The ocean has lost 2 percent of its oxygen in just 50 years. Now scientists have for the first time measured a devastating loss of oxygen in ancient oceans, which could help them quantify future losses. Oceans Deeply.
Top Biodiversity News
Because the reef protects the businesses on the shore in Mexico, it offers an incredible amount of economic value. Now, when it’s damaged, repairing it will be paid for. Fast Company.
Scientists have been trying to figure out why fish that normally eat algae are eating the plastic particles that float in the ocean. San Francisco KQED Public Radio, California.
Our Reporting on Biodiversity
Old growth forests are increasingly rare in U.S. cities—protecting these health-boosting relics from bulldozers, invasives and apathy is no easy feat. Environmental Health News.
In urban parks and forests, scientists dig to unearth answers to an age-old question—why are people healthier (and happier) when surrounded by nature? Environmental Health News.
It’s time to rethink our food system and acknowledge our responsibilities to renewal of resources and the rights of existence for all life forms on Earth. Environmental Health News.
Among those presenting during the three day conference are Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University and Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University. Download their working paper on the sixth great extinction here. Environmental Health News.
There should be little doubt lingering about how crucial bees are to the natural world – and to human food production. more…
Guam’s coral reefs are integral to our island’s marine ecology as well as to our tourism industry, and it’s vital that we all take steps to protect and preserve them. more…
The bay cannot afford Maryland and the rest taking their eye off the big picture, just as improvements are becoming visible. more…
Bee colony collapse
Some queen bumblebees exposed to a common insecticide may never lay eggs or start colonies, which would lead to their extinction, researchers say. CBC Canada.
Scotts Miracle-Gro, whose Ortho brand is now the leader in garden pesticides, has forged an image as the greener garden care company. Bloomberg BNA.
Another study looking at pesticides in beehives is underway in Hawaii. And results are showing a connection between agriculture-dense areas and an increase in the chemical glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — in honey. Kauai Garden Island, Hawaii.
The French capital boasts more than 700 beehives, according to 2015 figures, most located on rooftops such as those of the haute cuisine Tour d'Argent restaurant, the Grand Palais and the Musee d'Orsay. Agence France-Presse.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) wants to include a ban on pesticides linked to declining bee health in next year’s farm bill, one of several initiatives he is pushing in the legislation to reauthorize agriculture and nutrition programs. Bloomberg BNA.
Water quality and biodiversity
Though more costly than other remedies, vegetation atop buildings can meet stormwater requirements in developed areas. Chesapeake Bay Journal, Pennsylvania.
A year after Sylvie Rozon found an exposed segment of Trans-Northern pipeline on her family's land, no permanent solution has been found. National Observer, Canada.
The polluted Kasadi river in Navi Mumbai is also likely to affect human health. New Delhi Hindustan Times, India.
A pitched battle is being waged over which water sources warrant federal protection under the Clean Water Act. Who’s right, and who will prevail? Undark.
Not all algae is toxic to humans and animals, but the type of blue-green algae growing in Milwaukee's Veterans Park lagoon is. Milwaukee WUWM, Wisconsin.
Hanford Reach is a free-flowing section of the Columbia River that has been used by Native Americans since millennia for hunting and fishing. Indian Country Media Network.
Climate change, sewage and fertilizers could trigger mass extinction of life in oceans, scientists warn.
Areas of low oxygen known as 'dead zones' are spreading, killing or forcing marine life to flee. The Independent, United Kingdom.
Hope alone won’t halt climate change but Al Gore’s latest film highlights the role optimism can play. more…
It's an appealing idea, a vast forest to soak up the extra carbon released due to Trump's policies, but it may not be so easy in reality. more…
Impacts of toxification
California researchers have found a unique creature that spins a three-dimensional undersea net—one that can capture these tiny floating bits of plastic. Wired.
A quarter of major rivers are ‘critically endangered.’ Johannesburg Times, South Africa.
It passes the sniff test, but it shouldn't. Popular Science.
Water quantity and biodiversity
Hot and dry weather stoked another round of wildfires burning across southern Europe on Sunday as firefighters in Greece, Portugal and the French island of Corsica struggled to corral the flames. Associated Press.
More than 3,000 firemen struggled to put out forest fires across Portugal on Sunday, after the country requested assistance from Europe to fight blazes that threaten to spread with more hot weather in the coming days. Reuters.
The monster El Niño weather pattern of 2014–16 caused tropical forests to burp up 3 billion tons of carbon, according to a new analysis. Nature.
While fires are not unheard of along the ice-free edges of the island, the large one near Sisimiut is noteworthy for its size and duration, scientists say. Mashable.
The persistence of New Jersey’s Pinelands is no small feat in a state so top-heavy with industrial development and metropolitan sprawl. Yale Environment 360.
It can take years for a tropical forest to return to its previous levels of photosynthesis and growth, and, as the frequency and severity of droughts increases, they may soon outpace the region's ability to recover entirely. Pacific Standard.
Soybean cultivation cutting deep into the Cerrado is turning Brazil’s vast wooded savanna into farmland, a transformation so swift that endemic species are being pushed to extinction and even the country’s water supply could be affected, scientists and environmental groups warn. Bloomberg BNA.
A genetically engineered, freeze-tolerant eucalyptus tree is moving closer to receiving approval from the USDA. Washington Post.
Solutions and Good News
As fish populations crash elsewhere, towns limit catches to stabilize harvests, boost tourism, and preserve a way of life. National Geographic Magazine.
An Inuit group and the federal government are creating a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound that will be – by far – Canada’s largest. Globe and Mail, Ontario.
With pesticides and other factors still stressing bees, the overall increase is largely the result of constant replenishment of losses, the study showed. Bloomberg News.
Although Long Island Sound’s cleanup was cut from President Trump’s 2018 budget, Congress has restored $8 million aimed at keeping Connecticut’s water gem pollution free — or as close to it as possible. Hearst News Service.
A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years. The Guardian.
Climate impacts on biodiversity
The 'haul out' of Pacific walruses along the Alaska coast is the earliest known and comes as global temperatures and loss of sea ice near records. InsideClimate News.
The mainstay of the Swiss forestry industry is in danger of dying out this century because of warmer temperatures. The Guardian.
Parts of Portugal, beset by its deadliest summer of wildfires in living memory, were declared in a state of public calamity on Thursday as the government put emergency services on alert for further outbreaks. Reuters.
Natural and human factors made Sierra Leone's capital vulnerable to a landslide that killed more than 400 people this week: heavy rain, deforested land and communities forced by overcrowding to live on steep hillsides. Reuters.
The Arctic’s most famed shipwrecks lie in these waters. Scientists are still learning what else lies beneath.
As climate change opens new ecosystems to human activity, scientists are racing to understand and protect the pristine waters. Washington Post.
The wildfires of tomorrow will be like nothing we’ve ever seen. But the debates they’ll spark have already been raging for more than a century. bioGraphic.
Heavy rains streaming down a hill in Regent triggered a landslide that engulfed homes 3 or 4 storeys high, many of them built illegally. Agence France-Presse.
Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center near Saegertown, Penn., typically treats two or three eagles each year for lead poisoning. But in recent weeks, the center has admitted four adult bald eagles, two of which still had the metal in their stomachs. GoErie.com, Ohio.
While many questions remain about this elusive species' ecology, it's widely believed that palm oil development severely threatens its long-term survival in the wild. Mongabay.
People around the world have pledged to plant 250,000 trees to counter the US President's "disgraceful" decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Deutsche Welle, Germany.
The field of conservation may be hemorrhaging passionate, qualified, and innovative young people. Mongabay.
Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia wanted to find out if "ramp-up sequences" allow whales to acclimate to foreign noise. United Press International.
State mines minister rejects two applications at reserves west of Cape Tribulation which campaigners say should set a precedent. The Guardian.
Yes, whales. In New York. The whales aren’t alone. Dolphins and seals are now commonplace in New York Harbor, and a project to restore oysters to what was once known as “the oyster capital of the world” is yielding new oyster reefs in the New York-New Jersey estuary. Los Angeles Times.
A biologist traced mercury from a company spill to contamination in songbirds, and devised a new way to hold polluters financially accountable. Audubon Magazine.
Against a backdrop of rising deforestation and violence against activists, environmentalists are accusing Brazil's president of pushing legislation that will benefit loggers and land-grabbers in the Amazon region. Deutsche Welle, Germany.
NGOs in Sarawak and around the world report failures by the Sarawak government to uphold indigenous land rights, and failures by international banks and investors to ensure their investments are conflict-free. Mongabay.
Bolivia has given the go ahead to a controversial highway which would cut through an Amazon biodiversity hotspot almost the size of Jamaica and home to 14,000 mostly indigenous people. The Guardian.