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Eco-news archive: January-February 2009

desertification in China
How to survive the coming century
(Feb 26, 2009)

Alligators basking off the English coast; a vast Brazilian desert; the mythical lost cities of Saigon, New Orleans, Venice and Mumbai; and 90 per cent of humanity vanished. Welcome to the world warmed by 4°C.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

ocean waves
North Atlantic is world's 'climate superpower'
(Feb 17, 2009)

If ever there was a superpower of the oceans, the North Atlantic, with its ability to control global weather systems, is it. The bad news is that this region also happens to be especially sensitive to the effects of climate change, so what is happening there could affect the world.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

tree frog
Tree frogs help flag up biological hotspots
(Feb 7, 2009)

Conservationists racing to catalogue and protect biodiversity before it vanishes could look to the past for guidance. A new study suggests they should focus on areas where climate has remained relatively stable over many thousands of years, allowing diversity to flourish.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

generating station in California
Global warming is 'irreversible'
(Jan 27, 2009)

A team of environmental researchers in the US has warned many effects of climate change are irreversible. The scientists concluded global temperatures could remain high for 1,000 years, even if carbon emissions can somehow be halted. Their report was sponsored by the US Department of Energy and comes as President Obama announces a review of vehicle emission standards.

Read more. Source: BBC

emperor penguins
Emperor penguins face extinction
(Jan 27, 2009)

Emperor penguins, whose long treks across Antarctic ice to mate have been immortalised by Hollywood, are heading towards extinction, scientists say. Based on predictions of sea ice extent from climate change models, the penguins are likely to see their numbers plummet by 95% by 2100. That corresponds to a decline to just 600 breeding pairs in the world.

Read more. Source: BBC

dead sugar pine. Image credit: J. Franklin
Climate shift 'killing US trees'
(Jan 24, 2009)

Old growth trees in western parts of the US are probably being killed as a result of regional changes to the climate, a study has suggested. Analysis of undisturbed forests showed that the trees' mortality rate had doubled since 1955, researchers said. They warned that the loss of old growth trees could have implications for the areas' ecology and for the amount of carbon that the forests could store.

Read more. Source: BBC

butterfly fish. Image credit: J. E. Maragos
US vows 'huge' marine protection
(Jan 6, 2009)

The US is to establish what it calls "the largest area of protected sea in the world" around its Pacific islands. Commercial fishing and mining will be banned in the protected zones which include the Marianas Trench, the deepest area of ocean on the planet. The area totals 500,000 sq km (190,000 sq miles) of sea and sea floor.

Read more. Source: BBC


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