• Indigenous peoples win conservation successes in Chile

    A near 20 year struggle for land rights and conservation of their rare Araucaria forests for an indigenous Pehuenche community of the Andes range has been rewarded with a grant of title to 22,000 acres of land in southern Chile. Also in December, the Huiliche indigenous community of Mapu Lahual received a prestigious Seal Award from Chilean president Michelle Bachelet for the contribution of their local development and conservation project to one of the most isolated and poorest areas of coastal Chile. This project, “Strenghtening Governance and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Huilliche Territoty of Mapu Lahual” is being carried out by WWF Chile and the Mapu Lahual indigenous Association. >> Read the Full Article
  • Claimants tiptoe around lucrative Antarctic rights

    TROLL STATION, Antarctica (Reuters) - Nations claiming parts of Antarctica are quietly staking out rights to the seabed, in stark contrast to the North Pole where Russia ostentatiously planted a flag to back its claim. "We have a vessel making seismic surveys of the continental shelf," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters at the Troll research station, 155 miles inland in a part of Antarctica claimed by Oslo. >> Read the Full Article
  • U.N. aid chief worried by food inflation, weather

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Rising food prices and extreme weather are sparking more humanitarian disasters around the world, the United Nations' top official for emergency relief warned on Tuesday. Fourteen out of 15 U.N. "flash appeals" for help last year were a response to devastation caused by droughts, floods and hurricanes, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antarctica on alert for alien invaders

    Aliens are landing in Antarctica. Seeds, spores, mites, lichens and mosses alien to the continent have been brought unwittingly by scientists and tourists, and could disrupt life in the icy wilderness. Antarctica is best known for penguins as well as seals and whales, but scientists are finding a host of other tiny organisms from springtails -- closely related to insects -- to mosses. >> Read the Full Article
  • As Supplies Dry Up, Growers Pass on Farming and Sell Water

    The shortages this season among the most intense of the last decade are already shooting water prices skyward in many areas, and Los Angeles-area cities are begging for water and coaxing farmers to let their fields go to dust. "It just makes dollars and sense right now," said Bruce Rolen, a third-generation farmer in Northern California's lush Sacramento Valley. "There's more economic advantage to fallowing than raising a crop." >> Read the Full Article
  • Lofty Himalaya magnify global warming impact

    DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Himalayas are suffering the effects of global warming more acutely because of their height and melting glaciers could flood local settlements, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) said on Thursday. "The Himalaya, that's really moving very fast. They're being hit very hard," IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre told Reuters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. >> Read the Full Article
  • Bondi Beach placed on protected heritage list

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Bondi Beach, the country's most famous strip of sand, was placed on the National Heritage List on Friday to protect its sand, cliffs, waves, parks and surf lifesaving clubs. Sydney's Bondi is Australia's third most visited landmark and local officials say it is being loved to death, with traffic gridlock on summer days and massive amounts of day-tripper rubbish. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Zealand PM warns off Japanese whalers

    WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark warned Japanese whaling ships on Friday that surveillance photos of the fleet revealing their location would be published if they entered New Zealand's Antarctic waters. Japan's six-ship whaling fleet has been trying to avoid anti-whaling protest ships in the Southern Ocean after protesters stopped whaling operations when two activists boarded a whaling ship and another group stopped a whaling ship refueling. >> Read the Full Article
  • Why Diatoms could help stop global warming

    The shells of diatoms are so heavy that when they die in the oceans they typically sink to watery graves on the seafloor, taking carbon out of the surface waters and locking it into sediments below. Scientists have reported the discovery of whole subsets of genes and proteins that govern how one species of diatom builds its shell. For oceanographers, the work might one day help them understand how thousands of different kinds of diatoms -- and their ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere -- might be affected by something like global climate change. Material scientists involved in the work are interested in the possibilities of manipulating the genes responsible for silica production as a way of fabricating more efficient computer chips. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antarctic Ice Loss Dangerously Fast

    New studies show that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting faster than previously anticipated. If this jump is indicative of a trend due to global warming the entire antarctic ecology could be threatened much sooner than expected.
    In a first-of-its-kind study, an international team led by Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California, Irvine, estimated changes in Antarctica's ice mass between 1996 and 2006 and mapped patterns of ice loss on a glacier-by-glacier basis. >> Read the Full Article