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Eco-news archive: November-December 2008

Rhone Glacier
Swiss glaciers 'in full retreat'
(Dec 24, 2008)

Swiss glaciers are melting away at an accelerating rate and many will vanish this century if climate projections are correct, two new studies suggest. One assessment found that some 10 cubic km of ice have been lost from 1,500 glaciers over the past nine years. The other study, based on a sample of 30 representative glaciers, indicates the group's members are now losing a metre of thickness every year.

Read more. Source: BBC

70% deforestation cuts for Brazil
(Dec 2, 2008)

Brazil has announced a plan to reduce deforestation rates in the Amazon region by 70% over the next ten years. The plan follows a call for international funding to prevent further loss of the Amazon rainforest. This year, the rate of Amazon deforestation increased after falling for the past four years.

Read more. Source: BBC

Iceberg. Credit: R. Alley
Clue to break-up of ice shelves
(Nov 28, 2008)

US researchers have come up with a way to predict the rate at which ice shelves break apart into icebergs. These sometimes spectacular occurrences, called calving events, are a key step in the process by which climate change drives sea level rise. Computer models that simulate how ice sheets might behave in a warmer world do not describe the calving process in much detail, Science journal reports.

Read more. Source: BBC

World's forests face climate-change crisis
(Nov 28, 2008)

The world's forests – and the billion people who depend on them – are facing devastation from climate change unless we "evolve" with the changing situation, according to a new report. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) reviewed the scientific literature on the effects of climate change on forests and concluded that it will have a dramatic effect on forests, irrespective of the future rate of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Slow progress on ocean protection
(Nov 21, 2008)

Less than 1% of the world's oceans have been given protected status, according to a major survey. Governments have committed to a target of protecting 10% by 2012, which the authors of the new report say there is no chance of meeting. Protecting ecologically important areas can help fish stocks to regenerate, and benefit the tourism industry.

Read more. Source: BBC


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