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Mongabay.com news articles on green in blog format. Updated regularly.









Plants in outer space may be black

(06/20/2007) Plants in outer space could be black if they is mechanisms other than chlorophyll to harness the energy of the sun, reports a new study published in Astrobiology.


Google will put $10M towards plug-in hybrid cars

(06/19/2007) Google.org, Google Inc.'s philanthropic arm, today unveiled an initiative to convert hybrid cars to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), a move that will cut carbon dioxide emissions, reduce oil use, and help stabilize the electrical grid.


Sudan arrests 4 journalists trying to cover dam killings

(06/19/2007) GReporters Without Borders has condemned the continuing detention of four journalists employed by Khartoum-based daily newspapers who were arrested in Dongola, in the state of Shamiliyah (North), on 13 June 2007 while on their way to cover a protest against the building of a dam in the Kijbar region.


Gecko biomimicry produces adhesive better than the real thing

(06/19/2007) Mimicking the agile gecko, with its uncanny ability to run up walls and across ceilings, has long been a goal of materials scientists. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Akron have taken one sticky step in the right direction, creating synthetic "gecko tap" with four times the sticking power of the real thing.


Spring arrives 2 weeks earlier in Arctic due to climate change

(06/19/2007) Arctic summers are arriving two weeks earlier than just a decade ago reports a study published the June 19th issue of Current Biology. The research, based on phenology--the study of the timing of familiar signs of spring seen in plants, insects, birds, and other species--found that the arrival of spring is advancing at 14.5 days per decade.


Eating foie gras may cause mad cow-like disease

(06/19/2007) Consumption of foie gras can transmit amyloidosis, a disease which is sometimes manifested as mad cow or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), reports a new study in early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Giant manta ray born in captivity for first time

(06/18/2007) For the first time, a giant manta ray was born in captivity at an aquarium in Japan, reports the Associated Press. The baby manta ray was born Saturday at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, 374 days after its parents mated. The birth was recorded on film.


Is the Amazon longer than the Nile?

(06/18/2007) Brazilian researchers claim they have evidence proving that the Amazon is the longest river in the world, some 65 miles (105 km) longer than the Nile, reports BBC News.


Coffee plantations may preserve tropical bird species

(06/18/2007) Agricultural areas offer opportunities for conservation in deforested landscapes in the tropics, reports a study published in the April 2007 issue of the journal conservation Biology by Stanford University biologists.


Study: Global cooling of oceans did not occur from 2003-2005

(06/18/2007) The top 700-meters of global oceans did not cool from 2003-2005, reports a study published in the June 18 early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results challenge recent findings that suggest otherwise.


Researchers create mutant midget trees through genetic modification

(06/18/2007) Researchers have genetic modification to manipulate the growth in height of trees, a development that could lead to miniature trees and a variety of new ornamental plants, reports Oregon State University.


Pygmy panda discovered in China

(06/18/2007) Researchers have discovered an extinct pygmy panda in the tropical forests of China.


U.S. bird populations plummet

(06/14/2007) Populations of some of America's most common birds have plummeted over the past forty years, reports a new analysis by the National Audubon Society. Some species have seen a decline of 80 percent. The study, which combines the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count with summertime surveys by the U.S. Geological Survey, found California species were particularly affected, with populations declines of 75 to 96 percent for several species, including the Northern Pintail, Horned Lark, and Loggerhead Shrike.


Dam protest leaves four dead in Sudan

(06/14/2007) Four people were killed and at least 10 wounded when police dispersed a group of protesters in Sudan, reports Sapa-AFP. The domestrators had gathered to protest a dam in the Kijbar region. Local press said that police fired on group as they tried to attack construction equipment being used to build the dam.


Photos of baby Matschie's tree kangaroo

(06/14/2007) An endangered baby Matschie's tree kangaroo has emerged from its mother's pouch for the first time at the Bronx Zoo's JungleWorld exhibit in New York. The baby, called a joey, was born on October 25, 2006, but only recently left her puch for the outside world.


France to see scorching summers due to global warming

(06/14/2007) Mediterranean countries will face a 200-500 percent rise in the number of dangerously hot days due to global warming, reports a study published in the June 15 Geophysical Research Letters.


African elephants get 9-year reprieve

(06/14/2007) African countries have agreed to extend a ban on ivory exports for another nine years. In a deal reached Wednesday at the meeting of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in The Hague, four African countries will be allowed to sell their ivory stockpiles to raise funds for conservation and community development efforts. The ivory had been intercepted from black market transactions and the sale by Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe had been previously approved. The four countries say their elephant populations are increasing thanks to conservation and law enforcement efforts.


NASA monitors China's Three Gorges Dam

(06/13/2007) Some call it the eighth wonder of world. Others say it's the next Great Wall of China. Upon completion in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam along China's Yangtze River will be the world's largest hydroelectric power generator and one of the few man-made structures so enormous that it's actually visible to the naked eye from space. NASA's Landsat satellites have provided detailed, vivid views of the dam since construction began in 1994.


Mother lizards select color patterns of offspring

(06/13/2007) Mother lizards can induce different color patterns in their offspring in response to social cues, reports research published June 10 in the online early edition of the journal Ecology Letters. Female side-blotched lizards determine the patterns "most likely to ensure success under the conditions they will encounter as adults," according to scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Ocean acidification monitoring system launched

(06/13/2007) The first buoy to monitor ocean acidification has been launched in the Gulf of Alaska reports the National Science Foundation (NSF). Scientists hope the instrument, which will transmit data via satellite, will help examine how ocean circulation and ecosystems interact to determine how much carbon dioxide the north Pacific Ocean absorbs each year.


Mars had oceans

(06/13/2007) Up to one third of Mars was once covered by oceans, reports a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature. While observers have long noted what looks like a dry ocean basin on the surface of Mars, images from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor suggested otherwise, showing a shoreline that varied in elevation by several kilometers. On Earth, shoreline elevations are typically constant relative to sea levels.


Google, Intel seek greener computers

(06/13/2007) Google, Intel, and other tech giants announced an energy efficiency drive develop "greener" computers that use 50 percent less power by 2010. The plan, dubbed the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, seeks to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming..


Indo-Chinese tiger spotted in China for first time in years

(06/13/2007) Scientists captured a wild Indo-Chinese tiger on film in a nature reserve in China's southeastern Yunnan Province, reports the Worldwatch Institute.


Mining gets approval despite recent species discoveries

(06/13/2007) Suriname will allow mining in a highly biodiverse tract of forest where 24 previously unknown species were recently discovered. The decision had been expected.


Ancient gliding reptile discovered

(06/12/2007) A remarkable new long-necked, gliding reptile discovered in 220 million-year old sediments of eastern north America is described in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (Vol. 27, No. 2), scientists report. Mecistotrachelos apeoros (meaning "soaring, long-necked") is based on two fossils excavated at the Solite Quarry that straddles the Virginia-North Carolina state line.


Carbon capture and storage could help combat global warming

(06/12/2007) While solar power and hybrid cars have become popular symbols of green technology, Stanford researchers are exploring another path for cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas that causes global warming.


An interview with author and eco-lodge pioneer Jack Ewing

(06/12/2007) In 1970 a young man went to Costa Rica, a place he initially confused with Puerto Rico, on an assignment to accompany 150 head of cattle. 37 years and several lifetimes' worth of adventures later, Jack Ewing runs a eco-lodge that serves as a model for a country now considered the world leader in nature travel.


Massive wildlife population discovered in Southern Sudan

(06/12/2007) Aerial surveys by the New York-based Wildlife conservation Society found more than 1.3 million white-eared kob, tiang antelope and Mongalla gazelle in Southern Sudan, despite decades of civil war. The population, which includes more than 8,000 elephants, rivals that of the legendary Serengeti in Tanzania and suggests that the region is of critical importance for conservation efforts.


Google, Microsoft launch energy efficiency initiative

(06/12/2007) Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants announced an energy efficiency drive to reduce computer power consumption by 50 percent by 2010. The scheme, dubbed the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, seeks to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change global warming.


Harpoon proves whale is 115-130 years old

(06/12/2007) A 19th-century weapon found in the neck of a 50-ton bowhead whale caught off Alaska shows that cetaceans can live more than 100 years, reports the Associated Press (AP).


Trade in sawfish banned

(06/11/2007) Trade restrictions for the endangered sawfish have been approved at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting the The Hague. All seven species of sawfish has been added to Appendix I of the convention, banning international commercial trade. One species, found in Australia, was added to Appendix II, restricting trade to live animals for conservation purposes.


World Bank to raise $250M for avoided deforestation in tropics

(06/11/2007) The World Bank will soon launch an "avoided deforestation" pilot project that will pay tropical countries for preserving their forests, reports The Wall Street Journal. The $250 million fund will reward Indonesia, Brazil, Congo and other tropical forest countries for offsetting global warming emissions. Tropical deforestation accounts for roughly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but slowing deforestation slows emissions of heat-trapping emissions. Researchers estimate that "avoided deforestation" schemes may be one of the most cost effective ways to slow climate change. Further, avoided deforestation offers simultaneous benefits including preservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity.


Photo of baby nyala antelope born at the Bronx Zoo

(06/11/2007) A young nyala, born on April 28, with his mother and herd at the Bronx Zoo. Members of the current herd are descended from one started in 1941 for the opening of the Zoo's ground-breaking African Plains, the first predator-prey exhibit in North America and the first Bronx Zoo exhibit to take animals out of cages and separate them from visitors by a moat. These concepts became influential on modern zoo design worldwide.


World's largest movement has no leader but 100M employees

(06/11/2007) The world's largest movement has no name, no leader, and no ideology, but may directly involve more than 100 million people, said a green business pioneer.


Cuddly primate trade banned

(06/11/2007) CITES delegates agreed to a total ban on trade in the slow loris, a Southeast Asian primate commonly trafficked for the pet trade. Environmental groups welcomed the move.


98% of orangutan habitat gone in next 15 years

(06/11/2007) Indonesia is losing more than 2.1 million hectares (5.2 million acres) of forest a year to illegal loggers, states a new report from the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP). The report, which estimates the value of illicit timbering at $4 billion annually, warns that 98 percent of Indonesia's lowland forests will be gone by 2022, putting species like the orangutan at risk of extinction in the wild. The report, Last stand of the Orang-utan: State of Emergency, was released Monday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in The Hague.


Brazil debates $11B Amazon dam project

(06/10/2007) The eternal tension between Brazil's need for economic growth and the damage that can cause to the environment are nowhere more visible than here in this corner of the western Amazon. Now a proposal to build an $11 billion hydroelectric project here on the Madeira River, which may have the world's most diverse fish stocks, has set off a new controversy.


Chinese demand drives global deforestation

(06/10/2007) From outside, Cameroon's Ngambe-Tikar forest looks like a compact, tangled mass of healthy emerald green foliage. But tracks between the towering tropical hardwood trees open up into car park-sized clearings littered with logs as long as buses. Forestry officers say the reserve is under attack from unscrupulous commercial loggers who work outside authorized zones and do not respect size limits in their quest for maximum financial returns.


Scientists to investigate Bigfoot sighting in India

(06/10/2007) Indian authorities will conduct a "scientific study" to examine claims by villagers of Indo-Asian News Service. Villagers in the jungles of the Indian northeastern state of Meghalaya claim to have evidence of Bigfoot or Sasquatch, reports the Indo-Asian News Service. Government authorities said they will conduct a "scientific study" to examine the purported sightings near the border with Bangladesh.


Google helps protect Amazon rainforest

(06/10/2007) Google is working with a indigenous tribe deep in the Amazon rainforest to protect their lands from illegal encroachment, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. For the first time, Google has confirmed details of the project. Working in conjuction with the Amazon conservation Team, Google Earth's technology is being used to monitor illegal mining and logging that threaten the lands of the Surui tribe in Brazil. Google is working with satellite providers to significantly improve image resolution in some of the most remote parts of the Amazon basin.


Amazon deforestation rates fall 89% for 2007

(06/08/2007) Deforestation rates fell by 89 percent in the Brazilian Amazon state of Mato Grosso for April 2007 compared with April 2006, according to the System Alert for Deforestation, an innovative deforestation monitoring program backed from Brazilian NGO Imazon. Mato Grosso, which has suffered some of the highest rates of deforestation of any state in the Brazilian Amazon, lost 2,268 square kilometers of forest between August 2006 and April 2007, a decline of 62 percent from the year earlier period when 5,968 square kilometers were cleared.


Largest Solar Thermal Power Plant Built in 16 Years Goes Online

(06/08/2007) SCHOTT today announced that with the connection of the Nevada Solar One power plant to the grid, its solar receivers officially began collecting solar radiation needed to generate clean energy for Nevada homes.


Amazon tribe blocks major Brazilian highway

(06/08/2007) Indigenous Amazonians have blocked a major highway in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to protest a series of hydroelectric dams planned on the Xingu river, one of the Amazon's largest tributaries, according to Brazzil Mag and Survival International.


Archer Daniels Midland announces Amazon biodiesel plant start date

(06/08/2007) Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) plans to start operation of its $20 million biodiesel in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso in early August, a company official said this week, according to MarketWatch.


Sharks do not win CITES protection

(06/08/2007) Two endangered species of sharks failed to win protection at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in The Hague.


First park established in Russian Far East

(06/08/2007) Russia has established the first national park in the far eastern part of the country. The initiative seeks to protect endangered Amur tigers from extinction.


Dirty snow may warm Arctic as much as GHG emissions

(06/07/2007) Dirty snow from soot and forest fires is responsible for one-third or more of Arctic warming reports a new study from researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.


Japan and Iceland defeated on pro-whaling initiative

(06/07/2007) Japan and Iceland failed in their latest attempts to lift regulations protecting whales, reports the Whale and Dolphin conservation Society. Measures introduced at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting in the Hague were defeated 55 (against) to 28 (for) with 13 abstentions Thursday.


Logging roads rapidly expanding in Congo rainforest

(06/07/2007) Logging roads are rapidly expanding in the Congo rainforest, report researchers who have constructed the first satellite-based maps of road construction in Central Africa. The authors say the work will help conservation agencies, governments, and scientists better understand how the expansion of logging is impacting the forest, its inhabitants, and global climate.


Tyrannosaurus rex was slow

(06/07/2007) Tyrannosaurus rex was a slow, lumbering beast according to new research published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.



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