Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment
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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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U.S. Forest Service moves toward permitting more coal mining in Colorado's North Fork Valley

U.S. Forest Service moves toward permitting more coal mining in Colorado's North Fork Valley | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Staff Report
The U.S. Forest Service wants to update a public lands rule that would re-open the door for new coal mining on about 20,000 acres in south-central Colorado’s North Fork Valley. The agency this week posted a federal register notice seeking comment on a proposal to reinstate the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception to the Colorado Roadless Rule.
The proposal comes about a year after a federal court set aside the exemption after finding that the Forest Service failed to disclose greenhouse gas emissions associated with potential mine operations and the combustion of coal from the area. Find the federal register notice and information on commenting here.In an updated environmental document, the agency now says that the coal mining operation would unleash between 1.3 million and 6.6 million tons of greenhouse gases, depending on the level of mining activity. Burning the coal would result in between 12.3 million to 36.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, November 29, 2015 9:55 AM

Is it illegal when it is government allowed?

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Climate: Study links deadly 2010-2011 Australia floods with long-term ocean warming

Climate: Study links deadly 2010-2011 Australia floods with long-term ocean warming | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
‘Take action to forestall global warming …’
Staff Report
Deadly floods that swept across Australia in 2010 and 2011 were at least partly fueled by long-term warming in the Indian and Pacific oceans, according to a new study that highlights some of threats posed by human-caused climate change.
The research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that ocean warming can have profound effects on atmospheric circulation, delivering huge amounts of moisture to land areas under certain conditions.The floods in Australia’s northeast state of Queensland claimed 35 lives, caused $2.38 billion damage, flooded 28,000 homes and left 100,000 people without power. So much rain fell on Australia that it led to a rare filling of Lake Eyre, a large lake system in the interior of the country, and caused a drop in global sea level.
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Biologists mark huge step in fight against amphibian-killing fungus

Biologists mark huge step in fight against amphibian-killing fungus | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
New treatment could help protect vulnerable species

Staff Report

Scientists in the UK and Spain say they’ve developed a way to tackle the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus in a way that could help protect wild populations of amphibians.

Their research is a major breakthrough in the battle against the deadly disease, which has affected over 700 amphibian species worldwide; driving population declines, extirpations and species extinctions across five continents.This is the first time that chytrid has ever been successfully eliminated from a wild population … a real positive which we can take forward into further research to tackle this deadly disease,” said Dr, Jaime Bosch, Senior Researcher with the National Museum of Natural History in Spain.
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USDA, EPA butt heads on honey bee and petsicide initiative, highlighting lobbying conflicts | Genetic Literacy Project

USDA, EPA butt heads on honey bee and petsicide initiative, highlighting lobbying conflicts | Genetic Literacy Project | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The Obama Administration’s National Pollinator Strategy, released in May, encouraged the Environmental Protection Agency to pursue near-term steps to preserve and protect bees and other pollinators.

So what has the EPA done since then?

As its first announced initiative, the EPA proposed a new rule that would prohibit foliar applications — spraying — of 76 pesticides, potentially affecting 1,000 products judged “acutely toxic to bees” on crops in bloom “when bees are present” under “a contract for pollination services.”

Sounds sensible. What could be more reasonable if you’re out to protect bees from near-term extinction than preventing them being sprayed with acutely toxic pesticides while they’re foraging for the pollen and nectar with which they’ll feed themselves and their young and store up food to last the winter?

So why would beekeepers be against it? For that matter, why would USDA be against it?

Politics separates USDA and EPA on bee recomendations

The answer is: for lots of reasons.
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Study: Doubling of CO2 may warm Earth by 3 degrees Celsius

Study: Doubling of CO2 may warm Earth by 3 degrees Celsius | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
New chemical analysis sends climate warming signal

Staff Report

A study of ancient carbonate crystals in Colorado suggests that the Earth’s climate is more sensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide than believed.

Based on the chemical analysis of rocks from the Green River formation, scientists think that a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times could raise the global temperature by a whopping 3 degrees Celsius.The study team from Binghamton University took a close look at the crystals that formed 50 million years ago during a hothouse climate. They found that CO2 levels during this time may have been as low as 680 parts per million, nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous experiments.
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Based on their results, past predictions significantly underestimate the impact of greenhouse warming
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California's Largest Lake Is Now a Public-Health Threat

California's Largest Lake Is Now a Public-Health Threat | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
On October 28, the smog-control agency for Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, issued an odor advisory for the intense rotten-egg stench that was permeating the air of southern California’s Coachella Valley. The source: The state’s largest lake, the 350-square-mile Salton Sea, was burping up hydrogen sulfide, a gas created by the decaying organic matter trapped beneath the water. It was the Salton Sea’s fifth odor advisory for October alone; depending on winds, the hydrogen sulfide can be smelled as far as 130 miles away in Los Angeles.

But the smell is only one small part of a more serious public-health problem, one that has the potential to affect millions of people in southern California and beyond. The Salton Sea is shrinking, a phenomenon due partially to rapid evaporation—summer temperatures around the lake routinely top 110 degrees—and partially to the decrease in the agricultural runoff that was the lake’s primary water source.
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Study IDs Gulf Coast ecosystems at risk

Study IDs Gulf Coast ecosystems at risk | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it

"Staff Report

Sea turtles breeding along the Gulf Coast are among the species deemed most vulnerable to climate change and rising sea level, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded in a new vulnerability assessment that looked at four Gulf ecosystems and 11 species dependent on them.

The ecosystems are mangrove, oyster reef, tidal emergent marsh and barrier islands. The species are roseate spoonbill, blue crab, clapper rail, mottled duck, spotted seatrout, eastern oyster, American oystercatcher, red drum, black skimmer, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and Wilson’s plover.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is thought to be the most vulnerable species across the Gulf Coast. The report identified the main threat as loss of nesting habitat to sea level rise, erosion, and urbanization.

Tidal emergent marsh is considered to be the most vulnerable ecosystem, due in part to sea level rise and erosion. In general, avian species were more vulnerable than fish because of nesting habitat loss to sea level rise, erosion and potential increases in storm surge."

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Polluting the world's water – in pictures

Polluting the world's water – in pictures | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
From sewage and toxic waste to mining deposits and oil spills, the world’s rivers, lakes and oceans have never been dirtier or more dangerous Continue reading...

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In India, Mumbai's mountains of imported coal pose health hazard

In India, Mumbai's mountains of imported coal pose health hazard | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
When Shyam Goel, 21, won admission to Mumbai's Marine Engineering & Research Institute, he was overjoyed.

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Study: Sharks feeding ability impaired by ocean acidification

Study: Sharks feeding ability impaired by ocean acidification | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
‘In warmer water, sharks are hungrier but with increased CO2 they won’t be able to find their food’
Staff Report
The effects of ocean acidification on shellfish are already well understood. There’s little doubt shell-forming species like oysters will face big challenges as the water chemistry changes. In some cases, more acidic water will simply corrode there shells.
But a new study found that some top ocean predators will also be affected. Ocean acidification will impair the ability of some sharks to hunt and find food, according to researchers at the University of Adelaide (Australia).After assessing the results of some long-term experiments, the scientists concluded that ocean acidification will have major detrimental effects on sharks’ ability to meet their energy demands, with the effects likely to cascade through entire ecosystems. The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
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Germany's Renewables Push is Killing Its Energy Companies

Germany's Renewables Push is Killing Its Energy Companies | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Country’s belief in a greener future isn’t shaken.

Ten years ago, Germany’s biggest utility E.On AG EONGY 0.61% appeared to have it all: dominance in Europe’s largest energy market, a stranglehold over domestic and European regulators, a foothold in the U.S. and a unique lever over Russia’s Gazprom, a fearsome beast that had all Europe running scared.

Fast forward 10 years, and the only thing that’s missing from the wreck is two vast and trunkless legs of stone on a pedestal that says “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
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Building a better Canadian honey bee

Building a better Canadian honey bee | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Canadian beekeepers have been seeing substantial and above average die-offs of bees over the winter during the past several years. The beekeepers have been complaining that farmer’s increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides have been a strong factor in this loss by weakening the bees so they can’t survive the winter. While there may be other factors, like parasites and disease, the fact remains that in spring beekeepers often have to import queen bees from abroad, mostly from the US.

However, this presents other potential problems.
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EPA's $20M targets Clinton River watershed restoration - The Detroit News

EPA's $20M targets Clinton River watershed restoration - The Detroit News | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
The Clinton River watershed is getting $20 million to help move it beyond polluted past in Macomb and Oakland counties

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NOAA reports record global warmth for October 2015

NOAA reports record global warmth for October 2015 | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Sea ice extent below average at both poles; northern hemisphere snow cover well above average
Staff Report
For the sixth month in a row, the global average temperature broke all historical records in October, soaring to 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit above the monthly average.
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Kirigami Helps Solar Cells Track the Sun

Kirigami Helps Solar Cells Track the Sun | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting, could help create flexible solar cells that track the sun to generate more electricity than stationary panels.

With help from an art professor, researchers at the University of Michigan recently created such cells using a GaAs thin film applied to Kapton, a science-grade plastic.

A CO2 laser was used to perforate the material. The perforations cause the solar cells to tilt when the substrate is stretched. The angle of tilt can be controlled to within ±1°, allowing the cell surface to stay perpendicular to the sun's rays throughout the day. i

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Scientists discover the cause behind prehistoric climate change

Scientists discover the cause behind prehistoric climate change | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it

Scientists have discovered the causes behind a period of dramatic climate change at the end of the last Ice Age, which will help predict how climate will change in the future.

Climate scientists are nervous about how man-made climate change may impact on the Gulf Stream--the ocean current that brings warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic.

Changes to Gulf Stream, according to the new research, may not only result in a much colder Europe, but it might also lead to changes in ‘communication’ between the ocean and the atmosphere. Such changes could lead to the kinds of abrupt climate changes last seen at the end of the last Ice Age.

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Forest Service OKs Breck summer expansion plan

Forest Service OKs Breck summer expansion plan | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Summer attractions expected to draw 150,000 new tourists

Staff Report

The U.S. Forest Service is giving Vail Resorts a green light for more development on the slopes of the Tenmile Range, at Breckenridge Ski Area.

In a final decision released this week, White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams approved a significant expansion of recreation infrastructure, including zip lines and canopy tours, as well as more off-highway vehicle tours and an expansion of the Peak 7 hut.All of the projects approved are on National Forest System lands and occur within Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Special Use Permit boundary:
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Public art projects that double as renewable energy sources

Public art projects that double as renewable energy sources | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Two Pittsburgh artists are encouraging cities around the world to install public art structures designed to generate power while educating viewers about renewable energy

Via Anne Caspari
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Watchdogs say Western Governors' Association is trying to weaken endangered species protections

Watchdogs say Western Governors' Association is trying to weaken endangered species protections | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Recent workshop focused on industry gripes

Staff Report

For the apparent lack of anything productive to do, the Western Governors’s Association is apparently trying to cook up new ways to weaken the Endangered Species Act for the benefit of developers and extractive industries.

The association held a workshop last week, ostensibly to “encourage bipartisan conversations to improve the Endangered Species Act,” but that is just more Orwellian doublespeak, according to watchdog groups, who pointed out that speakers during the meeting “overwhelmingly represented industries and political interests opposed to protections for endangered species.”“This workshop is just the latest effort to gut the Endangered Species Act,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Not a single idea offered in this workshop would improve the recovery of a single species under the Endangered Species Act. Instead we heard the usual industry gripes alleging that the Endangered Species Act obstructs extraction of fossil fuels and other destructive activities.”
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Explainer: Why Deforestation Happens (And Why It's Hard To Stop)

Explainer: Why Deforestation Happens (And Why It's Hard To Stop) | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
NPR spent 2 weeks in the Amazon to find out. Take 10 mins to look at our photos and learn about why it's so hard for us to stop deforestation -- and what could happen if we don't.

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Why snow leopards are in trouble (Opinion) - CNN.com

Why snow leopards are in trouble (Opinion) - CNN.com | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Climate change is threatening the survival of snow leopards and pitting the creatures against humans in a fight for livelihood.

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World’s largest ocean cleanup operation one step closer to launch

World’s largest ocean cleanup operation one step closer to launch | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Real life trials of a groundbreaking array designed to clean up the vast plastic island in the Pacific are due to begin next year after successful tests of a prototype in the Netherlands

Via Bourdoncle, Hubert MESSMER @Zehub on Twitter
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Climate: No slowdown in greenhouse gas buildup

Climate: No slowdown in greenhouse gas buildup | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
“Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations … Every year we say that time is running out”
Atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping carbon dioxide will soon stay above the symbolic 400 parts per million mark permanently, the World Meteorological Organization said this week in its annual report on the state of the global atmosphere.Unsurprisingly, the organization reported that CO2 reached another record level in 2014, reaching 397.7 ppm after relentlessly rising the past few decades. Altogether, CO2, methane and nitrous oxide from industrial, agricultural and domestic sources have increased radiative forcing by 36 percent since 1990. according to the WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.
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EN IMAGES. Ces orangs-outans attendent leur libération

EN IMAGES. Ces orangs-outans attendent leur libération | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
Lors d'une opération visant des établissements de loisirs en Thaïlande, 14 orangs-outans avaient été récupérés en 2000 par le centre de...

Via Hubert MESSMER @Zehub on Twitter
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Habitat Restoration Kicks Off at Salton Sea - KCET

Habitat Restoration Kicks Off at Salton Sea - KCET | Farming, Forests, Water, Fishing and Environment | Scoop.it
A groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of an audacious plan to save California's largest lake.

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