User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Sep 29 2014 21:55 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Biological Collections Are Vital to Preserving Species in the Face of Climate Change 29.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Among the many different resources that scientists will use to try to forestall some of the effects of climate change, the nation's treasure trove of preserved plants, animals, and microscopic organisms is undoubtedly one of the least known to most people. But these biological collections represent a very powerful tool for understanding how climate change is likely to affect life on Earth. Our nation has a rich heritage in such collections, which are held at about 1,000 scientific research institutions such as universities, natural history museums, and botanical gardens. What are in these collections? They consist of such things as the skeletons and skins of mammals, birds and reptiles; fossils, tissue samples, and fish and spiders preserved in fluid; dried plants and fungi glued to stiff paper or stored in boxes; and tiny organisms on microscope slides. Although no one knows exactly, we estimate that there are approximately one billion preserved specimens in the U.S. that have been gathered by ...
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Goats found to be better than chemicals when it comes to curbing invasive marsh grass 25.9.2014 Environmental News Network
Herbivores, not herbicides, may be the most effective way to combat the spread of one of the most invasive plants now threatening East Coast salt marshes, a new Duke University-led study finds. Phragmites australis, or the common reed, is a rapid colonizer that has overrun many coastal wetlands from New England to the Southeast. A non-native perennial, it can form dense stands of grass up to 10 feet high that block valuable shoreline views of the water, kill off native grasses, and alter marsh function.
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Carry a Torch 25.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
"Many Native people would say this needs to be burned." Rob Cuthrell, having just the weekend before become a newly minted doctor of archaeology, looked down from the edge of the 225-acre Quiroste Valley Cultural Preserve in Año Nuevo State Park north of Santa Cruz. We stood on the site of the ancient village Mitinne, once populated by the strong Quiroste polity who fatefully intersected here with the Spanish nearly 245 years ago. Down below was a familiar expanse of dried grasses interspersed with coyote brush and rimmed by Douglas fir trees. It looked a lot like many other wide-open expanses of California coast protected from development and home to many native species. Untouched land looks natural. But it's not, really. Nor, perhaps, has it ever been, at least on the terms that we usually define the word "natural." Around the hilltop on which we stood, Cuthrell pointed out purple needlegrass, the official California state grass. "This is a main constituent of coastal prairies," he said. "I was up here ...
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Why Monarch Butterflies Need Endangered Species Act Protection 23.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As monarch butterflies make their long journey from the U.S. to Mexico this fall, let's pause to consider the 90 percent drop in their numbers over the past twenty years. So steep has been their decline that a petition has been filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting protection for the monarch under the Endangered Species Act. This eloquent and detailed document lays out the research showing not only the decline but the causes of it. At the top of the list is the use of the herbicide glyphosate - best known as the active ingredient in Roundup - on vast Midwestern fields of crops genetically engineered to be unaffected by it. Among the unwanted plants zapped, alas, is milkweed, the only plant where monarchs lay their eggs and monarch caterpillars feed. With the coming of glyphosate-resistant corn and soybeans, milkweed has virtually vanished across the industrially farmed fields of the Midwest. To make matters worse, farm fields have been covering ever more of the landscape in response to ...
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An Open Letter to My Neighbors Regarding Drought and My Dead, Weedy Lawn 23.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Dear Neighbors, Hello! My name is Jonathan Kim and I have been living at the house on the corner of _____ and _____ since December 2011. I had previously lived in an apartment just two blocks from my current location, and I am very glad that I decided to stay in this terrific neighborhood. Many of you may know my house, a handsome Steinkamp , by its front lawn, which I largely stopped watering and tending close to two years ago, first allowing the grass to grow long, then mowing it and allowing weeds to grow. On several occasions, some of you (sometimes repeatedly) have asked me in person or by anonymous letter about the state of my front yard, when I will develop it into something more attractive, and when those plans will be acted on. A few of your comments have been sympathetic, some have been angry, but all have been insistent. I thought I would write this to address your concerns collectively. First, please know that I very much sympathize with your stance. I'm sure that because of what I've allowed ...
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Google Chairman: Giving Money To ALEC Was A 'Mistake' 23.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said on Monday that his company's support for the American Legislative Exchange Council was a "mistake," adding that it should avoid aligning with groups that deny climate change. "We funded [ALEC] as part of a political campaign for something unrelated [to climate change]," Schmidt said on NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show ." "I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we're trying to not do that in the future." "The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts -- what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore," Schmidt continued. "Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people -- they're just, they're just literally lying." Activists have criticized Google's support for ALEC since last ...
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Why 400,000 People Marched For Climate Change Action 22.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Climate activists filled the streets of New York City today for the People's Climate March . People came from across the country and around the world to support meaningful action on climate change just days before world leaders assemble for the UN climate summit. Initial counts estimated march attendance at more than 400,000 people, three times the number predicted by organizers before the event. The march included representatives from over 1,500 organizations, including students, scientists, faith groups, labor unions, businesses, environmental groups and more. We talked to just a few participants and asked them to share why they came to march today. The answers we got were inspiring, unique and powerful. Harry, Rochester, New York "From the Earthsavers, Philippines, UNESCO Artist For Peace -- We have to conscienticize the world leaders to agree on the global deal for survivial and keep a safe healthy planet for our children. We are battered by supertyphoons -- and we must stop the madness of carbon ...
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This Is What It Looks Like When 300,000 People March For Climate Change Awareness 22.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
More than 300,000 people stepped out in New York City for the People's Climate March on Sunday, what's being hailed as the largest climate march in history as many worry about the state of our planet.

Have a hard time imagining what that many people looks like? Take a gander at the video above to see the crowds stretching for miles up Central Park West.
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Why 300,000 People Marched For Climate Change Action 22.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Climate activists filled the streets of New York City today for the People's Climate March . People came from across the country and around the world to support meaningful action on climate change just days before world leaders assemble for the UN climate summit. Initial counts estimated march attendance at more than 300,000 people, three times the number predicted by organizers before the event. The march included representatives from over 1,500 organizations, including students, scientists, faith groups, labor unions, businesses, environmental groups and more. We talked to just a few participants and asked them to share why they came to march today. The answers we got were inspiring, unique and powerful. Harry, Rochester, New York "From the Earthsavers, Philippines, UNESCO Artist For Peace -- We have to conscienticize the world leaders to agree on the global deal for survivial and keep a safe healthy planet for our children. We are battered by supertyphoons -- and we must stop the madness of carbon ...
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Who's Got Brother Earth's Back? 17.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
You know about climate change. But did you know about glacial profiling?

That's just one indignity that Brother Earth has to deal with as he heats up, argues Boots Riley, the frontman of hip-hop group The Coup, and Josh Healey of the environmental justice group Movement Generation in a new video posted ahead of this Sunday's People's Climate March in New York City.

Boots, playing Brother Earth, warns about impending climate catastrophes if people don’t start agitating for action. "Something's gotta change," he says. "I've been sending ya'll superstorms and mega-typhoons and all kinds of warnings, but ya'll keep ignoring me."

"Help a brother out," he implore viewers.

Watch the video above. (Warning: Some adult language.)
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The Planet Just Had Its Warmest August On Record 15.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history. Dr. Gavin Schmidt , a climatologist and climate modeler at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies , told The Huffington Post that while the agency's data does indicate that this August was the hottest on record, the difference falls within a few hundredths of a degree compared with previous Augusts. Schmidt cautioned against focusing on any one month or year, but instead on the fact that "the long-term trends are toward warming." A very hot August, he said, is just one piece of the data that "point[s] towards the long-term trends." This story is ...
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For the First Time, U.S. Agencies Consider a Diet for a Healthy Planet 15.9.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Rare Victory Against Poachers In Mozambique As Country Fights To Save Species 14.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The recent arrests of six suspected poachers on a vast wildlife reserve in Mozambique are seen by conservationists as rare good news in a country where elephants and other species are under extreme threat. The poaching ring had been operating in the Niassa National Reserve, which is twice the size of South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park, where the rhino population has been hit hard by poachers, many of whom cross over from Mozambique. The Sept. 7 detentions in the southern African nation followed nearly a year of investigative work, illustrating the challenges of policing rugged areas where armed poachers hike on expeditions that often last two weeks and sometimes kill elephants with single shots targeting vital organs. Some 200 scouts supported by a spotter plane and intermittent helicopter flights work in Niassa, an area of 42,000 square kilometers (16,200 square miles) that is home to about two-thirds of Mozambique's elephants. Park managers have ruled out using aerial ...
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Four Ways Industrial Ag Is Destroying the Soil - and Your Health 14.9.2014 Truthout.com
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Development Banks Pledge To Step Up Climate Action 11.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
OSLO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The world's six multilateral development banks promised on Thursday to do more to help emerging nations fight climate change as part of efforts to reinvigorate flagging work on a U.N. deal to limit temperature rises. In a statement before a Sept. 23 summit on global warming to be hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the World Bank and other banks said they had delivered $75 billion in financing since they started joint tracking of funds in 2011. "We now pledge to build on our work so far and to enhance our climate finance action, in accordance with our organizations' respective mandates, expertise, and resources," the banks said in a statement. They did not give any target for funds. The statement was signed by the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank Group. Developing nations often complain that they ...
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Californians Reduce Water Use In Face Of Acute Shortages 10.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept 10 (Reuters) - Facing acute water shortages in some communities and mandatory restrictions on watering lawns, Californians saved 17 billion gallons of water in July, enough to fill 26,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the state said. The amount saved falls short of the 20 percent reduction in use called for by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, but represents significant cutbacks in water use as the most populous U.S. state struggles through its third year of a devastating drought. "Every action, from taking a shorter shower,to putting a lawn on a water diet, to replacing turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, contributes to every community's water security," Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board said Tuesday. California is in its third year of a devastating drought that has forced farmers to leave fields unplanted and left communities reliant on well water with little to drink. The data released Tuesday is the first monthly information ...
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Rare Pygmy Hippo Named Olivia Born In Swedish Zoo 10.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Sweden's Parken Zoo has officially welcomed a new addition to its hippopotamus family. Olivia, a rare pygmy hippo, was born at just 13 pounds this past August as part of an international breeding program. The cute baby hippo has been befittingly dubbed the "Michelin Man" due to her striking resemblance to the Bibendum character. Pygmy hippos, which usually grow to about half the size of a common hippopotamus, are a seriously endangered species that are native to West Africa. There are likely only a few thousand pygmy hippos left in the wild. Those who are looking forward to paying Olivia a visit in Sweden must act fast. As soon as she celebrates her second birthday, she'll be shipped off to another European zoo. Check out more of baby hippo Olivia in the clip ...
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More Than Half Of North American Birds In Trouble Thanks To Climate Change 9.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the world gets warmer, the Baltimore oriole will no longer be found in Maryland. The Mississippi kite will move north, east and pretty much out of its namesake state. And the California gull will mostly be a summer stranger to the Golden State. Those are among the conclusions in a new National Audubon Society report that looks at the potential effects of global warming on birds by the year 2080. "This will spell trouble for most birds," said Gary Langham, the society's chief scientist and vice president. Over the next six decades or so, the critical ranges of more than half the 588 North American bird species will either shrink significantly or move into uncharted territory for the animal, according to Langham's analysis. While other studies have made similar pronouncements, this report gives the most comprehensive projections of what is likely to happen to America's birds. The report says that in a few decades, 126 bird species will end up with a much smaller area to live in, which ...
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California Blue Whales Recover From Whaling, Study Finds 7.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new analysis suggests there are as many blue whales living off the coast of California as there were before humans started hunting them to near extinction 110 years ago. The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/1lOfXru) there are about 2,200 blue whales swimming on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean, from Mexico up into Alaska. Researchers previously assumed that the pre-whaling population was higher than that. However, researchers at the University of Washington, using historical data to estimate the number of whales caught between 1905 and 1971 — when whaling became illegal — said the current population is 97 percent as large as it was before 1905. "For us, this is a great conservation success story," said Cole Monnahan, a lead author of the paper published Friday in the journal Marine Mammal Science. "We caught way too many whales from this population. But when we left them alone, they recovered." Blue whales are found throughout the world. But for this study, the ...
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An Ode To The Faithful Clownfish, Which May Soon Be Listed As Endangered 5.9.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Good luck finding Nemo. The National Marine Fisheries Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considering adding the orange clownfish to the endangered species list as coral reefs remain besieged by climate change. Threats including ocean acidification and warming temperatures , as well as overfishing by the aquarium industry, have ravaged populations of Pixar's favorite orange fish. The agencies are now seeking public comment as to whether these and seven other species of reef fish should be subject to the country's highest form of wildlife protection . So we wanted to send a shout out to all those, albeit few, remaining orange clownfish; different from some other species of clownfish and differentiated by their three white lines and fins tipped in black, like this: The little guys make their homes in certain types of sea anemones and work in a symbiotic relationship, living among the stinging polyps in exchange for keeping them clean and helping the anemones breathe . The ...
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