A 30-year study of cliff swallows, a long-distance migrant bird species, has revealed that global climate change is altering their breeding habits.
Often called the "Cadillac of Christmas trees," the Fraser Fir has everything a good Christmas tree should have: an even triangular shape, a sweet piney fragrance, and soft needles that (mostly) stay attached and won't leave tiny stabs in your fingers.
Botanist Li-Bing Zhang has spent years collecting ferns in the caves and limestone formations of southwestern China and neighboring Southeast Asia. When I met him recently in a Vietnamese national park, his research vehicle, a silver van, was bursting with fern specimens. Zhang and two colleague ...
CHENNAI: A two-year study on the threatened taxonomy in the forest in Tamil Nadu is nearing completion, said RK Ojha, chief project director, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project, on Thursday.
It's time they came out of their shells. It seems the world's largest molluscs, the giant clams of the Indo-Pacific coral reefs, have been doing a huge amount of good work we knew little about.
As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below, writes Tim Radford - causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 billion tonnes a year.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has urged the international community to incorporate the priorities and concerns of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the post-2015 development agenda.
“There will be coal burning.” Negotiators from around the world produced a four-page climate-change accord (pdf) after some sleep-deprived haggling over the weekend in Lima, Peru, but the agreement could be summed up in those five words.
The largest trees in a forest may command the most attention, but the smallest seedlings and youngest saplings are the ones that are most critical to the composition and diversity of the forest overall.
Agriculture is the primary driver of tropical deforestation.
Planting trees may be a cost-effective way to reduce ground-level ozone, a toxic component of smog that contributes to the deaths of about 152,000 people annually worldwide, according to new research.
CAIRNS, Queensland, Dec 17 2014 (IPS) - As a child growing up in Far North Queensland, William Clark Enoch would know the crabs were biting when certain trees blossomed, but now, at age 51, he is noticing visible changes in his environment such as frequent storms, soil erosion, salinity in fresh ...
Are there no limits to the cruelty that humans are prepared to inflict on their fellow creatures in the natural world? When there is money to be made, apparently not
Until recently, palm oil was labeled "vegetable oil" on ingredients lists. A new regulation is changing that: if products contain palm oil, they will be labeled as such.
NEW YORK - The year 2015 will be our generation's greatest opportunity to move the world toward sustainable development.
JOHANNESBURG— Governments failed to come to a breakthrough agreement at last week's climate summit in Peru. But South African mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to the talks, and says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change.
There is absolutely no ground for India to agree to cut its emissions at the 2015 climate change summit.
Hyderabad: Climate change will gradually force larger plant species, endemic to biodiversity hotspots in the country, to “shift” to other conducive environments, said researchers from University of Hyderabad and IIT-Kharagpur.
15 December 2014 – Two United Nations human rights experts warned today against the proposed re-licensing of heavily polluted land in the Department of Loreto region of Peru, saying the move would perpetuate and exacerbate serious violations of human rights of indigenous peoples, including their ...
A northern white rhinoceros has died at the San Diego Zoo in California, leaving only five in the entire world.
Our warming climate is bad news for Christmas trees. Norwegian spruces risk getting cold feet as the insulating blanket of snow that protects their roots from Scandinavian winters thins.
Pledges to reduce emissions in China, Europe and the US provide an important step forward for climate change action, but a more comprehensive effort is needed to stabilize the climate below critical thresholds.
Cities like Miami are all too familiar with hurricane-related power outages. But a new analysis finds climate change will give other major metro areas a lot to worry about in future storms.
There are consequences of the successful efforts worldwide to save beavers from extinction.
Climate scientists have received a boost of up to US$150 million from US space agency NASA for a five year campaign to probe how air pollution, manmade fires across Africa and warming oceans may affect our climate
Persistence is the key factor in the two most common human stressors on tropical wildlife. In Malaysian Borneo, hunting continually diminishes wildlife populations, whereas the negative impacts from selective logging are more transient, according to a recent study in Conservation Biology.
Plants rely on three critical elements for growth: carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight. Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are therefore expected to increase rates of forest growth, in turn helping counter some of humanity's influence on global climate.
LIMA, Dec 13 2014 (IPS) - While U.S. and Canadian officials delivered speeches about how the world needs to step up to their responsibilities at the U.N. climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, activists from North America demanded clear answers back home on their governments’ relationships with fos ...
ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Scientists should "re-wild" food crops by inserting lost genetic properties of ancient, edible plants in order to boost agricultural output for a growing population, a new study said.
Veterinary drug for cattle that led to collapse of vulture populations of Asia is a risk to 55,000 birds, says European Medicines Agency
How do we communicate the need for fundamental change beyond this group of environmentalists, scientists and progressive businesses? asks Luc Bas.
Arctic ground squirrels could play a greater role in climate change than was previously thought.
12 December 2014 – A prolonged drought in Central America is turning into a humanitarian crisis for nearly two and a half million people affected by food insecurity in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned today.
The timetable is in tatters. Hopes of a successful climate deal in Paris next December suffered a setback at the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru, at the weekend as talks left the proposed timeline for a deal in pieces.
A new fish species, Salmo kottelati, has been described from the Alak1r Stream draining to Mediterranean Sea in Anatolia.
Two weeks of climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, have wrapped up with a road map for the establishment of an international climate treaty in Paris next year.
LIMA, Dec 14 2014 (IPS) - After a 25-hour extension, delegates from 195 countries reached agreement on a “bare minimum” of measures to combat climate change, and postponed big decisions on a new treaty until the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21), to be held in a year’s time in Paris.
UN climate talks wrapped up in Peru with a modest agreement about the building blocks of a deal due to be agreed in Paris next year
From Florida to the Costa del Sol, costly sea defences are accelerating beach erosion and will ultimately fail to protect coastal towns and cities from rising tides, say experts
The procedure has become quite a routine. Every year, the December talks run into extra time as delegates haggle over a last-minute compromise, which usually satisfies no one. But it was clear from the start that this year's meeting in Lima, Peru, was not going to be the place for major announce ...
Britain will undermine the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) by trying to reduce their numbers and continuing to give tax breaks and susbsidies to the fossil fuel industry, a powerful group of MPs has warned.
Columbia University professor of sustainable development Jeffrey Sachs outlines three high-level negotiations in 2015 that can reshape the global sustainable development agenda.
11 December 2014 – The more action that is taken today on climate change, the more likely countries will push for stronger agreements tomorrow, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a high-level meeting today at the UN Climate Change Conference, known also as the 20th session of the ...
Climate talks in Lima have entered their final day with long-running issues still dividing the parties, despite an impassioned appeal from US Secretary of State John Kerry.
CHINA is holding back the desert, for now. The Great Green Wall – a massive belt of trees being planted across China's arid north in what might be the largest ecological engineering project on the planet – seems to work, according to a new study.
Using broad-leaved trees such as willow trees in the phytoremediation of contaminated soils constitutes a cost-efficient method for restoring mining areas and landfills, according to new research.
[LIMA] The need for funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change is growing as global temperatures continue to rise. But the cost of this adaptation also appears higher than before: a study published last week says that it may be up to three times higher than previously thought.
[LIMA] The first research project to be funded under the UN’s Technology Mechanism, a process that supports the development of technologies that can help mitigate climate change, has kicked off.
Restoring degraded land and forests with the world’s fastest growing plant, bamboo, can contribute to major carbon emission reductions.
Brazilian biologist Alex Bager has been leading a crusade to raise awareness of a major but neglected threat to biodiversity in his country.
LIMA, Dec 12 2014 (IPS) - The magnitude of the climate changes brought about by global warming and the alterations in rainfall patterns are modifying the geography of food production in the tropics, warned participants at the climate summit in the Peruvian capital.
As crucial UN climate summit in Peru enters final hours, negotiators have made little progress on draft text
Ottawa in Canada is hosting a conference on “Arctic Change”. With climate change making access to the Arctic easier, interest has increased. But the forecast boom in economic activity appears to have been put "on ice".
The sale of wildlife to Angolan parks has sparked a row over the spread of species to areas in which they do not occur naturally.
KATHMANDU, DEC 12 - Nepal has called on global leaders to provide urgent and greater investments in the vulnerable communities in the mountains.
14 December 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has hailed the outcome of a United Nations-backed climate conference recently concluded in Lima, Peru, praising delegates for setting the groundwork for a more conclusive agreement to be reached in 2015, a spokesperson for the Organization today a ...
SYDNEY (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Many small Pacific Island states on the frontline of sea level rise and disaster threats are facing a shortage of the scientists, skilled professionals and technical experts they need to put in place effective climate change policies and adaptation projects.
Species are disappearing quickly — but researchers are struggling to assess how bad the problem is.
10 December 2014 | LIMA | Peru | A key theme of the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that took place two months ago was integrating biodiversity targets into other parts of the United Nations development process.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Biologists say that for the vaquita of the Gulf of California, a small species of porpoise and the rarest cetacean in the world, extinction is just four years away.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Humans think they're so smart, with their fancy farms. But while humans have been cultivating crops for a little more than 10,000 years, ants have been growing their own food for 50 million years.
10 December 2014 – Only by acting together will world leaders transform the climate challenge into an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how we grow our economies and create a safer, healthier, more liveable world, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.
10 December 2014 – The launch of a new coalition spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and focused on boosting renewable energy usage around the world was announced today as Member States head into the final three-day stretch of a major UN climate conference in Lima, Per ...
THE world is set to warm by more than 2 °C by 2100, which puts us on track to dangerous climate change. But UN climate negotiators meeting in Peru's capital Lima this week are optimistic that they can reach an agreement on planet-warming gases.
Scientists have analyzed 40 years of data to outline climate change challenge for ectotherms (animals who rely on external sources of heat to control body temperature).
The rise in tourism, fishing and sea transport between the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands is compromising the wellbeing of a small population of common bottlenose dolphins living in coastal waters off the Pityusic Islands.
Halfway through the second week of COP 20, negotiation battles are in full swing.
Heads of state and government will be leading the COP20 discussions, but cities and regions have an important role to play in the process, writes Michel Lebrun.
A new pit viper was discovered by researchers working in Sumatra, Indonesia, and described in a new study in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
LIMA, Dec 10 2014 (IPS) - Despite international acknowledgement that women are disproportionately affected by climate change, the Lima climate negotiations have been slow to deliver progress on recognising their importance, while threats of pushback loom on the horizon.
LIMA, Dec 10 2014 (IPS) - The post-2015 global climate change agreement should be flexible and fully resourced or else condemn Africa to another cycle of poverty resulting from the adverse effects of climate change.
(Reuters) - There are plastic shopping bags, bottles, toys, action figures, bottle caps, pacifiers, tooth brushes, boots, buckets, deodorant roller balls, umbrella handles, fishing gear, toilet seats and so much more. Plastic pollution is pervasive in Earth's oceans.
BOZEMAN, Mont., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The average day hiker in Glacier National Park is unlikely to notice the dwindling stonefly population in Montana. But trout are.
8 December 2014 – Planet earth is “moving towards the tipping point” warned the President of the United Nations General Assembly at UN climate talks in Peru, where he called for world leaders to take urgent action towards a climate agreement that promotes socio-economic development in a sustaina ...
A new study on tropical shallow-water soft corals, known as gorgonians, found that the species were able to calcify and grow under elevated carbon dioxide concentrations.
One of the issues that has kept coming up in the corridors, conferences and meetings during the first days of the COP 20 climate summit has to do with the traditional knowledge of indigenous people and the need to incorporate it into climate change procedures and negotiations.
Smallholder farmers in Mozambique are growing nutritious and lucrative varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potato.
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 8 2014 (IPS) - As leaders from around the world gather in Lima, Peru this week to discuss global cooperation in addressing climate change, a woman in Guatemala will struggle to feed her family from a farm plot that produces less each season.
South American diplomats expect to make progress towards a global climate deal at this week’s UN talks in Lima, despite growing criticism from NGOs that governments in the region are backtracking on pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.
Before war broke out in December 2013, things were getting better for South Sudan's elephants, conservationist says.
LIMA, Peru—Paula Caballero, Senior Director of Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice at the World Bank, says the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are currently under development should be seen through the prism of landscapes.
The demand for nutritious food continues to rise. By 2050 the global demand for food could nearly double as the population grows and the developing world becomes more affluent, demanding more calories in their daily diet.
VENTURES AFRICA – Two new grant agreements have been signed between Seychelles and the executive body of the European Union providing as much as $6.4 million to foster sustainable development and combat climate change in the small island state of about 90,000 inhabitants.
In his report, Ban Ki-moon backs the 17 goals and 169 targets proposed by the UN working group, despite the difficulty member states may have in communicating them
Leading economist Lord Nicholas Stern said that a commitment to sustainable development was more important than a binding deal that "lacked credibility".
Protecting biodiversity may be crucial for successfully storing carbon in forests, scientists say
Representatives from every national government are meeting this week to work toward a global climate agreement, and the location of the conference -- Lima, Peru -- offers critically important lessons for negotiators.
According to a new report from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), the overall giraffe population has declined by over 40 percent in the past 15 years.
BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- For Africa and its climate, history seems to be repeating itself.
5 December 2014 – Despite public funding of climate change adaptation measures reaching as high as $26 billion in 2012-2013, a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report predicts a significant funding gap after 2020 unless new and additional finance for adaptation is made available.
A new study has found early warning signals of a reorganization of the Atlantic oceans' circulation which could have a profound impact on the global climate system.
Agreement to permit country-level bans of genetically modified plants should ease deadlocks in EU approval process.
A coalition of governments and organizations today pledged to restore 20 million hectares (50 million acres) of degraded forests and ecosystems across Latin America by 2020 under an initiative that aims to curb boost rural incomes, fight climate change, and increase agricultural production.
BRISBANE, Dec 8 2014 (IPS) - Norwegians know something of life in a climate change world. Migratory birds arrive earlier in spring, trees come into leaf before previously expected, and palsa mires (wetlands) are being lost as permafrost thaws.
Over millions of years animals have gone extinct, species have been driven out of their habitats and forests have disappeared. But how are conservationists and geneticists trying to re-establish what has been lost?
NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- If you've been wondering where the most the most genetically distinct group of humpback whales in the world are, don't fret, scientists have been asking themselves the same question.
5 December 2014 – Healthy soils are the foundation for food, fuel, fibre and even medicine said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today as it kicked off 2015 the International Year of Soils on the first-ever World Soil Day.
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 4 2014 (IPS) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has refused to jettison any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by an Open Working Group of member states: goals aimed at launching the U.N.’s new post-2015 development agenda through 2030.
Climate talks in Lima can save the Amazon rainforest by recognising rights of its best protectors
As activists mark Wildlife Conservation Day, elephants and hippopotamuses are trampling over farms and crops in northern Cameroon. Authorities face a difficult balancing act - conserve wildlife or protect property?