Elephants and giant sequoias have no advantage over algae and bacteria
January 8, 2018 Source:SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestrySummary:There are more than 8 million species of living things on Earth, but none of them — from 100-foot blue whales to microscopic bacteria — has an advantage over the others in the universal struggle for existence.A trio of scientists report that regardless of vastly different body size, location and life history, most species are equally ‘fit’ in the struggle for existence.
There are more than 8 million species of living things on Earth, but none of them — from 100-foot blue whales to microscopic bacteria — has an advantage over the others in the universal struggle for existence.
In a paper published Jan. 8 in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, a trio of scientists from universities in the United States and the United Kingdom describe the dynamic that began with the origin of life on Earth 4 billion years ago. They report that regardless of vastly different body size, location and life history, most plant, animal and microbial species are equally “fit” in the struggle for existence. This is because each transmits approximately the same amount of energy over its lifetime to produce the next generation of its species. Continue reading “What species is most fit for life? All have an equal chance, scientists say”→
ipsnews_Martin Khor is Executive Director of the South Centre, a think tank for developing countries, based in Geneva
PENANG, Malaysia, Jan 2 2018 (IPS) – Another new year has dawned, and on a world facing serious disruption on many fronts. What are the trends and issues to watch out for in 2018?
One obvious answer is to anticipate how Donald Trump, the most unorthodox of American Presidents, will continue to upset the world order. But more about that later.
Just as importantly as politics, we are now in the midst of several social and environmental trends that have important long-lasting effects. Some are on the verge of reaching a tipping point, where a long-term trend produces critical and sometimes irreversible events. We may see some of that in 2018. Continue reading “Critical Issues to Watch in 2018”→
Brazil’s government this week announced a major shift away from its policy of building mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon – a strategy born during the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) and vigorously carried forward down to the present day.
The Temer government claims the decision is a response to intense resistance from environmentalists and indigenous groups, but while that may be part of the reason, experts see other causes as well.
The decline in political influence of Brazil’s gigantic construction companies caused by the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption investigation is likely a major cause of the change in policy. So is the current depressed state of Brazil’s economy, which makes it unlikely that Brazil’s huge development bank (BNDES) will invest in such multi-billion dollar projects.
While environmentalists and indigenous groups will likely celebrate the shift away from the mega-dam policy, experts warn that many threats to the Amazon remain, including pressure by Brazil’s ruralist lobby to open up conserved areas and indigenous lands to agribusiness, along with threats posed by new road, rail, waterway and mining projects.
Throughout 2017, scientists discovered new populations of rare wildlife, and rediscovered some species that were previously thought to be extinct.
Some countries created large marine protected areas, while a few others granted land rights to indigenous communities.
In 2017, we also saw the ever-increasing potential of technology to improve conservation monitoring and efforts.
The past year may have seemed like doom and gloom for the environment, but there was plenty to be thankful for. So once again, we bring you some of the happier environmental stories of 2017 (in no particular order). These include rediscoveries of species that were once thought to be extinct, local communities being granted land rights, and the emergence of new technologies that are boosting conservation efforts.
1. New populations of rare wildlife were found
This year, conservationists discovered some new populations of threatened wildlife. Take, for example, the helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil). A research team recorded a new and “unexpectedly rich population” of this critically endangered bird in western Borneo. For a species that is now nearly extinct because of poaching, this discovery boosts hope for its future.
It was good news for the Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) as well. Surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Maiko National Park revealed several previously uncounted individuals of Grauer’s gorillas in just 1 percent of the park. The researchers think that there might be many more gorillas living inside the largely unexplored 10,885-square-kilometer (4,000-square-mile) park. Continue reading “Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2017”→
Tens of millions of red crabs live on Christmas Island, a small Australian territory near Indonesia. Each year, in sync with the lunar phases, they migrate en masse from the forest to the sea. It’s stunning to watch.
DW_Plankton is the basis for the entire marine food web – and it is under threat. From the Mediterranean to the Pacific, animals have been struggling to survive, due apparently to changes with plankton.
Food chains represent the greatest interdependency within the webs of life. The marine food chain, for instance, is essential for oceans – and depends on plankton. But environmental changes and human activities may be threatening plankton– and therefore all marine animals.
According to a recent study,the biomass of sardines and anchovies has been decreasing at alarming rates in the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time, sea lions are struggling to forage on the coasts of California. Both cases have shed light on how a single food chain element can affect all others.
While it is still unknown whether species will be able to adapt to new conditions, the marine food chain is already experiencing drastic changes – and plankton plays a crucial role across the board.
“If anything happens to the plankton, an immediate cascade effect will take place on the food chain,” Ivan Nagelkerken, a University of Adelaide’s biology professor, told DW.
Even top predators depend on plankton – indirectly
Building blocks of life
Plankton are tiny aquatic organisms that drift through the sea, forming the basis of the marine food chain.
theconversation_When people picture sand spread across idyllic beaches and endless deserts, they understandably think of it as an infinite resource. But as we discuss in a just-published perspective in the journal Science, over-exploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, causing shortages and promoting violent conflict.
BANGKOK — Thirty million people depend for a living on the Mekong, the great Asian river that runs through Southeast Asia from its origins in the snowfields of Tibet to its end in the delta region of Vietnam, where it fertilizes one of the world’s richest agricultural areas. It’s the greatest freshwater fishery on the planet, second only to the Amazon in its riparian biodiversity. If you control its waters, then you control much of the economy of Southeast Asia. Continue reading “China’s Mekong Plans Threaten Disaster for Countries Downstream”→
FILE PHOTO: Picture shows a protesting camp set by villagers to block entrance of Hong Kong’s Pacific Crystal textiles factory after villagers accused the company of polluting local water in Hai Duong province, outside Hanoi, Vietnam July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Staff
HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnamese authorities on Monday used water cannon and electric rods to end a five-month long protest by villagers blockading a textile plant that serves global fashion brands, an official and a villager said.
The blockade represents another challenge to the communist nation’s government over industrial pollution woes, at a time when Vietnam seeks more foreign investors to keep up one of the highest rates of growth in Southeast Asia.
Hundreds of people from the northern province of Hai Duong have maintained watch in shifts day and night since April to stop work at the Pacific Crystal Textiles mill, operated by Hong Kong-based Pacific Textiles.
http://www.samarpanfoundation.org — May 2011
Do you remember the last time you bought a drink in a plastic bottle? Chances are that you threw away the bottle, without a second thought, when you were done. That’s what most of us do. Plastic is one of the most disposable materials in the modern world. It makes up much of the street side litter in urban and rural areas. It is rapidly filling up landfills as well as choking water bodies. Plastic bottles make up approximately 11% of the content of landfills, causing serious environmental consequences. Continue reading “House Construction with Plastic Bottles by Samarpan Foundation”→
Vietnamnet_Residents in two communes of the southern province of Binh Dinh have raised a heated protest against titanium mining activities, citing pollution concerns.
Residents in My An and My Tho communes of Phu My District took to the streets to protest the polluting titanium mining company in Binh Dinh Province. — Photo tuoitre.vn
For many days now, people living in My An and My Tho communes of Phu My District have been preventing Hoang Dat Co from exploiting the titanium in the region fearing water pollution.
Dang Ngoc Thai, head of Xuan Phuong village of My An Commune, said previously, a vast casuarina forest covered the region.
“However, since 2006, when the company was allowed to exploit titanium in the region, they have chopped down hectares of the forest. The trucks carrying titanium ores are a constant source of pollution,” he said.
Thai also added that the wells in the village had run dry, forcing residents to spend a hefty sum of money to dig new wells.
In the neighbouring village of Xuan Binh (My An Communme), the foul smell and muddy water are also suspected to be caused by the company’s mining activities.
BBC_Our changing climate seems set to disrupt just about everything. From rising sea levels to ocean acidification, the list of negative consequences from climate change is endless. But one area that often goes unmentioned in the climate change discussion is sex.
Over the last two decades, scientists have found that warmer temperatures are quietly spoiling the mood, making it harder for plants and animals to reproduce.
Here are five ways that climate change is ruining sex lives.
It’s a numbers game
While humans and many other animals determine sex genetically, many reptiles and some fish use the incubation temperature of the eggs to set the gender of their offspring. This means that changing global temperatures could alter the ratio of sexes produced, making it harder for these animals to find mates. Continue reading “Climate change is disrupting the birds and the bees”→
eco-business_A new report by WWF has found that most major Asian consumer goods firms are lagging behind their western counterparts on making their operations and supply chains more sustainable, and their investors are also not paying enough attention to environmental risks.
Non-profit group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has published a report shining an uncomfortable spotlight on Asian consumer firms, which finds them severely lagging behind international standards on sustainability.The international group said the lack of sustainability among Asian manufacturers of food, household, and personal care products is in part due to a lack of scrutiny from financiers. Continue reading “Asian consumer firms need to buck up on sustainability: New report”→
Meeting of the AIIB Board of Governors
President Jin Liqun
June 16, 2017
As Prepared for Delivery
AIIB_Your Excellencies, the President of the Republic of Korea; the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategy and Finance; Distinguished Governors and Members of the Board of Directors; Honored Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen.