Tiny particles of waste plastic that are ingested by shoreline "eco-engineer" worms may be negatively affecting biodiversity, a study says.
So-called microplastics may be able to transfer toxic pollutants and chemicals into the guts of lugworms, reducing the animals' functions.
An estimated 150 million tonnes vanishes from the global waste-stream each year.
The findings have been published in the academic journal Current Biology.
"We are losing a large volume of plastic and we know it is going into the environment and the assumption being made by policymakers is that this material is non-hazardous, it has got the same ranking as scraps of food," explained co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist from the US-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
VANCOUVER - One of the world's largest aquaculture companies is betting future economic growth in Chile on a "robust" species of salmon native to the Pacific but will continue to raise the controversial Atlantic salmon on its British Columbia...
The decrease in snowfall observed in recent years in Canada’s subarctic regions has led to worrisome desiccation of the regions’ lakes. This is the conclusion arrived at by researchers from Université Laval, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brock University and the University of Waterloo in a study published this week on the website of the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.
How America’s agricultural programs increase inequality at home and abroad.
American food policy has long been rife with head-scratching illogic. We spend billions every year on farm subsidies, many of which help wealthy commercial operations to plant more crops than we need. The glut depresses world crop prices, harming farmers in developing countries. Meanwhile, millions of Americans live tenuously close to hunger, which is barely kept at bay by a food stamp program that gives most beneficiaries just a little more than $4 a day.
So it’s almost too absurd to believe that House Republicans are asking for a farm bill that would make all of these problems worse. For the putative purpose of balancing the country’s books, the measures that the House Republican caucus is pushing for in negotiations with the Senate, as Congress attempts to pass a long-stalled extension of the farm bill, would cut back the meager aid to our country’s most vulnerable and use the proceeds to continue fattening up a small number of wealthy American farmers.
Conservationists say a relocated population of Tasmanian devils is now thriving on an island safe haven, free from a deadly facial tumour disease which has plagued the species.
The devils were bred in captivity and first released on Maria Island off Tasmania's east coast a year ago, and are now interacting with tourists and breeding. The devils have since had about 20 babies, and there are now about 50 devils on the island. The relocation program is a test case to see if mainland Tasmania can be repopulated with captive bred devils if all the wild animals are killed by a contagious facial cancer.
David Pemberton, the manager of the Save the Devil Program, says a similar release will soon happen down on the Tasman peninsula following the Maria Island success.
"We're looking at Forestier and Tasman, and we've done a lot of ground work there, and we're hoping to be ready to re-introduce animals there in 2015," Mr Pemberton said.
"It's a bit early to pick the exact date because it all depends on how confident we are that we've got disease off those two peninsulas.
"That's the critical aspect. Once weâ€™ve made that decision then we can plan the re-introduction."
A University of British Columbia Ph.D. student has developed a technique for estimating catches from small-scale fishing using satellite images, and discovered just how grossly underreported such catches are in the Persian Gulf.
Salmon return to San Jose, thrilling long-time "river watchdog" Roger Castillo Contra Costa Times Castillo, as chairman of the nonprofit Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Group, is a major part of that effort.
Germany's brewers are so proud of their 500-year-old beer purity law, which states that it must consist only of water, malt, hops and yeast, that they want it inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage list -- alongside the pyramids, the Taj Mahal and...
Study by UC Riverside-led team shows pollutant metal kills honey bees or delays their development Traditionally, honey bee research has focused on environmental stressors such as pesticides, pathogens and diseases.
Pioneer water users unveil '21st Century irrigation system' The Wenatchee World Online The water savings will help protect approximately 35 cubic feet per second of flows in the Wenatchee — a figure that could represent at least 10 percent of...
Photo: pugetsoundphotowalks. November has been quirky: it started warm, then got quite cold and windy, followed by falling leaves, brilliant blue skies, then heavy clouds, even snow. Did I leave anything out?
The microscopic sea creatures form the foundation of marine food systems, and their decline is likely due to global warming.
The dramatic decline happened in the North Atlantic in first half of this year, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told the AP. It also coincided with sea surface temperatures from the mid-Atlantic to the Gulf of Maine that were the third-warmest on record, after an all-time high in 2012. Further south in the Atlantic there was more cooling, but overall warming throughout the oceans remains on a steady upward trend.
After local fishermen in Indonesia’s Karimunjawa National Park unintentionally caught a four-meter-long, juvenile whale shark they became quite concerned. The net was set for anchovies and other small fish, not for large, protected species, and they weighed the possibility that a fishing violation like this could cost them their business. The time was about 10 p.m., and they decided to send an SMS message to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) hotline. The rangers met with the fishermen in the morning, checked on the whale shark’s health and released it by 8 a.m.
The seemingly trivial event was meaningful to Stuart Campbell, the director of the WCS Indonesia Marine Program. The successful handling of the incident by both parties confirms the improvement of communication and trust between the local fishermen and WCS rangers.
BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Dozens upon dozens of crab pot buoys dot the waters around Jay Julius’ fishing boat as he points the bow towards Cherry Point. The spit of land juts into northern Puget Sound.
SSA Marine says Cherry Point is an excellent location to build a terminal because it’s surrounded by deep water with quick access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. If the company has its way, up to 48 million tons of coal could move through these waters each year aboard more than 450 large ships bound for the Asian market.
But if the Lummi and other tribes exercise their treaty fishing rights, there may not be any coal ships servicing American terminals in these waters.
Last year the GM companies, having met with ministers at a little-publicised 'Growing for Growth' conference, started another push to promote GM. They were immediately backed up by Owen Paterson insisting that GM food will sort our problems - no worries.
He was followed in July by David Cameron saying Europe was "being left behind" even though the previous month it had been disclosed that GM food is banned from all the restaurants and cafes in the Palace of Westminster, and he himself was refusing to say whether he'd feed GM food to his family.
Trees planted along a city street screen residents from sun and noise—and from tiny particles that pollute urban air. A new study shows that tree leaves can capture more than 50% of the particulate matter that’s a prime component of urban pollution and a trigger for disease (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/es404363m).
In urban settings, particulates come primarily from car exhaust, brake pad wear, and road dust and can contain metals, such as iron and lead. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies particulates in three size ranges: less than 1 μm (PM1), up to 2.5 μm (PM2.5), and up to 10 μm (PM10) in diameter. These particles are tiny enough for people to inhale and can exacerbate heart disease, asthma, and other health conditions.
Researchers want to understand how trees capture particles so that urban planners might eventually take advantage of these natural tools for mitigating pollution. However, modeling this process is challenging because air flow and particle movement on a street follow complex fluid dynamics. Models have shown wildly varying results for just how much particulate matter trees can trap, with some as low as 1% and others as high as 60%.