The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
In 1993, when Monsanto asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve Roundup-tolerant soybeans, it dispensed with the issue of potential resistant weeds in two modest paragraphs. It told the agency that “glyphosate is considered to be a herbicide with low risk for weed resistance.”
For America’s agricultural biotech companies, the corn rootworm is threatening to turn into their worst nightmare.
Last year, we reported that a major insect pest, the corn rootworm, had “found a chink in the armor” of genetically engineered crops. In several different places across the corn belt, the insects have developed resistance to an inserted gene that is supposed to kill them.
The demand for shark fin soup in Asia is probably the major cause of the alarming decline of blue sharks off the British coast and much of the Atlantic, the authors of a new study claim this week.
An Indiana University geophysical experiment detected unusual seismic signals associated with tornadoes that recently struck regions across the Midwest — information that may have value for meteorologists studying the atmospheric activity that precedes tornado disasters.
Crabs, insects and spiders living in coastal salt marshes affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster were damaged by the massive oil spill but were able to recover within a year if their host plants remained healthy, according to a University of Houston study published March 7 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
Elevated carbon dioxide concentrations can increase carbon storage in the soil, according to results from a 12-year carbon dioxide-enrichment experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The increased storage of carbon in soil could help to slow down rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
As scientists continue the hunt for energy sources that are safer, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuel, an ever-increasing amount of valuable farmland is being used to produce bioethanol, a source of transportation fuel. And while land-bound sources are renewable, economists and ecologists fear that diverting crops to produce fuel will limit food resources and drive up costs. Now, Prof. Avigdor Abelson of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Zoology and the new Renewable Energy Center, and his colleagues Dr. Alvaro Israel of the Israel Oceanography Institute, Prof. Aharon Gedanken of Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Ariel Kushmaro of Ben-Gurion University, and their Ph.D. student Leor Korzen, have gone to the seas in the quest for a renewable energy source that doesn’t endanger natural habitats, biodiversity, or human food sources.He says that marine macroalgae — common seaweed — can be grown more quickly than land-based crops and harvested as fuel without sacrificing usable land. It’s a promising source of bioethanol that has remained virtually unexplored until now.
Even if zero emissions of greenhouse gases were to be achieved, the world’s temperature would continue to rise by about a quarter of a degree over a decade. That’s a best-case scenario, according to a paper co-written by a Simon Fraser University researcher. New climate change research “Climate response to zeroed emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols” published in Nature’s online journal, urges the public, governments and industries to wake up to a harsh new reality.
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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