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News Headlines on Biodiversity

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Climate Change
National Geographic, 2018-10-17
In Bangladesh, low-lying and vulnerable to yearly flooding, farmers are shifting from raising chickens to raising ducks. Ducks can swim.
Scientific American, 2018-10-17
A mere half a degree could spell the difference between the Arctic being ice-free once a decade and once a century; between coral reefs being almost entirely wiped out and up to 30 percent hanging on; and between a third of the world’s population being exposed to extreme heat waves and a tenth.
Phys.org, 2018-10-17
Europe's future climate will be characterised by more frequent heat waves and more widespread drought. Heat and drought will both challenge crop production, but drought in particular will be a problem—especially for spring sown crops such as maize.
Agriculture and Biodiversity
UN Environment, 2018-10-17
On the occasion of World Food Day, the World Future Council announced the 2018 Future Policy Award winners. The Future Policy Award is the only award which honours policies on an international level. UN Environment (TEEBAgrifood) was among this year’s winners, as recipient of the Vision Award.
Chemicals and Pollution
Euro News, 2018-10-17
The world's oceans are awash in plastic, and the problem is only getting worse. Each year, 8 million metric tons of plastic debris ends up in the oceans, and that's on top of the 150 million metric tons already in marine environments. The debris ensnares seabirds, starves whales and infiltrates the entire marine food chain — including humans, too, when we eat seafood.
Communication, Education and Public Awareness
BBC News, 2018-10-17
Two snub-nosed monkeys are pictured resting on a stone and staring intently into the distance. What are they looking at, and what are they thinking? It turns out they are watching a big barney between members of their troop.
Forest Biodiversity
Mongabay (India), 2018-10-17
The frequency of extreme weather events is going up around the world, and droughts and heatwaves are no exception. When the globe warms by 3-4 degrees – a possibility during this century under a ‘business as usual’ scenario – about 40 percent of the world’s land surface is predicted to experience drought. The tropics are all set to experience high temperatures as the new normal.
Geo-engineering and Biodiversity
First Post, 2018-10-17
A controversial and unproven gene-editing technology touted as a silver bullet against malaria-bearing mosquitos could wind up being deployed first in commercial agriculture, according to experts and an NGO report published Tuesday, 16 October.
Governance, Law and Policy
Xinhua (China), 2018-10-17
The southwestern province of Yunnan has passed a regulation protecting local biodiversity. The regulation, passed by the fifth session of the Standing Committee of the 13th People's Congress of Yunnan Province, is the first local regulation in China on biodiversity protection.
Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
Phys.org, 2018-10-17
On World Food Day, WWF warns against the dramatic impact of overfished oceans on people around the globe. Currently, 33 percent of fish stocks are overfished (in the Mediterranean it is 85 percent) with a further 60 percent at maximum capacity with no possibility to increase catches without overfishing the stock. At the same time, more than three billion people rely on fish as an essential source of protein.
Research and Science
Phys.org, 2018-10-17
Scientists say there is not yet enough evidence to conclude that microplastics do or do not cause harm to the environment, following a review of more than 300 global studies.
Phys.org, 2018-10-17
The Beaufort Gyre is an enormous, 600-mile-wide pool of swirling cold, fresh water in the Arctic Ocean, just north of Alaska and Canada. In the winter, this current is covered by a thick cap of ice. Each summer, as the ice melts away, the exposed gyre gathers up sea ice and river runoff, and draws it down to create a huge reservoir of frigid fresh water, equal to the volume of all the Great Lakes combined.
Phys.org, 2018-10-17
A new larval fish database collated over the last 30 years will be used to measure marine ecosystem state and change as well as seasonal patterns of various fish species.
Phys.org, 2018-10-17
Flash drought is a rapidly intensifying water deficit process accompanied by high temperatures in a short period of time. Recently, heat extremes have become more frequent in a warming climate, and have substantially increased the occurrence of flash drought, which threatens crop yields and water supply.
Tourism and Biodiversity
BBC News, 2018-10-17
One of the rarest flowers in the world, the Neelakurinji blooms just once every 12 years in India’s south-western state of Kerala, when it covers the hills in a violet hue.
Qrius, 2018-10-17
For too long, dire messages and gloomy assumptions about the fate of the planet have lent an air of hopelessness to one of the biggest challenges facing society. Conservationists feel stymied. Businesspeople feel villainized. We have come to accept the view that preserving the planet and growing the economy are mutually exclusive.


Climate Change
CNN, 2018-10-16
Beer is the prom king of alcoholic beverages, winning the popularity contest in terms of total volumes drunk. And because its main ingredient, barley, is sensitive to extreme drought and heat, climate change will cause undue pain for all who love their lager, new research suggests.
CNN, 2018-10-16
Pull out your passport and pack your bags for the sunny Mediterranean. But hurry. You've got a lot of traveling to do if you're going to see some of the historical wonders of the world before climate change further damages them, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature
Agriculture and Biodiversity
Third Pole, 2018-10-16
Hunger and poverty are global issues and two UN Sustainable Development Goals – no poverty and zero hunger – remind us of the huge task ahead. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, around 815 million people in the world are deprived of food that is required to lead a healthy life. Asia has the largest number of hungry people, roughly two-thirds of the population. 35% of children below five years of age in South Asia are stunted due to malnutrition and poor sanitation.
Endangered Species
Newsweek, 2018-10-16
The human-driven extinction of mammals is outpacing evolution, researchers have reported in a study. The next 50 years may see extinctions so devastating it takes 3 to 5 million years for the animal kingdom to recover.
Huffington Post, 2018-10-16
Humans have helped propel the extinction of more than 300 mammal species — equaling a staggering loss of 2.5 billion years’ worth of unique evolutionary history, according to a grim new study published Monday.
Research and Science
Hindu (India), 2018-10-16
Tropical botanical garden to conserve plant resources for post-disaster restoration The Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) at Palode, near here, is planning to establish germplasm collections of special groups of plants as a repository for the conservation and post-disaster biodiversity restoration.
Devex, 2018-10-16
At the International Rice Research Institute, work is already underway to create new varieties of this staple crop that can withstand both flooding and drought. Now, the institution’s efforts to share this knowledge globally will be supported forever, thanks to a “perpetuity grant” offered by the Crop Trust.
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
A new study in the journal Behavioral Ecology, published by Oxford University Press, suggests that higher water temperature, which increases the aggressiveness of some fish, could lead to better protection of some coral.
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
With bee pollinators in decline and pesky crop pests lowering yields, sustainable and organic farmers need environmentally friendly solutions.
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
Early life forms on Earth may have been able to generate metabolic energy from sunlight using a purple-pigmented molecule called retinal that possibly predates the evolution of chlorophyll and photosynthesis. If retinal has evolved on other worlds, it could create a a distinctive biosignature as it absorbs green light in the same way that vegetation on Earth absorbs red and blue light.
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
Working with high-resolution satellite imaging technology, researchers from Brown University and the University of California, Los Angeles have uncovered new clues in an age-old question about why tropical forests are so ecologically diverse.
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
Despite an exceptionally snow-filled winter, Swiss glaciers have lost 2.5 percent of their volume this year, according to a report Tuesday which dubbed 2018 "a year of extremes".
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
A largely unknown terrain begins not so far below the surface of the forest floor. While the processes in the top 30 centimetres of the soil are well known, deeper areas of the soil are the focus of a research group led by Professor Bernd Marschner from the Institute of Geography at the Faculty of Geosciences at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB).
Phys.org, 2018-10-16
Conservationists are in a desperate fight to save the last of the world's gorillas. Numbers of some subspecies are so low that organisations are literally saving the species one gorilla at a time.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme