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Keyword: ecosystems

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  • More consumption not necessary for human well-being, says UN report

    01/25/2014 2:05:58 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 21 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 24 January 2014
    Greater food system efficiency and curbs to the expansion of cropland are necessary to prevent the collapse of global ecosystems, says a report presented today (24 January) by the UN at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The report, by the UN Environment Program’s science think tank the International Resource Panel (IRP), says that policymakers must break the link between greater resource consumption and human well-being. The authors say that rising demand for food could lead to a 320 to 850 million hectare expansion of global cropland, putting greater strain of the environment’s capacity for regeneration. …
  • America Found & Lost

    07/10/2013 5:13:01 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 18 replies
    The National Geographic ^ | 2007 | Charles C. Mann
    The English colonists who landed at Jamestown 400 years ago undermined an ecosystem and changed the continent forever. It is just possible that John Rolfe was responsible for the worms—specifically the common night crawler and the red marsh worm, creatures that did not exist in the Americas before Columbus. Rolfe was a colonist in Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English colony in North America. Most people know him today, if they know him at all, as the man who married Pocahontas. A few history buffs understand that Rolfe was one of the primary forces behind Jamestown's eventual success. The worms...
  • British campaigner urges UN to accept 'ecocide' as international crime

    04/10/2010 9:47:24 AM PDT · by PROCON · 15 replies · 544+ views
    guardian.co.uk ^ | April 9, 2010 | Julliet Jowit
    A campaign to declare the mass destruction of ecosystems an international crime against peace - alongside genocide and crimes against humanity - is being launched in the UK. The proposal for the United Nations to accept "ecocide" as a fifth "crime against peace", which could be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is the brainchild of British lawyer-turned-campaigner Polly Higgins. The radical idea would have a profound effect on industries blamed for widespread damage to the environment like fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry. Supporters of a new ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute...
  • Surveys of flora and fauna may be flawed - Bat study raises doubts over our understanding of...

    12/14/2008 11:45:59 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 713+ views
    Nature News ^ | 12 December 2008 | Matt Kaplan
    Bat study raises doubts over our understanding of Earth's ecosystems. One of the most common techniques for diagnosing the ecological health of a region may be painting an inaccurate picture of biodiversity, a study of the bats on the tiny volcanic island of Montserrat suggests.To understand an area's ecology, researchers are often asked by funding agencies to conduct a short survey, known as a rapid biodiversity assessment.Such surveys are convenient: they fit easily into the typical 3-5-year timescale of a PhD, match the length of time within which grant-giving agencies expect to see results, and are relatively quick to write...
  • Human greed takes lion's share of solar energy (we can't do ANYTHING right!)

    07/05/2007 3:29:28 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 27 replies · 624+ views
    Sydney Morning Herald ^ | July 3, 2007 | Chee Chee Leung
    HUMANS are just one of the millions of species on Earth, but we use up almost a quarter of the sun's energy captured by plants - the most of any species. The human dominance of this natural resource is affecting other species, reducing the amount of energy available to them by almost 10 per cent, scientists report. Researchers said the findings showed humans were using "a remarkable share" of the earth's plant productivity "to meet the needs and wants of one species". They also warned that the increased use of biofuels - such as ethanol and canola - should be...
  • Scientists Say Cod Off Nova Scotia Declining

    06/29/2005 2:58:30 AM PDT · by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit · 26 replies · 745+ views
    Associated Press ^ | June 28, 2005 | Associated Press
    PORTLAND, Maine — The collapse of cod stocks off Nova Scotia changed the marine ecosystem so dramatically that it may be impossible for cod to recover, according to a study by Canadian scientists that could have ramifications for cod stocks at Georges Bank. Once the top predator, cod is now a bit player in waters off Nova Scotia. Its population on the Scotian Shelf has plunged 96 percent since the 1850s, according to archaeological evidence and old fishing records. In its absence, the entire marine ecosystem has been transformed, said Ken Frank, who co-authored the report published recently in Science...
  • Cicada infestations boost nutrients for forests

    11/25/2004 8:43:54 PM PST · by Fatalis · 4 replies · 350+ views
    CBC News Online ^ | 11/25/2004
    WASHINGTON - Insects that emerge every 17 years in the eastern United States provide valuable nutrients to forest ecosystems when they die, an ecologist says. The Brood X cicadas emerge from their burrows on a regular cycle, sing to attract a mate and lay eggs before dying on the forest floor. Cicadas cling to a leaf after crawling their way above ground(AP Photo) Last spring, the insects swarmed forests, raising concerns about their effects on the ecosystem. Scientists had noticed forests tended to have higher levels of the nutrient nitrogen in their leaves after cicadas emerged and tree growth tended...
  • President Bush's forest initiative has reignited the Northwest's battle over old-growth logging

    10/10/2002 8:56:12 PM PDT · by Glutton · 4 replies · 318+ views
    the Register Guard ^ | 6 Oct 02 | By Scott Maben
    Until the biotech giants tromped into the campaign, Measure 27 on the November ballot looked simple. This well-intentioned but impractical proposal would require that all genetically engineered foods sold in or distributed from Oregon be labelled as such - not a bad idea at the national level, but potentially troublesome for a single state. The lavishly funded campaign against Measure 27 has created a powerful temptation to vote yes - but not quite powerful enough. Oregonians should follow their heads, not their hearts, and reluctantly vote no. Monsanto, DuPont and other producers of genetically engineered agricultural products have raised $4.6...