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Eco-news archive: November-December 2007

oil sands
A greener way to recover methane
(Dec 13, 2007)

Oil reservoirs could have an environmental make-over with the help of bacteria. A report in Nature has shown how crude oil in deposits around the world are naturally broken down by microbes to methane. Scientists say that increasing microbe activity would produce a more energy-efficient method of methane recovery.

Read more. Source: BBC

retreating Arctic summer ice
Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'
(Dec 12, 2007)

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years. Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Read more. Source: BBC

drought in India
'Tropics expand' as world warms
(Dec 4, 2007)

Climate change is causing the tropics to widen, with possible impacts on the global food supply, research suggests. Scientists examined five different measures of the width of the tropical belt, and found it expanded by between 2 and 4.8 degrees latitude since 1979. Other researchers meanwhile said climatic change could increase the number of thunderstorms in the US.

Read more. Source: BBC

Chinese power station
Energy needs 'to grow inexorably'
(Nov 9, 2007)

The global demand for energy is set to grow inexorably through to 2030 if governments do not change their policies, warns a top energy official. Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said such a rise would threaten energy security and accelerate climate change. He said energy needs in 2030 could be more than 50% above current levels, with fossil fuels still dominant.

Read more. Source: BBC

Parrotfish to aid to reef repair
(Nov 1, 2007)

A vividly coloured fish could be the key to saving the Caribbean's coral reefs from plummeting into terminal decline, scientists claim. Their research forecasts that reefs risk being damaged beyond repair by the influx of seaweed. But urgent action such as protecting parrotfish, which graze upon the floral invaders, may prevent the ecosystems from reaching this tipping point.

Read more. Source: BBC


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