Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment
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Bristlecone Pines – The Oldest Trees on Earth

Bristlecone Pines – The Oldest Trees on Earth | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it

The Great Basin Bristlecone Pines, or Pinus longaeva, is a long-living species of tree found in the higher mountains of the southwest United States. Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves in the arid mountain regions of six western states of America, but the oldest are found in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of California. These trees have a remarkable ability to survive in extremely harsh and challenging environment. In fact, they are believed to be the some of oldest living organisms in the world, with lifespans in excess of 5,000 years.

 

Bristlecone pines grow just below the tree line, between 5,000 and 10,000 feet of elevation. At these great heights, the wind blows almost constantly and the temperatures can dip to well below zero. The soil is dry receiving less than a foot of rainfall a year. Because of these extreme conditions, the trees grow very slowly, and in some years don't even add a ring of growth. Even the tree's needles, which grow in bunches of five, can remain green for forty years.


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Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment
If no farmland and no forests and no water and no fish - then what?
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Financial sting from falling honeybee numbers - The Country - The Country News

Financial sting from falling honeybee numbers - The Country - The Country News | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
New Zealand agriculture could lose more than $700 million a year if the honeybee population continues to decline, according to a new study into the economic consequences of a decline in pollination rates.

One of the co-authors of the study, Lincoln University Professor Stephen Wratten, from the Bio-Protection Research Centre, said it was well known that a global decline in insect pollinator populations posed a major threat to food and nutritional security.
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A Natural Solution to Water Security

A Natural Solution to Water Security | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
There, the water filters through cloud forests and grasslands, picking up more spring water and snowmelt from glaciers, continuing its downstream journey until it eventually reaches Quito’s municipal water system.

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EcoCheck: Australia's vast, majestic northern savannas need more care

EcoCheck: Australia's vast, majestic northern savannas need more care | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Australia's Great Northern Savannas are the largest and most intact ecosystem of their kind on Earth. But they still face pressure from grazing, mining and agricultural expansion.

Via Lorraine Chaffer, Giannis Tompros
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How green is your city? These maps compare green spaces around the world

How green is your city? These maps compare green spaces around the world | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The value of trees and plants in the urban environment is well documented: they improve air quality, shade against heat and provide an antidote to congestion, traffic and the pace of city life.

Making available significant ‘green’ living space is now virtually mandatory for cities around the world. But are they up to scratch?

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Designing a Lifestyle, Not Just a Garden

Designing a Lifestyle, Not Just a Garden | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Implementing a permaculture design is much more than building a garden. It’s also more than a house that utilizes passive solar energy or barrels to catch rooftop runoff. While these things often are incorporated into permaculture plans, the practice itself is getting at something much deeper. It’s redesigning the way we live.

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Europe should expand bee-harming pesticide ban, say campaigners

Europe should expand bee-harming pesticide ban, say campaigners | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Europe should expand a ban on bee-harming pesticides in light of a new report warning of widespread risks to agriculture and the environment, Greenpeace has said.

The report by biologists at the University of Sussex and commissioned by Greenpeace, concluded that the threat posed to bees by neonicotinoid pesticides was greater than perceived in 2013 when the European Union adopted a partial ban.
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'It's Outrageous': EPA Acknowledges Proven Dangers of Bee-Killing Pesticides But Refuses to Restrict Them

'It's Outrageous': EPA Acknowledges Proven Dangers of Bee-Killing Pesticides But Refuses to Restrict Them | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that three of the nation's most-used neonicotinoid pesticides pose significant risks to commercial honey bees. But in a second decision, which represents a deep bow to the pesticide industry, the agency refused to restrict the use of any leading bee-killing pesticides despite broad evidence of their well-established role in alarming declines of pollinators.
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Exxon Ordered to Fork Over 40 Years of Climate Research

Exxon Ordered to Fork Over 40 Years of Climate Research | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
ExxonMobil was dealt a major blow on Wednesday after a Massachusetts judge ordered the company to hand in more than 40 years of climate research.

On Wednesday, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Heidi E. Brieger denied the oil giant a protective order that would have blocked Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's subpoenas for Exxon's internal research on climate change.
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Monsanto threatens legal action over Vermont GMO labeling bill | The Raw Story

Monsanto threatens legal action over Vermont GMO labeling bill | The Raw Story | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it

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Eric Larson's curator insight, January 12, 4:58 PM
Legal action?
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I was wrong about vertical farms; Aerofarms shows how to make them really work.

I was wrong about vertical farms; Aerofarms shows how to make them really work. | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Can I hit delete on ten years worth of posts?

Via Alan Yoshioka, Mário Carmo
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Neonicotinoids: A serious threat for flower-hopping life-bringers and many more animals

Neonicotinoids: A serious threat for flower-hopping life-bringers and many more animals | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
At this point most people know about neonicotinoids and the serious risk they pose to honey bees. Bees are a link in a chain of biodiversity and pollination of incredible value to our food production. Up to 75% of our crops directly or indirectly depend on pollination. We need to start protecting our pollinators against the threat pesticides like neonicotinoids pose. In 2013 scientific findings in Europe lead to a partial ban of four of the worst bee-harming pesticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and fipronil) – at least when they are used on crops which are attractive to honey bees.
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It's Official: First Bumble Bee Species Listed as Endangered in 'Race Against Extinction'

It's Official: First Bumble Bee Species Listed as Endangered in 'Race Against Extinction' | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has declared the rusty patched bumble bee an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). This is the first-ever bumble bee in the U.S., and the first wild bee of any kind in the contiguous 48 states, to receive ESA protection.
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Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses

Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Grey to Green: Quantifying Green Infrastructure Performance - Conference 

Grey to Green: Quantifying Green Infrastructure Performance - Conference  | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
This conference is the leading forum for designers, policy makers, manufacturers, growers, landscapers, and other green infrastructure professionals to discuss the benefits of the important green infrastructure industry, and how to grow it even further.

This interdisciplinary conference explores the latest science on green infrastructure performance, economic valuation and public policy developments, new technological developments, and best practices in design, installation and maintenance. The conference also includes a trade show, cutting edge workshops which include tours of outstanding projects, and special networking events.

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Climate change is going to be very bad for the global economy

Climate change is going to be very bad for the global economy | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The average global income is predicted to be 23% less by the end of the century than it would without climate change, but the effects will be shared unevenly.

Via Khannea Suntzu, Giannis Tompros
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This Is Where the Key to Healthy Honeybees May Be Found

This Is Where the Key to Healthy Honeybees May Be Found | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The relationship between honeybees and humans spans millennia, from the advent of agriculture to the current globalization of food markets. Today, pollination via commercial hives supports a multibillion-dollar agriculture industry.

But honeybee health in the U.S. and Europe has never been more precarious.

Misuse of pesticides, diverse hive pests, parasites, disease, and climate change are among the threats they face in these locations. (See “What We Know—and Don’t Know—About Honeybees and Colony Collapse Disorder”)

Yet not all honeybee populations are showing signs of stress. Hives in East Africa—where honeybees are critical pollinators for coffee, cacao, and cashews—seem more resilient than their American and European counterparts, even when faced with similar pathogens.

The buzzing question is, Why?
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Nebraska conventional farmer sees opportunities with organic

Nebraska conventional farmer sees opportunities with organic | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
“As farmers, we need to figure out what the end user wants, whether it is an ethanol plant, a food ingredient company or the consumer,” says Nebraska farmer Ryan Weeks. “We need to listen, understand and then try to provide it.”

With this in mind, Weeks has been transitioning 240 acres of their family farm to organic production, amidst his GMO corn and soybeans, non-GMO white corn, non-GMO soybeans and popcorn. He knows niche markets aren’t going to make him rich. However, he notes, “An extra 40¢ per bushel can make a big difference.”

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Alien bird risk from pet trade - BBC News

Alien bird risk from pet trade - BBC News | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The trade in caged birds poses a risk to native species if the pets escape into the wild, UK researchers say.
They identified almost 1,000 species of bird introduced into new areas by human activity over the past 500 years.
More than half of these arrived after 1950, probably driven by the trade in exotic birds.
Global demand for parrots, finches, starlings and other exotic birds has soared.
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Scientists At UW-Stout Discover New Honeybee Disease

Scientists At UW-Stout Discover New Honeybee Disease | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Stout have discovered new bacteria that could play a role in the death of honeybees during winter months.

While studying the blood of honeybees, UW-Stout biology professor Jim Burritt and his students came across something unusual. It was a bacterium no one seemed to have heard of. With help of experts at from UW-Madison, Burritt realized it was a new species that may contribute to hives dying in the winter.
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Wanted: Better Indicators of Agriculture's Environmental Impact

How does the world feed more than 9 billion people in the year 2050 in a manner that not only advances economic development but also reduces agriculture’s impact on the environment? This is the big question my colleagues and I are tackling in the current World Resources Report.

But an important follow-up question is “How will we know if we’re on the right path?”

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Who controls our food? | DW Environment | DW.COM | 12.01.2017

Who controls our food? | DW Environment | DW.COM | 12.01.2017 | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Ever more power over food production is concentrated in the hands of ever fewer massive multinationals - with grave implications for food security and the environment.
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malek's curator insight, January 13, 5:50 AM

According to the non-profit, ETC Group (pdf), small-scale farmers feed around 70% of the world’s population and do so mainly with seeds saved from one harvest to the next rather than commercially purchased seed. Changes in government policies that favor big corporations’ desire for more large-scale industrial agriculture will directly threaten small farmers’ livelihoods.

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Solar-powered Farm From a Box is a compact farm kit that feeds 150 people

Solar-powered Farm From a Box is a compact farm kit that feeds 150 people | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Farm From a Box fits all the essential equipment for a two-acre farm inside a shipping container, including solar power generation and a complete water system.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, January 12, 4:39 PM
Solar powered farm?
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This bumble bee was everywhere. Now it’s on the endangered species list.

This bumble bee was everywhere. Now it’s on the endangered species list. | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
For the first time in American history, a bumble bee species has been placed on the endangered species list. It probably won’t be the last.

The rusty patched bumble bee was so prevalent 20 years ago that pedestrians in Midwest cities fought to shoo them away. Now, even trained scientists and experienced bee watchers find it difficult to lay eyes on them. “I’ve never seen one, and I live here pretty close to where there have been populations documented,” said Tamara Smith, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist stationed in Minneapolis.
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Forget Cattle Rustling—Watch Out For Bee Rustlers

In the middle of December, a “bee rustler” made off with 300 of Randy Verhoek’s honeybee colonies. Verhoek, a Danbury resident who keeps his bees on a ranch in Manvel, says the total value of the stolen colonies is about $90,000. In a Facebook post he made on a public group called “Commercial Beekeepers” on January 6, Verhoek offered a “BIG reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the prosecution of this lowest life form.” The post has nearly a hundred comments from other beekeepers in Texas and California, commiserating his loss and sharing their own stories of thefts.
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Yellowstone fish deaths point to huge toll of human activity on rivers

Yellowstone fish deaths point to huge toll of human activity on rivers | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Last August, the Yellowstone made national headlines when a parasite killed thousands of fish, mostly whitefish. Fear of spreading the parasite to other waterways forced Montana officials to close the river to fishermen, rafters, and boaters. At the height of summer, the stunningly scenic, trout-rich river was eerily deserted. Fishing re-opened in the fall, but the parasite has been found in other Montana waterways.
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