ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news November 27th - December 1st: Forest fragmentation, a poultry kill, flood-tolerant rice, Great Lakes and sewage, the e-waste menace, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news November 27th - December 1st: Forest fragmentation, a poultry kill, flood-tolerant rice, Great Lakes and sewage, the e-waste menace, and much more.
1. Global Warming Case Goes before U.S. Supreme Court
Environmental groups and a dozen states will argue the U.S. government should regulate emissions of greenhouse gases that spur global warming in a pivotal case before the Supreme Court Wednesday.
2. Forest Fragmentation Hurts Amazon Biodiversity
Chopping up the dense forests of the Amazon lets hot winds blow in and around ancient trees, killing them off hundreds of years early, researchers reported Monday. Many species of trees, and other plants and animals that depend on them, are disappearing more quickly than most experts anticipated.
3. Alaska to Strip Companies of Oil and Gas Leases
The state of Alaska plans to strip oil companies of their leases on the Point Thomson oil and gas field after finding the primary lease holder, Exxon Mobil Corp., failed to come up with a viable plan for developing the field's vast reserves.
4. South Korea in Huge Poultry Cull to Halt Bird Flu
South Korea will cull more than half a million fowl in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, having already killed 150,000 chickens near farms where the virus was found, officials said on Thursday.
5. New Flood-Tolerant Rice Could Help Farmers and Environment
A new variety of flood-tolerant rice soon could make its way from the lab to the field, offering California rice farmers and environmental advocates a potential weapon against both crop-ravaging weeds and water pollution.
6. Study Finds Great Lakes Threatened by Aging Sewage Systems
The untreated urban sewage and effluents that flow into the Great Lakes each year are threatening a critical ecosystem that supplies water to millions of people, according to a study by a Canadian environmental group.
7. U.S. Opposes European Global Warming Cuts Scheme for Airliners
The Bush administration opposes European plans to require airlines to curb greenhouse gases on grounds it would unfairly disadvantage U.S. carriers. Technically, the European Commission is not proposing a tax. Instead, it is writing rules to require that airlines trade carbon emissions.
8. U.N. Meeting to Tackle Growing E-Waste Menace
Western donations of old computers, mobile phones and televisions could be toxic "hand-me-downs" posing a hazard to the environment of poor countries, a major U.N. conference will hear this week.Delegations from some 120 nations meeting for five days of talks in Kenya will focus on the estimated 20-50 million tonnes of so-called "e-waste" generated globally each year.
9. Recent Sea Lion Attacks in California Challenge Animal's Cuddly and Playful Image
For many tourists who flock to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, the real stars are the dozens of playful, whiskered sea lions that lounge by the water's edge, gulping down fish. Now a series of sea-lion attacks on people in recent months has led experts to warn that the animals are not as cute and cuddly as they appear.
10. California 'Green Tuners' Clamor for Plug-In Cars
a growing number of environmentalists are pushing auto companies to produce plug-in hybrids to reduce U.S. oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from auto traffic. This push is especially strong in California, whose tough regulations have encouraged the big automakers to test a range of alternatives to traditional gas engines.
Photo: A young man walks past some polluted farm land in Rukpokwu, Nigeria. Photo credit: Â© IRIN.