GarryRogers Biosphere News
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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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The influence of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration on European trees

The influence of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration on European trees | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations have already caused large-scale physiological responses of European forests.
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Massive southern invasions by northern birds linked to climate shifts

Massive southern invasions by northern birds linked to climate shifts | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
With puzzling variability, vast numbers of birds from Canada's boreal forests migrate hundreds or thousands of miles south from their usual winter range. These so-called irruptions were first noticed by birdwatchers decades ago, but the driving factors have never been fully explained. Now scientists have pinpointed the climate pattern that likely sets the stage for irruptions - a discovery that could make it possible to predict the events more than a year in advance.

The researchers found that persistent shifts in rainfall and temperature drive boom-and-bust cycles in forest seed production, which in turn drive the mass migrations of pine siskins, the most widespread and visible of the irruptive migrants. "It's a chain reaction from climate to seeds to birds," says atmospheric scientist Court Strong, an assistant professor at the University of Utah and lead author of the study.

Many seed-eating boreal species are subject to irruptions, including Bohemian and cedar waxwings, boreal chickadees, red and white-winged crossbills, purple finches, pine and evening grosbeaks, red-breasted nuthatches, and common and hoary redpolls. The authors focused on the pine siskin, a species featured prominently in earlier work on irruptive migrations.
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Grassroots of Changes — Biodiversity Information system for Europe

Grassroots of Changes — Biodiversity Information system for Europe | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
RT @EU_ENV: Have you organised an eco-friendly project? Send us your pics & will be shown at #EUGreenWeek http://t.co/wWxNpIifoo http://t.c
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HealthNewsDigest.com

HealthNewsDigest.com | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

"Unlike the Great Wall of China, a 5,000-mile fortification dating back to the 7th century BC that separates northern China from the Mongolian steppe, the Great Green Wall of China-otherwise known as the Three-North Shelter Forest Program-is the biggest tree planting project on the planet. Its goal is to create a 2,800-mile long green belt to hold back the quickly expanding Gobi Desert and sequester millions of tons of carbon dioxide in the process. If all goes according to plan, the completion of the Green Wall by 2050 will increase forest cover across China from five to 15 percent overall.

"The Chinese government first conceived of the Green Wall project in the late 1970s to combat desertification along the country's vast northwest rim. Soon thereafter, China's top legislative body passed a resolution requiring every citizen over the age of 11 to plant at least three Poplar, Eucalyptus, Larch and other saplings every year to reinforce official reforestation efforts.

"But despite progress-according to the United Nations' most recent Global Forest Resources Assessment, China increased its overall forest cover by 11,500 square miles (an area the size of Massachusetts) between 2000 and 2010, with ordinary citizens alone planting upwards of 60 billion trees-the situation is only getting worse. Analysts think China loses just as many square miles of grasslands and farms to desertification every year, so reforestation has proven to be an uphill battle. The encroaching Gobi has swallowed up entire villages and small cities and continues to cause air pollution problems in Beijing and elsewhere while racking up some $50 billion a year in economic losses. And tens of millions of environmental refugees are looking for new homes in other parts of China and beyond in what makes America's Dust Bowl of the 1930s look trivial in comparison."

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  A little reading in this article and its references quickly reveals that despite China's massive commitment to reforestation, desertification is increasing.  Part of the problem is that the land-use practices that led to vegetation loss and soil instability are continuing.  Another part of the problem is that Chinese planners are making the same mistakes made in the U. S. and in other arid regions where managers used nonnative plants to replace depleted natives.   


Many of you will be nodding and thinking that whenever land-use managers focus on Human benefits, they lose sight of the need for complete ecosystem health. They focus on potential benefits from foreign species that appear to be suited to growth on degraded lands.  Their goal is to continue profitable logging, livestock grazing, and water diversion.  Therefore, the desert grows. 


Thanks to Professor Willem Van Cotthem for his efforts to provide a single Internet source for work on desertification (https://desertification.wordpress.com).

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Twin weather systems unleash storms across the country

Twin weather systems unleash storms across the country | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Tornadoes skipped across the Midwest, days of rain caused rivers to overflow in the West, and Tropical Storm Ana made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday before being downgraded to a tropical depression.
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Typhoon Noul lashes Philippines

Typhoon Noul lashes Philippines | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
A MONSTER typhoon has slammed into the northern tip of the Philippines, triggering warnings of possible flash floods, landslides and storm surges and prompting almost 3000 people to flee their homes.
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Pro: Public Lands Need Cattle to Meet Conservation Goals -

Pro: Public Lands Need Cattle to Meet Conservation Goals - | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
A livestock advisor who promotes biodiversity on grazing lands explains why cattle can be beneficial to conservation.
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Severe Weather Weekend: One Dead as Tornadoes, Floods and Hail Batter Plains

Severe Weather Weekend: One Dead as Tornadoes, Floods and Hail Batter Plains | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
One person was killed when a tornado that touched down in Texas Saturday as a series of dangerous storms swept through the Plains, authorities said.Cisco, Te...
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Australia pays cost of climate-driven heat waves

Australia pays cost of climate-driven heat waves | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Australian researchers measure cost of drop in workers’ performance as global warming drives temperatures to record levels.
LONDON, 9 May, 2015 – Climate change can be bad for a country’s economic health.
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Demand Pork Producer End Cruelty Toward Animals

Demand Pork Producer End Cruelty Toward Animals | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Target: Terry J. Holton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Seaboard Foods
Goal: Increase surveillance and inspections at pork farm where animal abuse is rampant.
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Newsroom | World Migratory Bird Day

Newsroom | World Migratory Bird Day | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
RT @UNDP: Protecting #biodiversity to protect human development is vital for #WorldMigratoryBirdDay: http://t.co/SMUydtv24c http://t.co/Dlf…;
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Australia PM adviser says climate change is 'UN-led ruse to establish new world order'

Australia PM adviser says climate change is 'UN-led ruse to establish new world order' | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott's business advisor says global warming a fallacy supported by United Nations to 'create a new authoritarian world order under its control'
Garry Rogers's insight:

He obviously doesn't watch Jon Stewart.

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Desertification and Biodiversity

Desertification and Biodiversity | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
The link between land degradation and desertification has been made abundantly clear in studies conducted in Africa and Australia. A loss of natural vegetation, a loss in soil organic matter and a loss of soil stability contribute greatly to the process. These processes are often interlinked. Vegetation encourages soil stability by providing cover, the binding action of roots, providing root exudates and by the contribution of its biomass to the soil. A loss of vegetation results in a corresponding loss of soil organic matter and stability.

Soil organic matter and soil stability are often linked. A soil that becomes depauperate in its content of organic matter looses the glue that holds soil particles together and becomes easily erodible. The more a soil erodes the more difficult it becomes for the soil microorganisms to glue the particles together. The process is analogous to a spider’s web in the wind. A whole web can withstand the pressure. If one of the threads that anchor it is broken the spider can repair it, but if the rate of damage is slowly increased, there will come a time when the spider cannot repair the damage and the web will be destroyed by the wind.

Every environment has a threshold beyond which damage cannot be repaired by the natural system. In arid and semi arid environments this threshold is very low.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Naturalists have been concerned about desertification for more than a century.  Though the term has not been in the news very much in recent years, the process has continued wherever people have conducted marginal farming, excessive livestock grazing, watershed deforestation, and other improper land-use practices.  Recently, the term has been showing up more often, and I think we will soon begin to see it regularly seated beside biodiversity as one of the great concerns of this century.

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Forest Planning for Wildlife Habitat

Forest Planning for Wildlife Habitat | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Habitat at Stake in Forest Service Planning Efforts

You take a deep breath of the crisp, clean air and gaze out at the incredible sight before you: Trees and mountains as far as the eye can see. As you watch from the trailhead, you realize you’re being watched in turn. A flicker of movement catches your eye. A deer? As you look closer you realize it’s a much rarer sight: a mountain lion! You watch, awestruck, as it bounds gracefully down the hillside and then disappears into the trees.

Such close encounters with wildlife are rare and magical. And our 154 national forests, 20 national grasslands, and one national prairie are among the best places to experience them. These public lands cover 193 million acres in 42 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and we all have a say in how they are managed.

Right now, the Forest Service is in the early phases of rolling out new management plans—blueprints that are critical for balancing wildlife habitat protection with resource use on public lands, such as logging. If the phrase “forest planning” makes you snore … wake up! The stakes are high for the critters that call national forest lands home. This is the perfect chance to make sure that our national forests are managed not just for uses like timber and recreation, but as the vital wildlife habitat they are.

A small set of national forests were selected to be the first to try this new approach, and our Forests for Wildlife team is working to help them set a high bar for wildlife habitat conservation:
Garry Rogers's insight:

Here is a great opportunity to contribute to the health of wildlife and our native ecosystems.

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High Stakes on the High Seas: Protecting biodiversity in waters beyond national jurisdiction

High Stakes on the High Seas: Protecting biodiversity in waters beyond national jurisdiction | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
The high seas, ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction, fall outside countries’ exclusive economic zones.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Very little of the ocean beyond national jurisdiction is protected.  There is a critical need for international agreements to protect biodiversity.

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WWF working closely with state govt on conservation - Community | The Star Online

WWF working closely with state govt on conservation - Community | The Star Online | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
KUCHING: The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is working closely with the state government to address deforestation in Sarawak, including collaborating on systematic conservation planning to produce maps showing areas for priority conservation.
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Western quolls finally return to the Flinders Ranges

Western quolls finally return to the Flinders Ranges | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
The western quoll, one of Australia's most endangered species, is finding a fresh start in South Australia.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Desperate times for many species.

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Soil Biodiversity Will Be Crucial to Future Land Management and Response to Climate Change | Farming Futures

Soil Biodiversity Will Be Crucial to Future Land Management and Response to Climate Change | Farming Futures | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Research by scientists at The University of Manchester and Lancaster shows maintaining healthy soil biodiversity can play an important role in optimising land management programmes. The findings, published in the latest edition of the journal PNAS, extend the understanding about the factors that regulate soil biodiversity.

The team says more research on soil food webs and their response to land use and climate change could also improve predictions of climate change impacts on ecosystems. A team of researchers from across Europe looked at soil life in 60 sites across four countries, the UK, Sweden, Greece and the Czech Republic, to assess the role of soil food webs in nutrient cycles in agricultural soils.
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Con: Cattle Grazing Is Incompatible with Conservation -

Con: Cattle Grazing Is Incompatible with Conservation - | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Two experts on grazing offer their opinion on why cattle should be barred from public lands.
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Typhoon closes in on Philippines; 300 evacuated

Typhoon closes in on Philippines; 300 evacuated | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
A STRONG typhoon is heading to the northern Philippines forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people living on the slopes of a volcano that exploded earlier in the week, the weather bureau said.
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Extinction of your favorite animal more real than you realize - SlashGear

Extinction of your favorite animal more real than you realize - SlashGear | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
This week a study published in Science Advances has suggested that the extinction of some of the world's most beloved animals is a clear and present danger.
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Wild animals dying for a drink in drought-stricken West

Wild animals dying for a drink in drought-stricken West | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/wild-animals-dying-for-a-drink-in-drought-stricken-west/article_fa032acf-0c5e-5090-8cb5-91feae4747de.html

For the giant kangaroo rat, death by nature is normally swift and dramatic: a hopeless dash for safety followed by a blood-curdling squeak as their bellies are torn open by eagles, foxes, bobcats and owls.

They’re not supposed to die the way they are today — emaciated and starved, their once abundant population dwindling to near nothing on California’s sprawling Carrizo Plain about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where the drought is turning hundreds of thousands of acres of grassland into desert.

Without grass, long-legged kangaroo rats can’t eat. And as they go, so go a variety of threatened animals that depend on the keystone species to live. “That whole ecosystem changes without the giant kangaroo rat,” said Justin Brasheres, an associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of California at Berkeley.

Endangered kangaroo rats are just one falling tile in the drought’s domino effect on wildlife in the lower Western states. Large fish kills are happening in several states as waters heated by higher temperatures drain and lose oxygen. In Northern California, salmon eggs have virtually disappeared as water levels fall. Thousands of migrating birds are crowding into wetland shrunk by drought, risking the spread of disease that can cause massive die-offs.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Human-caused global warming is adding another element to the mindless human destruction of a billion years of slow uncertain evolution of life on Earth. 

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Protect National Parks from Government Development

Protect National Parks from Government Development | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Don’t allow federal security agencies to decimate national parks and wildlife refuges.

America’s beautiful protected lands could soon be opened up to development and deterioration in the name of national security, if legislation introduced by Senator John McCain becomes law. National security is important, but it does not have to jeopardize the security of our wildernesses. Demand that this bill be vetoed so that it can never put our environment at risk.

The “Arizona Borderland Protection and Preservation Act” is designed to degrade protections for national parks, wildlife refuges, national monuments, and other protected lands under the pretext of national security. The proposal would give the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) free reign to disregard environmental protections and operate in millions of acres of protected federal land in Arizona and California, and to develop infrastructure and bases to help its security operations there.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Please sign the petition.

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What would it be like for humans to be treated like animals?

What would it be like for humans to be treated like animals? | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
http://news360.com/article/291521649/#

07May, 2015by TheSouthAfrican.com in BLOGS
Font size –16+
These sketches say it all.
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Energy Sprawl: Comparing biodiversity impacts of oil, gas and wind production

Energy Sprawl: Comparing biodiversity impacts of oil, gas and wind production | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Energy has become a contentious and politicized topic, spurring activism, whether it be the fossil fuel divestment campaign, Keystone pipeline protests, or concern over wind turbine harm to birds. But whatever energy future we choose, two things are clear: an expanding human population will need more energy, and no matter what energy source we pick, it will have landscape-scale impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Garry Rogers's insight:

The ancient problem of coordinating land-use activities across independent actors appears in this article.  Without a global, or at least national, plan for energy development, there will always be environmental destruction as new projects are built and others become obsolete.  Geography (both Physical and Human) is the scientific discipline that trains planners to recommend spatially efficient development with the least environmental impact.

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