ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news January 1st - 5th: Predictions of a warmer-than-ever year, disappearing rhinos, a "wildlife crosswalk," extreme tree hunters, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news January 1st - 5th: Predictions of a warmer-than-ever year, disappearing rhinos, a "wildlife crosswalk," extreme tree hunters, and much more.
1. Scientists Say 2007 May Be Warmest Yet
A resurgent El Nino and persistently high levels of greenhouse gases are likely to make 2007 the world's hottest year ever recorded, British climate scientists said Thursday. Britain's Meteorological Office said there was a 60 percent probability that 2007 would break the record set by 1998, which was 1.20 degrees over the long-term average.
2. Australian Aborigines Win East Coast Land Claim
Aborigines won a 10-year fight for control of World Heritage-listed rainforests in the centre of Australia's wealthy east coast on Tuesday, sealing one of the country's biggest native land deals. The Githabul people will help manage 19 national parks and state forests covering 6,000 square km (3,700 square miles) in New South Wales (NSW) state.
3. Researchers Say Warming May Change Amazon
Global warming could spell the end of the world's largest remaining tropical rain forest, transforming the Amazon into a grassy savanna before end of the century, researchers said. Jose Antonio Marengo, a meteorologist with Brazil's National Space Research Institute, said that global warming, if left unchecked, will reduce rainfall and raise temperatures substantially in the ecologically rich region.
4. Rare Nepal Rhinos Mysteriously Disappear
Dozens of endangered Great One-horned rhinoceros have mysteriously gone missing from a nature reserve in southwest Nepal over the past few years, a wildlife official said on Wednesday. The rhinos were moved to Babai Valley from Chitwan National Park on Nepal's southern plains under a conservation scheme supported by global conservation group WWF.
5. China Report Warns of Agriculture Problems from Climate Change
Climate change will harm China's ecology and economy in the coming decades, possibly causing large drops in agricultural output, said a government report made public Wednesday. The report comes several days after state media said 2006 was hotter than average with more natural disasters than normal.
6. Environment at Center of Canada Cabinet Shakeup
Stung by criticism of its environmental policy and preparing for a possible election this year, Canada's government made sweeping changes to its cabinet Thursday and promised to do more to fight climate change.
7. U.N. Lifts Ban on Caviar Exports from Caspian
The United Nations on Tuesday lifted a year-old embargo on exports of most types of caviar from the Caspian Sea, the main source of the delicacy, despite the fact that stocks are continuing to decline.
8. Edward James Olmos Accuses Puerto Rico, Washington of Delaying Vieques Bombing Range Cleanup
Edward James Olmos criticized the United States and Puerto Rico on Tuesday for not moving faster to clean up the site of a former bombing range on Vieques Island. Olmos, an Oscar nominee, said officials "have done nothing" to restore an area that environmentalists say is tainted by dangerous pollutants nearly four years after the departure of the U.S. Navy.
9. Arizona Tests Wildlife 'Crosswalk'
A experimental electronic "crosswalk" designed to keep Arizona's animals and drivers safe will begin operating east of Payson for the first time this month. The high-tech crossing is part of an extensive system of wildlife underpasses and electrified fencing along a three-mile stretch of Arizona 260 about seven miles east of Payson.
10. For Extreme Tree Hunters, Redwoods Rule
Equipped with a laser range finder, a head for numbers and an explorer's zeal, Michael Taylor has made a sport of finding and sizing up the tallest species on the planet, California's ancient coast redwoods.
Photo: Grand Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Jim Peaco/National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior.