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Eco-news archive: September-October 2008

Arctic sea ice
Arctic ice thickness 'plummets'
(Oct 28, 2008)

The thickness of Arctic sea ice "plummeted" last winter, thinning by as much as 49 centimetres (1.6ft) in some regions, satellite data has revealed. A study by UK researchers showed that the ice thickness had been fairly constant for the previous five winters. The team from University College London added that the results provided the first definitive proof that the overall volume of Arctic ice was decreasing.

Read more. Source: BBC

Colombia spotted frog
Climate link to amphibian decline
(Oct 28, 2008)

Amphibian populations at Yellowstone – the world's oldest national park – are in steep decline, a major study shows. The authors link this to the drying out of wetlands where the animals live and breed, which is in turn being driven by long-term climate change. The results, reported in the journal PNAS, suggest that climate warming has already disrupted one of the best-protected ecosystems on Earth.

Read more. Source: BBC

African chimps decline 'alarming'
(Oct 20, 2008)

The population of the endangered West African chimpanzees in Ivory Coast has fallen by about 90% in less than 20 years, a study has suggested. Researchers found 90% fewer nests than a similar audit carried out in 1990, which suggested the chimp population had crashed from 12,000 to about 1,200. Increased levels of deforestation and poaching and were likely to be main factors for the decline, they added.

Read more. Source: BBC

Rainforest in Kakum National Park, Ghana
Nature loss 'dwarfs bank crisis'
(Oct 11, 2008)

The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study. It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion. The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.

Read more. Source: BBC

Caspian seal
Mammals facing extinction threat
(Oct 6, 2008)

At least 25% of the world's mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to the first assessment of their status for a decade. The Red List of Threatened Species says populations of more than half of mammalian species are falling, with Asian primates particularly at risk. The biggest threat to mammals is loss of habitat, including deforestation.

Read more. Source: BBC

Warming boosts strongest storms
(Sep 4, 2008)

The strongest tropical storms are becoming even stronger as the world's oceans warm, scientists have confirmed. Analysis of satellite data shows that in the last 25 years, strong cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons have become more frequent in most of the tropics. Writing in the journal Nature, they say the number of weaker storms has not noticeably altered.

Read more. Source: BBC


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