Ocean circulation changes caused at the end of the past glacial period were more extensive than previously thought, according to new research scientists at the University of East Anglia and Cardiff University. The findings, published in the June 30 issue of the journal Science, indicate that the catastrophic freshwater release from glacial lakes in North America slowed ocean circulation and cooled the climate some 8200 years ago.
June 29, 2006
Future temperature change in East Asian countries may be less significant than in countries bordering the North Atlantic, such as America and Great Britain, according to new research led by scientists at Newcastle University. Researchers examined pollen samples take from a Japanese lake sediment core and found moderate changes in temperature and precipitation during the period from 16,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago, a time that experienced climate change similar to what we expect in the near future. Researchers speculate that the Asian monsoon front may act as a barrier from the effect of North Atlantic cooling, which threatens other parts of the world with extreme climate change. Japan and lands east of the monsoon barrier could be spared the most drastic consequences.
June 28, 2006
Scientists say melting glaciers could induce tectonic activity. The reason? As ice melts and waters runs off, tremendous amounts of weight are lifted off of Earth's crust. As the newly freed crust settles back to its original, pre-glacier shape, it can cause seismic plates to slip and stimulate volcanic activity according to research into prehistoric earthquakes and volcanic activity.
June 27, 2006
A study conducted earlier this year found that consumers say they would be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly computer. The amounts ranged from $59 in Germany, $118 in UK, $199 in China and $229 in Mexico.
Scientists discovered a species of snake capable of changing colors. The snake, called the Kapuas mud snake, resides in the rainforest on the island of Borneo, an ecosystem that is increasingly threatened by logging and agricultural development. The "chameleon snake" was discovered by Dr. Mark Auliya, a German researcher who described it with the help of two American scientists. The find will likely bolster efforts to conserve Borneo's wild forestlands.
Researchers studying ancient tropical ice cores have found evidence of two abrupt climate shifts -- one 5000 years ago and one currently underway. The findings, published in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, may have important implications for immediate future since more than two-thirds of the world's population resides in the tropics.
June 26, 2006
June 25, 2006
Researchers with the World Wildlife Fund found more than 160 animal species--including an undiscovered species of frog and eleven endemic species--in surveys of the Rubeho Mountains in Tanzania. The organization says urgent action is needed to protect the region's biodiversity which is increasingly threatened by subsistence agriculture, logging, and poaching.
June 24, 2006
This week France and Cameroon signed the first ever Central African debt for nature swap. This agreement will invest at least $25 million over the next five years to protect part of the world's second largest tropical forest, home to elephants, gorillas, hundreds of bird species and indigenous groups such as the Ba'Aka pygmies.
June 23, 2006
Global warming accounted for around half of the extra hurricane-fueling warmth in the waters of the tropical North Atlantic in 2005, while natural cycles were only a minor factor, according to a new analysis by Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
The National Research Council has officially weighed in on climate change. The organization says that there is sufficient evidence from tree rings, boreholes, retreating glaciers, and other proxies of past surface temperatures to say with a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years.
June 22, 2006
To recognize an internationally renowned primatologist and champion of Madagascar's unique biodiversity, scientists who discovered three new species of mouse lemur on the island nation have named one in honor of Russell A. Mittermeier, the president of Conservation International. Mittermeier, the longtime chair of the IUCN Primate Special Group, is an expert on Madagascar and its lemurs, the distinctive primates found nowhere else on Earth. He is the lead author of "Lemurs of Madagascar," a comprehensive field guide on the country's flagship species.
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