apan will join international efforts to crack down on illegal logging in forests near the equator by releasing satellite imagery for free of areas under threat.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expect to post the data online from August.
Officials expressed the hope that the information will prove useful to dozens of countries in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America that are struggling to contain illegal logging.
These regions are home to roughly half of the world's forested areas, and the sites of many illegal logging operations. “Forests must be preserved by whatever means in the fight against global warming,” said Masanobu Shimada, a senior researcher with JAXA. “Japan can contribute to the cause by monitoring forests by satellite.”
The 500 million yen project ($4.46 million) involves JAXA’s Daichi-2 advanced land observing satellite, which was launched in May 2014.
Only 15 Florida scrub jays remain at Oscar Scherer State Park, but a panel of bird experts found reason for hope Saturday at the 7th annual Scrub Jay Festival.The first line of defense is preservation of scrub habitat, which continues at Oscar...
A pod of whales stranded in Fife had high concentrations of toxic chemicals, some of which had reached the mammals' brains, scientists have found. The pod of long-ﬁnned pilot whales were stranded on a beach between Anstruther and Pittenweem on 2 September 2012. Out of the 31 mammals which beached, only 10 could be refloated and 21 - 16 females and five males - died. The tests were led by the University of Aberdeen and the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme.
Watchdogs say global carbon-trading system for airlines is needed to cap emissions Staff Report After years of foot-dragging, the aviation industry is close to adopting a CO2 emissions standard for aircraft, which will require aircraft builders to start producing more fuel efficient planes.
Efforts to 'rewild' the landscape have become increasingly popular in some corners, but researchers writing in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Feb. 8 say that scientific evidence supporting the potential benefits of this form of restoration is limited at best. As history has shown, the introduction of species into new places is often met with unexpected, negative consequences for the environment.
"As a kid on his family’s Montana ranch, Erik Kalsta performed a daily chore: He’d walk 500 paces from his house to a white shed, where an instrument panel recorded the height of the nearby Big Hole River. Then he’d march home and call in the measurement to a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist. Over time, the data points created a long-term history of the river’s ebbs and flows.
On a warm day last February, Kalsta, now 48, sat in the kitchen of the same home, wearing wire-rim glasses, a silvering goatee and a lightweight Patagonia sweater. He pointed out the window at the stream gauge, which is now automated. Kalsta’s success as a rancher depends on snow and rain, and 92 years of stream data tell him that runoff patterns are changing."
The global trade in bees is driving a pandemic that threatens hives and wild bees, UK scientists say. A deadly bee disease has spread worldwide through imports of infected honeybees, according to genetic evidence. Stricter controls are needed to protect bees from other emerging diseases, researchers report in Science journal. The virus together with the Varroa mite can kill-off whole hives, putting bee populations at risk. Lead researcher Dr Lena Bayer-Wilfert of the University of Exeter said European bees are at the heart of the global spread of what she calls a "double blow" for colonies. "This is clearly linked to the human movement of honeybee colonies around the globe," she told BBC News. "It shows a piece of evidence we can't argue with."
You know buffalo have made it in America when two former vegans are selling bison and bacon bars down in Austin, Patagonia launches its own line of buffalo jerky, a chef in Colorado is serving grass-fed bison tartar to celebrate the meat’s “preciousness,” and Whole Foods is hawking the stuff at $25.99 per pound (for strip steaks).
Of course, bison already had it made in America back when they roamed the country’s open plains by the millions, happily eating, pooping, and procreating, while — perhaps not so happily — also serving as nourishment for Native Americans. But then European settlers showed up and, together with bovine disease, pushed the population to near extinction.
New findings come during global reef-bleaching event caused by global warming Staff Report Virus outbreaks may compound the stresses faced by coral reefs in the global warming era, researchers said, after observing an explosive viral outbreak in the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists with Oregon State University studied the event and reported their findings in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, explaining how their research is important in the context of an ongoing global coral reef bleaching event.
"When it comes to determining the causes negatively affecting the biodiversity of our ecosystems, a new interdisciplinary study at Western is putting numbers behind the devastation. And it's not good.
The study's lead author, recent PhD graduate Beth Hundey (Geography), showed, for the first time, that 70 per cent of nitrates in high mountain lakes in Utah are from human-caused sources – with fertilizers having, by far, the most impact at 60 per cent, along with another 10 per cent caused by fossil fuels. The research suggests these findings could apply to other mountain ranges in western North America."
More than 5.5 million people worldwide are dying prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, according to new research. Most of these deaths are occurring in the rapidly developing economies of China and India. The main culprit is the emission of small particles from power plants, factories, vehicle exhausts and from the burning of coal and wood. The data was compiled as part of the Global Burden of Disease project.
Staff Report Arctic sea ice extent in January was the lowest in the satellite record, according to the latest monthly update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Scientists said the new record monthly low was likely the result of unusually high air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean and a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation for the first three weeks of the month. Meanwhile in the Antarctic, this year’s extent was lower than average for January, in contrast to the record high extents in January 2015. In the Arctic, the ice extent average 5.2 million square miles, 402,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average and 35,000 square miles below the previous record January low that occurred in 2011.
Governments proposed for the first time on Monday to reduce climate pollution from airplanes, plugging one of the biggest loopholes in last December’s landmark Paris agreement.
The global initiative was a first attempt to halt carbon emissions from air travel – one of the fastest growing sources of climate pollution.
In a call with reporters, White House officials described the standards as “a huge deal”, noting that the aviation authority has also proposed an aspirational goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.
Hunting whales is irrelevant to feeding Japan's population, draws global condemnation and is certainly not economic. So why does Japan still do it? The answer from the Japanese government is that whaling is an ancient part of Japanese culture, that fishermen have caught whales for centuries, and that Japan will never allow foreigners to tell its people what they can and cannot eat. One Japanese official once said to me: "Japanese people never eat rabbits, but we don't tell British people that they shouldn't". I pointed out that rabbits are not exactly an endangered species.
Visiting Nantucket a few years ago, I was dismayed to hear some of the island’s wealthy retirees complaining that the damned piping plovers were keeping them from their chosen fishing spots. The plovers, small beach-nesting birds, are a threatened species along the Atlantic coast and endangered in the Midwest. And I had naively assumed that people with the money to summer in one of the world’s priciest destinations might have a little sympathy for birds that barely manage to survive at all on the open beach.
Not so. The recreational anglers were determined to drive their off-road vehicles out the sandy spit of land called Great Point to their favorite surfcasting spots, and they were enraged that designated protected areas and buffer zones around plover nests blocked certain areas in breeding season.
Staff Report Consumers in the U.S. may soon get some help in figuring out if their seafood comes from sustainable fisheries. A national group that’s been tackling illegal fishing this week announced a proposal for creating a U.S. seafood traceability — another step toward ensuring that global seafood resources are sustainably managed and not fraudulently marketed. The proposal aims to trace the origins of imported seafood by establishing reporting and filing procedures for imported fish and fish products entering U.S. commerce. “Traceability is a key tool for combating illicit activities that threaten valuable natural resources, increase global food security risk and disadvantage law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We are asking the seafood industry, trade and consumer sectors, our international partners and the conservation community to help guide us in creating an effective, efficient program.”
Scientists have warned bees feeding from wildflowers growing next to neonicotinoid-treated crops are exposed to a ‘chemical cocktail’ which could make the impact up to 1,000 times more potent than previously thought.
Ben Fogle: The murder of helicopter pilot Roger Gower while protecting Tanzania’s wildlife is the latest example of those on the frontline in the war against illegal ivory being outnumbered and outgunned...
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