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Birds evolved from gliding four-legged dinosaurs

(09/22/2006) Birds may have evolved from gliding four-legged dinosaurs accofding to new research by a University of Calgary paleontologist.

Ozone hole near record size

(09/22/2006) The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Friday that hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica will expand this year to 27.9 million square kilometers (10.8 million square miles), its second-highest recorded level in history.

Add invasive species status to list of biofuel concerns

(09/22/2006) High energy prices over the past couple years have fueled interest in biofuels, which proponents say are less damaging to the environment and provide energy security not afforded by foreign oil and gas imports. Nevertheless, accompanying their rise in visibility, have been concerns over their environmental impact of converting natural vegetation for their production. Now scientists warn that some biofuel crops pose a risk as invasive species.

Virgin's Branson commits $3 billion to fight global warming

(09/21/2006) According to BBC News, Sir Richard Branson will commit all profits from his travel firms, including airline Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains, over the next tend years to fight global warming. The pledge, worth some $3 billion, was made at the on the second day of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

California sues automakers over global warming

(09/21/2006) California sued six of the world's largest automakers over greenhouse gas emissions charging that pollution their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in health damages. Auto industry representatives said the action was political and just in time for November elections.

California sues Bush administration forest law repeal

(09/21/2006) Yesterday California sued the Bush Administration over its repeal of the Clinton Administration's "Roadless Rule". According to a release from state Attorney General Bill Lockyer, "The Northern Federal District of California ruled the U.S. Forest Service violated federal environmental laws by stripping national forest roadless areas of protection from road-building and logging without performing any environmental analysis of the consequences. The court ordered the immediate reinstatement of protections for nearly 50 million acres of remaining undeveloped forests."

Dolphin Slaughter Resumes in Japan

(09/21/2006) As the annual dolphin drive hunts begin in the Japanese villages of Taiji and Futo, a consortium of scientists and zoo and aquarium professionals has launched a campaign to end the practices through public awareness and by appealing to the government of Japan to put an end to the hunts.

Rare, 90-million-year-old tree for sale

(09/20/2006) IThe National Geographic Society announced it will sell the Wollemi Pine, one of the world's oldest and rarest trees, to consumers in the United States this holiday season. Fewer than 100 tree exist in the wild.

Greenland's ice continues to melt

(09/20/2006) Data gathered by a pair of NASA satellites orbiting Earth show Greenland continued to lose ice mass at a significant rate through April 2006, and that the rate of loss is accelerating, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Oldest juvenile skeleton discovered in Ethiopia

(09/20/2006) Discovery of a nearly intact 3.3 million year-old juvenile skeleton is filling an important gap in understanding the evolution of a species thought to be among the earliest direct ancestors to humans, says William Kimbel, a paleoanthropologist with ASU's Institute of Human Origins. Kimbel is part of the team that studied the skeleton of an approximately three-year-old female Australopithecus afarensis, the same species as the well known Lucy, from Dikika, Ethiopia.

Amazon rainforest has its first wireless city under poverty alleviation initiative by Intel

(09/20/2006) Intel unveiled what it is calling the "World's Most Remote Digital City" in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The wireless, high-speed Internet network installation in Parintins, a town on an island in the Amazon River, is part of the tech firm's initiative to treat the world's poor as a market. Some economists have argued that addressing the world's poor in such a manner could bring benefits that they have not seen through historical aid efforts.

Tree rings could settle global warming hurricane debate

(09/20/2006) Scientists have shown that ancient tree rings could help settle the debate as to whether hurricanes are strengthening in intensity due to global warming. By measuring different isotopes of oxygen present in the rings, Professors Claudia Mora and Henri Grissino-Mayer of the University of Tennessee have identified periods when hurricanes hit areas of the Southeastern United States up to 500 years ago. The research could help create a record of hurricanes that would help researchers understand hurricane frequency and intensity. Currently reliable history for hurricanes only dates back a generation or so. Prior to that, the official hurricane records kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic basin hurricane database (HURDAT) are controversial at best since storm data from more than 20 years ago is not nearly as accurate as current hurricane data due to improvements in tracking technology. The lack of a credible baseline makes it nearly impossible to accurately compare storm frequency and strength over the period.

Extent of Mercury Pollution More Widespread, Report Shows

(09/20/2006) Mercury pollution is making its way into nearly every habitat in the U.S., exposing countless species of wildlife to potentially harmful levels of mercury, a new report from the National Wildlife Federation shows.

Arctic ice hole larger than Britain forms, shocks scientists

(09/20/2006) European Space Agency satellite images acquired from 23 to 25 August 2006 have shown for the first time dramatic openings larger than the size of the British Isles in the Arctic's perennial sea ice pack north of Svalbard, and extending into the Russian Arctic all the way to the North Pole. The agency says the findings are shocking to scientists. 'If this anomaly trend continues, the North-East Passage or 'Northern Sea Route' between Europe and Asia will be open over longer intervals of time, and it is conceivable we might see attempts at sailing around the world directly across the summer Arctic Ocean within the next 10-20 years,' said Mark Drinkwater, a scientist with ESA.

$230B for moon return but only $30M for deep ocean research?

(09/19/2006) Unless you're a space buff, you probably missed the latest news from Mars. The Rover mission has now determined that a promontory scientists call "McCool Hill" is 85 feet taller than nearby "Husband Hill." Stop the presses! Exploring new frontiers in the quest for knowledge has inspired humans for centuries, and today's extraterrestrial search for alien life forms and clues to our origin, captures the public's imagination like few others.

China makes environmental moves as problems mount

(09/19/2006) China, the world's most populous country and fastest growing economy, faces a host of environmental problems. Energy and water shortages, water and air pollution, cropland and biodiversity losses, and escalating emissions of greenhouses gases are all concerns as the country moves towards world superpower status. While these issues could threaten to destablilize the country and derail economic growth, it appears that it is taking steps to address some of these challenges.

Expansion of agriculture in the Amazon may impact climate

(09/19/2006) A new study from NASA scientists shows that forest clearing for large-scale agriculture has recently become a significant cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The researchers warn that this change in land use may affect the region' climate and the Amazon's ability to absorb carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas.

War-torn Congo Announces Two New Parks

(09/18/2006) The Minister of forestry Economy of the Republic of Congo announced today plans to create two new protected areas that together could be larger than Yellowstone National Park, spanning nearly one million hectares (3,800 square miles). Instead of bison and elk, these new protected areas contain elephants, chimpanzees, hippos, crocodiles, and some of the highest densities of gorillas on earth. The announcement was made by Minister Henri Djombo and officials from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) at the United Nations.

Climate Change Threatens Lemurs

(09/18/2006) Tropical rainforests are among the most stable environments on Earth, but they are still no match for global climate change. Dr. Patricia Wright, the widely admired primatologist and Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University, finds that climate change could mean the difference between survival and extinction for endangered lemurs.

New species of 'walking' shark discovered

(09/18/2006) Two recent expeditions led by conservation International (CI) to the heart of Asia'Coral Triangle' discovered dozens of new species of marine life including epaulette sharks, 'flasher' wrasse and reef-building coral, confirming the region as the Earthapos;s richest seascape.

Shift from hard drives to flash may have environmental benefits

(08/29/2006) A leading technology research group says flash, or solid state memory drives may soon replace the standard hard drives in laptops. Over the past few years, flash memory technology has been claiming an increasingly sizeable share of the market, particularly in the form of USB drives. According to the Gartner Group, the NAND flash market has grown from 1.56 billion in 200 to 11.42 billion in 2005, with even higher projections for the next two years. This summer, Samsung set a new bar by releasing computers that utilize flash memory storage, negating the need for traditional magnetic disk media. The implications of a shift for laptops are significant for a number of reasons including changing performance demand, market trends and investment opportunities. Unconsidered at this point, but nonetheless compelling, is the possible environmental impact of such a transition.

Acid rain affects one-third of China

(08/28/2006) One-third of China is impacted by acid rain according to officials quotes Sunday by state media. The Associated Press reports that China's factories are sending ever increasing amounts of sulphur dioxide -- the chemical that causes acid rain -- according to Sheng Huaren, deputy chairman of the Standing Committee of parliament. Emissions of sulphur dioxide have risen by 27 percent since 2000.

One year later: Hurricane Katrina in review

(08/28/2006) While hurricane Katrina was the most devastating, causing 1833 fatalities and over $81 billion in damage, it was not the strongest storm of the year -- both Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Wilma were more powerful. Katrina, which at one point in the Gulf of Mexico was a Category 5 hurricane, was only a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall near New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Nevertheless, the damage was extensive.

Remote island provides clues on population growth, environmental degradation

(08/25/2006) Halfway between South America and New Zealand, in the remote South Pacific, is Rapa. This horseshoe-shaped, 13.5 square-mile island of volcanic origin, located essentially in the middle of nowhere, is 'a microcosm of the world's situation,' says a University of Oregon archaeologist.

Climate change causing early spring

(08/25/2006) Spring is arriving earlier across Europe than it did 30 years ago according to new research published in the journal Global Change Biology. Scientists from 17 nations examined 125,000 studies involving 561 species and found that spring is beginning on average six to eight days earlier than it did 30 years ago. The researchers said that in countries where rapid increases in temperature have occurred, that figure is almost doubled.

Climate change caused dramatic changes in Antarctica 14 million years ago

(08/25/2006) Climate change 14 million years ago produced catastrophic drainage of subglacial lakes in Antarctica causing dramatic changes in the continent's landscape according to new research.

Why some Himalayan glaciers aren't melting due to climate change

(08/25/2006) New research into climate change in the Western Himalaya and the surrounding Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains could explain why many glaciers there are growing and not melting. The findings suggest this area, known as the Upper Indus Basin, could be reacting differently to global warming, the phenomenon blamed for causing glaciers in the Eastern Himalaya, Nepal and India, to melt and shrink.

North Atlantic Ocean freshening could weaken Gulf Stream

(08/24/2006) A new analysis of 50 years of changes in freshwater inputs to the Arctic Ocean and North Atlantic may help shed light on what's behind the recently observed freshening of the North Atlantic Ocean. In a report, published in the August 25, 2006 issue of the journal, Science, MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) senior scientist Bruce J. Peterson and his colleagues describe a first-of-its-kind effort to create a big-picture view of hydrologic trends in the Arctic. Their analysis reveals that freshwater increases from Arctic Ocean sources appear to be highly linked to a fresher North Atlantic.

Recovery of biodiversity after dinosaurs was chaotic

(08/24/2006) The recovery of biodiversity after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was much more chaotic than previously thought, according to paleontologists. New fossil evidence shows that at certain times and places, plant and insect diversity were severely out of balance, not linked as they are today. The extinction took place 65.5 million years ago. Labeled the K-T extinction, it marks the beginning of the Cenozoic Era and the Paleocene Epoch.

Genetically modified tree could be used for cellulosic ethanol biofuel

(08/24/2006) A tree that can reach 90 feet in six years and be grown as a row crop on fallow farmland could represent a major replacement for fossil fuels. Purdue University researchers are using genetic tools in an effort to design trees that readily and inexpensively can yield the substances needed to produce alternative transportation fuel.

Feathers, human hair used to fight oil spill in Philippines

(08/24/2006) The Philippines has asked for hair clippings from salons and chicken feathers to help fight the country's worst oil spill, according to a report from Reuters. The oil spill occurred August 1 after Solar I, an oil tanker chartered by Petron Corp. sank in rough seas. About 1700 barrels spilled initially, but because the tanker sank in deep water with as much as 15,300 barrels of bunker oil, more is expected to leak into the surrounding environment. According to Greenpeace, about 320 kilometers of coastline -- including a coral reef located in a marine reserve and 27 coastal villages -- have been affected by the spill.

Tropical rain forest insects have diet similar to temperate insects

(08/24/2006) A study initiated by University of Minnesota plant biologist George Weiblen has confirmed what biologists since Darwin have suspected - that the vast number of tree species in rain forests accounts for the equally vast number of plant-eating species of insects.

Viruses can jump primate-human species barrier, researchers warn

(08/23/2006) Viruses that jump the species barrier between monkeys and humans can harm both people and animals, and we should take steps to reduce the risk of virus transmission. That's the message running through the September issue of the American Journal of Primatology, a special issue on disease risk analysis edited by a primate expert at the University of Washington.

Americans believe hot weather, hurricanes linked to global warming

(08/23/2006) As first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina nears, a just-released Zogby poll shows that not only are Americans more convinced global warming is happening, they are also linking recent intense weather events like Hurricane Katrina and this summer's heat wave and droughts to global warming.

1 in 3 U.S. National Parks Polluted

(08/22/2006) Air pollution exceeds federal standards in nearly 40 percent of America's national parks according to a new report from the nonpartisan National Parks conservation Association.

Gecko feet inspire high-friction micro-fibers

(08/22/2006) Inspired by the remarkable hairs that allow geckos to hang single-toed from sheer walls and scamper along ceilings, a team of researchers led by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, has created an array of synthetic micro-fibers that uses very high friction to support loads on smooth surfaces.

New potential fuel source carries global warming risk

(08/22/2006) Scientists supported by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international marine research program that explores sea floor sediments and rocks, announced that they found deposits of methane gas hydrates at considerably less depth than expected. The discovery, published in the August. 15, 2006 edition of EOS may have implications for future energy use as well as climate change.

Ancient blue whale was a shark killer

(08/22/2006) A 25-million-year-old whale fossil from southeastern Australia suggests a curious origin for baleen whales. Presented at the at the Melbourne Museum last week, the fossil shows that earliest baleen whales were small, toothed and highly predatory creatures with enormous eyes -- virtually the opposite of the baleen whales we know today. These, like the blue whale and the humpback are gentle, toothless giants that feed on krill and other tiny organism.

Hobbits don't exist; ancient human skeleton not a pygmy

(08/21/2006) The skeletal remains found in a cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia, reported in 2004, do not represent a new species as then claimed, but some of the ancestors of modern human pygmies who live on the island today, according to an international scientific team.

Forest fires causing mercury pollution in North America

(08/21/2006) Increasing numbers of wildfires due to climate change could worsen mercury pollution in North America according to a new study from researchers at Michigan State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Canadian Forest Service. Wildfires are releasing mercury long ago sequesterd in Northern wetlands.

Global water problem: one in three face water scarcity

(08/21/2006) One in three people is enduring one form or another of water scarcity, according to a new report from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). The assessment, carried out by 700 experts from around the world over the last five years, was released at World Water Week in Stockholm, a conference exploring the management of global water resources.

More charity money going to fight global warming

(08/18/2006) Increasing public awareness of the threat posed by climate change has driven environmental charitable giving to record highs according to The Wall Street Journal.

Oceans noisier than ever

(08/18/2006) Declassified Navy documents allow comparison that points to global shipping as the likely reason behind increase in undersea noise pollution according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Coal to oil conversion gaining interest in China, U.S.

(08/17/2006) High oil prices are spawning greater interest in technologies that convert coal into liquid fuel, according to an article published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, but the shift could have a significant impact on the environment. Heightened tensions in the Middle East combined with booming demand and political instability in other regions have put a premium on crude oil and forced China and the United States -- the world's largest energy gluttons -- to look towards secure sources of fuel. Both countries are coal-rich but petroleum-poor. The Wall Street Journal says that China and the United States are actively developing coal-to-oil technology.

Climate change, not hunters, killed ancient Australia's giant kangaroos

(08/16/2006) Scientists at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University have found strong evidence for the cause of the extinction of Australia's giant marsupials some 50,000 years ago. Cold, arid climates of the last ice age have been identified as a likely cause, casting doubt on the alternative hypothesis which blames human hunters.

Climate change has eroded Alps

(08/15/2006) The Alps, the iconic rugged mountains that cover parts of seven European nations, might have reached their zenith millions of years ago, some scientists believe, and now are a mere shadow of their former selves. New research offers an explanation - climate change.

Bison-hunting Plains indians more advanced than thought

(08/15/2006) A controversial new theory argues that ancient plains Indians may have developed complex tribal social structures far earlier than many researchers believe. Dr. Dale Walde, an archaeologist at the University of Calgary, says that evidence from bison kill sites together with ceramics found in Alberta and Saskatchewan suggests that pressure from agricultural societies from the Midwestern U.S. may have prompted Bison hunters to change their bison hunting strategies and to organize themselves into larger groups.

More carbon dioxide may help some trees weather ice storms

(08/15/2006) The increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere predicted for later this century may reduce the damage that future ice storms will cause to commercially important loblolly pine trees, according to a new study.

Most of world's forests could be gone by 2100

(08/15/2006) New research claims that more than half the world's largest forests will be lost if global temperatures rise by an average of 3 degrees or more by the end of the century.The study, published in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says that a warmer climate also increases the risk of extreme floods, forest fires and droughts.

Hurricane intensity linked to global warming

(08/15/2006) A new study says climate change is affecting the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes and that hurricane damage will likely worsen in coming years due to increasing ocean temperatures. Unlike recent studies that have linked higher sea temperatures to an increase in the number of hurricanes, the new research shows a direct relationship between climate change and hurricane intensity.

Frozen balls could bring mammoths back to life

(08/15/2006) Scientists have successfully bred mice using dead sperm extracted from frozen mice. The research raises the possibility that long-extinct species could one day be brought back to life.

San Francisco aquarium throws party Thursday night

(08/15/2006) The Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco is throwing its monthly after-work party this coming Thursday, August 17, 2006 from 5-9 pm. The theme is 'life in extreme environments' which explores the question of whether there is life elsewhere in our universe.

Fish decline has ecological impact in tropical river

(08/14/2006) Dramatic population reductions of a single fish species in a South American river could degrade ecosystem function in an entire river system, according to an article in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Science.

Biodiesel Moves to the Energy Mainstream

(08/14/2006) Country music legend Willie Nelson and biological engineer San Fernando have a lot in common. The common link between the singer and the Mississippi State University professor is biodiesel, a fuel for diesel engines produced by blending petroleum diesel with refined vegetable oil. Nelson is promoting biodiesel as an alternative to pure petroleum-based diesel and as a way to support U.S. farmers. Fernando is researching ways to make production of the fuel easier and more cost-effective.

Orangutan population plunges 43% in Indonesia

(08/14/2006) The Wildlife conservation Society-Indonesia Program said that Indonesia's population of orangutans fell nearly 43 percent in the past decade, from 35,000 in 1997 to 20,000 today. The decline has been caused by ongoing forest destruction and poaching in Kalimantan (Borneo) and Sumatra, the only two islands that still support wild orangutans. Environmental groups have warned that red ape could be extinct in the wild without urgent conservation measures.

Report Warns of Coastal Flooding and Rising Sea Levels in California

(08/14/2006) The California Climate Action Team has released a summary report of 17 scientific studies examining the potential impacts of climate change on California. Today, officials discussed the report, the science and what the state is doing to take action on reducing heat-trapping gases that threaten to cause more frequent coastal floods, rising sea levels, beach erosion and disruptions to wetlands. The presentation was held at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Biofuels can lead to deforestation says Unilever executive

(08/11/2006) While biofuels are hyped for their potential to off-set fossil fuel use, the shift toward their use should proceed with caution warns Alan Jope, vice president of consumer products giant Unilever. In an August 7 interview with The Times, Jope said that the environmental drawbacks of biofuels is overlooked.

46 arrested for illegal Amazon logging

(08/11/2006) The Associated Press reports that 46 people, including 16 agents of the federal environmental protection agency, were arrested for allegedly operating illegal logging operations in the Amazon rainforest and southern Brazil.

Past climate change caused dramatic shift in humidity, precipitation levels, temperature, and ocean water salinity

(08/11/2006) Scientists have uncovered new evidence of dramatic changes in humidity, precipitation levels, temperature, and ocean water salinity during a past episode of global warming. Analyzing plant fossils collected in the Arctic, a team of researchers led by Mark Pagani, professor of geology and geophysics at Yale University, found that water and atmospheric water vapor are a major indicator of the greenhouse changes.

Forest fires have high cost to health

(08/10/2006) Forest fires have a huge impact on human health according to a new study from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada which attempted to put a pricetag on the actual economic losses caused by a 2001 fire that burned 116,000 hectares of forest land and settlements Chisholm, Alberta.

Snow in Antarctic not falling to counter sea level rise

(08/10/2006) The most precise record of Antarctic snowfall ever generated shows there has been no real increase in precipitation over the southernmost continent in the past half-century, even though most computer models assessing global climate change call for an increase in Antarctic precipitation as atmospheric temperatures rise.

'Dead Zone' causing wave of death off Oregon coast

(08/10/2006) The most severe low-oxygen ocean conditions ever observed on the West Coast of the United States have turned parts of the seafloor off Oregon into a carpet of dead Dungeness crabs and rotting sea worms, a new survey shows. Virtually all of the fish appear to have fled the area.

Greenland's ice melting rapidly

(08/10/2006) A new analysis of data from twin satellites has revealed that the melting of Greenland's ice sheet has increased dramatically in the past few years, with much of the loss occurring primarily along one shoreline potentially affecting weather in Western Europe.

Mushroom Extract May Help Fight Infection, Cancer

(08/09/2006) Can the extract of a mushroom that is commonly found in the woods of North America, Asia and Europe have a beneficial impact on the human immune system? A small study using Turkey Tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) extract, has found that it may.

Carbon dioxide-eating enzyme could fight global warming

(08/09/2006) A new technology could help fight climate change by letting carbon-dioxide enzymes do the work. According to Mark Wendman of the UK-based Inquirer a Canadian firm has licensed production rights to an enzyme that scrubs carbon dioxide from smokestacks and other concentrated sources. The byproducts from the CO2 scrubbing process are carbonate and hydrogen gas, which could serve as a fuel source.

Global Warming Threatens Pollination Timing

(08/09/2006) In addition to the more obvious effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increasing storm activity, there is the potential to dramatically alter ecological communities. Dr. David Inouye, director of University of Maryland's graduate program in Sustainable Development and conservation Biology, reports that global warming could disrupt the timing of pollination in alpine environments, with serious negative impacts to both plants and pollinators.

Aquarium Fish May be the Key to New Therapies for Birth Defects

(08/09/2006) A humble aquarium fish may be the key to finding therapies capable of preventing the structural birth defects that account for one out of three infant deaths in the United States today.

Bush Administration doing little to treat "addiction to oil"

(08/09/2006) The Bush Administration is doing little to treat America's "addiction to oil" according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal. In his January 31 State of the Union address, President Bush said it was time to do something about America's dependence on foreign oil. Rising oil prices and unrest in the Middle East are of growing concern in the United States which leads the world in oil consumption -- the vast majority of which comes from overseas, especially the Middle East.

Small farmers good, big farmers bad for forest conservation say researchers

(08/08/2006) DResearchers presenting today at two symposia at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Memphis, Tennessee argue that the rural farmers are not necessarily at odds with efforts to preserve biodiversity in developing countries.

Carbon emissions could be buried in deep-sea sediments

(08/08/2006) Deep-sea sediments could provide a virtually unlimited and permanent reservoir for carbon dioxide, the gas that has been a primary driver of global climate change in recent decades, according to a team of scientists that includes a professor from MIT. The researchers estimate that seafloor sediments within U.S. territory are vast enough to store the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for thousands of years to come.

Rising seas may be killing Florida palms

(08/08/2006) Palm trees on Florida's west coast appear to be dying more rapidly than in previous years because of sea level rise tied to global warming. University of Florida scientists who began monitoring a large coastal study area in North Florida in 1992 reported widespread deaths of palms and other trees in low-lying coastal areas in the past. But the latest survey of the waterfront area along the Gulf of Mexico reveals new and unsettling numbers: Of 88 large, mature palms that died at the rural Levy County site between 1992 and 2005, 66 percent, or 58, have died since 2000.

Jacob, Emily again the most popular baby names in America

(08/07/2006) Jacob was the most common name for baby boys born in the United States during 2005 according to the Social Security Administration. Emily was the most popular name for girls.

The science behind 'Snakes on a Plane'

(08/07/2006) Even in the dark, snakes on a plane could keep a close watch on terrorized passengers and crew thanks to small cavities near their snouts known as pit organs, according to a forthcoming article by Andreas B. Sichert, Paul Friedel, and J. Leo van Hemmen published in Physical Review Letters.

July was second-hottest month in U.S. history

(08/07/2006) July was second-hottest month in U.S. history according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The average temperature for the 48 contiguous states was 77.2 degrees F and more than 2,300 daily temperature records were broken across the country.

Climate Change Threatens Pacific Ocean Mangroves

(08/07/2006) Action is needed to conserve mangroves in the Pacific amid concern that rising sea levels, linked with climate change, are set to drown large areas of these precious and economically important ecosystems.

Ancient bison teeth provide window on past Great Plains climate

(08/07/2006) A University of Washington researcher has devised a way to use the fossil teeth of ancient bison as a tool to reconstruct historic climate and vegetation changes in America's breadbasket, the Great Plains.

Tsunami reconstruction drives illegal logging in Indonesia

(08/06/2006) Tsunami reconstruction efforts are continuing to boost illegal logging and deforestation in Indonesia according to a new article published by the Associated Press.

Cellulosic ethanol fuels environmental concerns

(08/06/2006) In recent months, high fuel prices and national security concerns have sparked interest in biofuels. Cellulosic ethanol, which can be derived from virtually any plant matter including farm waste, looks particularly promising. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that cellulosic conversion technology could reduce the cost of producing ethanol by as much as 60 cents per gallon by 2015. Green groups see cellulosic ethanol as a carbon neutral energy source that could be used to fight the build up of atmospheric carbon dioxide responsible for global warming.

Researchers seek controls to save coral reefs from live fish trade

(08/04/2006) Researchers are calling for tighter controls on the live reef fish trade, a growing threat to coral reefs, in letters to the international journal Science.

Fewer hurricanes predicted for 2006 season

(08/04/2006) William Gray and Philip Klotzbach of the Colorado State University hurricane forecast team issued a report today reducing the number of storms expected to form in the Atlantic basin this season.

Shell chairman calls for clean coal technologies to fight global warming

(08/04/2006) In a talk given last week at the prestigious Royal Society in Britain, the outgoing chairman of Shell Oil said that cleaner-burning coal technologies are urgently needed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from the ongoing use of fossil fuels in the coming decades.

Physically active kids are better students

(08/03/2006) Physically active middle school students tend to do better in school than their more sedentary classmates, according to a new study published by researchers from Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University.

Exxon's PR firm using cheap-looking YouTube video to bash Gore

(08/03/2006) A Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil may be responsible for a cartoon video that makes fun of Al Gore according to an article in today's issue of The Wall Street Journal.

NASA helps search for "extinct" woodpecker

(08/03/2006) Unlike its more famous cartoon cousin Woody the Woodpecker, the ivory-billed woodpecker is thought to be extinct, or so most experts have believed for over half a century.

World's largest cities sign climate pact

(08/02/2006) While the Bush administration refuses to take legistlative steps to fight climate change, 22 of the world's largest cities joined forces Tuesday in a global warming pact aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Launched by former President Bill Clinton's foundation, the initiative will provide technical assistance to help cities become more energy efficient and allow them to pool their resources to reduce the cost of energy-saving product purchases.

Predators prefer to eat stupid animals

(08/02/2006) Predators such as jaguar and chimpanzees consistently target smaller-brained prey less capable of escape according to research published in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.

Magnitude 4.5 earthquake hits Santa Rosa in Northern California

(08/02/2006) A magnitude 4.5 earthquake hit Santa Rosa in Northern California at 8:08 Pacific Daylight Time on Wednesday August 2, 2006. No damage was initially reported.

California fails to curb its oil addiction, no luck with alternative fuels thus far

(08/02/2006) California has failed in its efforts to curb its addiction to oil says an article in today's issue of The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. supports "Heart of Borneo" conservation initiative

(08/02/2006) Tuesday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement supporting the "Heart of Borneo" conservation initiative that will protect 220,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest across Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

Orangutans and chimps are smarter than monkeys and lemurs

(08/01/2006) The great apes are the smartest of all nonhuman primates according to scientists at Duke University Medical Center. The researchers found that orangutans and chimpanzees consistently outperformed monkeys and lemurs on a variety of intelligence tests, conclusively proving that apes are more intelligent than monkeys and prosimians.

Pictures of Rare Marine Bacteria Discovered in Ocean Census

(08/01/2006) A startling revelation about the number of different kinds of bacteria in the deep-sea raises fundamental new questions about microbial life and evolution in the oceans.

Earth's 'critical zone' threatened

(08/01/2006) In a report released today, scientists call for a new systematic study of the Earth's 'critical zone'--the life-sustaining outermost surface of the planet, from the vegetation canopy to groundwater and everything in between.Understanding and predicting responses to global and regional change is necessary, they say, to mitigate the impacts of humans on complex ecosystems and ultimately sustain food production.

$100 laptop for children may be nearing production

(08/01/2006) The $100 laptop may be nearing production after One Laptop per Child (OLPC), the nonprofit group behind the device, confirmed that the governments of four countries are in talks to purchase the machines.

Historic Caribbean sea turtle population falls 99%

(08/01/2006) Current conservation assessments of endangered Caribbean sea turtles are too optimistic due declines of populations on historically important nesting beaches, according to new research from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The plunge has significant ecological consequences.

Hypoxic "dead zone" growing off the Oregon Coast

(07/31/2006) A hypoxic "dead zone" has formed off the Oregon Coast for the fifth time in five years, according to researchers at Oregon State University. A fundamental new trend in atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns in the Pacific Northwest appears to have begun, scientists say, and apparently is expanding its scope beyond Oregon waters.

New green building material could cut wood demand in China, India

(07/31/2006) Australian researchers have developed a strong, lightweight building material that they believe could serve as the base for "green construction" in countries like as China and India. Dr Obada Kayali and Mr Karl Shaw of the University of New South Wales have developed building materials that can be manufactured entirely from waste fly ash, a fine powder that is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants. The researchers say that their "unique manufacturing method traps any harmful chemicals, creating an eco-friendly construction material that saves on construction costs and reduces generation of greenhouse gases." Further, the building materials are at least twenty percent lighter and stronger than comparable products made from clay, and take less time to manufacture.

NASA satellite images key to coral reef survey

(07/31/2006) A first-of-its-kind survey of how well the world's coral reefs are being protected was made possible by a unique collection of NASA views from space.

Global warming link to hurricanes challenged

(07/31/2006) Last week a leading meteorologist challenged a proposed link between global warming and hurricane intensity, based on inaccuracies in the historical data used in the studies.

NASA to study how African winds and dust influence hurricanes

(07/31/2006) Scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, universities and international agencies will study how winds and dust conditions from Africa influence the birth of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Biomimicry of Scorpion Venom Fights Cancer

(07/31/2006) A new method of delivering a dose of radioactive iodine -- using a man-made version of scorpion venom as a carrier -- targets deadly brain tumors called gliomas without affecting neighboring tissue or body organs.

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