• Indian law 'strangulates' biodiversity research

    [NEW DELHI] A group of Indian botanists say that the country's stringent biodiversity laws are stifling research. In an article in the latest issue of Current Science (25 January), published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, the scientists say India's "draconian" rules on free exchange of biological samples could "totally isolate Indian biodiversity researchers and is akin to a self-imposed siege on scientists in the country". >> Read the Full Article
  • California to Require Net-Zero-Energy Buildings

    Every two years, the California Energy Commission (CEC) releases an Integrated Energy Policy Report in which it makes recommendations for energy policy in the state, including changes to Title 24, the energy efficiency portion of the building codes. In its 2007 report, CEC recommends adjusting Title 24 to require net-zero-energy performance in residential buildings by 2020 and in commercial buildings by 2030. According to Panama Bartholomy of CEC, the commission does not need new legislation to incorporate these goals and is already moving to put them in place. “The 2008 standards will get us closer to these recommendations,” he said, referring to the Title 24 update currently moving through the state’s rulemaking process. >> Read the Full Article
  • Dutch mull ideas to defend coast from rising seas

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch water experts met on Monday to look at ways of protecting the nation's fragile coast from rising sea levels, including one proposal to build man-made islands -- one in the shape of a massive tulip. "We will discuss plans that can change the Netherlands forever," Economy Minister Maria van der Hoeven told the meeting at a seaside hotel in Scheveningen overlooking the North Sea. >> Read the Full Article
  • Roost Of Millions Of Migratory Swallows Threatened

    Wildlife Conservation Society scientists say the site is only one of two known roosts in Cross River State, a coastal region in southeastern Nigeria. The site is approximately two kilometers outside of Cross River National Park. Preliminary surveys by WCS indicate that the site may attract millions of swallows and be of international significance. The roost appears to be under threat of destruction from advancing farms and may require conservation measures to survive, according to WCS, which has already contacted park officials to see if the roost can be formally protected. >> Read the Full Article
  • China battles "coldest winter in 100 years"

    CHENZHOU, China (Reuters) - Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.

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  • Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls

    A warming global ocean — influencing the winds that shear off the tops of developing storms — could mean fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States according to new findings by NOAA climate scientists. Furthermore, the relative warming role of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans is important for determining Atlantic hurricane activity. >> Read the Full Article
  • Agriculture is Altering Mississippi River Chemistry

    BATON ROUGE, Louisiana - Over the past 50 years, farming has altered the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River, injecting more carbon dioxide into the river and raising river discharge, finds a study by researchers at Louisiana State and Yale universities. LSU Professor R. Eugene Turner and graduate student Whitney Broussard, along with their colleagues at Yale, tracked changes in the discharge of water and the concentration of bicarbonate, which forms when carbon dioxide in soil water dissolves rock minerals. >> Read the Full Article
  • African quakes kill at least 30

    KIGALI (Reuters) - Earthquakes struck Rwanda and neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, killing at least 30 people and seriously injuring 350 more, officials said. The two quakes struck close together in Africa's Great Lakes region hours apart along the western Great Rift Valley fault. >> Read the Full Article
  • Dutch to explore new ways to defend coastline

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Friday it would explore new ways of protecting its coastline from the effects of climate change, including the use of ground-breaking sensor technology. The Netherlands, which has a quarter of its territory below sea level, will spend 22 million euros ($32.7 million) on anti-flooding projects. Companies and research organizations will contribute an additional 23 million euros. >> Read the Full Article
  • Caviar export quota undermines harvesting ban

    Russia's application for a caviar export quota makes nonsense of a commercial caviar harvesting ban intended to help the recovery of the decimated sturgeon populations of the Caspian Sea basin, WWF Russia has claimed. "If the Government allows export, de-facto it allows commercial sturgeon fishing," says Alexey Vaisman, Senior Programme Officer for Europe-Russia for Traffic, the world wildlife trade monitoring network which is a joint programme of WWF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). >> Read the Full Article