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News articles on green
Mongabay.com news articles on green in blog format. Updated regularly.
(01/04/2006) Even in the largest American cities, a historically maligned beast is thriving, despite scientists' belief that these mammals intently avoid urban human populations.
Pollination networks may play key role in extinction
(01/04/2006) As animal extinctions continue at the rate of one every 16 years, it's unclear how declining biodiversity will disturb ecosystem dynamics. Of special concern are the pollinators, essential players in the reproductive biology of plants, the earth's primary producers.
Russia's folly, an opportunity for renewable energy?
(01/03/2006) With its willingness to use energy as a political instrument, Russia has provided the world with further incentive to pursue renewable energy. The Kremlin has shown it cannot be counted upon as a reliable source of energy and western markets should see this as an opportunity to take a long, thoughtful look at energy security and re-evaluate the benefits of developing renewable energy technologies.
New evidence shows abrupt worldwide increase in birth rate during Neolithic period
(01/03/2006) In an important new study assessing the demographic impact of the shift from foraging to farming, anthropologists use evidence from 60 prehistoric American cemeteries to prove that the invention of agriculture led to a significant worldwide increase in birth rate.
Satellite image of fires in Oklahoma and Texas
(01/02/2006) Drought, high temperatures, and strong winds combined with holiday fireworks, trash fires, and careless cigarettes to create a disaster in parts of Texas and Oklahoma in late December 2005.
Afghanistan developing environmental protection with UN help
(01/02/2006) Laws aimed at protecting Afghanistan's wildlife, waterways and forests, believed to be the first legal conservation tools in the country, have been developed by the Government with assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the agency announced today.
Redheads top the pecking order by flaunting it
(12/30/2005) Red-headed finches dominate their black-headed and yellow-headed peers by physical aggression and by the mere fact of being red-headed, according to research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. University of New South Wales biologists made the discovery following experiments with stunningly colourful Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae). Among Australia's most endangered native birds, Gouldian finches are now restricted to small isolated populations across the tropical north.
Ford assesses business implications of climate change in new report
(12/30/2005) In an industry first, Ford Motor Company has issued a report addressing the business implications of climate change, carbon dioxide emissions and global energy concerns.
China Faces Water Crisis -- 300 million drink unsafe water
(12/30/2005) About 300 million Chinese drink unsafe water tainted by chemicals and other contaminants according to a new report from the Chinese government.
Unified Physics Theory Explains Animals' Running, Flying And Swimming
(12/30/2005) A single unifying physics theory can essentially describe how animals of every ilk, from flying insects to fish, get around, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Pennsylvania State University have found. The team reports that all animals bear the same stamp of physics in their design.
Malaysia's deforestation rate increasing rapidly - 86% jump since 1990s
(12/28/2005) Malaysia's deforestation rate is accelerating faster than any other tropical country in the world according to data from the United Nations.
Male lizard color may result from female preference
(12/27/2005) The anole lizard's dewlap -- a flap of skin that hangs beneath its chin -- plays an important role in species recognition, territorial defense and courtship. According to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a leading research institution in Panama, male slender anoles (Norops limifrons) exhibit variation in dewlap color ranging from orange dewlaps in Gamboa populations, white with an orange spot on Barro Colorado Island, and mixed populations in Soberania.
New resource documents Caribbean marine life of Bocas del Toro
(12/27/2005) Coral reefs, coastal rainforest, land-grab, industrial bananas and organic cacao, mangroves, tourist boom, eclectic cultural mix: A Caribbean Journal of Science special issue presents the first scientific overview of the marine environment in Bocas del Toro Province.
Greenland ice cap melting faster finds NASA
(12/26/2005) In the first direct, comprehensive mass survey of the entire Greenland ice sheet, scientists using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) have measured a significant decrease in the mass of the Greenland ice cap. Grace is a satellite mission that measures movement in Earth's mass.
Brazilian Reporter Defends Amazon
(12/25/2005) Journalist Lucio Flavio Pinto's crusade against the destroyers of the Amazonian rain forest has earned him an International Press Freedom Award _ along with death threats and some 32 lawsuits aimed at keeping him silent.
Risk/benefit analysis of farmed versus wild salmon
(12/23/2005) A new study shows that the net benefits of eating wild Pacific salmon outweigh those of eating farmed Atlantic salmon, when the risks of chemical contaminants are considered.
Tree plantations for carbon sequestration may cause environmental problems
(12/22/2005) Growing tree plantations to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to mitigate global warming -- so called "carbon sequestration" -- could trigger environmental changes that outweigh some of the benefits, a multi-institutional team led by Duke University suggested in a new report. Those effects include water and nutrient depletion and increased soil salinity and acidity, said the researchers.
Chimps split from humans 5-7 million years ago says new study
(12/22/2005) Chimpanzees diverged from humans only 5-7 million years ago according to a newly released study of gene sequences. The research significantly narrows the time frame for the evolutionary split.
Dangerous times on Brazil's Amazon frontier
(12/22/2005) Amazon land activist Deurival Santiago has the look of a hunted man. Activists like Santiago often protect peasant settlers in jungle areas where the government still has little control. That puts them in conflict with large-scale loggers, ranchers and land speculators pushing into an area of Para state known as the Terra do Meio, or Middle Land. It's the main battleground in the fight to slow destruction of the world's largest rain forest.
Better dancers attract more women says study
(12/21/2005) A new study says men judged to be better dancers tended to have a higher degree of body symmetry, a factor that has been linked to overall attractiveness and health in other research. Researchers at Rutgers speculate that higher body symmetry might indicate better neuromuscular coordination as well as serving as a subtle advertisement of genetic quality and health.
Businesses can now host solar energy project without up-front costs
(12/21/2005) 3 Phases Energy Services announced today its launch of a new service, "Daylight Savings", a model for financing large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. Daylight Savings allows businesses and institutions to host onsite photovoltaic systems while eliminating all up-front capital requirements and providing a long-term hedge against fossil fuel prices.
Caribbean reefs suffer severe coral bleaching event
(12/20/2005) The Caribbean experienced one of the most devastating coral bleaching events on record during September and October while hurricanes battered the Gulf of Mexico. In response, NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have sent a team to assess the situation.
Bolivian rainforest certified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
(12/20/2005) The Bolivian government, The Nature Conservancy and the Bolivian conservation organization Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza announced that the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project is the first conservation-based initiative in the world to be fully certified for reducing greenhouse gas emissions using internationally accepted standards.
Last wild horse species returns from brink of extinction
(12/20/2005) An international working group coordinated by ZSL's Institute of Zoology (IoZ) has made the recommendation to reclassify the Przewalski's horses from extinct to endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species.
Ancient water supply of Sahara at risk, satellite monitoring helps in water management
(12/19/2005) During the last Ice Age, the Sahara was savannah with rivers, lakes and plentiful rains. Over the past 10,000 years that landscape changed, but the rains from that period progressively percolated beneath the ground to be collected in aquifers. Today these aquifers are an important source of water for irrigating agriculture and supporting human populations in the area.
Enthusiasm for tsunami-buffering mangrove projects waning
(12/19/2005) Research over the past year has shown that areas buffered by coastal forests, like mangroves, were less damaged by the 2004 tsunami than areas without tree vegetation. Accordingly, governments in tsunami-affected countries have proposed mangrove restoration projects along their coasts as a protective bioshield against storm damage.
Tsunami relief risks rainforest destruction
(12/19/2005) Today WWF warned that donor countries must include sustainably sourced building materials in their long-term aid packages to avoid a second ecological disaster stemming from deforestation. According to WWF, Indonesia's Aceh province will require at least 860,000 cubic meters of sawn timber for the construction of 200,000 homes over the next five years. The conservation organization says that only a small fraction of this additional demand can be met locally without resorting to illegal logging that would be damaging to Sumatra's biologically important rain forests.
Snails may have worsened Hurricane Katrina's impact
(12/19/2005) Periwinkle snails may have indirectly worsened the impact of Hurricane Katrina by decimating an estimated 250,000 acres of Gulf salt marsh between 1999 and 2003, according to research presented in the journal Science last week.
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increase 2 percent
(12/19/2005) U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.0 percent in 2004, from 6,983.2 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2003 to 7,122.1 metric tons in 2004, according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2004, a report released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Scandinavians mix sea and river water to generate electricity
(12/19/2005) Two Scandinavian groups have invented devices that generate electricity by mixing sea and river water. The technologies work based on the difference in salt concentration between ocean water and freshwater.
Permafrost could melt by 2100, worsening global warming
(12/19/2005) Global warming could cause the top 10 feet (3 meters) or more of Arctic permafrost to thaw by 2100 according to new simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Melting could disrupt important ecosystems, damage roads and buildings, increase freshwater runoff into the Acrtic Ocean and release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.
Australia warns neighbors to stop illegal rainforest logging
(12/19/2005) Australia warned its neighbors to crack down on illegal logging in their rainforests or face trade restrictions according to an article in The Australian.
Sea slug chemical defense has potential industrial applications
(12/16/2005) When threatened by predators, sea slugs defend themselves by ejecting a potent inky secretion into the water consisting of hydrogen peroxide, ammonia and several types of acids. A team of researchers with the Atlanta-based Center for behvaioral Neuroscience (CBN) has found that this secretion is produced from normally inert chemicals stored separately in two glands. The discovery, published in the Dec. 16 on-line edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology, provides insight into a natural chemical process with potential industrial applications.
Ability to capture large prey may be origin of army ants' cooperative behvaior
(12/16/2005) Animal behvaiorist Sean O'Donnell was having an afternoon cup of coffee when a giant earthworm exploded out of the leaf litter covering the jungle floor in an Ecuadorean nature preserve. The worm, later measured at nearly 16 inches long, was pursued by a column of hundreds of raiding army ants that quickly paralyzed or killed it.
2005 is second warmest year on record
(12/16/2005) Two new reports from government agencies say that 2005 has been a near record year annual average temperature. The first from NOAA focuses primarily on weather in the United States, while the second, from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) looks at global temperatures and weather events.
Mysterious pygmy elephants being tracked across Borneo by WWF
(12/16/2005) The same satellite system used by the U.S. military to track vehicle convoys in Iraq is helping World Wildlife Fund shed light on the little-known world of pygmy elephants in Borneo.
Congo's forests get some relief from World Bank grant
(12/15/2005) Last week the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) received a $90-million grant from the World Bank to support the central African country's transition from instability and civil war. The grant addresses key areas in DRC's forestry sector and alleviates some of the concerns expressed by environmentalists shortly before the resolution was passed.
Making wind power less deadly for birds
(12/15/2005) High oil prices and concern over climate change are driving interest in renewable energy technologies. All types of potential power sources -- not limited to the sun, ocean tides and waves, raw sewage, and even insects -- are the focus of media reports, while governments and industry scramble to announce their grand plans for adopting green energy.
Is Global Warming Killing Polar Bears? -- WSJ
(12/14/2005) Today The Wall Street Journal ran an article asking "Is Global Warming Killing the Polar Bears?" The article cited several recent studies that suggest polar bears are increasingly under threat from receding ice and warming temperatures.
Marine life diverse but declining, finds survey
(12/14/2005) A comprehensive census of all the marine life in the world's oceans is halfway complete. The 10-year international project that began in 2000 and now involves some 1700 researchers from 73 countries has uncovered new evidence of rich biodiversity in the world's oceans along with an alarming decline of many marine species.
Activists ditch tear gas neutralizers for suits at trade talks in Hong Kong
(12/13/2005) Some activists have taken a different tack at this year's World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong according to an article from Dow Jones Newswires.
Some Amazon rainforest trees are over 1000 years old finds study
(12/13/2005) Trees in the Amazon rainforest are older than originally believed according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team of American and Brazilian researchers using radiocarbon dating methods to study tree growth in the world's largest tropical rainforest found that up to half of all trees greater than 10 centimeters in diameter are more than 300 years old. Some of the trees are 750 to 1,000 years old says Susan Trumbore, a professor of Earth system science at University of California at Irvine and one of the authors of the study.
Sex vs. Intelligence: Bigger balls mean smaller brain
(12/13/2005) In a recent study of bats, Scott Pitnick, professor of biology at Syracuse University, found that testis size is negatively correlated with brain size. In other words, the bigger the balls of a bat species, the smaller its brain.
New online photographic guide to coral reef fish larvae unlocks secrets of young fish
(12/13/2005) Coralreeffish.com, a coral reef fish research site, today announced the availability of a photographic web-guide to the late-stage larvae of coral reef fishes. The guide is aimed at both assisting researchers in identifying the myriad fish larvae that are caught in reef surveys and providing an overview of this intriguing, and often invisible, world to students and interested laymen.
California plans $3 billion for solar energy projects
(12/13/2005) Tuesday the California Public Utilities Commission announced an ambitious program to expand the market for solar power, proposing to provide $2.8 billion of incentives toward solar development over the next 11 years.
Large Maya mural showing ancient mythology uncovered in Guatemala
(12/13/2005) Archaeologists at an ancient Maya ceremonial site in Guatemala have uncovered the final wall of a large Maya mural dating from 100 B.C. that shows the mythology surrounding the origin of kings and a highly developed hieroglyphic script. Before the excavation of the vividly painted mural, there was scant evidence of the existence of early Maya kings or of their use of elaborate art and writing to establish their right to rule.
794 species on brink of extinction find study
(12/12/2005) Protecting 595 sites around the world would help address an imminent global extinction crisis, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Conducted by scientists working with the 52 member organizations of the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), the study identifies 794 species threatened with imminent extinction by virtual of existing at only a single remaining site on Earth. The study found that just one-third of the sites are known to have legal protection, and most are surrounded by human population densities that are approximately three times the global average. Safeguarding these sites is key to saving these species from extinction say the authors of the study.
Norwegian killer whales most toxic mammals in Arctic
(12/12/2005) Initial scientific results show Norwegian killer whales are the most toxic mammals in the Arctic, says WWF, the global conservation organization. Previous research awarded this dubious honour to the polar bear, but a new study shows that killer whales have even higher levels of PCBs, pesticides and a brominated flame retardant.
Amazon drought continues, worst on record
(12/11/2005) The worst drought ever recorded in the Amazon continues according to an update from The New York Times. The drought has turned rivers into grassy mud flats, killed tens of millions of fish, stranded hundreds of communities, and brought disease and economic despair to the region.
UN agrees to "rainforest conservation for emissions" deal
(12/11/2005) Friday, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Montreal, the U.N. agreed to a proposal that allows developing nations to receive financial compensation from industrialized countries for agreeing to preserve their rainforests. Environmentalists hope the deal -- set forth by ten developing countries led by Papua New Guinea -- will give developing nations a financial reason to get more involved in climate talks while safeguarding globally important ecosystems.
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