- A new approach to mosquito control involving the release of 3 million genetically modified mosquitoes has not been well received.
- Representatives from over 170 countries gathered at the UN headquarters in New York this week to sign the Paris climate agreement.
- Thousands of fish, including rare species that live far off the shore are washing up on beaches along the central coast of Vietnam.
What have we accomplished since the very first Earth Day? [National Geographic]
This week people from all around the world celebrated the 46th Earth Day. An estimated 20 million people celebrated the very first Earth Day. Since then the tradition has grown to include billions of people from around the world. But has this day dedicated to the awareness of environmental issues made a difference?
Since an outbreak of dengue fever in 2009, residents of the Florida Keys have been cooperative when it comes to proposed methods of controlling the local mosquito population. But a new approach involving the release of 3 million genetically modified mosquitoes has not been well received.
As the world celebrated the 46th Earth Day, representatives from over 170 countries gathered at the UN headquarters in New York to sign the Paris climate agreement. With this being a record number of signatures on a new international contract, the turnout was said to have been a signal of political determination when it comes to the welfare of our planet.
A vampire vine and alien weeds battle it out in Australia [New Scientist]
Since their introduction by European settlers in the early 1800s, invasive weeds in Australia have yet to meet their match, until maybe now. A parasitic vine that sucks the life out of feral weeds known as, devil’s twine is the first native plant to be explored as a weapon against the alien weeds.
Polar bears are taking up more swimming, but not by choice [United Press International]
In a joint effort between scientists with the University of Alberta, Climate Change Canada and the Zoological Society of San Diego are tracking the movements of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and Hudson Bay. Their findings suggest that as an increasing amount of Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are swimming greater distances.
Have tiger numbers really increased? [Mongabay]
On 10 April 2016, WWF and the Global Tiger Forum announced that the world’s tiger population had finally increased “after several decades of constant decline”. But tiger numbers may not have “truly” increased, four tiger experts warn. The experts have called WWF’s report, and its implications, “scientifically unconvincing”.
From war, to civil strife, to natural disasters, the world’s seed banks are facing crises that affect the repositories of the global agricultural community. The rising temperatures and worsening droughts caused by climate change highlight the importance of keeping these gene banks safe, but doing so is proving to be a complicated and expensive challenge.
Thousands of fish, including rare species that live far off the shore are washing up on beaches along the central coast of Vietnam. This week the country made a statement that it was investigating whether pollution is to blame for the mass numbers of deaths in marine life during recent days.
The human population has reached over seven billion and is continuing to grow. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, there will be 9.7 billion people inhabiting our planet. With one in nine people already being underfed, new research that shows the possibility of feeding the growing population without destroying more forests seems more vital than ever.
When scientists suddenly bumped Sumatran orangutan counts from 6,600 to over 14,000 animals the media celebrated, but researchers didn’t. Their improved survey methods had allowed them to find many more animals, but also many more threats.
There are now 24 known species of mouse lemur, all of them found in Madagascar. Scientists have found three new species of mouse lemurs that live in the South and East of Madagascar. Though their name and appearance might suggest that they are rodents, mouse lemurs are in fact primates.
Another tiger has died at Indonesia’s infamous Surabaya Zoo, once again bringing attention to the negligence, mismanagement and corruption that has plagued the institution.
Top officials in Indonesia have reportedly declared a moratorium on new oil palm and mining concessions in the Leuser Ecosystem, the only place on Earth where elephants, rhinos, orangutans, and tigers roam the same forests.