tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/climate_change1 climate change news from mongabay.com 2015-04-06T22:48:41Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14597 2015-04-06T22:40:00Z 2015-04-06T22:48:41Z Palm oil companies, NGOs endorse new deforestation-limiting toolkit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0727.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forests not only house many of the world's species, but also much of its carbon. Now, a toolkit has been developed by a group of companies and organizations with the aim of helping other companies and NGOs identify High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests. The toolkit was endorsed last week by major NGOs and plantation companies in Singapore. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.788594 110.702850 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14560 2015-03-30T23:13:00Z 2015-03-30T23:14:46Z Big surprise in the greenhouse: study finds economic costs of climate change hugely underestimated <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330-egypt_1003.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Look at most climate change projection graphs and you will see a smoothly rising red line of increasing temperature, melting ice and other impacts. But climate does not work that way. Studies of the paleoclimate record indicate that when heat energy is rapidly added to the atmosphere -- as humans are doing today -- the climate can experience “tipping points,” with abrupt shifts and potentially disastrous results. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.895595 33.345588 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14551 2015-03-29T23:59:00Z 2015-04-05T00:43:11Z Record heat in Antarctica The temperature in Antarctica hit a record high last week, reports Weather Underground. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14522 2015-03-23T14:43:00Z 2015-03-23T14:44:36Z The great Arctic decline: another sea ice record broken Every winter, sea ice in the Arctic expands, providing vital habitat for birthing seals, hunting polar bears, and foraging walruses. But as the Arctic has warmed faster than any place on the planet&#8212;due climate change caused by burning fossil fuels&#8212;sea ice is not expanding as far as it once did. Jeremy Hance 78.705430 -90.531382 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14514 2015-03-19T20:05:00Z 2015-03-19T20:05:25Z Carbon emissions flatlined last year Global carbon emission plateaued last year, according to International Energy Agency, even as the world's economy grew three percent. This is the first time carbon emissions have stalled in the absence of an economic collapse. The news provides tentative hope that the world may finally tackling climate change ahead of much-anticipated climate talks in Paris. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14494 2015-03-13T22:40:00Z 2015-03-13T22:45:01Z Scientists warn of global warming threat to temperate rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/ca_big_basin_00192.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a new study published recently in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, researchers warn that temperate rainforests may be in for big changes in the face of global warming, and they recommend reducing greenhouse gas emissions before it's too late. Morgan Erickson-Davis 40.158450 -124.136958 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14482 2015-03-11T21:23:00Z 2015-03-11T21:24:25Z Study finds soil releases carbon for decades after forests are felled <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/pittsfield_state_forest_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a study by researchers with Dartmouth College, the carbon stored in mineral soils, which lie underneath the organic soil layer, is released for decades after a forest is cut down. This may have serious implications for how carbon emissions from deforestation are accounted for. Morgan Erickson-Davis 43.356244 -74.552389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14481 2015-03-11T19:50:00Z 2015-03-12T19:10:10Z New study argues the Anthropocene began in 1610 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0311.Prospero_and_miranda.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1610, William Shakespeare began penning one of his greatest plays, The Tempest, which some critics view as a commentary on European colonization of far-away islands and continents. Along those lines, a study today in Nature argues that 1610 is the first year of the human-dominated epoch, known as the Anthropocene, due to the upheavals caused by the 'discovery' of the New World. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14470 2015-03-10T18:00:00Z 2015-03-10T18:01:49Z Vicious circle: scientists warn peat fires, global warming may intensify each other <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1363.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published recently in Nature Geoscience warns of the consequences of increased smoldering fires as peatlands are drained to make land for agriculture, or dry up due to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.641515 102.328314 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14467 2015-03-09T15:06:00Z 2015-03-09T15:09:24Z Human impacts are 'decoupling' coral reef ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/IMG_9120.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There is a growing consensus among scientists that we have entered the age of the Anthropocene, or the epoch of humans. In other words, at some point between the 12,000 years separating the beginning of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution, humans became the dominant source of change on the planet, shaping everything from the land to the atmosphere to even the geologic record where we etch our reign. Jeremy Hance 5.878344 -162.077018 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14454 2015-03-05T14:52:00Z 2015-03-05T14:59:50Z Bushmeat's dual role: threatened species face off against nutrition and culture <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224_bushmeat_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation, habitat destruction, climate change, and other man-made forces are threatening species around the world. But, often overlooked, overhunting is a rising peril to many animals. On the other hand, bushmeat hunting also helps provide vital protein in rural tropical regions and is an important cultural rite for many indigenous tribes. Thus, there is a dual challenge of maintaining food security for forest-dependent populations and ensuring wildlife conservation. Tiffany Roufs 3.497437 -70.465758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14449 2015-03-03T17:23:00Z 2015-03-03T17:30:26Z Colombia proposes protected corridor across South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0307.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced plans to create the world’s largest protected area, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains. Santos plans to propose the protected environmental corridor during the UN climate talks in Paris later this year as a means to combat global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.069027 -71.417806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14441 2015-02-27T18:06:00Z 2015-02-27T19:31:38Z Biofuels are bad news for forests, climate, food security, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4665.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report from the World Resources Institute finds that dedicating land to the production of biofuels, a form of renewable energy made from plants, may undermine efforts to achieve a sustainable food future, combat climate change, and protect forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.497720 -63.127501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14435 2015-02-26T19:05:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:18Z One of Brazil’s rarest primates still holds out in single patch of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-Image1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, particularly after renowned naturalist Philip Hershkovitz of the Field Museum in Chicago published his valuable taxonomy of Neotropical Primates, Saimiri vanzolinii was considered to be a mere subspecies of the larger Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis). Today, it has the distinction of being one of the most range-restricted primates in all of the Neotropics. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.212502 -65.907542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14383 2015-02-16T17:22:00Z 2015-02-26T19:41:53Z Arctic upheaval: new book outlines challenges at the top of the world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0215.arctic.9781610914406_FutureArctic-Struzik.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For most of us, the Arctic is not at the front of our minds. We view it as cold, stark, and, most importantly, distant. Yet, even in an age of vast ecological upheaval, one could argue that no biome in the world is changing so rapidly or so irrevocably. Two hundred plus years of burning fossil fuels has warmed up the top of our planet more quickly than anywhere else. Jeremy Hance 81.303675 -82.900239 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14375 2015-02-12T20:54:00Z 2015-02-12T21:03:51Z Scientists, NGOs race to save 'Millennium Trees' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212-thumb-agathis-australis-gerus.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a tiny area of an isolated archipelago in the southwest Pacific lives a unique tree species on the precipice of extinction. Recent research has shown it is declining dramatically, and mature individuals may be completely gone in 100 years. In response, environmental organizations and scientists are coming together to try and save New Caledonia's Millennium Trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -20.597506 164.775041 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14374 2015-02-12T19:59:00Z 2015-02-13T18:50:45Z U.S. Central Plains and Southwest will likely face apocalyptic drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212.thumb.800px-Dust-storm-Texas-1935.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the recent film Interstellar, a mysterious phenomenon known as "the blight" is wiping out agriculture around the world until only corn&#8212;for some reason&#8212;survives. Humanity is on the brink of starvation. While the blight may be science fiction, global warming is not, and a new study finds that future warming could decimate the western U.S. over the next century. Jeremy Hance 42.414898 -99.888738 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14366 2015-02-10T17:34:00Z 2015-02-11T22:48:04Z Pollution from fossil fuels decreased rainfall in Central America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0210.thumb.yokbalum.86461_web.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fossil fuel pollution may have caused a southern shift in a vital rainfall belt across Central America, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience, potentially leading to drier conditions and droughts in some northern tropical countries. Using data from a single stalagmite in a Belizean cave, the researchers were able to create an accurate record of both rainfall and temperature for the last 450 years. Jeremy Hance 16.504696 -88.919960 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14363 2015-02-09T17:26:00Z 2015-02-20T15:10:29Z Norway sovereign fund drops coal, tar sands, gold-mining companies In its first-ever report on responsible investing, Norway's pension fund announced last week that it has divested from 114 companies in the past three years due to concerns over global warming, deforestation, and sustainability as well as long-term financial viability. Worth a staggering $861 billion, Norway's Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund. Jeremy Hance 59.912277 10.764517 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14357 2015-02-05T21:50:00Z 2015-02-20T15:10:59Z How termites hold back the desert <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0205.termites.thumb.86189_web.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some termite species erect massive mounds that look like great temples springing up from the world's savannas and drylands. But aside from their aesthetic appeal&#8212;and incredible engineering&#8212;new research in Science finds that these structures do something remarkable for the ecosystem: they hold back the desert. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14343 2015-02-04T19:37:00Z 2015-02-04T19:42:11Z Chemical clues in fossil shells may help us understand today's ocean acidification <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0204_brendan_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As atmospheric CO2 levels rise, so too do those in the sea, leading to ocean acidification that outpaces that of any other time in tens of millions of years. Some effects of ocean acidification are imminent, like the fact that calcified organisms such as corals and shellfish will have access to less and less of the chemical components they need to build their shells and skeletons. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14341 2015-02-04T17:50:00Z 2015-02-06T15:10:31Z The Amazon's oil boom: concessions cover a Chile-sized bloc of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_303.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hungry for oil revenue, governments and fossil fuel companies are moving even further into one of the world's last great wildernesses, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The total area set aside for oil and gas in the Western Amazon has grown by 150,000 square kilometers since 2008, now totaling more than 730,000 square kilometers&#8212;an area the size of Chile. Jeremy Hance -14.057138 -68.658039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14314 2015-01-27T23:45:00Z 2015-01-27T23:46:28Z China’s recent forest tenure reforms threaten panda habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0127-panda2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the 1950s, plantations and second-growth forests in China have been locally managed by village communities as collective forests, which today account for 58 percent of China's forestland. Many of these collective forests lie within mountainous rural areas, some of which are also home to the 1,600 or so wild giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) that survive today. Morgan Erickson-Davis 31.790358 103.323123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14305 2015-01-26T19:01:00Z 2015-01-26T20:55:17Z Accounting for natural capital on financial exchanges <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1308.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month, Norway's stock exchange, the Oslo Børs, introduced a way for investors to use their money to promote sustainability. A new list by the stock exchange highlights green bonds, financial products issued by companies to raise capital for environmentally friendly projects. Notably, the list requires that issuing companies obtain and publicize outside opinions on the projects' environmental features. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14301 2015-01-23T15:41:00Z 2015-01-24T15:28:51Z Conservationists ask, 'Is nuclear the way to go?' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0123_nuclear_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nuclear power at times faces antagonism from the environmental community, with opponents arguing that it produces harmful radioactive waste, leads to the proliferation of nuclear arms, and brings forth lethal disasters. Scientists from Australia say it's time to get past myths about nuclear; they suggest that implementing nuclear power at a larger scale is a positive compromise for fulfilling both energy supply and conservation needs. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14300 2015-01-22T20:46:00Z 2015-01-22T20:59:52Z Half of Borneo's mammals could lose a third of their habitat by 2080 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_5424a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Borneo consistently makes the list of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots” – areas full of a wide variety of forms of life found nowhere else, but which are also under threat. To better understand the hazards, a study published today in the journal Current Biology examines the effects of climate change and deforestation in the coming decades on mammals living on the island. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.605527 113.329920 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14299 2015-01-22T20:09:00Z 2015-01-22T20:32:41Z Endangered chimp habitat under threat from climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4440.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change could make life more difficult for the world’s rarest chimp subspecies, the Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzee, reported a team of scientists in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology earlier this week. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.886592 8.655484 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14285 2015-01-21T02:59:00Z 2015-02-06T15:05:27Z Changing California forests may help us prepare for the future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/ca_big_basin_00164.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines how California’s forests have changed since the 1930s--and, according to its authors, can help us understand how forests will respond to the changing global climate in the future. Morgan Erickson-Davis 34.190118 -117.739773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14272 2015-01-18T18:31:00Z 2015-01-20T15:53:49Z Even with no El Nino, 2014 was the warmest year on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0118.150.Loy_Yang_open_cut_brown_coal_mine_and_dredgers.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday both NASA and NOAA announced that last year&#8212;2014&#8212;was the warmest on record. The year bested out both previous record holders, 2005 and 2010. According to NOAA, 2014 was 0.69 degrees Celsius (1.24 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average. The Earth is warming rapidly due to greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Jeremy Hance 62.633137 -158.715603 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14269 2015-01-16T15:56:00Z 2015-01-16T16:52:10Z Fishing industry could lose up to $41 billion due to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/malaysia/150/sabah_mabul_semporna_0034.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is already having a severe impact on the atmosphere and oceans around the world. These changes are also impacting specific economic sectors including the fishing and aquaculture industries. According to a recent report by the European Climate Foundation, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the University of Cambridge, the fishing industry is projected to lose tens-of-billions as the world continues to heat up. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14265 2015-01-15T19:01:00Z 2015-01-16T18:35:14Z Empty seas? Scientists warn of an industrialized ocean <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/pink-skunk-anemonefish-(Amphiprion-perideraion)---Malin-Pinsky-300.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This is obvious, but still important: humans are not a marine species. Even as we have colonized most of our planet's terrestrial landscapes, we have not yet colonized the oceans. And for most of our history, we have impacted them only on the periphery. A new review in Science finds that this has saved marine species and ecosystems from large-scale damage&#8212;that is, until the last couple centuries. Jeremy Hance 32.139061 -78.793072 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14202 2014-12-29T14:32:00Z 2014-12-29T14:35:08Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/okavango/150/okavango_452.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what was widely seen as a possible breakthrough in the battle to coordinate some kind of response to global warming, China and the U.S. announced joint actions this year. On November 12th, the world's two most powerful countries surprised pretty much everyone by announcing that they would work together to tackle the crisis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14188 2014-12-23T16:23:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:49Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2297.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2014, the unimaginable happened: companies representing the majority of palm oil production and trade agreed to stop cutting down rainforests and draining peatlands for new oil palm plantations. After years of intense campaigning by environmentalists and dire warnings from scientists, nearly two dozen major producers, traders, and buyers established zero deforestation policies. Jeremy Hance -2.391216 -64.166830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14155 2014-12-15T18:17:00Z 2015-01-21T20:14:26Z Children 'clean' oil spill with kitchen utensils in the Sundarbans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1214.oilspill.sundarbans.4.150jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On December 9th, a tanker slammed into another vessel along the Shela River in the world's largest mangrove forest: the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The tanker sank, spilling an estimated 75,000 gallons (350,000 liters) of fuel oil into waterways that are a part of a reserve for threatened Ganges river dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins. Jeremy Hance 22.143775 89.702728 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14137 2014-12-15T15:17:00Z 2014-12-29T22:15:34Z Reefs reduce 97 percent of wave energy, could be better than artificial barriers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028-b-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>We have a lot of stake in the coast. Coastal waters are where we host fisheries, build homes and turn to for tourism and recreation. So how should coastal communities, which comprise nearly 40 percent of the world's population, safeguard against flooding, erosion and violent weather? Marine scientist Michael Beck suggests the solution is growing right beneath some waves and, in many cases, it has been waiting there for thousands of years. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14145 2014-12-11T20:10:00Z 2014-12-11T20:14:28Z Bamboo could help fight global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_maroantsetra_0204.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Restoring degraded land and forests with the world’s fastest growing plant, bamboo, can contribute to major carbon emission reductions. This is according to a new report that discusses the massive potential of bamboo in fighting global warming, with bamboo forests projected to store more than one million tons of carbon by 2050 in China alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.834078 101.983700 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14128 2014-12-08T17:06:00Z 2014-12-08T17:57:12Z Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1207.Hombre_Shuar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River. Jeremy Hance -3.576019 -78.485306 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14119 2014-12-05T16:39:00Z 2014-12-05T16:51:08Z Biodiversity protection is key to REDD+ success, study shows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1023_biodiversity_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protecting biodiversity may be crucial for successfully storing carbon in forests, scientists say. A recent publication on Oryx - The International Journal of Conservation suggests that biodiversity loss –especially through hunting – will hinder the success of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14107 2014-12-03T19:18:00Z 2015-02-06T15:11:49Z One-two punch: farming, global warming destroying unique East African forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-thumb-atheris-5.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lush mountains speckle East Africa's grasslands and desert, from Mozambique to Ethiopia. These isolated habitats are home to a plethora of species, and are considered by scientists to be some of the most biodiverse regions in the world. However, their forests are being cut down for farmland and are threatened by global warming, putting at risk multitudes of species that have nowhere else to go. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.725780 36.574009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14099 2014-12-02T20:41:00Z 2014-12-03T18:16:14Z Threatened indigenous forests store more than half the Amazon's carbon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1202-beetle-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study released today finds the total carbon load locked up in parts of the Amazon rainforest held by indigenous groups to be much higher than previously estimated – an amount that, if released, would be capable of destabilizing the earth’s atmosphere. But because of flimsy land rights, these areas stand at risk of deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.344611 -55.744104 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14079 2014-12-01T20:10:00Z 2014-12-01T20:22:00Z Shark pups may not survive climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1201_sharks_climate_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fierce predatory sharks rule the oceans from the apex of the food pyramid. But climate change may be tougher than these marine hunters, a new study suggests. As oceans warm and their waters become more acidic, fewer sharks may survive their infancies. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14041 2014-11-18T22:39:00Z 2014-11-25T23:31:38Z A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1118.800px-Asha%CC%81ninka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On September 1st, indigenous activist, Edwin Chota, and three other indigenous leaders were gunned down and their bodies thrown into rivers. Chota, an internationally-known leader of the Asháninka in Peru, had warned several times that his life was on the line for his vocal stance against the destruction of his peoples' forests, yet the Peruvian government did nothing to protect him&#8212;or others. Jeremy Hance -14.153426 -69.134704 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14035 2014-11-17T21:57:00Z 2014-11-18T18:56:20Z Ending deforestation won't stop carbon emissions from land use change Even if the world stopped cutting down forests, carbon dioxide emissions from land use change would still pose a major challenge, according to a new paper in Nature Climate Change. The research finds that eliminating deforestation would mean agriculture would be pushed into non-forest ecosystems and still release significant quantities of carbon dioxide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14028 2014-11-17T15:14:00Z 2014-11-17T15:25:03Z Green Climate Fund nears $7 billion after U.S. pledges $3 billion The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is suddenly looking very lively after two announcements over the weekend. The U.S. has announced an initial pledge of $3 billion to the fund, while Japan pledged $1.5 billion. This more than doubles the current amount pledged to the key fund, which is now around $6.94 billion from thirteen countries. The new pledges also bring the fund much closer to an initial goal of $10-15 billion. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14015 2014-11-13T17:52:00Z 2014-11-13T17:59:07Z Leaf bacteria are important to tree health, may help forests adapt to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/brazil-bonito/150/bonito_0695.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Leaves are vital trees organs that support many important functions. A recent study published in PNAS found that each tree species in tropical rainforests possesses distinctive bacterial communities – called microbiomes – on their leaves. Understanding how leaf microbiomes vary among species may in the future be applied for maintaining healthy forests and predicting how forests will react to climate change. Tiffany Roufs 9.152721 -79.848716 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14014 2014-11-12T22:45:00Z 2014-11-12T22:54:07Z Prelude to Paris: China and U.S. surprise world with joint climate deal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_0000.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely have major ramifications for a new climate agreement in Paris in 2015, China and the U.S. surprised everyone today by announcing a joint climate deal. At a press conference in Beijing, China President, Xi Jingping, and U.S. President, Barack Obama, outlined climate actions for both juggernauts up to 2030. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14004 2014-11-11T19:17:00Z 2014-11-13T17:42:49Z New birds arise due to emigration not separation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0916_birds150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A bird's eye view of speciation in the Neotropics. How long does it take for a new species to develop? Not long, it turns out. In fact, only a few thousand years — an evolutionary blink of an eye. A recent article published in Nature tracked neotropical bird speciation, or the process by which new species emerge. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14001 2014-11-11T13:52:00Z 2014-11-11T14:13:46Z Poor rains then floods lead to food crisis in Somalia Four years after over a quarter of a million people perished in a famine in Somalia, the East African country is again on the verge of a possible humanitarian disaster. Flooding in southern Somalia, following months of little rain, has just exacerbated an already-precarious situation according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Jeremy Hance 1.456753 42.138760 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13973 2014-11-03T20:48:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:17Z Can we stop runaway global warming? 'All we need is the will to change' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0117mendenhall_401a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Twenty-six years after the founding of the IPCC, the Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists has released a new synthesis report that warns in its strongest tones yet that climate change must be dealt with. None of the findings are surprising&#8212;they have been released in earlier assessments throughout the year&#8212;but the terms in which they are written are the starkest yet. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13961 2014-10-30T04:02:00Z 2014-10-31T01:04:58Z Amazon rainforest is getting drier, confirms another study Parts of the Amazon rainforest are getting considerably less rain, leading trees to absorb less carbon, finds a study published this week in the journal <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13954 2014-10-29T15:31:00Z 2014-10-29T15:47:41Z Will 2014 be the warmest year on record? With the news that September was the warmest on record globally, 2014 takes one step closer to being the warmest year since record-keeping began in the late 19th Century. Last week, NOAA announced that September was 0.72 degrees Celsius (1.30 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th Century average, not only making it the hottest yet, but further pushing 2014 past the current ceiling. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13949 2014-10-28T15:02:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:08Z Artists, musicians, writers protest government plans for massive coal plant in the Sundarbans Over the weekend, Bangladeshi artists performed plays, sang songs, and recited poetry all in a bid to protect the Sundarbans&#8212;the world's biggest mangrove forest&#8212;from the threat of a massive coal plant. Construction is already under way on the hugely controversial Rampal coal plant, a 1,320 megawatt plant set just 14 kilometers from the edge of the Sundarbans. Jeremy Hance 22.564280 89.666323 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13930 2014-10-21T17:14:00Z 2014-10-22T20:40:51Z Coal, climate and orangutans – Indonesia’s quandary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What do the climate and orangutans have in common? They are both threatened by coal - the first by burning it, and the second by mining it. At the recent United Nations Climate Summit in New York, world leaders and multinational corporations pledged a variety of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation to avert a looming disaster caused by global warming. Tiffany Roufs -0.299076 117.110975 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13900 2014-10-13T21:40:00Z 2014-10-13T21:53:00Z Could California be facing a mega-drought? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1013_Cali_drought_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists and politicians, everyone agrees: California is in deep trouble. As the state enters its fourth year of drought and the soil has never been drier. Some look at the sky with hope that El Niño will bring much needed rain. But most are starting to wonder if this is just the beginning. Are we entering a mega-drought that could last for more than a decade? Brittany Stewart 37.776291 -122.423867 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13893 2014-10-09T13:13:00Z 2014-12-30T22:31:05Z Forest fragmentation's carbon bomb: 736 million tonnes C02 annually Scientists have long known that forest fragments are not the same ecologically as intact forest landscapes. When forests are slashed into fragments, winds dry out the edges leading to dying trees and rising temperatures. Biodiversity often drops, while local extinctions rise and big animals vanish. Now, a new study finds another worrisome impact of forest fragmentation: carbon emissions. Jeremy Hance -2.918691 -44.748354 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13887 2014-10-08T14:49:00Z 2015-04-20T15:40:02Z The only solution for polar bears: 'stop the rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gases' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1008.Steveand2Cubs.100.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, has worked diligently on polar bears for over 30 years. He radio-collared some of the first bears and discovered that annual activity areas for 75 tracked females averaged at a stunning 149,000 square kilometers. His recent work highlighted the cost of global warming to these incredible animals and the sea ice they so closely depend on. Jeremy Hance 72.875466 -132.455211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13858 2014-10-01T22:57:00Z 2014-10-01T23:06:07Z Throng of 35,000 walruses is largest ever recorded on land, sign of warming arctic <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1001-walrus1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A mass of thousands of walruses were spotted hauled up on land in northwest Alaska during NOAA aerial surveys earlier this week. An estimated 35,000 occupied a single beach – a record number illustrating a trend in an unnatural behavior scientists say is due to global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 69.746180 -162.973563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13832 2014-09-24T20:56:00Z 2014-11-06T17:52:52Z Turning point for Peru's forests? Norway and Germany put muscle and money behind ambitious agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0728.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From the Andes to the Amazon, Peru houses some of the world's most spectacular forests. Proud and culturally-diverse indigenous tribes inhabit the interiors of the Peruvian Amazon, including some that have chosen little contact with the outside world. And even as scientists have identified tens-of-thousands of species that make their homes from the leaf litter to the canopy. Jeremy Hance -13.256860 -68.993973 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13828 2014-09-24T18:30:00Z 2014-09-24T18:37:04Z Towards the poles: tropical cyclones on the move <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-cyclone150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you thought your relatively northerly or southerly location sheltered you from Mother Nature’s worst storms, think again. For years we have known that the tropics are expanding towards the poles. However, there is something decidedly destructive accompanying that shifting warm weather: tropical cyclones. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13820 2014-09-23T23:50:00Z 2014-11-06T17:52:41Z Norway to pay Liberia to stop deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-diana-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In one of the many major announcements that have come out of the UN Climate Summit in New York this week, Norway says it will pay Liberia to stop cutting down its forests. Norway’s payment will come on the form of development aid for the war-torn, impoverished, and now Ebola-ridden West African nation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.281362 -9.936618 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13818 2014-09-23T19:22:00Z 2014-12-30T22:32:25Z Leonard DiCaprio to UN Climate Summit: 'You can make history or you will be vilified by it' Actor, environmental activist, and recently named UN Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio, spoke today to a UN Climate Summit. The summit, which is hosting the largest gathering of world leaders to address the crisis in five years, is meant to pave the way for a new climate agreement in Paris in 2015. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13816 2014-09-22T21:52:00Z 2014-09-22T22:06:08Z Climate coup: Rockefeller announces they are dropping fossil fuel investments In 1870, John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company. Rapidly becoming the world's largest oil refiner, Standard made Rockefeller a billionaire and one of the world's greatest philanthropists. 144 years later and John D. Rockefeller's descendants have announced they are stripping fossil fuels from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a private charity with around $860 million in assets. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13815 2014-09-22T20:32:00Z 2014-09-22T20:47:08Z Chinese now emit more carbon per capita than Europeans Last year, the people of China emitted more carbon per person than those in the EU, according this year's Global Carbon Budget. The report, updated annually, also found that global emissions jumped 2.5 percent last year and are set to hit a record high of 40 billion tonnes this year. The findings highlight how little global society has done to stem emissions, despite numerous pledges and past global agreements. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13814 2014-09-22T16:26:00Z 2014-09-22T20:40:44Z Over half a million people march for climate action worldwide, shattering turnout predictions Around 570,000 people took part in marches around the world yesterday calling for action on climate change. By far the largest event was in New York City, which had been dubbed the biggest climate march in history weeks before. Organizers estimate that 400,000 people showed up to the march in Manhattan, shattering predictions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13812 2014-09-22T08:39:00Z 2014-09-22T21:50:02Z Scientists rebut NYTimes op-ed 'To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0226.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The following is a response from a group of scientists' -- including 6 members of the National Academy, 3 IPCC Lead Authors, and 1 IPCC Co-Chair -- to Dr. Nadine Unger’s September 21, New York Times Op-Ed, "To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees" Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13808 2014-09-19T22:13:00Z 2014-11-06T17:52:16Z Changing climate, changing conservation paradigms in Canada's boreal forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919smoke150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Crackling heat and thick billowing smoke raced across the landscape. After weeks of scorching dry summer weather, the wildfire seemed to hungrily consume the earth. In northern Alberta, Canada, the Richardson fire of 2011 gained particular notoriety for ravaging nearly 700,000 hectares – and threatening the Athabasca oil sand development. Yet it is these very wildfires that are so crucial in shaping our boreal forests – which make up nearly one third of the world's forests. Brittany Stewart 57.884529 -111.033318 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13801 2014-09-18T22:14:00Z 2014-12-30T22:32:40Z World population could surpass 13 BILLION by the end of the century By 2100, over 13 billion people could be walking the planet. That's the conclusion of a new study published today in <i>Science</i>, which employed UN data to explore the probability of various population scenarios. The new study further demolishes the long-held theory that human population growth will quit growing by mid-century and then fall. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13794 2014-09-18T15:35:00Z 2014-11-10T20:11:01Z The cheap option on climate change: recognize indigenous rights to forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/colombia_1160.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since 2008, governments have invested $1.64 billion in funds to kick-start REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, the global effort to conserve the world's forests in order to better mitigate climate change. However, a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) finds that same amount of money could have secured the legal rights of indigenous and local people to 450 million hectares of forest, an area 40 percent larger than India. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13791 2014-09-17T16:33:00Z 2014-09-17T17:21:52Z 'We will win this war': Yeb Saño speaks out on global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0917-walrus-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ahead of the upcoming Climate Change Summit to be held in New York, September 23, a Filipino man who last year made headlines around the world on the subject is speaking out. Morgan Erickson-Davis 78.314712 17.687267 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13768 2014-09-10T22:22:00Z 2014-12-30T22:33:21Z 'We are running out of time': CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere surprise scientists The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere made the biggest jump last year since 1984, according to the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, raising alarm bells about society's inaction on curbing global warming. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13758 2014-09-09T18:06:00Z 2014-09-09T20:02:18Z Thought wiped out by climate change, 'extinct' snail rediscovered in Seychelles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0809-snail-sif-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Aldabra banded snail was declared extinct in 1997 as one of the world’s first recorded direct casualties of climate change. But last month, a monitoring team found a population on one of the atoll’s islands, surprising the team and giving hope that other species whose habitats are being degraded by climate change may still be able to cling to existence. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.373243 46.330556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13735 2014-09-02T21:02:00Z 2014-09-02T21:11:52Z Australia cancels plan to dump dredge in Great Barrier Reef A consortium of companies&#8212;North Queensland Bulk Ports, GVK Hancock and Adani Group&#8212;have announced they are giving up on a hugely-controversial plan to dump five million tonnes of dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef. The plans ran into considerable opposition from environment, conservation, and tourism groups who feared harm to the world's largest coral reef system. Jeremy Hance -19.891980 148.077845 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13730 2014-08-29T18:51:00Z 2014-11-06T17:48:52Z More trouble with tar sands: oil extraction leading to big forest loss in Alberta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0829-tar-sands-op-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tar sands operations have been the subject of much controversy over the past few years as expected economic gains for Canada the may come at the cost of environmental damage from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Now another negative impact has come to light - deforestation of the boreal forest overlying the oil deposits. Morgan Erickson-Davis 57.694984 -111.396673 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13708 2014-08-22T19:37:00Z 2014-11-06T17:48:01Z An uncertain future: world's last wild Siberian tigers threatened by illegal logging, global warming, disease (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0822-primorsky-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, between 20 and 30 tigers are poached. Illegal logging is reducing the tigers' habitat, and illegal hunting is reducing its food supply. However, these are not the only threats to wild tiger survival -- other problems are cropping up and taking a toll on the iconic big cat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 46.646831 136.404467 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13646 2014-08-11T17:14:00Z 2014-11-25T22:13:19Z Planting meadows in the ocean: technique may help restore disappearing seagrass beds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0811-pearl-net-with-spathes-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eelgrass is an important part of many ocean ecosystems, but is disappearing due to human impacts. However, a study published recently in found eelgrass beds could benefit from a restoration technique using seed-filled pearl nets. Morgan Erickson-Davis 37.785788 -122.368420 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13629 2014-08-05T18:18:00Z 2015-01-21T20:12:45Z Featured video: new documentary highlights the Long March to save the Sundarbans Last fall tens of thousands of Bangladeshis participated in a five day march that took them from the country's capital to the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. They marched to protest the proposal to build a coal plant on the edge of the great wetland. Filmmaker, Bratto Amin, was there. Jeremy Hance 22.605330 89.694824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13628 2014-08-05T15:26:00Z 2014-12-30T22:35:55Z Biomass burning accounts for 18% of CO2 emissions, kills a quarter of a million people annually Biomass burning takes many forms: wildfires, slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing forests and other vegetation, and even industrialized burning for energy production. Yet this burning&#8212;mostly manmade but also natural&#8212;takes a massive toll both on human health and the environment. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13587 2014-07-24T23:40:00Z 2014-07-25T04:12:22Z True stewards: new report says local communities key to saving forests, curbing global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-commforest-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is compromising forests around the world, destroying vital habitat and causing greenhouse gases emissions that are contributing to global warming. A new report released today finds a possible solution: protecting forests by empowering the local communities that live within them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.512761 -55.993002 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13576 2014-07-23T19:14:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:54Z Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned about its impact on the country but also that the measures will undermine progress at the up-coming UN Climate Summit in December. Jeremy Hance -13.018651 -70.498686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13573 2014-07-22T21:37:00Z 2014-07-22T22:20:26Z 'A high price to pay': new Indonesian peatland regulation may do more harm than good <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0722-peat-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Government Regulation on Peatland Ecosystem Protection and Management, initially drafted by the Ministry of Forestry in 2013, is getting mixed acceptance from civil society. On one hand, the regulation would offer more protection to the country’s vast peatland areas. However, on the other, some NGOs have slammed the draft as a potential source of new conflicts for local people. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.712921 102.020697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13563 2014-07-21T15:48:00Z 2014-07-21T16:02:55Z Germany tops energy efficiency rating while U.S. remains stuck near the bottom Two years after the first energy efficiency ranking report put out by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the U.S. still lags widely behind most of the world's other large economies. In the second report, the U.S. came in at number 13 out of 16 nations&#8212;even beaten by new-comer to the report, India&#8212;while Germany took the top spot. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13558 2014-07-17T20:12:00Z 2014-07-17T20:25:02Z Two years after coming into effect, Australia kills carbon tax In a significant victory for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Australian Senate has voted to repeal the country's two-year-old carbon tax. Abbott made dismantling the tax one of the cornerstones of his campaign last September even as Australia remains one of the highest carbon emitters per capita in the industrialized world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13555 2014-07-17T13:12:00Z 2014-07-17T13:29:45Z Scientists can now accurately count polar bears...from space Polar bears are big animals. As the world's largest land predators, a single male can weigh over a staggering 700 kilograms (about 1,500 pounds). But as impressive as they are, it's difficult to imagine counting polar bears from space. Still, this is exactly what scientists have done according to a new paper in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 69.108688 -78.727886 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13537 2014-07-14T21:23:00Z 2014-11-25T22:25:14Z Attack of the killer vines: lianas taking over forests in Panama <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0714-liana-draw-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A worrying trend has emerged in tropical forests: lianas, woody long-stemmed vines, are increasingly displacing trees, thereby reducing forests’ overall ability to store carbon. The study, recently published in <i>Ecology</i>, found several detrimental effects of increased liana presence. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.177348, -82.577288 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13521 2014-07-09T21:23:00Z 2014-07-15T16:35:27Z A garden or a wilderness? One-fifth of the Amazon may have been savannah before the arrival of Europeans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_128.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on the planet, covering about 6.5 million square kilometers, although much has been lost in recent decades.Yet new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that quite recently&#8212;just 500 years ago&#8212;a significant portion of the southern Amazon was not the tall-canopied forest it is today, but savannah. Jeremy Hance -12.770027 -64.469834 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13508 2014-07-08T19:38:00Z 2014-07-08T19:40:48Z Climate-linked drought cutting forests' carbon-storing ability Climate extremes are dramatically cutting the ability of trees to sequester carbon, threatening to convert some forests from carbon sinks into carbon sources, finds a study published this month in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:39:34Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13456 2014-06-26T16:44:00Z 2014-10-13T16:55:22Z Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.strike-51212_640.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we've septupled that. In fact, over the last 40 years we've added an extra billion approximately every dozen years. And the United Nations predicts we'll add another four billion&#8212;for a total of 11 billion&#8212;by century's end. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13455 2014-06-26T12:21:00Z 2014-06-26T12:59:15Z Super warm oceans make May the hottest on record Last month was the warmest May on record, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While global land surface temperatures were the fourth warmest, it was the ocean surface where things really heated up. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13452 2014-06-25T20:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:40:42Z Global warming puts trillions at stake, but mitigation offers big economic gains Two new reports this week look at the economics of global warming. The first, Risky Business, tallies the cost of climate change to the U.S., including tens-of-billions lost to destruction of coastal property, crop failures, drought, wildfires, and heatwaves. In contrast, the second report, by the World Bank, turns climate change economics on its head. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13440 2014-06-24T18:42:00Z 2014-11-25T23:17:34Z Study finds tiny cloud forests have big biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-cloud-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical cloud forests are situated in mountains and are characterized by the frequent presence of low-level clouds. Scientists have always regarded them as having high biodiversity, but a recent study adds a new dimension: it found cloud forests contain a significant and surprising array of tree and bromeliad species, even when they are relatively small. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.582276 -95.588844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13383 2014-06-13T20:05:00Z 2014-06-13T20:09:21Z 'Borne by the rest of the world': deforestation has global impact, reduces food security <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0613-indo-deforestation-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Research indicates that areas with more forest cover tend to have superior food resilience compared to areas with less. In addition, the loss of forest cover to deforestation has long-term impacts not only locally, but also globally. These topics were discussed by international experts during the 2020 Conference on Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security, held last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.717664 104.415375 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13376 2014-06-12T22:30:00Z 2014-12-30T22:42:35Z What's an environmental journalist to do with so much good news? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.800px-Virunga_National_Park_Gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As an environmental journalist covering stories from the great Arctic ice melt to the rhino poaching crisis in Africa, you'll forgive me if sometimes in the morning&#8212;before I turn my computer on&#8212;I have a sudden desire to spend a few extra minutes in bed or have a leisurely breakfast with my daughter or just sit in the back yard with a cup of tea and a good book. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13366 2014-06-10T15:21:00Z 2014-06-11T13:21:24Z EPA carbon proposal may be crucial step in addressing global climate change The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) June 2nd regulation proposal hit all the expected chords. Following on the heels of a January regulation for new power plants, the Clean Power Plan focuses on all existing electric generation. By 2030, the plan aims to reduce 2005-level carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13358 2014-06-06T18:32:00Z 2014-06-06T18:44:47Z Tree-huggers: koalas cuddle up to keep cool <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0606-7_YoungKoala_CBriscoe-humb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For animals that live in places that are both hot and dry, using valuable water stores to cool off via evaporation may put them at risk of dehydration. Now, as described in a new study published in <i>Biology Letters</i>, it seems that koalas have figured out a way to stay both cool and dry: by hugging trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -38.295777 145.317773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13343 2014-06-04T17:19:00Z 2014-11-25T23:22:44Z Ignoring boreal forests could speed up global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0604-russian-taiga-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have caused global air and sea surface temperatures to rise approximately 0.8 Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since the beginning of the 20th century, contributing to a plethora of problems worldwide from rising sea levels to desertification. A new study finds that global temperatures may start to increase even faster if more is not done to protect Earth’s boreal forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 59.413386 76.224136 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13338 2014-06-04T13:36:00Z 2014-06-04T16:23:35Z April 2014: 350th month in a row with temperatures above average This April was notable for being the 350th month in a row where temperatures exceeded the 20th Century average. This means, monthly global temperatures have not fallen below average for even a single month since February 1985. Jeremy Hance