• War-torn Vietnam Attempts to Replant its Forests

    There are few regions around the world that have seen less battle in the last 50 years than Vietnam. The conflict during the 1960s and early 1970s left a huge impact of the country's natural ecosystems. Then after the war, agriculture and the logging industry destroyed even larger areas. Now, a consensus on how to replant the forests remains elusive. >> Read the Full Article
  • Gov. Paterson Proposes Eliminating New York Participation in Federal Superfund Program

    In a radio interview last week, outgoing New York Governor David Paterson announced his plans to eliminate the state's participation in the federal Superfund cleanup program. The proposal is one of several cuts designed to reduce the state's budget deficit and accommodate the proposed layoffs of an additional 898 state employees by the year's end, including 150 in the Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC"). >> Read the Full Article
  • Oil and ice: a potentially horrible combination

    When writer Anton Chekhov arrived on the Russian island of Sakhalin in 1890, he was overwhelmed by the harsh conditions at the Tsarist penal colony. More than a century on, Sakhalin's prisoners have been replaced by oil and gas workers, most of whom seem to agree that Chekhov's description still fits. The sparsely populated island -- which is the length of Britain -- has some of the most extreme weather on earth. Marine cyclones and violent snowstorms rip through its forested hills, and the ocean waters off its northern coast freeze solid for a good part of the year. In winter, temperatures drop to minus 40 Celsius and snow can pile three meters high. >> Read the Full Article
  • Cool The Earth With Geoengineering? Maybe too risky to try...What could possibly go wrong?

    At a recent meeting in Japan of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, diplomats tried to set some rules for future geoengineers. They issued what some are calling a moratorium on all geoengineering activities until the science is clear and there are global regulations in place. If you want to see what geoengineering might look like, go back to 1991, to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines. The volcano spewed almost 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. Those particles can reflect sunlight back into space, and for a while, that's exactly what happened. Temperatures around the world dropped by an average of half a degree. It turns out you don't need a volcano to get the same effect. Scientists could use airplanes to inject sulfur dioxide directly into the stratosphere and bring down global temperatures. What's more, says David Keith who directs the University of Calgary's Energy and Environmental Systems Group, it would be pretty easy to do. >> Read the Full Article
  • Two degree Celsius climate target may need to be adjusted

    A widely agreed international target to avoid dangerous global warming must take account of local impacts and may need to change, said the chief scientist at the MetOffice Hadley Center, Britain's biggest climate research center. Julia Slingo said the target of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (2C) may need adjusting to take into account research into local and regional effects, particularly on rainfall patterns, as climate science advances. More than 120 nations agreed to the U.N.'s Copenhagen Accord last December which aimed to limit average global warming to less than 2C, in one of the main outcomes of a fractious summit. >> Read the Full Article
  • Locals fighting an Alaskan wilderness mine

    Anglo American promised it would not touch the pristine habitat of Bristol Bay without our blessing. It must honor its word. Among our Alaskan native tribes, a promise made is a promise kept. Such promises over the generations have kept our populations of wild sockeye salmon, which sustain our culture and feed our families, plentiful and healthy. And last year, Cynthia Carroll, chief executive of London-based mining giant Anglo American PLC, made a promise. In a private meeting with Alaskans in London (including one of this piece's authors), Carroll promised her company would not build its proposed Pebble mine if local residents didn't support it. >> Read the Full Article
  • Organic farms better at potato beetle control

    A study suggesting that organic agriculture gives better pest control and larger plants than conventional farming is sure to reignite longstanding debates about the merits of organic versus conventional agriculture. It also highlights an often-neglected aspect of biodiversity. "Organic agriculture promotes more balanced communities of predators," says David Crowder, author of the new study published today in Nature. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate computer game lets you see how our choices can impact climate

    Ever wondered how one person could save the planet from the effects of climate change? A British-made computer game on trial release on Monday creates different ways of doing just that. 'Fate of the World' puts the Earth's future in players' hands, placing them in charge of an international environmental body which could save the world from the effects of rising greenhouse gas emissions or let it perish by continuing to rely on emissions-heavy fossil fuels. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Everglades Rebound

    The Everglades is an extensive wetland system that is actually a sixty mile wide, extremely shallow river that flows from Lake Okeechobee over 100 miles to Florida Bay. Over-development from sugar producers and urban sprawl have put tremendous stress on the entire ecosystem by draining the land and channeling the water. Now, after decades of restoration efforts, the state of the Everglades is beginning to improve. >> Read the Full Article
  • UN biodiversity targets now need to be implemented say campaigners

    Almost every country in the world has signed a UN agreement to attempt to halt biodiversity loss by expanding protected marine and land areas. [There is] broad welcome for new biodiversity targets, including increase in protected areas, but campaigners express concern that previous 2010 targets have still not been met. >> Read the Full Article