Good news for the Iberian lynx!
April 6, 2016 09:04 AM - World Wildlife Federation
WWF welcomes the 2015 Iberian lynx census released today by the government of Andalusia. The survey shows a significant increase in population with the Iberian lynx reaching the highest number since the species was found to be the most endangered cat in the world in 2002.
The latest population figure of 404 individuals is up from the 327 recorded in 2014. The survey identified 120 breeding females divided into five areas of the Iberian Peninsula including four in Spain – Doñana, Sierra Morena, Montes de Toledo, Valley Matachel – as well as Portugal’s Vale do Guadiana.
Can urban gardeners benefit ecosystems while keeping food traditions alive?
April 6, 2016 06:51 AM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
When conjuring up an image of a healthy ecosystem, few of us would think of a modern city. But scientists are increasingly recognizing that the majority of ecosystems are now influenced by humans, and even home gardens in urban landscapes can contribute important ecosystem services.
Good news for the world's tiger populations!
April 5, 2016 06:34 PM - Steve Williams, Care2
It’s estimated that there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild — that’s nearly a 97 percent loss in wild tigers over just a century. However, scientists are now saying that the world’s tiger population can double by 2022.
Scotland shuts down its last coal-fired electric power plant
April 2, 2016 08:16 AM - s.e. smith, Care2
After nearly 50 years of service, Scotland’s last coal-fired power plant — Longannet Power Station — has finally gone offline, putting an end to over 100 years of burning coal for electricity.
It’s an important moment for Scottish Power, which looks ahead to clean power initiatives with the goal of going all-renewable by 2020,
But it’s also a very symbolic action for the world. Hopefully other nations will follow suit, creating a domino effect as country by country eliminates its coal plants — like the one above — in favor of renewable alternatives.
Commercial leases go green
April 1, 2016 07:09 AM - University of Oxford
New opportunities to fight climate change in these properties are coming from an unlikely source: the commercial property lease. A new study finds that in 2009, only 15% of all leases signed in Sydney’s central business district contained green clauses; by 2013, this had risen to over 60%.
Going vegetarian could save emissions and prevent 8 million deaths a year
March 31, 2016 06:51 PM - Marco Springmann, The Ecologist
Oxford researchers have quantified the benefits of the world becoming vegetarian, writes Marco Springmann. Their study shows that simple changes - like moving to diets low in meat and high in fruit and vegetables - could lead to significant reduction in mortality and health care costs, while cutting food sector greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds.
Severe water stress likely in Asia by 2050
March 30, 2016 05:51 PM - MIT News
Economic and population growth on top of climate change could lead to serious water shortages across a broad swath of Asia by the year 2050, a newly published study by MIT scientists has found.
The study deploys detailed modeling to produce what the researchers believe is a full range of scenarios involving water availability and use in the future. In the paper, the scientists conclude there is a “high risk of severe water stress” in much of an area that is home to roughly half the world’s population.
Should we be feeding food waste to livestock?
March 30, 2016 06:39 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman , Triple Pundit
Food waste is a huge global problem. About a third of the food produced globally for human consumption, approximately 1.3 billion tons each year, is wasted or lost, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Food losses in industrialized countries add up to roughly $680 billion, with $310 billion in losses in developing countries. Produce (fruits and vegetables plus roots and tubers) have the highest rates of waste.
Taiwan has a simple solution to reduce food waste: Feed it to livestock. The Guardian reports that Taiwan is “one of a handful of countries that have institutionalized the practice” of feeding food scraps to livestock. About two-third’s of the country’s food waste is fed to its 5.5 million pigs. Pigs are Taiwan’s biggest source of meat.
“We realized there was a lot of kitchen waste and that if we put it in incinerators it would hamper incineration because it’s wet,” Chiang Tsu-nong, deputy inspector general with the government’s Bureau of Environmental Inspection, told the Guardian. “And Taiwan’s land is limited, so if you build a landfill or an incinerator people will protest.”
Sea level rise and its potential impact to Norfolk, Virginia studied by Sandia Labs
March 28, 2016 11:37 AM - Sandia Laboratories
In Norfolk, Virginia, an East Coast city that’s home to the world’s largest naval station and important seaports, catastrophic flooding could damage more than homes and roads. A new study from Sandia National Laboratories assesses how much the city, its region and the nation would suffer in damages to national assets and lost economic activity if it does nothing to address rising sea levels.
In partnership with the City of Norfolk’s Resilience Office and 100 Resilient Cities(100RC), pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, Sandia analyzed the risk to important assets, quantified their value and helped Norfolk prioritize the most effective ways to stay resilient in a natural or manmade disaster.
Human impact on Earth's global energy
March 26, 2016 08:13 AM - University of Leicester via ScienceDaily
The impact humans have made on Earth in terms of how we produce and consume resources has formed a 'striking new pattern' in the planet's global energy flow, according to researchers from the University of Leicester.
The research suggests that Earth is now characterised by a geologically unprecedented pattern of global energy flow that is pervasively influenced by humans -- and which is necessary for maintaining the complexity of modern human societies.
The new study, published in the journal Earth's Future, is led by Professors Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester's Department of Geology working with an international team of scholars.