The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it is considering a petition to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists believe polar bear populations are increasingly in danger due to the effects of climate change, specifically receding ice and warming temperatures.
The groundbreaking for the largest solar thermal power plant to be built in 15 years takes place this weekend in Boulder City, Nevada. The 64MW Nevada Solar One power plant will generate enough power to meet the electricity needs of about 40,000 households and follows in the steps of the 354MW solar thermal power plants located in California's Mojave Desert. While California's solar plants have generated billions of kilowatt hours of electricity for the past two decades, the Nevada Solar One plant will use new technologies to capture even more energy from the sun.
Ocean temperatures might have been warmer and sea levels would have risen higher in the 20th century had Krakatoa not erupted in 1883, said a team of scientists. According to the researchers, the release of ashes and aerosols into the upper atmosphere had a significant long-term impact on global climate.
February 9, 2006
Lake Victoria, Africa's largest freshwater lake, is being covertly drained for hydroelectric power according to an article published in the Feb. 11 New Scientist magazine. The report, written by Fred Pearce, says that Uganda is violating a 50-year-old international agreement designed to protect the lake. The following is a release from the New Scientist.
A team of scientists have discovered a new genus and species of dinosaur that is the oldest known and most primitive tyrannosauroid. The newly discovered dinosaur could be described as a mini version of Tyrannosaurus rex.
February 8, 2006
Climate change may increase the risk of winter floods and summer water shortages in California says new research by scientists Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The study, which appeared in the January 27 edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters shows that global warming is likely to change river flows in ways that may result in both increased flood risk and water shortages
February 7, 2006
A team of scientists led by Conservation International (CI) found dozens of new species in a survey of New Guinea's Foja Mountains. The discoveries were made under CI's Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) which deploys expert scientists to poorly understood regions in order to quickly assess the biological diversity of an area. The conservation organization makes RAP results immediately available to local and international decision makers to help support conservation action and biodiversity protection. New Guinea's forests are some of the most biodiverse in the world, but they are increasingly under threat from commercial logging.
February 6, 2006
Rainforest profiles for tropical Asian and Pacific countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pacific Islands Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
February 3, 2006
A pair studies in the Amazon rainforest suggest a link between deforestation and an increased risk of malaria. The first study, conducted in the Peruvian Amazon and published in January's issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, found that malaria epidemics in the region were correlated with deforestation. The later research, released in last week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that forest clearing around settlements in the Brazilian Amazon increases the short-term risk of malaria by creating areas of standing water in which mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
February 2, 2006
Late last week, countries that export and export tropical timber reached a 10-year agreement to help promote the sustainable development of forests while fighting illegal logging. The pact calls on signatories to support and develop tropical timber reforestation projects and share information on forestry management, while promoting the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests. The agreement, which was signed by 33 producing and 26 consuming countries, also aims to improve forest law enforcement and governance, specifically addressing illegal logging which is quite prevalent and extremely costly for developing countries.
February 1, 2006
Australia's Great Barrier Reef may be at risk of one of its worst coral bleaching events on record warned a leading Australian scientist Tuesday. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that current temperatures suggest that this year's bleaching event could rival that of 2001-2002, which affected 60 percent of the reef.
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