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Eco-news archive: March-April 2009

New rare orangutan find in Borneo
(Apr 15, 2009)

A hitherto unknown population of orangutans numbering perhaps 1-2,000 has been found on the island of Borneo, conservation researchers say. Members of the reclusive endangered species were found by scientists acting on tip-offs from local people. Much of the orangutan's tropical forest habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia has been cut down for timber extraction and to create palm oil plantations.

Read more. Source: BBC

Wilkins Ice Shelf
Ice bridge ruptures in Antarctic
(Apr 5, 2009)

An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped. Scientists say the collapse could mean the Wilkins Ice Shelf is on the brink of breaking away, and provides further evidence or rapid change in the region. Sited on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Wilkins shelf has been retreating since the 1990s.

Read more. Source: BBC

The Matterhorn (left) sits right on the Swiss-Italian border
Climate changes Europe's borders – and the world's
(Mar 28, 2009)

Italy and Switzerland are planning to redraw their shared alpine border, as global warming is melting the glaciers that originally guided the line. Although peaceful, the move raises fears of future conflicts over shifting borders and resources.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs
(Mar 10, 2009)

Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs, scientists will warn today. The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon dioxide belched from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean. The chemical change is placing "unprecedented" pressure on marine life such as shellfish and lobsters and could cause widespread extinctions, the experts say.

Read more. Source: Guardian

Amazon rainforest burning
Parts of Amazon close to tipping point
(Mar 6, 2009)

The Mato Grosso, the most scarred region of the Amazon rainforest, is teetering on a deforestation "tipping point", and may soon be on a one-way route to becoming a dry and relatively barren savannah. Mônica Carneiro Alves Senna and colleagues at the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, used computer models to simulate how the Amazon would recover from various amounts of deforestation.

Read more. Source: New Scientist


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