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The Diversity of Life Across Much of Earth Has Plunged Below ‘Safe’ Levels

An aerial view shows a tract of Amazon rain forest that has been cleared by loggers and farmers for agriculture near the city of Santarem, Para State, April 20, 2013. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Science - Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - July 14, 2016

In an ambitious study that represents the latest merger between big data approaches and the quest to conserve the planet, scientists have found that across a majority of the Earth’s land surface — including some of its most important types of terrain and its most populous regions — the abundance or overall number of animals and plants of different species has fallen below a “safe” level identified by biologists.

The reason is not exactly a surprise — from grasslands to tropical forests, humans are using more and more land for agriculture, to live on, to build roads and infrastructure upon. When we take over, we clear the land or otherwise convert it for our purposes.

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Climate Change and Ecosystem Services in Sierra Leone

By Dr. Kolleh A Bangura

To assist Sierra Leone protected areas in building their resilience to climate change, the PARCC (Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change) project has assessed future climate impacts of land use change on ecosystem services in Sierra Leone. This includes applying five spatially detailed regional climate model projections developed for the project and scenarios of future land use change.

This article summarizes the main features of projected climate impacts on ecosystem services and their implications for focus project areas in Sierra Leone and future national planning. Findings from the latest annual assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are referred to in order to provide guidance on the way to interpret these results.

Climate Projections

The projections for mean annual temperature in Sierra Leone for the end of the 21st century are for significant increases (with very high confidence):

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Ministry of Fisheries Surprises Critics, Scoops Le40 Billion

 

The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Mr. Charles Rogers, has disclosed that despite the devastating effect of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on the national economy for sixteen (16) months, the Ministry managed to raise a maximum different from the normal years.

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Australia's Great Barrier Reef hit by 'worst' bleaching

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure and can be seen from space.

Image: The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure and can be seen from space.

bbc.com - March 29th 2016

Evidence that Australia's Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst coral bleaching on record has renewed calls for the UN to list it as "in-danger".

The National Coral Bleaching Taskforce says 95% of reefs from Cairns to Papua New Guinea are now severely bleached.

It says only four reefs out of 520 have no evidence of bleaching.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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NOAA: Salt Marshes Combat Climate Change

             

Shorebirds feed in the shallows of Estero Bay State Preserve.  In the background are black mangroves, which are part of a salt marsh, which absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide.  (Photo: File photo by Andrew West)

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - PLOS One - Living Shorelines: Coastal Resilience with a Blue Carbon Benefit

news-press.com - by Chad Gillis - December 24, 2015

Natural, living shorelines in areas like the Gulf of Mexico absorb a lot of carbon dioxide and will help blunt the effects of climate change.

And coastal wetlands store several times the amount that can be absorbed by mature tropical forests, the research shows.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied wetlands in North Carolina and reports that plants, sand and rocks are better for the environment than man-made features like concrete sea walls and high-rise condominiums.

The report, published earlier this month in the journal PLOS One, shows that natural features in coastal areas help keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lower.

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At Climate Talks, African Nations Pledge to Restore Forests

         

FILE - In this Sunday, March 21, 2010 file photo, shafts of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy strike smoke from fires burning outside family huts at an Mbuti pygmy hunting camp in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve outside the town of Epulu, Congo. Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the U.N. climate change talks in Paris on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (Rebecca Blackwell,File/Associated Press)

CLICK HERE - World Resources Institute - African Countries Launch AFR100 to Restore 100 Million Hectares of Land

CLICK HERE - African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)

CLICK HERE - Global Landscapes Forum

washingtonpost.com - by Lynsey Chutel - December 6, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the United Nations climate talks on Sunday.

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Warming Oceans Putting Marine Life ‘In a Blender’

 A lobsterman threw back a lobster near Mount Desert, Me. in 2012. The catch in the area has reached record highs. Credit Robert F Bukaty/Associated Press

Image:  A lobsterman threw back a lobster near Mount Desert, Me. in 2012. The catch in the area has reached record highs. Credit Robert F Bukaty/Associated Press

nytimes.com - September 3rd, 2015 - Carl Zimmer

Up in Maine, lobsters are thriving. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission reported last month that stocks there have reached a record high.

Down the coast, however, the story is different.

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Study calls humans unsustainable “super predators”

A hunter in camoflauge, sitting next to another hunger, takes aim with a firearm.

Image: A hunter in camoflauge, sitting next to another hunger, takes aim with a firearm.

slashgear.com - August 21st, 2015 - Chris Burns

A ten-year study is published on "the unique ecology of human predators", showing mankind to be an unsustainable threat to all wildlife on our planet. This paper, authored by C. Darimont, C. Fox, H. Bryan, and T. Reimchen, compares the predatory patterns of humans to all other predators on the planet. They show that humans kill adult prey at a median rate up to 14 times higher than other predators, with "particularly intense exploitation" of terrestrial carnivores and fish.

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Today, Humanity Has Spent Our Planet's Budget for the Entire Year

                

Citizens of the Planet/UIG via Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - by Marco Lambertini and Mathis Wackernagel - August 13, 2015

When a country plummets into a massive financial deficit, it attracts worldwide attention. Yet countries today are largely ignoring another form of overspending: their ecological deficits. This is putting economies and citizens alike at even more risk. 

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CLICK HERE - Ecological Footprint Accounting Tool

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Revealed: The Ocean's Tiniest Life At The Bottom Of The Food Chain

Plankton collected in the Pacific Ocean with a 0.1mm mesh net. Seen here is a mix of multicellular organisms — small zooplanktonic animals, larvae and single protists (diatoms, dinoflagellates, radiolarians) — the nearly invisible universe at the bottom of the marine food chain. Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions

Image: Plankton collected in the Pacific Ocean with a 0.1mm mesh net. Seen here is a mix of multicellular organisms — small zooplanktonic animals, larvae and single protists (diatoms, dinoflagellates, radiolarians) — the nearly invisible universe at the bottom of the marine food chain. Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions 

npr.org - May 22, 2015 - Christopher Joyce

What's at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain? Well, think small ... smaller than you can see.

Tiny life forms in the ocean, too small for the naked eye to see.

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