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Eco-news archive: May-June 2008

Melting sea ice
Arctic sea ice melt 'even faster'
(Jun 19, 2008)

Arctic sea ice is melting even faster than last year, despite a cold winter. Data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that the year began with ice covering a larger area than at the beginning of 2007. But now it is down to levels seen last June, at the beginning of a summer that broke records for sea ice loss.

Read more. Source: BBC

Crack in arctic ice. Credit: Doug Stern
Vast cracks appear in Arctic ice
(May 24, 2008)

Dramatic evidence of the break-up of the Arctic ice-cap has emerged from research during an expedition by the Canadian military. Scientists travelling with the troops found major new fractures during an assessment of the state of giant ice shelves in Canada's far north. The team found a network of cracks that stretched for more than 10 miles (16km) on Ward Hunt, the area's largest shelf.

Read more. Source: BBC

Blue shark. Credit: Jeremy Stafford_Deitsch
Sharks swim closer to extinction
(May 23, 2008)

More than half of the world's ocean-going sharks are at risk of extinction, a new analysis concludes. Specialists with IUCN (formerly the World Conservation Union) found that 11 species are on the high-risk list, with five more showing signs of decline. Sharks are particularly affected by over-fishing as they reproduce slowly.

Read more. Source: BBC

Topi antelope
Global biodiversity slumps 27% in 35 years
(May 13, 2008)

The latest data on the global biodiversity of vertebrates shows that it has fallen by almost one-third in the last 35 years. But experts say it may still underestimate the effect humans have had on global species counts. The Living Planet Index (LPI) follows trends in nearly 4,000 populations of 1,477 vertebrate species and is said to reflect the impact humans have on the planet.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Cooling towers. Credit: John Giles/PA
World carbon dioxide levels highest for 650,000 years, says US report
(May 13, 2008)

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures, renewing fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control. Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years.

Read more. Source: Guardian

Rainforest seeds revive lost paradise
(May 5, 2008)

Six years ago the area around Samboja in Borneo was like much of the world's tropical rainforest: denuded. The trees had been cut for timber, the land burnt, and in place of what should be some of the richest biodiversity on the planet were thousands of acres of grass. But from this ruined landscape a fresh forest has been grown, teeming with insects, birds and animals, and cooled by the return of moist clouds and rain.

Read more. Source: Guardian


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