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Bird sanctuary in Malaysia damaged by illegal logging and forest clearing
(09/26/2005) According to the New Straits Times, loggers are illegally clearing the protected forest of Gunung Panti to plant oil palm.
Malaysia to build palm oil biodiesel plants to counter high oil price
(09/26/2005) According to the AFP, Malaysia announced that it will build three plants to produce biodiesel from palm oil, as part of efforts to reduce its dependency on foreign oil and increase demand for domestically produced palm oil.
Doctors ill-prepared to diagnose, treat bioterrorism diseases
(09/26/2005) More than one-half of 631 physicians tested were unable to correctly diagnose diseases caused by agents most likely to be used by bioterrorists, such as smallpox, anthrax, botulism and plague, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the Sept. 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Galveston, Houston aquariums survive Hurricane Rita
(09/26/2005) The aquarium and other animal facilities at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas along with the Houston aquarium appear to have weathered Hurricane Rita according to press reports.
Insurers not disclosing climate change-related risks finds FOE study
(09/26/2005) A new report by Friends of the Earth shows that America's property and casualty insurers are doing a very poor job in disclosing climate change-related risks in their SEC filings on material risks facing the firms. Only 5 companies out of the 106 surveyed referenced climate change issues in their SEC reporting, despite the growing body of evidence that climate change will produce increasingly intense storms.
Hurricane news for specific towns in Texas
(09/24/2005) Hurricane Rita slammed into Texas and Louisiana early Saturday, flooding coastal towns, sparking fires and knocking power out to more than 1 million customers, but largely sparing Houston, New Orleans and the region's oil refining industry.
Gabon sets aside 10 percent of country as protected parks
(09/24/2005) In a move that sets a new standard in African conservation, the nation of Gabon, which contains some of the most pristine tropical rainforests on earth, announced today that it will set aside 10 percent of its land mass for a system of national parks. Up to this point, Gabon had no national park system. The Gabonese government has been working closely with The Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) on conservation issues for the past ten years. The announcement is a major victory for Africa's wildlife.
Supernova could be responsible for extinction of the mammoth
(09/24/2005) A distant supernova that exploded 41,000 years ago may have led to the extinction of the mammoth, according to research that will be presented tomorrow (Sept. 24) by nuclear scientist Richard Firestone of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
Summers in arctic getting longer and hotter
(09/23/2005) In a paper that shows dramatic summer warming in arctic Alaska, scientists synthesized a decade of field data from Alaska showing summer warming is occurring primarily on land, where a longer snow-free season has contributed more strongly to atmospheric heating than have changes in vegetation.
193,000 barrels of oil spilled in Gulf wetlands due to Katrina
(09/23/2005) Reports from the Coast Guard indicate that at least 193,000 barrels of oil and other petrochemicals have been spilled in wetlands and coastal areas in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The storm ruptured pipelines, damaged oil storage facilities, and chemical production plants.
NOAA Biologists to study marine contaminants from hurricane
(09/23/2005) The NOAA Research vessel the Nancy Foster this week is working off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to study the effects of Hurricane Katrina on marine resources and the ecosystem. During the cruise, biologists will take water samples and look at sediments in the Mississippi river. They will test fish and shrimp for evidence of toxic contamination and pathogens that might affect human health.
Penguins and sea otters rescued from hurricane settling in at Monterey Bay Aquarium
(09/23/2005) The 19 penguins and two sea otters rescued from the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas are currently behind the scenes during their quarantine period. The penguins are being housed in a former dive locker, now called the "Penguin Hospitality Suite." We hope to put some or all of them on exhibit in the near future with our penguin colony in "Splash Zone." It will be a family reunion of sorts, as several of the birds in the two colonies are related.
Palm oil plantations decimating orang-utans says report
(09/23/2005) UK company demand for palm oil, a vegetable oil found in one in ten products on supermarket shelves, is driving the orang-utan towards extinction, new research reveals. The `Oil for Ape Scandal', published today by Friends of the Earth and the world's leading orang-utan conservation groups, concludes that without urgent intervention the palm oil trade could cause the extinction of Asia's only great ape within 12 years.
10 million people will need humanitarian assistance in Southern Africa
(09/23/2005) As many as 10 million people in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been assessed as food insecure and will need humanitarian assistance until the next harvest according to a food security brief from USAID.
Fires rage in Bolivian rainforest
(09/23/2005) Fires have burned more than 1700 square miles (4450 square km) of Amazon rainforest and pasture in Bolivia, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency in two provinces.
European Space Agency analyzes Hurricane Rita
(09/23/2005) As Hurricane Rita entered the Gulf of Mexico, ESA's Envisat satellite's radar was able to pierce through swirling clouds to directly show how the storm churns the sea surface. This image has then been used to derive Rita's wind field speeds.
Modeling Hurricane Rita's Path
(09/22/2005) An advanced research weather model run by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is following Hurricane Rita to give scientists a taste of how well forecast models of the future may predict hurricane track, intensity, and important rain and wind features.
Natural resource management revolutionized around Cambodia's 'Great Lake'
(09/22/2005) When Patrick Evans first arrived at Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake eight years ago, there were days when it seemed more like a militarized zone than one of the world's most productive freshwater fishing grounds.
Climate change could have significant impact on health of Australians
(09/22/2005) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Australian conservation Foundation (ACF) are calling for a national response to one of the world's most significant environmental threats -- climate change and its effect on human health.
Researchers Discover Protein Signatures for Prostate Cancer
(09/22/2005) A new study shows that testing blood samples for antibodies that target prostate cancer cells may help identify patients with early stages of the disease. In the September 22, 2005, issue of New England Journal of Medicine, researchers report the findings may lead to a new test that could complement the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test in detecting early stage prostate cancer.
Cocoa innovations could help West Africa escape poverty
(09/21/2005) Ghana is leading efforts to use waste from cocoa farming to produce household products and drinks -- from fertilizer and soap to wine and brandy -- that will boost income for poor farmers.
What is a Category 5 Hurricane?
(09/21/2005) Hurricane Rita just strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane. A Category 5 hurricane is the strongest and most severe class of hurricane. The scale, known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, classifies hurricanes by the intensity of their sustained winds, storm surge and flooding, developed in 1969 by civil engineer Herbert Saffir and National Hurricane Center director Bob Simpson.
Ant produces own natural herbicide to poison unwanted plants
(09/21/2005) For the first time, scientists have identified an ant species that produces its own natural herbicide to poison unwanted plants. Stanford University biologist Deborah M. Gordon and her co-workers describe the findings in the Sept. 22 issue of the journal Nature.
New York City to dim lights to protect migrating birds
(09/21/2005) New York civic leaders on Tuesday said the lights of buildings above the 40th floor will be turned off after midnight in the fall and spring migration seasons to save birds. Since 1997, more than 4,000 migratory birds have been killed or injured from colliding into skyscrapers, bird experts said.
Last 4 missing Gulfport dolphins rescued following hurricane
(09/21/2005) The NOAA Fisheries Service and the Marine Life Aquarium of Gulfport, Miss., working with a number of other partners, rescued the last four of the eight trained bottlenose dolphins that were swept out of an aquarium tank torn apart by the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina on August 29. Normally held in captivity, the dolphins don't have the necessary skills to survive on their own. They have survived various injuries and predators and have stayed together since the storm.
Biomimicry Employed by MIT Nanotechnology Researchers
(09/21/2005) The ocean is a perilous environment for a soft-bodied creature like a sea snail, so nature gives it an advanced nanostructured armor system that is stiff and strong yet lightweight. It's called a shell.
Stronger New Orleans' levees could have high real estate and environmental cost
(09/21/2005) Today The Wall Street Journal published an article on proposals for improving the levees around New Orleans. The city's existing flood-control system, which was designed to handle up to a Category 3 hurricane, failed during Category 4 Katrina and New Orleans was swamped with flood water.
Danish researchers develop hydrogen tablet that stores hydrogen in inexpensive and safe material
(09/21/2005) Scientists at the Technical University of Denmark have invented a technology which may be an important step towards the hydrogen economy: a hydrogen tablet that effectively stores hydrogen in an inexpensive and safe material. With the new hydrogen tablet, it becomes much simpler to use the environmentally-friendly energy of hydrogen. Hydrogen is a non-polluting fuel, but since it is a light gas it occupies too much volume, and it is flammable. Consequently, effective and safe storage of hydrogen has challenged researchers world-wide for almost three decades. At the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, an interdisciplinary team has developed a hydrogen tablet which enables storage and transport of hydrogen in solid form.
Hurricane Katrina damage just a dose of what's to come
(09/21/2005) The kind of devastation seen on the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina may be a small taste of what is to come if emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2 ) are not diminished soon, warns Dr. Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology in his opening remarks at the 7th International Carbon Dioxide Conference in Boulder, Colorado, September 26, 2005.
Pig iron production fueling Amazon deforestation
(09/21/2005) Pig iron production in the states of Para and Maranhao is fueling deforestation a Brazilian newspaper reports.
Number of Amazon forest fires in Mato Grosso, Brazil fall 44%
(09/21/2005) The Brazilian National Institute for Spatial Research (INPE) reports that fires have fallen 44% in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil when compared to last year's figures.
US summer wetter, warmer than usual says NOAA
(09/21/2005) The June-August summer season was the tenth warmest on record for the contiguous U.S., while precipitation was above average. Global temperatures were second highest on record for the boreal summer, which runs from June 1 through August 31. Twelve named tropical systems formed in the Atlantic by the end of August, including Hurricane Katrina, which was among the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S.
In Niger, 50% deaths among children under five from malaria
(09/20/2005) Seeking to avert a second wave of deaths among Niger's undernourished children, the World Health Organization (WHO) is dispatching 100 000 antimalarial treatments to the west African country, where peak malaria season has begun in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.
Malaria parasite dispersal mechanism uncovered
(09/20/2005) Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have determined the sequence in which the malaria parasite disperses from the red blood cells it infects. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is one of the National Institutes of Health.
Cost of Iraq War to top $1.25 trillion says academic
(09/20/2005) The total cost of the Iraq War for the UK, the USA, Iraq and other nations is likely to top US$1.25 trillion dollars according to Keith Hartley, a professor at the University of York's Center for Defence Economics.
DDT linked to Early Miscarriages - Harvard Study
(09/20/2005) Healthy, nonsmoking women with high levels of DDT residues in their bloodstream are far more likely to miscarry during the early weeks of pregnancy than those with lower levels, a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found.
Builder of rainforest canopy walkways believes conservation can be profitable
(09/20/2005) This month's issue of The Ecological Finance Review details Greenheart conservation Company, a for-profit company that designs, builds and operates conservation based canopy walkways (canopy trails) and other nature-based attractions around the world. Operating on the premise that conservation can be economically viable, Greenheart believes that is has already become a "model of how to shift gears from an industrial to a green economy." Greenheart has developed or is developing canopy walkways in Peru, Nigeria, Madagascar, Ghana, Brazil, Guyana, the United Kingdon, and Canada.
Tropical deforestation affects rainfall in North America
(09/20/2005) NASA research has found that deforestation in the tropics affects rainfall patterns in North America. Deforestation in the Amazon region of South America influences rainfall from Mexico to Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico. Similarly, deforesting lands in Central Africa affects precipitation in the upper and lower U.S Midwest, while deforestation in Southeast Asia was found to alter rainfall in China and the Balkan Peninsula.
33% of evacuees report experiencing health problems or injuries as a result of the hurricane
(09/20/2005) To give voice to people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing floods, The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a unique survey of evacuees in shelters in the Houston area. One-third (34%) of Katrina evacuees report that they were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued. Half (50%) of those who were trapped said they waited three or more days to be rescued.
FDA Approves First Pediatric Generic AIDS Drug
(09/20/2005) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the approval for marketing of several generic versions of drugs that treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Previously, the products had been only tentatively approved and were not available in the United States because patent or market exclusivity blocked their approval.
conservation scientists want $404 million to save disappearing amphibians
(09/20/2005) Yesterday conservation scientists proposed a $404 million effort to preserve declining global amphibian populations. The strategy would call for funding from governments, private institutions and individual donors to finance long-term research, protect critical habitats, reduce the trade in amphibians for food and pets, and establish captive breeding programs.
New measure of wealth accounts for resource depletion, environmental damage
(09/18/2005) Accounting for the actual value of natural resources, including resource depletion and population growth, shows that net savings per person are negative in the world's most impoverished countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new World Bank publication, Where is the Wealth of Nations?, launched on the eve of the 2005 U.N. World Summit.
Domestic black market for endangered wildlife thrives in Indonesia
(09/18/2005) Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and yet has the longest list of endangered wild species. Wild species are becoming endangered due to unsustainable deforestation and poaching. The government does not yet have a national plan to seriously address this problem; while Indonesia has laws protecting wild species, enforcement is weak.
90% of largest companies concerned about climate change
(09/18/2005) More U.S. corporations than ever before now factor climate change into the risks and opportunities faced by their businesses, according to a report released today by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a coalition of institutional investors with more than $21 trillion in assets. Increased interest from the investment community, in conjunction with related macro-economic developments, is encouraging the development of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has nearly doubled over past 35 years
(09/16/2005) The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped since the 1990s, according to a study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The shift occurred as global sea surface temperatures have increased over the same period. The research appears in the September 16 issue of Science.
Missing Gulfport dolphins rescued following Hurricane Katrina
(09/16/2005) Wildlife experts on Thursday began rescuing a group of eight bottlenose dolphins swept from their aquarium home into the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Katrina.
Tampa Bay could be hit by 25-foot storm surge in Category 4 hurricane
(09/16/2005) A Category 4 hurricane could cause a storm surge of as much as 25 feet in Tampa Bay, according to a University of Central Florida researcher who is looking at the risks Florida cities face from tidal surges and flooding.
Coca cultivation and eradication destroy rainforest
(09/15/2005) 1.8 million hectares of rainforest in Colombia have been destroyed to make room for drug plantations according to the director of Amazon Institute of Scientific Investigation.
Number of tourists visiting Antarctica surges over past decade
(09/15/2005) The number of sightseers visiting Antarctica has surged 308 percent since 1992 according to figures released in a report by the UN. For the 2004-2005 year, more than 27,000 people visited the icy continent.
NASA Satellite Data Used to Assess Amazon Deforestation
(09/15/2005) The Amazon, a vast tropical forest stretching across South America, is so large that is virtually impossible to study the evolving landscapes within the basin without the use of satellites. Scientists have used satellite imagery of the Amazon for more than 30 years to seek answers about this diverse ecosystem and the patterns and processes of land cover change. This technology continues to advance and a new study shows that NASA satellite images can allow scientists to more quickly and accurately assess deforestation in the Amazon.
Hexavalent chromium, lead and arsenic found in flood waters
(09/15/2005) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its daily update on Hurricane Katrina flood water sampling data for chemicals.
WCS supports new primate protection agreement
(09/14/2005) The Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) announced today that a new international agreement signed last week in the Democratic Republic of Congo will play a key role in safeguarding and improving populations of the world's great apes, including gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans.
Ecotourism in the rainforest, a guide to your first visit
(09/14/2005) The rainforest is an incredible place. Having having realistic expectations about your experience, being prepared, and knowing what to bring will make your trip run more smoothly. Hopefully your initial visit to the rainforest will be the first of many.
How to save disappearing amphibians subject of meeting this weekend
(09/14/2005) Scientists are meeting this weekend to discuss strategies for addressing the global decline of amphibians. Earlier this year, the Global Amphibian Assessment, a survey of the planet's amphibian species, found that nearly a third (32%) of the world's amphibian species are threatened and 129 species have gone extinct since 1980.
FAO sponsors microentrepreneurship program for Africans villagers
(09/13/2005) Poor communities in the Gambia are now earning regular income by selling forest products, thanks to an FAO programme that helps communities to build up markets for local products.
Polio outbreak confirmed in Somalia
(09/13/2005) The Global Polio Eradication Initiative - spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF - today launched an ambitious new series of polio immunization campaigns to prevent the re-establishment of the disease in the Horn of Africa.
Hurricane Katrina to cost Louisiana fisheries $1.1 billion
(09/13/2005) The Louisiana Department and Wildlife and Fisheries' preliminary estimates indicate a potential $1.1 billion loss in retail fisheries revenue over the next year and an additional $150 million loss in oyster revenue in the second year due to Hurricane Katrina damage.
Anti-HIV drug from rainforest almost lost before its discovery
(09/13/2005) Rainforest plants have long been recognized for their potential to provide healing compounds. Indigenous peoples of the rainforest have used medicinal plants for treating a wide variety of health conditions while western pharmacologists have derived a number of drugs from such plants. However, as forests around the world continue to fall there is a real risk that pharmaceutically-useful plants will disappear before they are examined for their chemical properties. Increasingly, it is becoming a race against time to collect and screen plants before their native habitats are destroyed. One near miss occurred recently with a compound that has shown significant anti-HIV effects, Calanolide A.
Divers to monitor health of coral reefs in the UAE
(09/12/2005) The Emirates Diving Association is training its members and staff to monitor the health of the coral reefs and marine life in the UAE.
New Orleans Aquarium animals shipped to Monterey Bay Aquarium
(09/12/2005) Two sea otters and 19 penguins from the New Orleans Aquarium have been sent to Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium will start providing updates on the animals once they have been stabilized. There are currently no plans to place them on exhibit at Monterey Bay.
Hurricane Katrina Surface Water Monitoring Plan prepared
(09/12/2005) The Louisiana Office of Environmental Assessment has prepared a "Hurricane Katrina Surface Water Monitoring Plan" to determine the impact of Hurricane Katrina on water quality in affected areas.
Airline passengers urged to fight global warming via green tax
(09/12/2005) Starting today, British Airways passengers will be asked to make a donation towards green energy efforts whenever they fly. The airline is introducing the "green fee" to persuade the government that it takes the issue of pollution seriously and that policymakers need not adopt a European proposal for environmental taxes on flights. The EU is considering such a proposal as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions which are strictly limited under the Kyoto Protocol.
Virunga hippo population falling rapidly from poaching
(09/12/2005) A new aerial survey shows that the hippo population in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo will soon be extinct due to rampant poaching for hippo teeth and meat, WWF warned today.
Key Discovery Made in Feline AIDS Research
(09/10/2005) A University of Florida researcher has discovered an unexpected link between the viruses that cause feline and human AIDS: Cats vaccinated with an experimental strain of the human AIDS virus appear to be at least as well-protected against the feline version of the disease as those immunized with the vaccine currently used by veterinarians.
High oil prices make Asia pursue green energy
(09/09/2005) For energy-hungry Asian governments, the answer could literally be blowing in the wind. Across the region, renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal power is gaining ever greater credence as a way to curb the region's appetite for oil and cut runaway import bills.
Surviving animals from New Orleans aquarium to be sent elsewhere
(09/09/2005) Surviving animals from the New Orleans will find new homes according to aquarium spokeswoman Melissa Lee. Despite escaping Hurricane Katrina with little physical damage, the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans suffered significant loss of animal life when the facility's emergency generator failed and made conditions unlivable for most its animals.
Kepler's - death of independent bookstore a missed opportunity?
(09/09/2005) Last week Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park suddenly and unexpectedly closed its doors after 50 years of bookselling on the Peninsula. The independent bookseller was considered one of California's literary landmarks, a place where well-read employees could make informed recommendations on virtually any genre. While high rent is reported to have played a role in the closure, Kepler's employees cited slow sales and competition from discount and online retailers as reasons for shutting the doors.
Gator season delayed due to Hurricane Katrina
(09/09/2005) The Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has delayed the opening and closing dates of the 2005 wild alligator harvest season in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 49:953B of the Administrative Procedure Act and LAC 76:V.701 due to Hurricane Katrina.
Humans impacted climate thousands of years ago
(09/09/2005) New research suggests humans were influencing the world's climate long before the Industrial Revolution. Atmospheric levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, climbed steadily during the first millennium due to massive fires set by humans clearing land agriculture.
Albino giraffe spotted
(09/08/2005) Albino giraffe spotted by WCS in Tanzania.
Carbon reinjection strategies to be affected by climate change
(09/08/2005) An Earth System model developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates that the best location to store carbon dioxide in the deep ocean will change with climate change.
Guidelines to promote a sustainable tourism
(09/08/2005) With massive growth in tourism predicted in the coming years, two United Nations agencies have teamed up to produce a set of guidelines to help governments around the world to promote a sustainable tourism that spreads prosperity while avoiding harm to the environment and local communities.
States housing thousands of evacuees -- state by state estimates
(09/08/2005) Almost 240,000 hurricane victims are in Texas; 25,000 in Alabama; 60,000 in Arkansas; 15,000 in Tennessee; 15,000 in Georgia. More than 485 Red Cross shelters have been opened in 18 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia with more on standby. More than 142,000 evacuees are being sheltered by the American Red Cross. Meanwhile a debate has emerged on whether to call displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina "refugees," "evacuees," "victims" or "survivors."
Hurricane could hit San Diego
(09/08/2005) San Diego has been hit by hurricanes in the past and may be affected by such storms in the future according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While a hurricane in San Diego would likely produce significantly less damage that Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, it could still exact a high cost to Southern California especially if the region was caught off guard.
Vegetation growth in Arctic could add to global warming
(09/08/2005) Warming in the Arctic is stimulating the growth of vegetation and could affect the delicate energy balance there, causing an additional climate warming of several degrees over the next few decades. A new study indicates that as the number of dark-colored shrubs in the otherwise stark Arctic tundra rises, the amount of solar energy absorbed could increase winter heating by up to 70 percent. The research will be published 7 September in the first issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, published by the American Geophysical Union.
Visiting Croatia; tourists replace soldiers
(09/08/2005) Fourteen years ago Croatia was a war zone. Serbian forces occupied about one third of the country and shelled the historic city Dubrovnik. Ethnic cleansing and atrocities were committed and thousands of people were displaced. Today, peace has returned to Croatia and the country is experiencing a tourism boom. With some of the best weather in the Mediterranean and the sparkling waters of the Adriatic there are good reasons that Croatia has regained its former glory at a top tourist destination.
Glaciers melting at alarming rates, water problems feared
(09/07/2005) Global Warming is melting glaciers in every region of the world, putting millions of people at risk from floods, droughts and lack of drinking water says a report from WWF.
$50 electronic food cards for hurricane refugees
(09/07/2005) Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today issued two directives to further meet the food and housing needs of Hurricane Katrina survivors.
$170 million in emergency assistance for farmers
(09/07/2005) Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that USDA is making more than $170 million in emergency assistance available to agricultural producers suffering from Hurricane Katrina. In addition, USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is implementing immediate changes to its Marketing Assistance Loan Program due to the hurricane.
Number of hurricane evacuees sheltered in various states, cities
(09/07/2005) These lists of shelters have been compiled from various press and government reports.
NASA offers assistance to hurricane victims
(09/07/2005) NASA science instruments and Earth-orbiting satellites are providing detailed insight about the environmental impact caused by Hurricane Katrina. Images and data are helping characterize the extent of flooding; damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure; and potential hazards caused by the storm and its aftermath.
EPA advisory for health safety in flooded areas
(09/07/2005) Floodwaters from six locations across the New Orleans area were sampled by EPA and analyzed for chemicals and bacteria. Preliminary information indicates that bacteria counts for E. coli in sampled areas greatly exceed EPA's recommended levels for contact. At these levels, human contact with water should be avoided as much as possible.
Economic impact of hurricane close to neutral
(09/07/2005) The CBO projects 400,000 people will be unemployed due to Hurricane Katrina. Further, the hurricane is unlikely to have much impact on overall economic growth in the United States. Generally, the overall impact of natural disasters is often close to neutral since lost output from destruction and displacement is then compensated for by a big increase in reconstruction and public spending.
Whale uses fish as bait to catch seagulls then shares strategy with fellow orcas
(09/07/2005) An enterprising young killer whale at Marineland has figured out how to use fish as bait to catch seagulls -- and shared his strategy with his fellow whales.
Emerging Staph Strains Found to be Increasingly Deadly
(09/07/2005) A study of how the immune system reacts to strains of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria -- emerging strains that sicken otherwise healthy people, or so-called "community-acquired" infections -- has shown for the first time that these strains are more deadly and better at evading human immune defenses than more common S. aureus strains that originate in hospitals and other health-care settings.
White alligator, sea otters, penguins at New Orleans Aquarium OK, fish are not
(09/06/2005) Despite escaping Hurricane Katrina with little physical damage, the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans has suffered significant loss of animal life. According to the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), the aquarium has lost most of its fish. A skeleton staff is preparing to move some animals out of the facility and caring for surviving animals in the collection. The sea otters, penguins, leafy and weedy seadragons, birds (macaws and raptors), and the white alligator are fine.
Fires in peat lands cost climate
(09/06/2005) The tropical rainforests of Kalimantan have long been threatened and increasingly endangered by deforestation and other invasive types of human activity. However, a lesser known ecosystem in the region that is literally coming under fire, is the tropical peat lands, particularly in the central area of the province of Indonesian Borneo.
An environmental disaster in New Orleans
(09/06/2005) New Orleans faces an environmental disaster.
Satellite pictures show much of Africa burning
(09/06/2005) The use of fire for creating and maintaining agricultural areas is an annual practice across most of Africa. NASA's Earth Observatory recently released a bews brief documenting fire patterns across the African continent for 2005. The text from the feature appears below and is accompanied by a series of images showing seasonal use of fire in the region.
Medicinal plants explored at Conservatory of Flowers
(09/06/2005) Plants have long been used by humans for treating a wide range of ills from childhood leukemia to hangovers. Indeed, many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to Western doctors have a long history of use as herbal remedies including quinine, opium, aspirin, and coca.
Mad cow disease came from humans suggests new theory
(09/06/2005) Mad cow disease may have originated from human remains mixed into cattle feed, according to a controversial new theory.
Human evolution linked to climate change says study
(09/06/2005) New evidence suggests human evolution was caused by specific periods of climatic change in Africa according to research presented at the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society. These climatic influences played a crucial part in enhancing human development says Dr Mark Maslin, Senior Lecturer in Geography at University College London.
New Method Can Rapidly Detect Potential Bioterror Agent causing Q fever
(09/06/2005) A new combination of analytical chemistry and mathematical data analysis techniques allows the rapid identification of the species, strain and infectious phase of the potential biological terrorism agent Coxiella burnetii. The bacterium causes the human disease Q fever, which can cause serious illness and even death..
Gas hydrates in ocean could trigger catastrophic climate change
(09/06/2005) Global warming will cause gasses trapped beneath the ocean floor to release into the atmosphere according to research presented at the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society. The impact could initiate a catastrophic global greenhouse effect.
Personal account of hurricane destruction along Mississippi Gulf Coast
(09/06/2005) The following is an eyewitness account of hurricane destruction along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Included is information on plans to provide pro bono services from out of state lawyers to the storm victims, many of whom will need assistance in dealing with insurance companies, relief bureaucracies, and possibly personal or small business bankruptcies in the aftermath of the storm.
500,000-year-old chimpanzee fossil found
(09/06/2005) Palaeontologists discovered the first known chimpanzee fossil while digging near Lake Baringo, Kenya.
Chernobyl environment and people recovering
(09/06/2005) Chernobyl's ecosystems seem to be recovering just 19 years after the region was badly contaminated with radiation from a nuclear meltdown according to a report backed by the United Nations.
Climbing and yoga firm to use renewable energy
(09/06/2005) In a move that underscores the company's commitment to being part of the solution, prAna announces the prAna Natural Power Initiative, which will provide renewable wind energy to 100 of its retailers across the nation.
Poverty decimates great apes
(09/05/2005) Fewer than 250 wild Sumatran orangutans may exist in fifty years, their habitat is disappearing and the devastation of the Asian tsunami has accelerated the rate of destruction. This is among the findings being announced at the launch of the first World Atlas of Great Apes and their conservation by the UNEP World conservation Monitoring Centre, which reveals that it is not just humans that will benefit from a campaign to 'make poverty history'. For the other 6 species of great ape -- the eastern and western gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, Sumatran and Bornean orangutan -- it could literally save them from the cooking pot.
Poverty worsens hurricane impact -- AP analysis
(09/05/2005) An Associated Press analysis of Census data shows that the residents in the three dozen hardest-hit neighborhoods in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama also were disproportionately minority and had incomes $10,000 below the national average.
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