Wildlife

What's worse for polar bears- Global Warming or Pollution?
April 24, 2015 02:44 PM - Tim Radford, The Ecologist

As if melting ice in Polar bears' Arctic habitat was not enough, Norwegian scientists have found that organic pollutants such as pesticide residues are disrupting their thyroid and endocrine systems, adding a further threat to the species' survival.

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Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 17, 2015 09:37 AM - National Wildlife Federation

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, sending oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days, wildlife are still struggling. The Gulf, with its deep waters, sandy beaches, lush wetlands and coral reefs, is a vast system that supports more than 15,000 species of wildlife – fish, birds, marine mammals and many, many others.

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation looks at how 20 types of wildlife that depend on a healthy Gulf are faring in the wake of the BP oil spill. The full extent of the spill’s impacts may take years or even decades to unfold, but Five Years & Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster examines what the science tells us so far.

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SPOTLIGHT

The importance of methane seeps in microbial biodiversity of sea floor

University of Delaware

A new study “provides evidence that methane seeps are island-like habitats that harbor distinct microbial communities unique from other seafloor ecosystems." These seeps play an important role in microbial biodiversity of the sea floor.

Methane seeps are natural gas leaks in the sea floor that emit methane into the water. Microorganisms that live on or near these seeps can use the methane as a food source, preventing the gas from collecting in the surrounding hydrosphere or migrating into the atmosphere.

“Marine environments are a potentially huge source for methane outputs to the atmosphere, but the surrounding microbes keep things in check by eating 75 percent of the methane before it gets to the atmosphere. These organisms are an important part of the underwater ecosystem, particularly as it relates to global gas cycles that are climate important in terms of greenhouse gas emissions,” said University of Delaware assistant professor of marine biosciences, Jennifer Biddle.

What's new on our Community Blog



Make Every Bite Count

April 22nd, 2015
What is your university doing to help promote sustainability and agrobiodiversity?
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

REVOLUTION: Facts & Figures from the Documentary

April 21st, 2015
Need something to do tomorrow in order to celebrate Earth Day? Check out this new documentary titled REVOLUTION which opens worldwide tomorrow!
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

Monoculture Threatens Margaritas

April 15th, 2015
Tequila’s soaring popularity is creating agricultural risks that may force its own collapse if current production practices continue.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

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