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.
Seed study reveals future risks to nature
July 23, 2015 09:00 AM - ClickGreen Staff
The first worldwide study of animals and the seeds they eat has overturned a long-held assumption - that large animals mainly eat large seeds. The finding by UNSW Australia scientists has implications for conservation showing that a wider variety of plants than is often thought could be at risk if large animals go extinct and do not disperse their seeds.
Do you always get sick when flying? Try Elderberries for some relief
July 22, 2015 04:00 PM - Griffith University
The negative health effects of international air travel are well documented but now it seems that the common elderberry can provide some relief.
Warming impacting bird populations in Hawai'i
July 20, 2015 07:07 AM - USGS Newsroom
Hawai‘i, the name alone elicits images of rhythmic traditional dancing, breathtaking azure sea coasts and scenes of vibrant birds flitting through lush jungle canopy. Unfortunately, the future of many native Hawaiian birds looks grim as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.
A new study published in Global Change Biology, by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, assesses how global climate change will affect future malaria risk to native Hawaiian bird populations in the coming century.
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.
Acidic Arctic Ocean Threatens Food Web
July 16, 2015 08:59 AM - Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa, MONGABAY.COM
One byproduct of rising carbon-dioxide levels is increasing ocean acidity — a phenomenon that scientists have termed an existential threat to marine life. The waters of the Arctic and the far-north Pacific are particularly prone to acidification as a result of several natural factors, so scientists regard the region as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rest of the world's oceans. A new study shows that within just fifteen years these waters may be too acidic for a range of marine animals to build and maintain their shells year round.
As species adapt to a warming climate, ecosystems change
July 15, 2015 07:39 AM - University of Toronto via ScienceDaily
If it seems like you're pulling more bass than trout out of Ontario's lakes this summer, you probably are.
Blame it on the ripple effect of climate change and warming temperatures. Birds migrate earlier, flowers bloom faster, and fish move to newly warmed waters putting local species at risk.
To mitigate the trend and support conservation efforts, scientists at the University of Toronto (U of T) are sharing a way to predict which plants or animals may be vulnerable to the arrival of a new species.
How human activities have influenced "energy flow" in the environment
July 14, 2015 09:30 AM - Oregon State University
A collection of fossilized owl pellets in Utah suggests that when the Earth went through a period of rapid warming about 13,000 years ago, the small mammal community was stable and resilient, even as individual species changed along with the habitat and landscape. By contrast, human-caused changes to the environment since the late 1800s have caused an enormous drop in biomass and “energy flow” in this same community, researchers reported today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Bumblebees trapped in "Climate Vice"
July 10, 2015 03:42 PM - Tim Radford, The Ecologist
As Europe and North America warm, bumblebees should be able to fly north to cooler climes, writes Tim Radford. But they're not: the bees' range is receding in the south, but staying put in the north, and scientists fear their shrinking habitat will put many species at risk of extinction.
The humble bumblebee is feeling the squeeze from climate change.
Seabird Populations on the Decline
July 10, 2015 09:27 AM - University of British Columbia
UBC research shows world’s monitored seabird populations have dropped 70 per cent since the 1950s, a stark indication that marine ecosystems are not doing well. Michelle Paleczny, a UBC master’s student and researcher with the Sea Around Us project, and co-authors compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 per cent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 per cent, equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years.