Archive | March 2015

“Antarctica Recorded Its Hottest Temperature On Record This Week”


The coldest place on Earth just got warmer than has ever been recorded.

According to the weather blog Weather Underground, on Tuesday, March 24, the temperature in Antarctica rose to 63.5°F (17.5C) — a record for the polar continent. Part of a longer heat wave, the record high came just a day after the previous record was set at 63.3°F.


“There Are Only Two ‘Big Blobs’ Of Forest Remaining On Earth”


For most, forests are something to be driven by or hiked through briefly. A new study shows just how much humankind has tailored these landscapes to our own devices at the expense of the rest of the natural world.

The findings, published this week in the journal Science Advances, offer some of the longest-term evidence available on how ecosystems and species react to habitat loss and fragmentation over time. The trend is distinctively negative.

“Did monkey business shape human society?”


In the jungles of Sulawesi, an Indonesian island, primatologist Maura Tyrrell crouches to study the behavior of a crested black macaque, an endangered Old World monkey species. Tyrrell believes the monkeys — highly intelligent, playful and engaging — can shed light on the evolution of early human social structures.


They can probably shed more light on the evolution of modern social structures!!!

“Wooly mammoth DNA successfully spliced into elephant genome”


Researchers at Harvard University are one step closer to bringing the wooly mammoth back to life, having successfully inserted wooly mammoth genes into living cells collected from an Asian elephant.

For the first time in a long time (the species became extinct 4,000 years ago), the genes of a wooly mammoth are active — reborn inside Asian elephant skin cells floating about petri dishes in the lab of lead researcher George Church.


“Occupy Amazonia? Indigenous Activists are Taking Direct Action – And It’s Working”


The native peoples of Loreto, in Peru’s Amazon basin, have just ended a month longoccupation of 14 oil wells belonging to the Argentine company Pluspetrol. Negotiations are still underway between the oil company and various other communities, represented by the indigenous association Feconaco.

“Amazon’s trees removed nearly a third less carbon in last decade – study”


The amount of carbon the Amazon’s remaining trees removed from the atmosphere fell by almost a third last decade, leading scientists to warn that manmade carbon emissions would need to be cut more deeply to tackle climate change.

Trees in untouched areas of the forest have been dying off across the basin at an increasing rate, found the study, published in Nature on Wednesday. Meanwhile the tree growth produced by higher CO2 levels in recent decades levelled off.

“Zimbabwe Ignores Pleas, Catches Baby Elephants to Send to China”


Zimbabwe has captured 20 elephants and plans to send them to China while further shipments of the animals will follow to France and the United Arab Emirates.

The country has no option but to export the elephants despite opposition from animal rights activists because it has too many of them, a government minister said.


A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences announces the development of a transparent film that uses energy from the sun to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, without some of the dangerous side effects inherent in the process.


Game changer?

“An $8 Billion Push to Cool the Globe Has Poor Countries Steaming”


Pushed by the U.S., global negotiators are again discussing a phase-out of the chemicals used in refrigerators, cars and air-conditioners worldwide. That’s creating a lucrative, if ironic, opportunity for the companies that pioneered HFCs, including Honeywell International Inc., which now sees an $8 billion-a-year market for their replacement. At the same time, the issue has opened another front in the environmental tensions between industrialized and developing nations.

Winning a global agreement is proving tricky. Talks stalled last year as developing nations including India and Saudi Arabia raised concerns about the cost and reliability of replacements for HFCs, technically called hydrofluorocarbons. Negotiations resume in Bangkok April 20 but hopes of a deal in 2015 are fading.


Warmer countries need more effective air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

“Great Barrier Reef Wins Protection With Ban on Waste Dumping”


Australia will ban companies from dumping waste in the Great Barrier Reef marine park, a victory for environmental groups that have long campaigned to protect the World Heritage-listed area.