Winter air temperatures over Antarctica have risen by more than 2C in the last 30 years, according to a study by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. The increase of Antarctic temperature is three times larger than that observed globally over the same time period.
March 30, 2006
Most mass extinctions were caused by gradual climate change rather than catastrophic asteroid impacts says Peter Ward, a paleontologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, in an upcoming article in New Scientist magazine.
March 29, 2006
Indonesia announced it would end plans to establish a 1.8 million hectare oil plantation in the rainforest of Borneo. The proposed plan, which was backed by Chinese investments, would have destroyed one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. Some observers said that the project was a cover for massive logging scheme.
March 28, 2006
At the United Nations-sponsored environmental conference meeting in Curitiba, Brazil announced plans to protect an additional 210,000 square kilometers (84,000 square miles) of the Amazon rain forest in the next three years.
March 24, 2006
New research says if current warming trends continue, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are on track to melt sooner than previously thought, leading to a global sea level rise of at least 20 feet.
March 23, 2006
Greenpeace launched a set of satellite maps showing the world's remaining extent of "intact forests"--the planet's most biodiverse ecosystems. Greenpeace says that protecting these last intact forests should be a top priority for world governments at the biodiversity meeting in Brazil this week and hopes these maps can serve as a starting point for monitoring and conservation efforts.
March 22, 2006
According to the United Nations, the continuing degradation of the world's dryland ecosystems is threatening biodiversity and worsening poverty around the globe. In an effort to bring attention to the dire condition of these important lands, which cover almost half the planet's land surface, the world organization has proclaimed 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.
March 21, 2006
New research out of the University of Arizona has found that the Amazon rainforest grows fastest during the dry season. The finding counters the convention in other ecosystems where peak plant growth generally occurs during the rainy season.
March 20, 2006
More than 3000 delegates are meeting in Brazil to discuss the future of global biodiversity.
I will be traveling this week — updates may be irregular.
March 18, 2006
Scientists have confirmed that climate warming is changing how much water remains locked in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, according to an article published in the Journal of Glaciology.
March 17, 2006
The link between warmer ocean temperatures and increasing intensity of hurricanes has been confirmed by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Last year, two studies published in the journals Nature and Science found a strong correlation between rising tropical sea surface temperatures and an increase in the strength of hurricanes.
Indian Ocean coral reefs that escaped serious damage are coming under increasing threat from reconstruction efforts in the region according to a new report from the international environmental groups, World Conservation Union and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.
March 16, 2006
A new survey released by the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute found that 76 percent of Americans think the federal government is not doing enough to address global warming and develop alternative energy sources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
March 15, 2006
Air pollution has played a significant role in Arctic climate change says new research from NASA. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies found that ozone -- also known as "smog" -- was responsible for one-third to half of the observed warming trend in the Arctic during winter and spring.
March 14, 2006
A new study out of Cornell University suggests that environmentalism is born in children who are exposed to nature before the age of 11. Nancy Wells and Kristi Lekies found that "wild" nature activities in childhood are correlated to adult interest in the environment.
Cleaner, more efficient use of coal could play a key role in addressing climate change. Coal presently supplies about two-thirds of China's energy and one-third of the energy demand in the United States but, due to its abundance, is forecast to become an increasingly important relative to petroleum around mid-century. A new chemical process for removing impurities from coal could lead to significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations say researchers at the University of Nottingham.
When predators learn to avoid a highly toxic frog, they generalize, and this allows a harmless frog to mimic and be more abundant than a frog whose poison packs less punch, biologists at The University of Texas at Austin studying poison dart frogs in the Amazon have discovered.
March 13, 2006
New research published in Science suggests that colonization of Easter Island took place around A.D. 1200, later than originally believed. The later settlement date supports the premise that human impact on the environment—specifically deforestation and the introduction of an alien species— played a key role in the downfall of Easter Island society.
March 10, 2006
The newly discovered species of rodent found in a marketplace in Central Laos turns out to not be so new after all. The Laotian rock rat, as the long-whiskered and stubby-legged rodent is now known, is a species believed to have been extinct for 11 million years. It is a member of a family that, until now, was only known from the fossil record.
March 9, 2006
The Camisea gas pipeline in the Peruvian Amazon has leaked for the fifth time in 18 months according to Reuters. Two people were injured and a small fire was ignited by the spill of 750 cubic meters of gas.
Illegal logging is destroying large areas of rainforest in Papua New Guinea according to a report released last week by Forest Trends, a leading international forestry organization.
March 8, 2006
Divers found a new species of crustacean living deep in hydrothermal vents of the South Pacific. The creature resembles a lobster covered with "silky, blond" fur say researchers who made the discovery.
March 7, 2006
A new study confirms the notion that organic farming is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional agriculture.
March 6, 2006
The Antarctic ice sheet continues to shrink according to a NASA study released last week. Using data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) scientists concluded that Antarctica's ice sheet decreased by about 152 cubic kilometers annually from April 2002 to August 2005, or about 36 times the annual amount of water used by the city of Los Angeles.
March 5, 2006
I apologize for sections of the site being down while I was traveling in the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia. The performance of the site should improve upon my return to an environment with stable internet connectivity
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