Environmental Issues

rynner2

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Grim news:
World's large carnivores being pushed off the map
By Helen Briggs BBC News

Six of the world's large carnivores have lost more than 90% of their historic range, according to a study.
The Ethiopian wolf, red wolf, tiger, lion, African wild dog and cheetah have all been squeezed out as land is lost to human settlements and farming.

Reintroduction of carnivores into areas where they once roamed is vital in conservation, say scientists.
This relies on human willingness to share the landscape with the likes of the wolf.

The research, published in Royal Society Open Science, was carried out by Christopher Wolf and William Ripple of Oregon State University.
They mapped the current range of 25 large carnivores using International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List data. This was compared with historic maps from 500 years ago.
The work shows that large carnivore range contractions are a global issue, said Christopher Wolf.

"Of the 25 large carnivores that we studied, 60% (15 species) have lost more than half of their historic ranges,'' he explained.
"This means that scientifically sound reintroductions of large carnivores into areas where they have been lost is vital both to conserve the large carnivores and to promote their important ecological effects.
"This is very dependent on increasing human tolerance of large carnivores - a key predictor of reintroduction success."

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40596729
 

Mythopoeika

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Grim news:
World's large carnivores being pushed off the map
By Helen Briggs BBC News

Six of the world's large carnivores have lost more than 90% of their historic range, according to a study.
The Ethiopian wolf, red wolf, tiger, lion, African wild dog and cheetah have all been squeezed out as land is lost to human settlements and farming.

Reintroduction of carnivores into areas where they once roamed is vital in conservation, say scientists.
This relies on human willingness to share the landscape with the likes of the wolf.

The research, published in Royal Society Open Science, was carried out by Christopher Wolf and William Ripple of Oregon State University.
They mapped the current range of 25 large carnivores using International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List data. This was compared with historic maps from 500 years ago.
The work shows that large carnivore range contractions are a global issue, said Christopher Wolf.

"Of the 25 large carnivores that we studied, 60% (15 species) have lost more than half of their historic ranges,'' he explained.
"This means that scientifically sound reintroductions of large carnivores into areas where they have been lost is vital both to conserve the large carnivores and to promote their important ecological effects.
"This is very dependent on increasing human tolerance of large carnivores - a key predictor of reintroduction success."

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40596729
Christopher Wolf, eh?
 

rynner2

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Not something you see every day:
Video: 1m 34s.
Heavy rain brings Long Gill, near Ingleton, back to life
The moment a river bed filled with water after a heavy downpour has been captured on camera.

Thomas Beresford filmed water streaming down Long Gill towards the River Twiss, near Ingleton.
The North Yorkshire County Council worker waited more than an hour to capture the moment but said it was "worth it".

20 Jul 2017
From the section York & North Yorkshire
 

rynner2

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Coincidentally, we had the heaviest rain I've seen here today - and I've been living here about ten years! This street collects much of the water from roads higher up the hill, turning the street into a river! Not quite Coverackian in scale; the water didn't rip the tarmac up, thankfully.
 

RaM

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Just had a flood alert for 1 am tomorrow the 25th seems unlikely to
me but if you live round the Fylde coast Morecambe bay it may be worth
bearing in mind. High tide and wind rather than rain.
 

Frideswide

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INteresting. We were meant to be soaked yesterday; while it was wet it wasn't torrential. Flood warnings on local stuff that doesn't affect us - mainly water from the hills and a high tide back up culverts and drains I think.
 

rynner2

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Truro family’s woodland is crowned the UK’s best
Helen Dale Reporter

When Chris and Maria Musgrove decided to plant 1,000 saplings on four acres of land they purchased in Truro in 2013, friends thought they were mad. But now their fledgling woodland has been crowned the best in the UK by the Woodland Trust.

The charity ran a competition for anyone who had created woodland under its MOREwoods initiative and invited BBC Countryfile Diaries presenter Paul Martin to join its chief executive Beccy Speight and director of woodland creation John Tucker to decide the winner.
They chose the Musgroves after hearing how they had come together as a family to create a lasting legacy, shunning the idea of making money from the land.

Chris said: “Friends said we could rent the land out for grazing or apply for planning permission to develop it but what we have created far outweighs anything financial. We have a legacy to pass on to our children because they are our future and we need to educate them to preserve our natural environment.
"Our wood has become much more to our family than we ever thought it would. Its management has produced unexpected 'family time' allowing us and our daughters to develop a strong bond with nature. Just four years on and a wide range of wildlife has moved in and we’ve got two environmental warriors in the making.” :)

Daughters Alice, 17, and Faith, 12, were stunned to hear their wood had taken the title. Chris added: “They thought I was joking when I told them. I’ve got form for pulling their legs so they didn’t believe me at first, but when it dawned on them we’d really won, they stood there open-mouthed. We are all so surprised. It’s a real privilege and means the world to us.
“We love our wood so much and this has made us realise there are others who see it the same way we do.”

Paul Martin, said: “The family really embraced the idea of creating woodland that would benefit future generations and it’s brought them together. It’s a wonderful thing. If they can do it on this small scale, anyone can.
“We need to nurture that next generation and encourage a love of nature because the next generation of trees won’t survive otherwise, and we can’t survive without trees. What the Musgroves have done is beautiful and we were delighted to proclaim their wood our winner.”

The family will receive a bench for their wood and have already had a family photoshoot.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/new...land_is_crowned_the_UK___s_best/?ref=mrb&lp=9
 

rynner2

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Cricket's summer song making a comeback
By Helen Briggs BBC News

The cheep, cheep, cheep of a cricket in the grass is the quintessential sound of summer.
As I crunch over heathland in search of the elusive insect, the song fills the air, as if conjured up by a magician.
My companion, Mike Coates, the warden here at RSPB Farnham Heath, beams with delight.

Earlier, before setting out for the reserve, he'd warned me that the insects are rare, and might not perform on cue.
"It's not so much looking, we're going to be listening mostly for the sound of male field crickets chirruping in order to attract a mate," he explained, over a mug of tea in the staff portacabin.
"It's just a brilliant noise. It's like summer translated into sound - it's fantastic."

The song of the field cricket was once a familiar soundtrack on the heaths and grasslands of south east England.
However, the sound has fallen silent in many parts of the country.

The 18th Century naturalist, Gilbert White, wrote of "field-crickets shrill on the verge of the forest" in his diaries.
Here, not far from the village of Selbourne in Hampshire, where White lived, the insects were once common.
The founding father of British natural history writing recorded in 1791: "May 29: The race of field crickets, which burrowed in the short Lythe (a field near Selbourne), and used to make such an agreeable shrilling noise the summer long, seems to be extinct.
"The boys, I believe, found the method of probing their holes with the stalks of grasses, and so fetched them out and destroyed them."

Today the field cricket, Gryllus campestris, faces threats beyond torturous children.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40587311

At first I expected this story to be about the test match!

Toby Roland-Jones has had a dream day, a golden debut that will be talked about for years.
When cricketers, or anyone in sport, burst on to the scene like he did on the second day of England's third Test against South Africa at The Oval, it is remembered for a long time.

The Middlesex pace bowler took four wickets as the visitors folded to 126-8 in reply to England's 353 all out. :D

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/40759566
 

JamesWhitehead

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"The boys, I believe, found the method of probing their holes with the stalks of grasses, and so fetched them out and destroyed them."
"I'll have it out in just a minute, Jack!"
"Are you sure that's a blade of grass, Bertie?" :pop:


I can remember the sound of crickets from summers back in sixties. Only now and again did you catch sight of them, when one hopped onto the picnic blanket. Being a thorough wimp, I was not too keen about holding them on the back of my hand . . . :worry:
 
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Coal

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I can remember the sound of crickets from summers back in sixties. Only now and again did you catch sight of them, when one hopped onto the picnic blanket.
I wonder if their absence was part of the larger decline in insect life during the 1970s and 1980s. Even in the late '80s, my Reliant's windscreen would be plastered with insects after driving home. For many years they've been absent, but I rather thought there were more this year.
 
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I think this belongs here rather than in the Toilet Talk thread.

A larger-than-life statue of New Zealand's environment minister, fashioned from horse dung, has been left outside council offices in Christchurch.

The work by artist Sam Mahon shows minister Nick Smith with his trousers round his ankles, genitals on display, defecating into a glass of water, the New Zealand Herald reports.

It's a protest against the government's water quality policy, which aims to improve water quality in lakes and rivers. Opponents say it will relax standards, however, and could expose people to harmful bacteria.

A last-minute court injunction by Environment Canterbury (ECan) failed to stop the protest. A court had banned the statue from being delivered to ECan last week, so it was carried to a public footpath nearby instead, its bare buttocks facing the regional council building.

Answering critics who thought the statue protest crude, Mr Mahon said that "If you want to make a political comment about something, coat it in chocolate. So I've got the idea of what Nick's doing to us, and if people laugh on both sides, they'll swallow the medicine." ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-41146216
 

hunck

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Mysterious new ocean ‘twilight zone’ full of previously unknown fish identified by scientists

Located between 130 and 309 metres below the surface, the zone contains many fish that are related to species found on coral reefs and were not thought to occur at such depths.

The work was conducted in the deep waters off the coast of Curacao in the southern Caribbean.

"About one in every five fish we're finding in the rariphotic [newly named] of the Caribbean is a new species," said Dr Ross Robertson, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Within an area of just 200 square metres, the scientists identified about 30 new species. Their results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Despite their deep, dark habitat, the fish species the scientists found inhabiting this region tended to resemble the colourful fish found on coral reefs rather than true deep-ocean fishes.

It may be that the rariphotic zone provides refuge for shallow-dwelling reef fishes looking for relief as climate change causes shallower waters to warm and become uninhabitable.


One of the new fish species discovered in the rariphotic, Haptoclinus dropi was named for the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project
 
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I wonder if it's in use on this side of the atlantic.

A federal court on Thursday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely used pesticide that’s been linked to learning disabilities in children and that former agency chief Scott Pruitt refused to take off the market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in a 2-to-1 decision that the EPA offered “no defense” of its decision to delay a ban on chlorpyrifos ― a move the court said violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The law governs pesticides and requires the EPA to ban chemicals from being used on food if they are proven to cause harm.

The agency has 60 days to finalize a ban.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...pmgnews__TheMorningEmail__081018&guccounter=1
 

Tribble

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I wonder if it's in use on this side of the atlantic.

A federal court on Thursday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely used pesticide that’s been linked to learning disabilities in children and that former agency chief Scott Pruitt refused to take off the market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in a 2-to-1 decision that the EPA offered “no defense” of its decision to delay a ban on chlorpyrifos ― a move the court said violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The law governs pesticides and requires the EPA to ban chemicals from being used on food if they are proven to cause harm.

The agency has 60 days to finalize a ban.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/epa-ban-pesticide-chlorpyrifos_us_5b6c6d0ce4b0ae32af96318e?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=__TheMorningEmail__081018&utm_content=__TheMorningEmail__081018 CID_43162b8f0fc8073983b008919fd31394&utm_source=Email marketing software&utm_term=HuffPost&ncid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__081018&guccounter=1
The Trump administration also seems to have no problem with neonicotinoid pesticides.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...lation-decline-wildlife-refuges-a8477631.html
 

hunck

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Report on alarming insect decline

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available

The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides. Urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors.

“If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,” said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, at the University of Sydney, Australia, who wrote the review with Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

One of the biggest impacts of insect loss is on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish that eat insects. “If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death,” he said. Such cascading effects have already been seen in Puerto Rico, where a recent study revealed a 98% fall in ground insects over 35 years.

The new analysis selected the 73 best studies done to date to assess the insect decline. Butterflies and moths are among the worst hit. For example, the number of widespread butterfly species fell by 58% on farmed land in England between 2000 and 2009. The UK has suffered the biggest recorded insect falls overall, though that is probably a result of being more intensely studied than most places.

Most of the studies analysed were done in western Europe and the US, with a few ranging from Australia to China and Brazil to South Africa, but very few exist elsewhere.

“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification,” Sánchez-Bayo said. “That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.” He said the demise of insects appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, accelerated during the 1950s and 1960s and reached “alarming proportions” over the last two decades.
 

GNC

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And I thought it was only the bees we had to worry about. Turns out they're all headed down the dumper, with us following.
 

GNC

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I don't think it's all down to pesticide use.
Many of the insect die-offs are away from agricultural areas. Some are even in remote locations.
Global warming is causing shorter and warmer winters, and many insects need the cold hibernation period for their life cycles. So there's another reason.
 

AlchoPwn

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For my money, the most important thing to do with Climate Change is that all the energy in the atmosphere turns into heat, and speeds up the process of evaporation. This means there is more water and energy in the air. The net result? Wild weather and huge storms that erode coastlines, cause floods, and of course brak lots of things. Get set for a storm of the century every year from here on in until we figure out how to manage the weather system and the place of us and our industry and lifestyles within it.
 

Coal

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For my money, the most important thing to do with Climate Change is that all the energy in the atmosphere turns into heat,
I've maintained that excess heat is the issue and Co2 is a proxy for direct heating, rather than the cause of warming itself, for some time.
 

AlchoPwn

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Add to that, loss of native habitat and food sources.
Those precious habitats get destroyed a lot faster when subjected to natural disasters. Rising ambient temperatures pose a threat to them as well of course. It's a bit of a shit storm we have started.
:sstorm:
 

hunck

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Ever wondered what happens to all that plastic you put in your recycling bin?

In 2017 China decided to ban the import of foreign plastic waste. Seems Malaysia has become a new destination.

From January to July 2018 alone, some 754,000 tonnes of plastic waste was imported into Malaysia, most of it from UK, US & Japan.
Much of it doesn't get recycled but burnt, leading to toxic smoke & breathing problems for the residents of one small town involved.
 
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