monuments protect more than one million acres of public lands. National monuments are similar to national parks, except that they can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government via a presidential proclamation. With these new designations, Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments in the United States in total. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters.
California towns getting water by truck as drought continues and wells run dry
July 11, 2015 07:04 AM -
Rural Tulare County, Calif., is now being called the epicenter of this drought.
That's because at least 1,300 residential wells have run dry, affecting at least 7,000 people. When your taps start spitting out air here, Paul Boyer and his team are who you call.
Under a punishing midafternoon sun, Boyer helps muscle down five of these hefty 400-pound water tanks from a semi-truck flatbed. He helps run a local nonprofit that's in charge of distributing these 2,500-gallon water tanks to drought victims.
BP to pay billions in oil spill settlement
July 10, 2015 07:18 AM - Chris Sosa, Care2
BP has finally agreed to pay for the incredible damage it caused after the headline-grabbing oil disaster in 2010. The company made overtures at responsibility in the past, but this is the farthest BP has gone toward remedying the mess it made during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Care2 has been vocal in demanding accountability for the company. A petition garnering over 150,000 signatures was delivered to BP’s offices, but the BP refused to accept the petition.
It seems BP has run out of options and will now be paying billions of dollars in a pending settlement.