• Wildlife in the firing line in global war against bovine TB

    Where there are cattle, there is the threat of bovine Tuberculosis (TB). The farming methods may differ greatly, but from the dairy farms of Ethiopia to the beef herds of Canada the race is on to find the best way to tackle the disease. In the 1920s control measures began in developed parts of the world. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, many countries have reduced or eliminated bovine TB from their cattle population; but infections remain in the UK, Western Europe, North America and New Zealand. >> Read the Full Article
  • Increased Monsoon Rainfall Expected with Global Warming

    When we hear about monsoons, we often think about the rainy phase of a season usually occurring in tropical climates. Even though monsoons are associated with much more than just rainfall, as global warming occurs, these complex systems will have several repercussions for precipitation. For example, with warming air, there is potential for a higher holding capacity for rain. In addition, any cooling in the higher atmosphere can change current air pressures thus affecting rainfall patterns. This has consequences of increased flooding, implications to national water supply, and a potential loss of agricultural productivity due to crop failure for countries across the globe. >> Read the Full Article
  • Crop Yields

    According to the Malthusian theory of population, population increases in a geometrical ratio, whereas food supply increases in an arithmetic ratio. He was wrong because technology pushed improvements in yield at a far faster pace than population could grow. Still the idea is simple: There is only so much food that can be produced and if population grows then some one will starve Crop yields worldwide are not increasing quickly enough to support estimated global needs in 2050, according to a study published June 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Deepak Ray and colleagues from the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota. >> Read the Full Article
  • Seabirds face big problems as sea levels rise

    Migratory shorebird populations are at great risk from rising sea levels due to global climate change, warns a recent paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. These birds play an important role in the distribution of nutrients within wetland and coastal ecosystems, and their loss could have unknown consequences for the rest of the world. Many scientists have documented the accelerated melting of land ice that had led to higher sea levels, but until now researchers have not known how this would impact shorebirds. But utilizing a mathematical technique that models flow of water through a pipeline, scientists have developed an innovative method to measure the effect habitat loss on shorebirds. >> Read the Full Article
  • Wildlife Migration Detours

    Migration is a strategy used by many mammals in order to take advantage of food, shelter, and water that vary with seasons. Interestingly, there is strong evidence that genetics plays a role in migratory behavior that animals inherit. Many species rely not only on their senses to help them navigate, but they can also use mental maps to guide them to where they are supposed to go. But with considerable human development, how are animals supposed to find their way? According to research conducted by the University of Washington, half a dozen areas could experience heavier migration traffic compared with the average species-movement across the Western Hemisphere in response to a warming climate. >> Read the Full Article
  • Hawaii's Fishermen: Scapegoats for Forces Outside their Control

    Climate change is affecting fisheries in the Western Pacific and around the world, but a host of other factors, including land use, are threatening fisheries and the health and integrity of marine ecosystems. Aiming for sustainable fisheries, marine policymakers, resource managers, fishermen and other stakeholders are increasingly looking to take a more holistic, integrated approach to fisheries management, as evidenced during the latest meeting of the Western Regional Fishery Management Council (WRFMC) meeting, which was held in Oahu. Often blamed for overexploiting fish stocks, local fishermen in Hawaii are keenly aware of external impacts on the health and integrity of marine ecosystems and fish populations. At the latest WRFMC meeting in Honolulu, they argued in support of taking a more comprehensive ecosystems management approach, specifically zooming in on how land use and associated runoff from cities, agriculture and industry are harming marine ecosystems and fisheries. >> Read the Full Article
  • Aquatic Environment Biodiversity Threatened by Pesticides

    The use of pesticides have been debated for some time now, as research indicates their use can have a negative effect on the environment. As an agent meant to prevent, destroy or mitigate any pest, pesticides target unwanted plants and animals that can alter ecosystems, cause nuisance, or spread disease. Besides potentially being toxic to humans and other animals, new research conducted by an international team of scientists has revealed that pesticides are responsible for reducing regional biodiversity of invertebrates by up to 42 percent. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Jet Stream and Greenland

    There are many dynamics in the world. There are many global phenomena. Add the the jet stream to climate change. Research from the University of Sheffield has shown that unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in the summer 2012. An international team led by Professor Edward Hanna from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography used a computer model simulation (called SnowModel) and satellite data to confirm a record surface melting of the GrIS for at least the last 50 years - when on 11 July 2012, more than 90 percent of the ice-sheet surface melted. This far exceeded the previous surface melt extent record of 52 percent in 2010. >> Read the Full Article
  • Flying Thunder

    Jets are quite loud especially if they fly over your home much less for those closer like passengers or those at an airport. When jet-powered passenger aircraft first went into service in the 1950s, their engines were as loud as rock bands. Times have changed, but public dismay over jet noise has not. EurActiv reports from the Paris Air Show. Today’s engines are on average 75% quieter than those produced at the dawn of the jet age. This is the result, manufacturers say, of steady technological improvements that along with more aerodynamic aircraft have reduced the nuisance of flying for passengers and those on the ground. >> Read the Full Article
  • Energy saving measures boost house prices, new research reveals

    Energy saving improvements made to a property could increase its value by 14 per cent on average - and up to 38 per cent in some parts of England - new research has shown. For an average home in the country, improving its EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) from band G to E, or from band D to B, could mean adding more than £16,000 ($25,000 USD) to the sale price of the property. >> Read the Full Article