Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Climate Change, Ecology | Tags: Antarctica, Australia, Climate Change, Ecology, endangered-and-protected-species, environment, research, science-and-technology, Topics: oceans-and-reefs, weather | No Comments »
Global greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached an ominous milestone that is unprecedented in human history. The world’s longest measure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million for the first time in three million years.
The daily CO2 level is measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which tracks greenhouse gases in the Northern Hemisphere. The level has been measured at Mauna Loa since 1958, with data before that taken from ice core samples.
The last time it reached this level, temperatures rose by between three and four degrees and sea levels were between five and 40 metres higher than today. Still sceptical? :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: December 29th, 2012 | Author: Diana Detaux | Filed under: Climate Change, Ecology | Tags: Antarctic, Antarctic Ice Melt, Climate Change, Ecology, environment, West Antarctic | No Comments »
A study of temperature records over more than half a century shows the west Antarctic ice sheet is warming nearly twice as quickly as previously thought.
A re-analysis of temperature records from 1958 to 2010 revealed an increase of 2.4 degrees Celsius over the period, three times the average global rise.
The increase means west Antarctica is one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth, according to paper co-author David Bromwich of the Byrd Polar Research Centre.
“Records suggests that continued summer warming in west Antarctica could upset the surface balance of the ice sheet, so that the region could make an even bigger contribution to sea-level rise than it already does.” David Bromwich said :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: The Cankler | Filed under: Ecology | Tags: Biodiversity, Farming, Harmful Levels of Pesticides, Pesticides | No Comments »
Anna Salleh from abc.net.au has a superlative piece on the effects of pesticides on the environment. As suspected for many years the pesticide run off from farms may be having a negative affect on the ecology of Australia’s river system. The new report says that pesticides could be damaging river biodiversity at levels that have been traditionally regarded as environmentally safe by authorities, suggests a new study.
Ecotoxciologist Dr Ben Kefford, of University of Technology, Sydney, and colleagues, report their findings online in Environmental Science & Technology.
“Pesticides are having an effect at 10 to 100 times lower concentrations than traditionally thought,”Dr Kefford said.
Kefford goes on to say that when authorities try to protect our streams and rivers from pesticides they rely on thresholds, under which it is assumed pesticides have no effect. For example, the European Union recommends the use of a commonly-used safety factor of 100.
This means if a negative effect on an aquatic organism is only seen at a particular concentration of pesticide, then a safe level of that pesticide is regarded as being one hundredth of this concentration :: Read Anna Salleh’s full article at abc.net.au»»»»
Posted: January 5th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler Science News, Ecology | Tags: Antarctic Marine Biodiversity, Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents, New Undiscovered Species of Marine Life, Science News, Taxa, Yeti Crab | No Comments »
A seven-pronged starfish, a mysterious pale octopus and a new kind of ‘yeti’ crab are among a teeming community of previously undiscovered life on the sea floor near Antarctica, British researchers said. The species, described this week on the online journal PloS Biology, were first glimpsed in 2010 when researchers lowered a robotic vehicle to explore the East Scotia Ridge deep beneath the Southern Ocean, between Antarctica and the tip of South America. The dark and remote area is home to hydrothermal vents, which are deep-sea springs that spew liquid at temperatures of up to 382 degrees Celsius, and have previously been found to host unusual life forms in other parts of the world.
“Hydrothermal vents are home to animals found nowhere else on the planet that get their energy not from the Sun but from breaking down chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide,” said lead researcher Alex Rogers of Oxford University. ”The first survey of these particular vents, in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, has revealed a hot, dark, ‘lost world’ in which whole communities of previously unknown marine organisms thrive.”
Vent ecosystems have been documented from many sites across the globe, associated with the thermally and chemically variable habitats found around these, typically high temperature, streams that are rich in reduced compounds and polymetallic sulphides. This most recent work by Steven Chown and his team of researchers has brought to the surface some pretty incredible findings, animal communities of the Southern Ocean vent ecosystems are very different to those found at other vent locations around the globe. Much of the biological significance of deep-sea hydrothermal vents lies in their biodiversity, the diverse biochemistry of their bacteria, the remarkable symbioses among many of the marine animals and these bacteria, and the prospects that investigations of these systems hold for understanding the conditions that may have led to the first appearance of life. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler Science News, Ecology | Tags: Australian Black Tipped Shark, DNA, Hybridization, Marine Biology, Shark Evolution, Species Boundaries, Sub-Species, University of Queensland | No Comments »
Marine biologists have for the first time observed a potential new mechanism of evolution. While cataloging sharks it was discovered that Australian Black Tipped sharks are adapting to the changing environment off the Australian East Coast through interbreeding with it’s cousin, the common Black Tipped shark. It is believed that if the changes are successful this will produce a stronger species, unlike all of Hollywood’s versions of man building a super shark nature is in charge here, and unfortunately she hasn’t integrated lasers just yet.
DNA tests have shown the hybridized version to be a mix of the Australian Black Tipped shark and the common Black Tipped shark found in other parts of the world, two distinct species of shark. While the Australian Black Tip is a tropical water shark the hybrid version has adopted its overseas cousins ability to travel into cooler waters. This will allow the new Black Tip to travel further south expanding its hunting territories and increasing the sharks chances of survival. This is evolution in action. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Climate Change, Ecology, Science, Science News, Science of Green | Tags: Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Energy Agency, IPCC, United Nations | No Comments »
As the Earth’s climate warms, United Nations scientists are predicting an increase in heat waves, rainfall and flooding, stronger cyclones and more intense droughts across the globe this century.
In a report released last week in Uganda, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC – urged countries to rapidly adopt disaster management plans to adapt to the growing risk of extreme weather. The report gives differing probabilities for weather events, but the thrust is that extreme weather is likely to increase and that the likely cause is humans.
The IPCC defines “likely” as a 66-100 per cent probability, while “virtually certain” is 99-100 per cent. The report says it’s virtually certain that increases in the frequency and magnitude of warm daily temperature extremes will occur on the global scale in the 21st century.
A 1-in-20 year hottest day is likely to become a 1-in-2 year event by the end of the 21st century in most regions. It is very likely that the length, frequency and intensity of heat waves will increase. Heat waves would likely get hotter by 1-3 degrees Celsius by mid-21st century and by 2-5 degrees by late-21st century :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: September 6th, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler, Ecology, M.Aaron Silverman, No Sh_t Sherlock, Science | Tags: Animal Rights, biomedical research, Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Service, FWS, Humane Society | Comments Off
They have for years been the pinup of animal rights activists, captive chimanzees. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – FWS – has today initiated a review on whether to uplist the status of the chimps from threatened to endangered. In a 144 page petition proposed by the Humane Society and endorsed by 7 other animal rights groups, all captive chimps would be afforded the same rights as their wild kin.
The FWS will initiate a status review to determine whether reclassifying all captive chimpanzees from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act – ESA – is warranted.
Currently, the chimpanzee is not endangered in its entirety. Captive populations are listed as threatened, with a special rule allowing activities otherwise prohibited by the ESA. The finding will publish in the Federal Register on September 1, 2011.
Following an initial review of a petition from The Humane Society of the United States, the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, the Fund for Animals, Humane Society International, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society requesting all chimpanzees, whether found in the wild or in captivity, be listed as endangered, the Service will undertake a more thorough review to determine if the requested action is warranted :: Read the full article »»»»