"PANAMA CITY, Oct 22 2014 (IPS) - For indigenous people in Panama, the rainforest where they live is not only their habitat but also their spiritual home, and their link to nature and their ancestors. The forest holds part of their essence and their identity.
“Forests are valuable to us because they bring us benefits, but not just oxygen,” Emberá chief Cándido Mezúa, the president of the National Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (COONAPIP), told Tierramérica.
“It is organic matter, minerals in the forest floor, forms of life related to the customs of indigenous peoples,” added Mezúa, the seniormost chief of one of Panama’s seven native communities, who live in five collectively-owned indigenous territories or “comarcas”.
In this tropical Central American country, indigenous people manage the forests in their territories through community forestry companies (EFCs). But Mezúa complained about the difficulties in setting up the EFCs, which ends up hurting the forests and the welfare of their guardians, the country’s indigenous communities.
Of Panama’s 3.8 million people, 417,000 are indigenous, and they live on 16,634 sq km – 20 percent of the national territory."
The data centers that power the Internet use more energy than the entire country of India. Most of that energy is lost as waste heat. That fact inspired an idea: Why not use a network of servers to heat homes?
Cloud & Heat, a cloud infrastructure company in Germany, stores server cabinets in houses and apartment buildings. While the servers crunch data, the excess heat is used to warm up the homes in the winter and provide hot water all year.
The service has a second major benefit: a huge chunk of the energy used in data centers goes to air conditioning to keep the machines cool. When the servers are distributed in homes instead of a single building, the company can eliminate the need for cooling. That, in turn, saves money and makes the service cheaper for customers.
In a paper published in PNAS on Monday November 24, scientists laid out a robust new framework based on in situ observations that will allow scientists to describe and understand how phytoplankton assimilate limited concentrations of phosphorus, a key nutrient, in the ocean in ways that better reflect what is actually occurring in the marine environment. This is an important advance because nutrient uptake is a central property of ocean biogeochemistry, and in many regions controls carbon dioxide fixation, which ultimately can play a role in mitigating climate change.
"Until now, our understanding of how phytoplankton assimilate nutrients in an extremely nutrient-limited environment was based on lab cultures that poorly represented what happens in natural populations," explained Michael Lomas of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, who co-led the study with Adam Martiny of University of California - Irvine, and Simon Levin and Juan Bonachela of Princeton University. "Now we can quantify how phytoplankton are taking up nutrients in the real world, which provides much more meaningful data that will ultimately improve our understanding of their role in global ocean function and climate regulation."
To address the knowledge gap about the globally-relevant ecosystem process of nutrient uptake, researchers worked to identify how different levels of microbial biodiversity influenced in situ phosphorus uptake in the Western Subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, they focused on how different phytoplankton taxa assimilated phosphorus in the same region, and how phosphorus uptake by those individual taxa varied across regions with different phosphorus concentrations. They found that phytoplankton were much more efficient at assimilating vanishingly low phosphorus concentrations than would have been predicted from culture research. Moreover, individual phytoplankton continually optimized their ability to assimilate phosphorus as environmental phosphorus concentrations increased. This finding runs counter to the commonly held, and widely used, view that their ability to assimilate phosphorus saturates as concentrations increase.
"Prior climate models didn't take into account how natural phytoplankton populations vary in their ability to take up key nutrients, "said Martiny. "We were able to fill in this gap through fieldwork and advanced analytical techniques. The outcome is the first comprehensive in situ quantification of nutrient uptake capabilities among dominant phytoplankton groups in the North Atlantic Ocean that takes into account microbial biodiversity."
From coral reefs to prairie grasslands, some of the world's most iconic habitats are susceptible to sudden collapse due to seemingly minor events. A classic example: the decimation of kelp forests when a decline of otter predation unleashes urchin population explosions. Three studies hold the promise of helping resource managers predict, avoid, and reverse the tipping points that lead to degraded habitats, economic losses, and social upheaval.
Scientists from the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), NASA, and other organizations have partnered to focus global attention on the contribution of satellites to biodiversity conservation in a recently released study entitled "Ten Ways Remote...
It was a bizarre meeting in a southern Sudanese supply camp a few years ago, when the civil war between north and south Sudan was slowly winding down. My wife and I were having a drink at a crudely constructed bar when another man, American, approached us and asked what we were doing "in this godforsaken place."
There was something different about him -- a keenness and a fulsome awareness of what was happening in that entire region of Africa. He fascinated us with his knowledge and penetrating insights. It was further into the conversation when he finally conceded that he was an American Intelligence officer, attempting to acquire information regarding mass migrations of people looking for food and water.
"What in all the world are you doing here?" I asked sincerely. Hesitating momentarily, he finally said, "We're studying the effects of climate change in this part of the world and what it's going to mean to the future security of the region, and maybe even to America."
Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report by government’s chief scientist Mark Walport
Foreign companies investing in Guyana’s substantial forests are supposed to adhere to national laws and international agreements. But civil society leaders and activists inside and outside the South American country are crying foul, saying foreign corporations and government officials are paying lip service to the accords while quietly building a timber-harvesting empire in the country with few benefits for the average Guyanese.
In a discovery that experts say could revolutionise fuel cell technology, scientists have found that graphene, the world's thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material, can allow protons to pass through it.
From coral reefs to prairie grasslands, some of the world's most iconic habitats are susceptible to sudden collapse due to seemingly minor events. A classic example: the decimation of kelp forests when a decline of otter predation unleashes urchin population explosions. Three studies published in the ...
Primatologist and plant geneticists have studied the dispersal of tree seeds by New World primates. Primates can influence seed dispersal and spatial genetic kinship structure of plants that serve as their food source.
Much of the change in climate change is happening to the ocean. It’s not just the extra heat hiding within the waves. The seven seas also absorb a big share of the carbon dioxide released by burning the fossilized sunshine known as coal, natural gas and oil. All those billions and billions of CO2 molecules interact with the brine to make it ever so slightly more acidic over time and, as more and more CO2 gets absorbed, the oceans become more acidic.
Time to move ahead on removal of Ballville Dam Port Clinton News Herald For decades, council members, residents and officials have weighed in on whether the Ballville Dam should be removed or repaired.