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Eco-news archive: September-October 2007

Third of primates 'under threat'
(Oct 26, 2007)

Almost a third of the world's primates are in danger of extinction because of destruction of their habitats, a report by conservation groups has warned. The report says many apes, monkeys and other primates are being driven from the forests where they live or killed to make food and medicines. The research is being presented at the International Primatological Society (IPS) on the Chinese island of Hainan.

Read more. Source: BBC

Indian woem on parched soil
Natural decline 'hurting lives'
(Oct 26, 2007)

Continuing destruction of the natural world is affecting the health, wealth and well-being of people around the globe, according to a major UN report. The Global Environment Outlook says most trends are going the wrong way. It lists degradation of farmland, loss of forest cover, pollution, dwindling fresh water supplies and overfishing among society's environmental ills.

Read more. Source: BBC

satellite image of Earth
Climate threat to biodiversity
(Oct 24, 2007)

Global temperatures predicted for the coming centuries could trigger a mass extinction, UK scientists have warned. The temperatures are within the range of greenhouse phases early in the Earth's history when up to 95% of plants and animals died out, they say. Experts examined the link between climate and diversity over 520 million years, almost the entire fossil record.

Read more. Source: BBC

ocean waves
Oceans are 'soaking up less CO2'
(Oct 21, 2007)

The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced, scientists have said. University of East Anglia researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements from merchant ships equipped with automatic instruments. Results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show CO2 uptake halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005.

Read more. Source: BBC

Arctic spring melt
'Warm wind' hits Arctic climate
(Oct 18, 2007)

The Arctic is being hit by melting ice, hotter air and dying wildlife, according to a US government report on the impact of global warming there. A new wind circulation pattern is blowing more warm air towards the North Pole than in the 20th Century, scientists found. Shrubs are now growing in tundra areas while caribou herds are dwindling in Canada and parts of Alaska.

Read more. Source: BBC

Al Gore
Gore says prize must spur action
(Oct 14, 2007)

Al Gore says his Nobel Peace Prize is an "honour" and a chance to "elevate global consciousness" about the threat posed by climate change. The former US vice-president was awarded the prestigious prize jointly with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Read more. Source: BBC

James Lovelock
Lovelock urges ocean climate fix
(Sep 27, 2007)

Two of Britain's leading environmental thinkers say it is time to develop a quick technical fix for climate change. Writing in the journal Nature, Science Museum head Chris Rapley and Gaia theorist James Lovelock suggest looking at boosting ocean take-up of CO2. Their idea, already being investigated by a US firm, involves huge flotillas of vertical pipes in the tropical seas.

Read more. Source: BBC

dry reservoir
Man causing climate change – poll
(Sep 26, 2007)

Large majorities in many countries now believe human activity is causing global warming, a BBC World Service poll suggests. A sizeable majority of people agreed that major steps needed to be taken soon to address global warming. More than 22,000 people were surveyed in 21 countries and the results show a great deal of agreement on the issue.

Read more. Source: BBC

ice block
Ice withdrawal 'shatters record'
(Sep 22, 2007)

Arctic sea ice shrank to the smallest area on record this year, US scientists have confirmed. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said the minimum extent of 4.13 million sq km (1.59 million sq miles) was reached on 16 September. The figure shatters all previous satellite surveys, including the previous record low of 5.32 million sq km measured in 2005.

Read more. Source: BBC

hammerhead shark
Call to protect shark-filled sea
(Sep 17, 2007)

Conservationists are urging the Australian government to protect the Coral Sea, one of its last tropical marine wildernesses. The sea was recently declared a "predator diversity hotspot" because of its abundant shark populations. Campaigners fear the region could be targeted by illegal shark fishermen as well as oil and gas prospectors.

Read more. Source: BBC

Northwest Passage route
Warming opens Northwest Passage
(Sep 15, 2007)

The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (ESA) says. Historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year. But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this summer's reduction has made the route navigable.

Read more. Source: BBC

Gorillas head race to extinction
(Sep 13, 2007)

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction. The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Read more. Source: BBC

gray whale
Starving whales point to depleted oceans
(Sep 12, 2007)

Starvation may be impeding the recovery of the Pacific gray whale population, say researchers. The gray whale population was thought to have recovered from commercial whaling, but now a new genetic study suggests the marine mammals once numbered between three and five times the 22,000 population estimated today.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

polar bears
US predicts polar bear meltdown
(Sep 12, 2007)

Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be gone by the middle of the century, says a US government agency. The US Geological Survey (USGS) says parts of the Arctic are losing summer ice so fast that no bears will be able to live there within several decades. Scientists believe Arctic ice will hit a record low this year.

Read more. Source: BBC


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