Environment - Global
The mission of this Working Group is to enhance our understand and relationship with the environment and ecology.
world.time.com - by Jeffrey Kluger
Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us—Earth.
That changed when NASA created the Landsat program, a series of satellites that would perpetually orbit our planet, looking not out but down. Surveillance spacecraft had done that before, of course, but they paid attention only to military or tactical sites. Landsat was a notable exception, built not for spycraft but for public monitoring of how the human species was altering the surface of the planet. Two generations, eight satellites and millions of pictures later, the space agency, along with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has accumulated a stunning catalog of images that, when riffled through and stitched together, create a high-definition slide show of our rapidly changing Earth. TIME is proud to host the public unveiling of these images from orbit, which for the first time date all the way back to 1984.
Honeybees are vital for pollinating crops - a job that would be very costly without them
bbc.co.uk - April 29, 2013
The European Commission will restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths by researchers, despite a split among EU states on the issue.
There is great concern across Europe about the collapse of bee populations.
Neonicotinoid chemicals in pesticides are believed to harm bees and the European Commission says they should be restricted to crops not attractive to bees and other pollinators.
But many farmers and crop experts argue that there is insufficient data.
Oceana.org April 17, 2013 Jessica Wiseman
Yesterday, Belize’s Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the Government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void, providing a dramatic and potentially definitive setback to The Government of Belize and the petroleum prospecting companies issued the contracts.
The ruling, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall, was in response to a case brought by Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. It effectively ends the Belizean government’s immediate effort to allow offshore oil drilling in the Meso American Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world.
Image: Dennis Meadows
carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de - December 4th, 2012
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Limits to Growth. Not only has this book been translated into more than 30 languages, it has also sold more than 30 million copies, thus making it the highest selling environmental book in world history. The Limits to Growth unleashed a debate that has yet to end.
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19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
inhabitat.com - March 26, 2013 - Timon Singh
19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.
Sea-level rise of 1 m could destroy 60% of developing world's low-lying coastal wetlands. Photo© istockphoto.com.
Sea-level rise by a meter from climate change could destroy more than 60 percent of the developing world’s coastal wetlands currently found at one meter or less elevation.
An estimate of the economic value of the goods and services produced by wetlands at risk is approximately $630 million per year in 2000 U.S. dollars.
A National Guard truck drives through high water on Newark Street in Hoboken, N.J. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 in the wake of superstorm Sandy. AP Photo / Craig Ruttle
nationalpost.com - by Kelly McParland - February 26, 2013
This has to be bad news for environmental activists everywhere: a massive international study, conducted in 33 countries over 17 years, shows that people just don’t care a lot about the environment.
. . . the lack of concern is itself reason for concern.
Retirees do Taichi during their morning exercise on a hazy day in Fuyang city, in central China's Anhui province, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country's rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in car ownership and disregard for environmental laws. (AP Photo)
huffingtonpost.com - by Dominique Mosbergen - February 23, 2013
Image: The Deepwater Horizon blast led to 780m litres of oil escaping into the Gulf of Mexico, affecting wildlife such as pelicans. Photograph: Sean Gardner/Reuters
guardian.co.uk - February 22nd, 2013 - Dominic Rushe
Dolphin calving season has just begun in the Gulf of Mexico and marine biologists are reporting an alarming trend. Between 2000 and 2009, an average of 25 to 30 dolphins were found dead on the beaches of the Gulf each year. This year, 13 dead dolphins were found between 13 January and 14 February alone; 11 were aborted or newborns.
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CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) will celebrate its 40th anniversary on March 3. CITES currently has 176 parties and regulates international trade in about 30.000 endangered species of wild fauna and flora. These species are listed in three different Appendices ( Appendix I, II and III ), according to the degree of protection they need.
Every three years, CITES hosts a meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to review its implementation and, if necessary, to amend the list of species in Appendices I and II. The 16th Conference of the Parties will take place from March 3-14, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
There will be great focus on the ocean at CoP16:
A fisherman displays his haul of Bluefin Tuna.
huffingtonpost.com - by Aaron Sankin - February 22, 2013
Nearly two years after a powerful earthquake triggered a leak at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, the effects of that disaster are still being felt on the other side of the planet.
A report released earlier this month by researchers at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station found that bluefin tuna caught just off the California coast tested positive for radiation stemming from the incident.
The study looked at the levels of radiocesium, one of the most common results of nuclear fission reactions, in Pacific Bluefun Tuna--largely as way to track the species' migratory patterns as the fish make their cross-oceanic journey in search of prey.
Since last month, when the worst flooding in six years hit Jakarta, occupancy at Marunda public housing complex north of Jakarta has jumped.
nytimes.com - by Sara Schonhardt - February 20, 2013
JAKARTA, Indonesia — At the Marunda housing projects in North Jakarta, weeds push up through cracks in concrete foundations and grimy facades beg for paint. The rent-subsidized apartments have little access to public transportation, and drainage ditches that ring each building smell of sewage.
It seems unlikely that people would line up to live here.
Barnards after cyclone Larry. Image: AIMS Long-term Monitoring Team.
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
October 2, 2012
Can we save the Reef by controlling crown of thorns starfish?
(ABSTRACT AND LINK TO STUDY - BELOW)
The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 27 years. The loss was due to storm damage (48%), crown of thorns starfish (42%), and bleaching (10%) according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today by researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville and the University of Wollongong.
"We can't stop the storms but, perhaps we can stop the starfish. If we can, then the Reef will have more opportunity to adapt to the challenges of rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification", says John Gunn, CEO of AIMS.
Image: Actor, filmmaker and environmental advocate Robert Redford. (photo: Contour/Getty Images)
readersupportednews.org - Robert Redford - September 3rd, 2012
From September 6-15, some 10,000 environmentalists will converge on Jeju Island to attend the World Conservation Congress (WCC), organized by the oldest environmental organization, the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN's slogan is that it promotes "a just world that values and conserves nature." If recent actions are any indication, nothing could be further from the truth.
The WCC will take place only a few minutes away from Gangjeong, where the construction of a naval base is threatening one of the planet's most spectacular soft coral forests and other coastal treasures, assaulting numerous endangered species and destroying a 400-year-old sustainable community of local farmers and fishers.
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Image: A cutaway view of Antarctica shows its southern ice sheet. (Map from National Geographic)
news.nationalgeographic.com - Rob Kunzig - August 31st, 2012
Swamp gas trapped under miles of Antarctic ice, a chemical souvenir of that continent's warmer days, may someday escape to warm the planet again, an international team of researchers report in Nature this week.
The researchers suggest that microbes isolated from the rest of the world since the ice closed over them, some 35 million years ago, have kept busy digesting organic matter and making methane—a much more effective greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
If global warming causes the ice sheets to retreat in the coming decades or centuries, the researchers warn, some of the methane could belch into the atmosphere, amplifying the warming.
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Heinz® Ketchup Inspires More Environmentally Responsible Living This Summer with PlantBottle™ Packaging Promotion
submitted by Alison Thompson
businesswire.com - July 17, 2012
A new Heinz(R) Ketchup campaign called "Join the Growing Movement" invites consumers to promise to be more environmentally responsible through a mobile application. For each pledge, Heinz will help plant a tree, up to 57,000 trees. (Photo: Business Wire)
Coral off Jarvis Island in the central Pacific. Photograph: Jim Maragos/AP
Uninhabited Jarvis island, halfway between Hawaii and Cook Islands, gets score of 86 compared with global average of 60
(FOR LINKS TO THE OCEAN HEALTH INDEX - CLICK "READ MORE")
guardian.co.uk - by John Vidal - August 15, 2012
An uninhabited Pacific island has come top of the first comprehensive ocean health index, which compares all the world's coastal countries and scores them for how well the seas around them benefit both man and nature.
Tiny 4.5 sq km Jarvis island, halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands, was briefly mined for seabird fertiliser in the 19th century but both the waters around it and the island itself have been left more or less untouched since then, which accounts for its top score of 86 out of 100 compared with a global average of 60.
Wastewater reclamation plant in Lansing, KS // Source: lansing.ks.us
submitted by Samuel Bendett
Homeland Security News Wire - August 10, 2012
Parched cities and regions across the globe are using sewage effluent and other wastewater in creative ways to augment drinking water, but four billion people still do not have adequate supplies, and that number will rise in coming decades
Wildlife, rivers, and ecosystems are also being decimated by the ceaseless quest for new water and disposal of waste. Changing human behavior and redoubling use of alternatives are critical to breaking that cycle.
Those are the conclusions of a sweeping review in a special 10 August issue of the journal Science.
submitted by Samuel Bendett
Homeland Security News Wire - August 10, 2012
The fate of water in China mirrors problems across the world: water is fouled, pushed far from its natural origins, squandered, and exploited; China’s crisis is daunting, though not unique: two-thirds of China’s 669 cities have water shortages, more than 40 percent of its rivers are severely polluted, 80 percent of its lakes suffer from eutrophication — an over abundance of nutrients — and about 300 million rural residents lack access to safe drinking water
In this week’s Science journal, Jianguo “Jack” Liu, director of Michigan State University’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, and doctoral student Wu Yang look at lessons learned in China and management strategies that hold solutions for China — and across the world.