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Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012

Our Earth

Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: April 15, 2012

The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.


Radioactive particles from Japan detected in California kelp

LOS ANGELES — Radioactive particles released in the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were detected in giant kelp along the California coast, according to a recently published study

How green is a parking lot? New efforts to test infrastructure

WASHINGTON — A growing number of civil engineers, landscape architects and urban planners are making a case for not just repairing but also for greening the structural underbelly we rely on to drink our water, cross our rivers and park our cars.

NOAA listing Gulf dolphin death information on website

GULFPORT, Miss. — NOAA Fisheries has responded to the cry for information in this year’s string of dolphin deaths in the northern Gulf that includes 59 stillborn or infant calves.

Insurance Giant Lloyd’s of London Warns Of ‘Unique And Hard-To-Manage Risk’ Of Arctic Ocean Oil Drilling

Analysts at one of the world’s largest insurance markets are warning that offshore drilling in the Arctic would “constitute a unique and hard-to-manage risk” and urged companies to “think carefully about the consequences of action” before exploring for oil in the region.

Warming Atlantic Primes The Amazon For Fire

Karina Pinasco watched in dismay as flames on a hillside at the edge of town lit up the sky one night in October 2010. A farmer had intended to clear a few hectares of land to plant coffee bushes, but the fire – set during an unusually hot, dry spell – quickly got out of hand.

Shake It Off: Earth’s Wobble May Have Ended Ice Age

The last big ice age ended about 11,000 years ago, and not a moment too soon — it made a lot more of the world livable, at least for humans.

But exactly what caused the big thaw isn’t clear, and new research suggests that a wobble in the Earth kicked off a complicated process that changed the whole planet.

As habitat disappears, so does California’s deer population

An estimated 445,000 deer live in California, or about equal to the city of Sacramento’s human population. Which sounds like a lot, until you realize the deer are spread over the entire state: 99 million acres.

Total: “may be months” to stop N.Sea gas cloud

(Reuters) – A cloud of explosive natural gas boiling up from the North Sea out of a leak at Total’s evacuated Elgin platform forced another shutdown off the Scottish coast on March 26 as the French firm warned it could take six months to halt the flow.

Loss of predators in Northern Hemisphere affecting ecosystem health

A survey on the loss in the Northern Hemisphere of large predators, particularly wolves, concludes that current populations of moose, deer, and other large herbivores far exceed their historic levels and are contributing to disrupted ecosystems. The research, published recently by scientists from Oregon State University, examined 42 studies done over the past 50 years.

800-year-old farmers could teach us how to protect the Amazon

In the face of mass deforestation of the Amazon, recent findings indicate that we could learn from its earliest inhabitants who managed their farmland sustainably. An international team of archaeologists and paleoecologists, including Dr. Mitchell Power, curator of the Garrett Herbarium at the Natural History Museum of Utah and assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Utah, report for the first time that indigenous people, living in the savannas around the Amazonian forest, farmed without using fire. These findings are published April 9, 2012, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists forecast forest carbon loss

When most people look at a forest, they see walking trails, deer yards, or firewood for next winter. But scientists at the Harvard Forest and Smithsonian Institution take note of changes imperceptible to the naked eye — the uptake and storage of carbon. What they’ve learned in a recent study is that an immense amount of carbon is stored in growing trees, but if current trends in Massachusetts continue, development would reduce that storage by 18 percent over the next half century. Forest harvesting would have a much smaller impact.


Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”


At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

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