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Amazon Deforestation ‘Threshold’ Causes Species Loss to Accelerate

        

Corn plantation nearby remaining forest in the Amazon region.  Credit: Jose Manuel Ochoa-Quintero

One of the largest area studies of forest loss impacting biodiversity shows that a third of the Amazon is headed toward or has just past a threshold of forest cover below which species loss is faster and more damaging. Researchers call for conservation policy to switch from targeting individual landowners to entire regions.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH STUDY - Thresholds of species loss in Amazonian deforestation frontier landscapes

University of Cambridge - cam.ac.uk - March 4, 2015

One of the first studies to map the impact of deforestation on biodiversity across entire regions of the Amazon has found a clear ‘threshold’ for forest cover below which species loss becomes more rapid and widespread.    

By measuring the loss of a core tranche of dominant species of large and medium-sized mammals and birds, and using the results as a bellwether, the researchers found that for every 10% of forest loss, one to two major species are wiped out.

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UN Warns World Could Have 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030

CLICK HERE - The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

CLICK HERE - REPORT - The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015 (139 page .PDF report)

phys.org - by Hillel Italie - March 20, 2015

The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a U.N. report warned Friday.

The report predicts global water demand will increase 55 percent by 2050, while reserves dwindle. If current usage trends don't change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030, it said.

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What the collapse of ancient capitals can teach us about the cities of today

At its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Khmer capital of Angkor sprawled over 1,000 square kilometres. Photograph: Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

Image: At its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Khmer capital of Angkor sprawled over 1,000 square kilometres. Photograph: Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

theguardian.com - January 14th, 2015 - Srinath Perur

After existing for more than a thousand years, the Mayan city of Tikal collapsed in the ninth century. At about the same time, halfway around the world, the city of Angkor was being founded. It would be the grand capital of the Khmer kingdom for six centuries before itself being abandoned.

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What killed the Maya? 'Blue Hole' offers clues

Sediment analysis of Belize's Blue Hole indicates that a first-millennium drought may have led to Mayan decline.

Image: Sediment analysis of Belize's Blue Hole indicates that a first-millennium drought may have led to Mayan decline.

edition.cnn.com - January 2nd 2015 - Todd Leopold

To scuba divers and tourists, Belize's famous "Blue Hole" underwater cave is a wonder, one of the "10 most amazing places on Earth," according to the Discovery Channel.

To scientists, it's something more: evidence of the drought that is suspected to have led to the demise of the Mayan civilization.

New research reinforces that theory, Rice University Earth scientist Andre Droxler told LiveScience.

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Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD

phys.org - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .

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CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest

 

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Kenya - Alert Out as 10,000 Face Starvation

reliefweb.int - nation.co.ke - by Daniel Tsuma Nyassy - April 16, 2014

An estimated 10,000 people in parts of Kinango constituency, Kwale, urgently need food assistance.

The semi-arid area has been ravaged by drought for the past three years.

Area residents survive on roots and wild fruits.

Their MP, Mr Gonzi Rai, and Mackinnon Road ward representative Musa Ahmed have urged the government to intervene.

Mr Ahmed said hardest-hit areas are Vigurungani, Makamini, Taru, Chengoni, Samburu, Chigutu, Malomani and Ndavaya.

“The situation is bad. We are calling for immediate intervention. People are now feeding on mtunguru (roots) and matopole (wild fruits) to survive,” he said in Mombasa.

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Shameful Attitude to Vulnerable Displaced Shown by Leadership of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

      

Displaced people live in appalling conditions in a flood-prone part of a UN compound.  Photo: Aurelie Baumel/MSF

msf.org - April 9, 2014

In a shocking display of indifference, senior United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) officials have refused to improve living conditions for 21,000 displaced people living in a flood-prone part of a UN compound, exposed to waterborne diseases and potential epidemics. Despite repeated requests from humanitarian organisations, UNMISS is taking no actions in the camp to improve their chances of survival. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today questions the UN’s commitment to meeting the needs of the war-torn country’s most vulnerable groups and calls for immediate action to save lives in Tomping camp.

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Ecological Footprint of Consumption Compared to Biocapacity

This map compares each country's total consumption Footprint with the biocapacity available within its own borders.

Many countries rely, in net terms, on the biocapacity of other nations to meet domestic demands for goods and services. For example: Japan imports Ecuadorian wood to make paper; Europe imports meat fed on Brazilian soy; the United States imports Peruvian cotton; and China obtains lumber from Tanzania.

  • World Total Biocapacity: 1.78 gha per capita
  • World Ecological Footprint of Consumption: 2.7 gha per capita (i.e. we are using more resources than the Earth can provide.)

Currently less than 20 percent of the world's population living in countries that can keep up with their own demands.

What is a global hectare (gha)?

A global hectare is a common unit that encompasses the average productivity of all the biologically productive land and sea area in the world in a given year. Biologically productive areas include cropland, forest and fishing grounds, and do not include deserts, glaciers and the open ocean.

Data source: Global Footprint Network's 2010 Edition.

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Nasa-Funded Study: Industrial Civilisation Headed for Irreversible Collapse?

      

This Nasa Earth Observatory image shows a storm system circling around an area of extreme low pressure in 2010, which many scientists attribute to climate change. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system

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theguardian.com - by Nafeez Ahmed - March 14, 2014

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

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Al Gore: world is on brink of 'carbon bubble'

, environment correspondent. theguardian.com, Thursday 31 October 2013 21.08 EDT

The world is on the brink of the "largest bubble ever" in finance, because of the undisclosed value of high-carbon assets on companies' balance sheets, and investment managers who fail to take account of the risks are failing in their fiduciary duty to shareholders and investors, Al Gore and his investment partner, David Blood, have said.

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