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Ecosystems

Is Our Government Looking the Other Way on Contaminated Ground Water and Aquifers?

How Much Drinking Water Has California Lost to Oil Industry Waste? No One Knows

"California survived its historic drought, in large part by using groundwater. It was a lifeline in the Central Valley, where it was the only source of water for many farmers.

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The Diversity of Life Across Much of Earth Has Plunged Below ‘Safe’ Levels

An aerial view shows a tract of Amazon rain forest that has been cleared by loggers and farmers for agriculture near the city of Santarem, Para State, April 20, 2013. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Science - Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - July 14, 2016

In an ambitious study that represents the latest merger between big data approaches and the quest to conserve the planet, scientists have found that across a majority of the Earth’s land surface — including some of its most important types of terrain and its most populous regions — the abundance or overall number of animals and plants of different species has fallen below a “safe” level identified by biologists.

The reason is not exactly a surprise — from grasslands to tropical forests, humans are using more and more land for agriculture, to live on, to build roads and infrastructure upon. When we take over, we clear the land or otherwise convert it for our purposes.

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Once Parched, Florida's Everglades Finds Its Flow Again

This is one of several canals that will be filled to slow the movement of water through the Everglades, restoring an ecosystem environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas called the "river of grass."€ Greg Allen/NPR

Image: This is one of several canals that will be filled to slow the movement of water through the Everglades, restoring an ecosystem environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas called the "river of grass."€ Greg Allen/NPR

npr.org - February 19th 2016 - Greg Allen

When people talk about Florida's Everglades, they often use superlatives: It's the largest protected wilderness east of the Mississippi River, and it's the biggest subtropical wetland in North America.

But it is also the site of a joint federal-state plan that is the largest ecosystem restoration effort ever attempted — one that is beginning to pay off after decades of work.

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NOAA: Salt Marshes Combat Climate Change

             

Shorebirds feed in the shallows of Estero Bay State Preserve.  In the background are black mangroves, which are part of a salt marsh, which absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide.  (Photo: File photo by Andrew West)

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - PLOS One - Living Shorelines: Coastal Resilience with a Blue Carbon Benefit

news-press.com - by Chad Gillis - December 24, 2015

Natural, living shorelines in areas like the Gulf of Mexico absorb a lot of carbon dioxide and will help blunt the effects of climate change.

And coastal wetlands store several times the amount that can be absorbed by mature tropical forests, the research shows.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied wetlands in North Carolina and reports that plants, sand and rocks are better for the environment than man-made features like concrete sea walls and high-rise condominiums.

The report, published earlier this month in the journal PLOS One, shows that natural features in coastal areas help keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lower.

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US faces worst droughts in 1,000 years, predict scientists

Cattle roam dirt-brown fields on the outskirts of Delano, in California’s Central Valley. Scientists predict future droughts will be far worse than the one in California. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Image: Cattle roam dirt-brown fields on the outskirts of Delano, in California’s Central Valley. Scientists predict future droughts will be far worse than the one in California. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

theguardian.com - February 12 2015 - Suzanne Goldenberg

The US south-west and the Great Plains will face decade-long droughts far worse than any experienced over the last 1,000 years because of climate change, researchers said on Thursday.

The coming drought age – caused by higher temperatures under climate change – will make it nearly impossible to carry on with current life-as-normal conditions across a vast swathe of the country.

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Ebola outbreak threatens peace, security, WHO chief says

GENEVA — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is “unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times,” Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, said Monday.

Chan, who dealt with the 2009 avian flu pandemic and the SARS outbreaks of 2002-03, said the Ebola outbreak had progressed from a public health crisis to “a crisis for international peace and security.”

“I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments in already very poor countries,” she said in a statement delivered on her behalf to a conference in Manila, Philippines, and released by her office in Geneva. “I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure.”

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Ban Ki-moon: 'World living in an era of unprecedented level of crises'

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

Julian Borger - New York The Guardian
21 Sep 2014 16.55 BST

More than 140 heads of state and government fly in to New York this week for the United Nations general assembly amid apprehension that international order is unraveling at an accelerating pace, while the world's leaders seem ever less willing or able to deal with the proliferating threats.

The UN's humanitarian agencies are in danger of being completely overwhelmed by the multiple crises. Ebola is spreading rapidly across West Africa, swamping rickety national health systems and a thus-far underfunded UN effort to stop its advance. The spread of Islamic State (Isis) extremists in the Middle East, feeding on the destruction of the Syrian civil war and exposing the weakness of the Iraqi state, has similarly outpaced patchy international efforts at containment.

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Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Toxic Tide Shows Up Early in Sag Harbor

High levels of Cochlodinium detected in Sag Harbor cove last week could put shellfish and finfish at risk.13 August 2014 - By Mara Certic

Just weeks after blue-green algal blooms were detected in Georgica Pond, extremely high levels of the toxic rust alga Cochlodinium have emerged in Sag Harbor and East Hampton waters.

Cochlodinium first appeared on Long Island in 2004 and has been detected in local waters every summer since. According to Professor Christopher Gobler, who conducts water quality testing and is a professor at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, densities above 500 cells per milliliter can be lethal to both finfish and shellfish. The Gobler Laboratory recorded Cochlodinium at densities exceeding 30,000 cells per milliliter in Sag Harbor Cove, and over 1,000 in Accabonac and Three Mile Harbors.

http://sagharborexpress.com/toxic-tide-shows-up-early-in-sag-harbor/

http://sagharboronline.com/sagharborexpress/page-1/toxic-tide-shows-up-early-in-sag-harbor-32598

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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Fifth Biennial Review, 2014

submitted by Albert Gomez

National Research Council. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Fifth Biennial Review, 2014. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.

The Everglades ecosystem is vast, stretching more than 200 miles from Orlando to Florida Bay, and Everglades National Park is but a part located at the southern end. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the historical Everglades has been reduced to half of its original size, and what remains is not the pristine ecosystem many image it to be, but one that has been highly engineered and otherwise heavily influenced, and is intensely managed by humans. Rather than slowly flowing southward in a broad river of grass, water moves through a maze of canals, levees, pump stations, and hydraulic control structures, and a substantial fraction is diverted from the natural system to meet water supply and flood control needs. The water that remains is polluted by phosphorus and other contaminants originating from agriculture and other human activities. Many components of the natural system are highly degraded and continue to degrade.

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