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GarryRogers Biosphere News
Nature Conservation News and information for animals, plants, and nature.  See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
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Sharks at risk in key Atlantic fishing zones

Sharks at risk in key Atlantic fishing zones | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
New research can guide conservation efforts Staff Report A four-year study that followed about 100 tagged sharks shows that commercial fishing operations overlap with shark hotspots in the ocean. The findings suggest that sharks are at risk of being overfished in some areas. "Our research clearly demonstrates the importance of satellite tagging data for conservation,"…
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Welcome to the Renewable Energy Renaissance -- Fight to End Fossil Fuel Burning is Now On

Welcome to the Renewable Energy Renaissance -- Fight to End Fossil Fuel Burning is Now On | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Nevada Monopoly Fossil Fuels vs Solar Fight Goes National

An example of this struggle in microcosm took place during December through January of 2015 in Nevada. Emboldened by similar decisions in Arizona, monopoly utilities moved to protect their carbon-polluting infrastructures by pushing the state government (made up of a majority of republicans to include the governor — Sandoval) to impose restrictive fees on solar energy use throughout the state. Targeting rooftop solar energy systems, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUCN — also made up entirely of republicans) voted to, across the board, increase costs for rooftop solar users by both slashing incentives and imposing draconian fees. The decision negatively impacted 12,000 current solar customers using rooftop power to include families, schools and even public libraries.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  In this war, powerless individuals are facing powerful business-backed governments. Our avaricious nature has brought us to this pass, but now that we're here, we're probably going to have to change our habits and take action.  In this post, Robert Scribbler, provides some strategic insight.

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Borneo Government: Stop destroying the forests and save the ... - Care2 News Network

Borneo Government: Stop destroying the forests and save the ... - Care2 News Network | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

Deforestation is continuing at an alarming daily rate in Borneo in the main due to the external demand for palm oil. As the area of forest has halved over recent years, the population of orangutans has also halved.

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Sequence of rare Hawaiian crow's genome will assist conservation efforts

Sequence of rare Hawaiian crow's genome will assist conservation efforts | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Scientists have fully sequenced the genome of the Hawaiian crow. This crow was once reduced to a population of about 20 birds, and the sequencing of the species genome will be important to track any genetic challenges that may occur due to the reduced genetic diversity now seen in the species.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  What's the minimum number of individuals required to resurrect a species?  This study adds to our knowledge of the effects of number.

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The Arctic Is Melting And Big Business Is Ready To Dig In

The Arctic Is Melting And Big Business Is Ready To Dig In | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

"Standing at a podium before the World Economic Forum, Leonardo DiCaprio briefly smiled as he received an award for his leadership in tackling climate change. Once settled under the spotlight, he quickly moved away from his grateful statements, and began railing on corporate avarice.

"We simply cannot allow the corporate greed of the coal, oil, and gas industries to determine the future of humanity,” said DiCaprio last week while at Davos, Switzerland, where some 2,500 top global business leaders, politicians, and intellectuals gathered to discuss politics, economics, and social issues.

"Fossil fuels must be kept in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change, he continued. “Enough is enough. You know better. The world knows better.”

"But while DiCaprio was cheered Wednesday as he stepped off the stage with his Crystal award, the international business community appears interested in venturing into new areas despite potential ecological costs. In fact, a day after recognizing environmental leadership, a World Economic Forum advisory group launched the Arctic Investment Protocol, and with that came a tacit push for extracting resources from one of the least-developed areas of the world.

"The Arctic Investment Protocol is a voluntary set of guidelines for nations looking to do business where diminished ice coverage from man-made climate change is allowing access to once-unreachable sea routes as well as vast mineral and fossil fuel reservoirs.

"The protocol calls for building resilient societies through economic development, pursuing measures to protect the Arctic environment, and respecting and including local communities, to name a few. The Guggenheim Partners, a major global investment and financial services firm, quickly endorsed the protocol, saying the Arctic represents one of the last great economic frontiers."

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  No place on Earth is safe from human avarice. DiCaprio mentions the greed of the coal, oil, and gas industries, but he could also have condemned the greed of the mining, farming, and logging industries. Financial interest will overwhelm the wisdom of switching from development to protection. We've stripped away the Arctic's protective skin of ice and cold. Now we will feed on the carcass. 

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How ‘Natural Geoengineering’ Can Help Slow Global Warming by Oswald J. Schmitz: Yale Environment 360

How ‘Natural Geoengineering’ Can Help Slow Global Warming by Oswald J. Schmitz: Yale Environment 360 | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

"An overlooked tool in fighting climate change is enhancing biodiversity to maximize the ability of ecosystems to store carbon. Key to that strategy is preserving top predators to control populations of herbivores, whose grazing reduces the amount of CO2 that ecosystems absorb.
by oswald j. schmitz

"As natural wonders go, perhaps the most awe-inspiring is the annual migration of 1.2 million wildebeest flowing across East Africa’s vast Serengeti grassland. It would be a tragedy to lose these animals. But we almost did in the mid-20th century when, decimated by disease and poaching, their numbers crashed to 300,000.

"The consequences of that collapse were profound. Much of the Serengeti ecosystem remained ungrazed. The accumulating dead and dried grass in turn became fuel for massive wildfires, which annually burned up to 80 percent of the area, making the Serengeti an important regional source of carbon dioxide emissions."

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  This is a good argument for nature conservation. If we studied, restored, and protected natural ecosystems, the Earth could tolerate and mitigate more human impact. Of course, Earth's natural systems can't withstand the growing demands for food and space the massive human population is making. I believe we have to get our population growth reversed if we hope to save natural ecosystems (http://garryrogers.com/2015/10/19/population-2).

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Study says there's little chance recent record global temps are due to natural variability

Study says there's little chance recent record global temps are due to natural variability | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
'Natural climate variations just can't explain the observed recent global heat records, but man-made global warming can ...' Staff Report It's no accident that 13 out of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred during the current century, according to climate researchers, who said there's an "extreme likelihood" that the recent spate of…
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Warm Arctic Storms Aim to Unfreeze the North Pole Again -- That's 55 Degrees (F) Above Normal For January

Warm Arctic Storms Aim to Unfreeze the North Pole Again -- That's 55 Degrees (F) Above Normal For January | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Losing the polar ice and high-pressure cap are unconscionable. I didn't think we could, but now the possibility is real.
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Caribbean Biodiversity Overheated by Climate Change | Inter Press Service

Caribbean Biodiversity Overheated by Climate Change | Inter Press Service | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
SANTO DOMINGO , Jan 20 2016 (IPS) - The nearly 7,000 islands and the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea are home to thousands of endemic species and are on the migration route of many kinds of birds. Preserving this abundant fauna requires multilateral actions in today’s era of global warming.

That is the goal of the Caribbean Biological Corridor (CBC), a project implemented by the governments of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which was created in 2007 with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Union with the aim of protecting biodiversity in the region.

“Puerto Rico should form part of the corridor in 2016,” Cuban biologist Freddy Rodríguez, who is taking part in the initiative, told IPS.

In late 2015 Puerto Rico, a free associated state of the United States, presented an official letter asking to join the sustainable conservation project, whose executive secretariat is located in the Dominican Republic on the border with Haiti.
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Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions — Global Issues

Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions — Global Issues | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

The loss of biodiversity is increasing. There is massive extinction from human activity.

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Here's another good source of information.

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Making Rhinos Count in a World of Indifference

Making Rhinos Count in a World of Indifference | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Rampant corruption, low employment and high poverty are the unfortunate circumstances surrounding South Africa, the primary home of Earth’s last rhinos. Add to that a high Asian demand for their horns, and it equates to the perfect storm for their demise.

South Africa has lost approximately 1600 black and white rhinos in 2015 (unconfirmed by the government at this point). With poaching spreading like a plague, the death toll has risen dramatically each year, with this year topping all previous ones.

DEA poach statsIn a world where an animal’s horn is worth more than cocaine or gold, the solution to their survival is not an easy one. The answer is a multi-faceted effort of anti-poaching strategies to combat the “here and now”, legal change to make the consequence more dire than the greed, and education and awareness to secure the future.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  This is a good review of a dire situation.  Recommended.

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Save Hundreds of Thousands of Squirrels From Being Murdered

Save Hundreds of Thousands of Squirrels From Being Murdered | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Target: European Union Director-General for Environment, Daniel Calleja Crespo

Goal: Stop the planned taxpayer-funded cull of grey squirrels.

Hundreds of thousands of squirrels will be killed in 2016, thanks to recently approved legislation by the EU. Under this new EU law, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy must organize and carry out the slaughter of grey squirrels from next year onwards using methods that include bludgeoning, poisoning and shooting the animals. This cruel practice will be funded by taxpayer money from all EU countries.

Moreover, the cull will continue into the time of year when female squirrels are nursing their young. Thus, the mass murder of nursing females will cause hundreds of thousands of baby squirrels to starve to death. This practice is therefore illegal, as starving animals is considered torture and is in breach of the animal welfare standards set by the World Organization for Animal Health.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Please sign the petition.

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Homes and companies should be built on flood plains despite risks, says panel

Homes and companies should be built on flood plains despite risks, says panel | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  In the UK, flood damage insurance is paid for by the government.  Encouraging building in floodplains might not appeal to you if you live in an upland area since you will be paying for damage to homes built in the floodplains.

However, building in floodplains is a bad idea mainly because the richest, most diverse, wildlife habitats are found there. In the midst of the great global wildlife extinction being caused by people, it seems sensible to preserve, not develop floodplains.

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Canadian Wildlife Federation: When Winter Changes

Canadian Wildlife Federation: When Winter Changes | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
This February or March, somewhere in the deep snow of the Rocky Mountains and Foothills, Wolverine mothers will build snow caves in which to birth their young. The dens will provide protection from predators, and insulation from the cold until the young are hearty enough to weather the dangers of the world outside.

Deep and persistent snow is key ­– research suggests Wolverines prefer a snowpack of over a metre that lasts well into the spring. And it is this dependence on late winter and spring snowpack that makes them vulnerable to changes in climate – changes that could diminish snowpack through earlier spring rains and warmer temperatures.
As Sinclair says, winter is important – from the initiation of hibernation, to the fattening of the body to resist cold, to the maintenance of snow pack and its power to insulate. With so many northern species adapted and dependent on a range of winter conditions, continuing to understand which species are vulnerable, and how they may be affected, is key to any possibility of mitigation.
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Are eco-friendly initiatives pointless unless we tackle overpopulation?

Are eco-friendly initiatives pointless unless we tackle overpopulation? | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
he overarching theme of this column is living with less, so it really shouldn’t surprise me when each week I venture into the comments section to find dozens of people insisting that all efforts to do so are in vain – unless we are also choosing to reproduce less, too.

Recently I began to consider this question more seriously. Is overpopulation really the problem? Were the effects of all my eco-friendly initiatives wiped out the moment I had a child? Does the Earth have some sort of carrying capacity that we are rapidly approaching (or have already exceeded)?
Prominent Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki recalls asking ecologist EO Wilson how many people our planet would be able to sustain indefinitely. His answer? “If you want to live like North Americans, 200 million.”
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The Human Hothouse Turns Bolivia's Second Largest Lake into a Withered Wasteland

The Human Hothouse Turns Bolivia's Second Largest Lake into a Withered Wasteland | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Lake Poopo in Bolivia has dried up. And Climate Change has been named as the top cause of the disaster.

After decades of drought and depressed rainfall related to a human-forced warming of the globe, the once-massive lake is now gone. Once measuring 90 by 32 kilometers and covering an area of over 1,000 square kilometers this second largest lake in all of Bolivia has turned into a dried out disaster zone. Cracked, baked earth, overturned and abandoned boats, and the desiccated remains of lake life are all that are left as sign to the fact that a giant lake once existed. The flamingos, fish and other wildlife that relied on the lake are now dead or long gone. Yet more lonely casualties of a climate changed radically by an incessant burning of fossil fuels.

(Human-forced climate change is implicated in Bolivia’s loss of Lake Poopo. Video source: TeleSUR English.)

Rainy Season Undone

About a decade ago, the rainy season in this region of the Altiplano Mountains began to dry up. Rainfall became less regular and the great Lake Poopo — important to locals for its supply of fish and wildlife — began to fade away. By 2015, record global temperatures and El Nino conditions had again pushed the rainy season back. By January of 2016, one month into the typical rainy season, no rains had yet fallen and the great lake had dried up completely.
Garry Rogers's insight:

More of this is coming.

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Oslo trash incinerator starts experiment to slow climate change

Oslo trash incinerator starts experiment to slow climate change | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Oslo's main waste incinerator began the world's first experiment to capture carbon dioxide from the fumes of burning rubbish on Monday, hoping to develop technology to enlist the world's trash in slowing global warming.

The test at the Klemetsrud incinerator, which burns household and industrial waste, is a step beyond most efforts to capture and bury greenhouse gases at coal-fired power plants or factories using fossil fuels.

"I hope Oslo can show other cities that it's possible" to capture emissions from trash, Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen said at an opening ceremony at the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy incinerator which generates heat to warm buildings in the city.
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Eye on the Ball-- #ClimateChange, #Biodiversity, #NatureConservation, & #SarahPalin

Eye on the Ball-- #ClimateChange, #Biodiversity, #NatureConservation, & #SarahPalin | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Unless we begin to respect the rights of all species, we will exert constant damage on the Earth and ourselves.
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Infographic: Palm Oil and Tropical Deforestation

Infographic: Palm Oil and Tropical Deforestation | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Palm oil is driving deforestation—with serious consequences for both climate and biodiversity.


We need tropical forests

Tropical forests play a crucial role in stabilizing the earth's climate, storing vastly more carbon dioxide (CO2) than forests in the world's temperate regions. A 2011 study estimated total carbon stored by the earth's tropical forests at 271 billion tons—that's about 7 times the total carbon emissions from fossil fuel use in the year 2008.

In addition, tropical forests play host to millions of species, comprising about two-thirds of the earth's terrestrial biodiversity.

Learn more about the importance of tropical forests >
But tropical forests are being cut down for palm oil...

Palm oil acreage worldwide increased from 15 million acres in 1990 to 40 million acres in 2011. Much of this new palm oil acreage is coming at the expense of tropical forests.

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  If we reduce demand for palm oil and insist that it comes from "sustainable" sources, we can eliminate further deforestation for palm oil plantations.  However, the growing human population will continue to need palm oil and oil from other vegetable sources for food.  Without a check on human population, only remnants of our tropical forests will survive into the 22nd century. Wildlife and wild plants will be replaced by some form of agriculture. For more on this critical subject, go to:  http://garryrogers.com/2015/11/03/population-resources/ and http://garryrogers.com/2015/10/19/population-2.

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Prevent Off-Shore Drilling in Canadian Gulf

Prevent Off-Shore Drilling in Canadian Gulf | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Target: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Goal: Strike down efforts to allow oil drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Canadian government is considering a proposal that would allow off-shore oil drilling. The drilling would take place in the Gulf of St Lawrence, which currently serves as the country’s most important marine ecosystem. Drilling this area would destroy the natural beauty and have potentially ruinous effects on the many animal and plant populations that live in the gulf.

The Gulf of St Lawrence is the primary source for food and shelter for over 2,000 animal species. These animals, including the endangered Blue Whale and Leatherback Turtle, rely on the gulf as a place to breed, spawn, and nurture their young. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is also essential to the health of the fisheries system in the Atlantic.
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New framework sheds light on how, not if, climate change affects cold-blooded animals

New framework sheds light on how, not if, climate change affects cold-blooded animals | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Cold-blooded animals like lizards, insects and fish have a preferred body temperature range at which they hunt, eat, move quickly and reproduce. Fear that a warming climate will constrict this temperature range underlies recent studies that warn of the detrimental effects of climate change on the activity and survival of cold-blooded animals. While not contradicting these warnings, a new paper offers a revised framework that may better answer how activity is affected by temperature.
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Vital Signs: Carbon Dioxide

Vital Signs: Carbon Dioxide | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions. The first chart shows atmospheric CO2 levels in recent years, with average seasonal cycle removed. The second chart shows CO2 levels during the last three glacial cycles, as reconstructed from ice cores.

The time series below shows global distribution and variation of the concentration of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million (ppm). The overall color of the map shifts toward the red with advancing time due to the annual increase of CO2.
Garry Rogers's insight:

This is a good information source.

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Blizzard Fueled By Ocean Heat Cripples Eastern US, Floods Coast With Historic Storm Surge

Blizzard Fueled By Ocean Heat Cripples Eastern US, Floods Coast With Historic Storm Surge | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Many of the Worst Impacts Still to Come

To this point, it’s important to note that, with Jonas still centered off the Delmarva Peninsula, this major tidal flooding that regions are now currently experiencing is just the start. The head of water should continue to build on into late Saturday as it moves up the coastline and into New York City, Long Island, Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Furthermore, impacts to New Jersey and Delaware should remain dangerous or worsen over the coming hours as winds pile waves and waters on top of already record high tides.

Meanwhile, Jonas will continue to generate heavy snowfall over hundreds of miles on into Saturday evening. The situation, therefore, remains quite dangerous and all residents in the affected areas should keep tuned to local emergency officials for instruction. In other words, this climate change enhanced monster winter storm isn’t done yet. Not by a long shot.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Update from the midst of the storm by Robert Scribbler.

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