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Polar Bears may need to be fed by humans
February 13, 2013 06:38 AM - ed struzik, Yale Environment360
In a paper released this week, the world’s leading polar bear scientists say the time has come to consider drastic measures to save these iconic animals, including supplemental feeding by humans during ice-free periods and relocating more southerly populations to the High Arctic. The day may soon come when some of the 19 polar bear populations in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Norway, and Russia will have to be fed by humans in order to keep them alive during an extended ice-free season or prevent them from roaming into northern communities. Some bears may have to be placed in temporary holding compounds until it is cold enough for them to go back onto the sea ice. In worst-case scenarios, polar bears from southern regions may have to be relocated to more northerly climes that have sufficient sea ice cover.
Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC
February 12, 2013 06:29 AM - DANIEL ZWERDLING and MARGOT WILLIAMS, NPR
ext time you walk up to the seafood counter, look for products labeled with a blue fish, a check mark, and the words "Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC." Then ask yourself, "What does this label mean?" The MSC — Marine Stewardship Council — says that the "sustainable" label means that fishermen caught the seafood with methods that don't deplete its supply, and help protect the environment in the waters where it was caught.
Money Down the Pump: Where Does Our Gas Money Go?
February 12, 2013 05:40 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Rising gas prices have been in the news the past couple of years, as it seems the price of gas will never fall back down to what it used to be. The last time I filled up my tank, it cost me around $50 (on empty) and regardless of the fuel efficiency of my car, I know I am not the only person who is frustrated by how much money we are spending on personal transportation. According to a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), explain exactly what our gas dollars actually goes to. According to a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), explain exactly what our gas dollars actually goes to. In my case of a $50 fill up, the UCS show that $33 of my total went to crude oil, $20 of which went to private oil companies, and $13 to government-run oil companies, the remaining dollars to the gas station — a break-down that I would not have expected.
How Can We Reduce Food Waste?
February 10, 2013 06:28 AM - Population Matters
It’s no secret that Americans throw away an enormous amount of food, sending day-old leftovers and slightly wilted spinach straight to the garbage. But what about the food that never even makes it to the kitchen table? A new report released by a British engineering society reveals that worldwide, billions of tons of food are squandered each year because of poor agriculture practices, which include inefficient harvesting and inadequate infrastructure and storage—and it’s depleting Earth's water supply.
The California Coyote Hunt Will Go On Despite Petition Drive
February 8, 2013 07:51 AM - Center for Biological Diversity
State wildlife officials in California declined to call off a coyote-hunting contest in Modoc County this weekend but, in response to public outcry, agreed to take steps to clarify the scope of the hunt and protect OR-7, the first wild wolf in California in nearly nine decades. The precautionary steps were recommended by a coalition of conservation groups representing more than a million Californians, including Project Coyote, the Center for Biological Diversity and Animal Welfare Institute. The California Fish and Wildlife Department received more than 20,000 comments and petition signatures from members of the public who oppose the coyote hunt. On Wednesday, following a hearing that included testimony from more than a dozen hunt-contest opponents, wildlife officials agreed to educate the hunt’s sponsors and participants on the physical differences between coyotes and wolves and to make clear that shooting wolves violates both state and federal law. The agency will also provide wardens to monitor the hunt and ensure it complies with the law.
Invasive Striga Weed Serious Problem in Sub-Saharan Africa
February 8, 2013 06:36 AM - Maina Waruru, SciDevNet
Rising soil temperatures are increasing the spread of a deadly, parasitic weed that significantly reduces crop yields in Sub-Saharan Africa, Striga, according to scientists. The noxious weed, also known as witch-weed, usually thrives in the warm and humid tropics but is now spreading to cooler and wetter highlands as a result of warmer soils driven by global warming and low soil fertility, which provides the right conditions for Striga to thrive. Increasing soil temperatures are fuelling the spread of Striga from the tropics to highland areas The deadly weed can reduce crops by up to 80 per cent, threatening livelihoods Research organisations are trialling various strategies, such as intercropping, to combat its spread This spread has threatened the livelihoods of around 100 million people, with more than four million hectares of maize crops infected. In general, Striga reduces maize and cowpea yields by up to 80 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa.
I'm Lovin' It: McDonald's Opts for Sustainable Fish, Modernity
February 4, 2013 08:47 AM - Amelia Timbers, Triple Pundit
Last week, McDonald's exhibited bold leadership by agreeing to shift their entire seafood supply-chain to Marine Stewardship Council-approved fish. This assures that fish products from McDonald's will now be sourced from stocks that are sustainable, well-managed and environmentally sound. This amazing move signifies a leap forward for both the labeling model promoted by the Marine Stewardship Council, and for the McDonald's brand.
European Waste Management Systems Found to be Wasteful!
February 4, 2013 06:05 AM - EurActive
The European Court of Auditors has criticised the EU's waste management infrastructure, which has received €10.8 billion in structural funding since 2000, for its "limited" effectiveness. The average European citizen generates around 500kg of municipal waste per year, a source of environmental degradation unless properly collected, treated and disposed. Refuse can contain important raw materials and resources, and the EU has introduced directives to enforce common waste management standards and targets. It has also co-financed waste management infrastructures in specific regions.
Planting Trees Helps Fight Climate Change, but mainly locally
February 2, 2013 07:48 AM - Science Daily
Afforestation, planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effect of climate change by cooling temperate regions, finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal Carbon Balance and Management. Afforestation would lead to cooler and wetter summers by the end of this century. Without check climate change is projected to lead to summer droughts and winter floods across Europe. Using REMO, the regional climate model of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, researchers tested what would happen to climate change in 100 years if land currently covered in non-forest vegetation was converted into deciduous forest. This equates to more than a doubling of forest in Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Northern Ukraine, Northern Germany and France. But in already heavily forested countries such as Sweden the increase is smaller, at less than 10%.
Costa Rican scientists trial aquatic agriculture to boost food security
February 1, 2013 08:58 AM - Melissa Gomez, SciDevNet
Costa Rican researchers are pioneering 'aquatic agriculture' — the method of growing crops on freshwater lakes and reservoirs — to boost food security in the developing world. The technique involves creating floating rafts on which vegetables, grains and flowers can be grown. Terrestrial crops such as grains and vegetables have their roots directly in the water or can be potted, with water being drawn up into their soil from the lake by capillary wicks, Ricardo Radulovich, a professor at the University of Costa Rica's Department of Agricultural Engineering, explains.