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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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Study Finds Global Warming as Threat to 1 in 6 Species

The American pika lives in rocky mountain areas and boulder-covered hillsides. In recent years, it  has been retreating to higher elevations. Since the 1990s, some pika populations along the species’ southernmost ranges have vanished. Credit Science SourceImage: The American pika lives in rocky mountain areas and boulder-covered hillsides. In recent years, it  has been retreating to higher elevations. Since the 1990s, some pika populations along the species’ southernmost ranges have vanished. Credit Science Source

nytimes.com - April 30th 2015 - Carl Zimmer

Climate change could drive to extinction as many as one in six animal and plant species, according to a new analysis.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut, also found that as the planet warms in the future, species will disappear at an accelerating rate.

“We have the choice,” he said in an interview. “The world can decide where on that curve they want the future Earth to be.”

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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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Ebola outbreak threatens peace, security, WHO chief says

GENEVA — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is “unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times,” Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, said Monday.

Chan, who dealt with the 2009 avian flu pandemic and the SARS outbreaks of 2002-03, said the Ebola outbreak had progressed from a public health crisis to “a crisis for international peace and security.”

“I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments in already very poor countries,” she said in a statement delivered on her behalf to a conference in Manila, Philippines, and released by her office in Geneva. “I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure.”

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Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF

Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland stand in stark contrast to icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Global Warming Images/WWF-Canon Image:  Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland stand in stark contrast to icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Global Warming Images/WWF-Canon

theguardian.com - September 29th, 2014 - Damian Carrington

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.

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Get Smarter on Agriculture and Climate

David Cleary Director of Agriculture Nature ConservancyBy David Cleary - Sep 22, 2014 - environmentalleader.com

In a somber scene-setter for the upcoming climate summit in New York, the UN’s meteorological office, The World Meteorological Organization, released a report showing that world carbon emissions in 2013 reached a record high, and atmospheric carbon is increasing at the fastest rate seen in over thirty years. Some hard questions are facing the international order, which has spent much of that period in an interminable round of meetings meant to combat climate change. Against this backdrop, the pertinent question the UN report raises is: why bother? If we appear to be losing the battle, what difference does yet another meeting and round of press conferences make, other than to traffic conditions in lower Manhattan?

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Ban Ki-moon: 'World living in an era of unprecedented level of crises'

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

Julian Borger - New York The Guardian
21 Sep 2014 16.55 BST

More than 140 heads of state and government fly in to New York this week for the United Nations general assembly amid apprehension that international order is unraveling at an accelerating pace, while the world's leaders seem ever less willing or able to deal with the proliferating threats.

The UN's humanitarian agencies are in danger of being completely overwhelmed by the multiple crises. Ebola is spreading rapidly across West Africa, swamping rickety national health systems and a thus-far underfunded UN effort to stop its advance. The spread of Islamic State (Isis) extremists in the Middle East, feeding on the destruction of the Syrian civil war and exposing the weakness of the Iraqi state, has similarly outpaced patchy international efforts at containment.

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Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Fracking Waste Disposal Fuels Opposition in U.S. and Abroad

In England, the government approved the injection of a million and a half gallons of potentially radioactive water under the North Moors National Park. Photo credit: SpinwatchAnastasia Pantsios | August 14, 2014 11:50 am

Spinwatch’s Andy Rowell reports:

The commercial success of the Ebberston Moor field depends on Third Energy being allowed to re-inject the potentially radioactive water that is produced with the gas back into what is known as the Sherwood Sandstone formation, which overlies the limestone where the gas will be extracted from. The sandstone lies 1400 metres below the ground. Notes of a meeting between Third Energy and the regulator involved, the Environment Agency, disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), reveals that “the success of the Ebberston Moor Field is dependent on the disposal of [produced] water to the Sherman Sandstone.”

http://ecowatch.com/2014/08/14/fracking-waste-disposal-opposition/2/

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Ebola Also Devastates Wild Ape Population

Mrithi, a 20-year-old male western lowland gorilla.

Steve Baragona - August 13, 2014 9:03 AM

One day in 1996, boys from a village in northern Gabon brought home a chimpanzee they found dead in the forest. The villagers butchered it for food.

That act set off an Ebola outbreak that killed 21 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Years later, on a reporting trip in Gabon, author David Quammen met two men from the village who were there during the outbreak.

At the time Ebola was ravaging their village and their families, they noticed something strange. In the forest nearby, 13 gorillas lay dead.

http://www.voanews.com/content/ebola-also-devastates-wild-ape-population/2411749.html

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