• Woody and aquatic plants pose greatest invasive threat to China

    Although China currently has fewer invasive woody plants than the United States, China’s potential for invasion by nonnative trees and shrubs is high, according to an article in the May 2008 issue of BioScience. Authors Ewald Weber, of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and Bo Li, of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, examined the factors associated with alien plant species invasions and compared the history of alien plant species introductions in the United States and China, countries of similar size and latitudinal span. >> Read the Full Article
  • World's largest lake warming rapidly: scientists

    Siberia's Lake Baikal has warmed faster than global air temperatures over the past 60 years, which could put animals unique to the world's largest lake in jeopardy, U.S. and Russian scientists said. The lake has warmed 1.21 degrees Celsius (2.18 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1946 due to climate change, almost three times faster than global air temperatures, according to a paper by the scientists to be published next month in the journal "Global Change Biology." >> Read the Full Article
  • President Uses High Gas Prices to Bushwhack Arctic Refuge

    Gas prices are sending everyone into a state of hysteria. But the fact that the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing should come as no surprise to anyone: the planet has a limited amount of petroleum, and people have been using it up as fast as it gets sucked out of the ground, processed in a refinery, and trucked to the nearest pump. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate change hitting Arctic faster, harder

    Climate change is having a greater and faster impact on the Arctic than previously thought, according to a new study by the global conservation organization WWF. The new report, called Arctic Climate Impact Science – An Update Since ACIA, represents the most wide-ranging reviews of arctic climate impact science since the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) was published in 2005. The new study found that change was occurring in all arctic systems, impacting on the atmosphere and oceans, sea ice and ice sheets, snow and permafrost, as well as species and populations, food webs, ecosystems and human societies. >> Read the Full Article
  • Asian vultures disappearing faster than dodo

    LONDON (Reuters) - Wild Asian vultures could become extinct in 10 years unless officials stop the use of a livestock drug that has caused the birds to decline faster than the dodo, British and Indian scientists said on Wednesday. A new study shows the population of oriental white-backed vultures has plunged 99.9 percent since 1992 while the numbers of two species, the long-billed and slender-billed vultures, together have fallen by nearly 97 percent. >> Read the Full Article
  • Desalination Raises Environmental, Cost Concerns

    As global freshwater reserves dry up, desalination plants are receiving greater attention as an option for providing both drinking water supplies and agricultural irrigation. But a new study released on Thursday raises several concerns about the environmental impact and cost effectiveness of the widely touted technology to convert seawater to fresh water. Desalination plants pose a risk to marine species when the water is collected from ocean areas, as well as when the salty discharge is deposited into coastal estuaries, according to the report, which was released by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC). >> Read the Full Article
  • Making a Killing from the Food Crisis

    The world food crisis is hurting a lot of people, but global agribusiness firms, traders and speculators are raking in huge profits. Much of the news coverage of the world food crisis has focussed on riots in low-income countries, where workers and others cannot cope with skyrocketing costs of staple foods. But there is another side to the story: the big profits that are being made by huge food corporations and investors. >> Read the Full Article
  • Poor children main victims of climate change: U.N.

    Millions of the world's poorest children are among the most vulnerable and unwitting victims of climate change caused by the rich developed world, a United Nations report said on Tuesday, calling for urgent action. The UNICEF report "Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility" measured action on targets set in the Millennium Development Goals to halve child poverty by 2015. It found failure on counts from health to survival, education and sex equality. >> Read the Full Article
  • Australia splashes A$13 bln to secure water supplies

    The Australian government outlined plans to secure water supplies and repair ailing rivers on Tuesday, to protect the nation's drought-hit food bowl, which produces about A$22 billion ($21 billion) worth of food exports. The A$13 billion 10-year water plan includes A$3 billion to buy river water back from irrigators in the Murray-Darling River basin, which produces 41 percent of Australia's agriculture, as well as money to secure water for the nation's thirsty cities. >> Read the Full Article
  • Insects Use Plants Like A Telephone

    Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones. Subterranean insects issue chemical warning signals via the leaves of the plant. This way, aboveground insects are alerted that the plant is already ‘occupied’. Aboveground, leaf-eating insects prefer plants that have not yet been occupied by subterranean root-eating insects. Subterranean insects emit chemical signals via the leaves of the plant, which warn the aboveground insects about their presence. This messaging enables spatially-separated insects to avoid each other, so that they do not unintentionally compete for the same plant. >> Read the Full Article