Monday, May 31, 2010

Geo Thermal Energy in India

Geothermal energy is the earth’s natural heat available inside the earth. This thermal energy contained in the rock and fluid that filled up fractures and pores in the earth’s crust can profitably be used for various purposes.[i]Heat from the Earth, or geothermal — Geo (Earth) + thermal (heat) — energy can be and is accessed by drilling water or steam wells in a process similar to drilling for oil. Geothermal energy is an enormous, underused heat and power resource that is clean (emits little or no greenhouse gases), reliable (average system availability of 95%), and homegrown (making us less dependent on foreign oil).Tata Power Company Ltd plans to produce 5 MW of power,each from geothermal and solar power plants in Gujarat, with an investment of Rs 200 crore.It is exploring various options in this regard.

Canada proposes killing grey seals to combat declining fish stocks in the waters off Nova Scotia

A recently disclosed proposal calls for the killing of a whopping 220 thousand grey seals to combat declining fish stocks in the waters off Nova Scotia--lobbyists say the seals have been eating too much cod.
Reported By treehugger.com

World No Tobacco Day: Owen Graham, Vice-President of the Non-Smokers Movement of Australia and dressed as Doctor Death

Human HealthHuman HealthOwen Graham, Vice-President of the Non-Smokers Movement of Australia and dressed as Doctor Death, helps to promote a smoke free central business district message for Sydney on World No Tobacco Day on May 31, 2010. The World Health Organisation celebrates World No Tobacco Day on May 31 each year, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating policies to reduce consumption. AFP

World No Tobacco Day in Pictures : Sand Art ( Puri beach, India)

People watch a sand art on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking on the eve of World No Tobacco Day at Puri beach. PTI

Israeli commandos attack flotilla of six ships carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza early Monday

Israeli commandos killed at least 10 people in pre-dawn raids on a flotilla of six ships carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza early Monday, the country's military said.Turkey, Greece and Sweden demanded explanations from their Israeli ambassadors. Hundreds of people of various nationalities were aboard the ships. "We are shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on board boats carrying supplies for Gaza, apparently in international waters," said a joint statement from Robert Serry, U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and Filippo Grandi, commissioner-general of the UN Relief and Works Agency. "We condemn the violence and call for it to stop."
Reported CNN.

Creative Handicraft: Empowering under privileged women



Creative Handicrafts' single retail outlet on Hill Road, Bandra, India.Twenty-five years ago a Spanish missionary called Isabel Martin lived in Andheri and her congregation consisted mainly of women from the nearby slums, many of whom were victims of poverty and domestic violence. So, when the women suggested that Sister Isabel help them find a way to become economically independent, she partnered with a local community organization to provide the things the women needed before they could even consider getting jobs: a creche, sponsorship to keep kids in school, and drug and alcohol counseling for some of the husbands. It was two of the slum women themselves who eventually launched sewing classes and began to teach other women to make soft toys, clothes and other traditional handicrafts. Sister Isabel helped by using her networks to place these items locally as well as in Spain, France and Germany. More than two decades after those first sewing lessons, Creative Handicrafts employs 300 women full time and creates work for up to 400 seasonal workers. And international buyers include Carrefour in Spain and Martha Traders in the United States.
Reported By CNN.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Vermont Organic Fiber Co. the leading organic wool supplier of yarns and fabrics and makers of O-Wool in the U.S. have begun liquidation

The Vermont Organic Fiber Co. the leading organic wool supplier of yarns and fabrics and makers of O-Wool in the U.S. have begun liquidation due to the rough economic climate.
Reported by treehugger.com

Climate Bill: Change proposed Utility Climate Bill


Sen. Lindsey Graham, added a new wrinkle, stripping the climate bill to just an electric utility industry tax. Graham thinks that by doing so a bill could muster the support of 60 Senators and that it would send the right market signals to prompt growth in nuclear power generation and renewable energy.
REported By treehugger.com

Top Kill fails, BP is going to increase the effort to stopp the oil spill.New Option : lower marine riser package

BP on Sunday said it will strengthen its efforts to stop the flow of oil and protect the coastline after the most recent attempt to stop the Gulf oil spill failed.The most recent setback was the failure of the so-called "top kill" method of pumping mud to plug the leak. the new option: A custom-built cap will be fitted over a piece of equipment called the "lower marine riser package."
The process will involve a clean cut of the lower marine riser package, where a cap will then be lowered. The company will circulate warm water around the area to prevent the freezing that hindered a previous dome-cap effort.
Reported By BCC.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scientists Detect Huge Carbon 'Burp' That Helped End Last Ice Age


Scientists have found the possible source of a huge carbon dioxide 'burp' that happened some 18,000 years ago and which helped to end the last ice age.
The results provide the first concrete evidence that carbon dioxide (CO2) was more efficiently locked away in the deep ocean during the last ice age, turning the deep sea into a more 'stagnant' carbon repository -- something scientists have long suspected but lacked data to support.

Throughout the past two million years (the Quaternary), the Earth has alternated between ice ages and warmer interglacials. These changes are mainly driven by alterations in the Earth's orbit around the sun (the Milankovic theory).
But changes in Earth's orbit could only have acted as the 'pace-maker of the ice ages' with help from large, positive feedbacks that turned this solar 'nudge' into a significant global energy imbalance.
Changes in atmospheric CO2 were one of the most important of these positive feedbacks, but what drove these changes in CO2 has remained uncertain.
Because the ocean is a large, dynamic reservoir of carbon, it has long been suspected that changes in ocean circulation must have played a major role in motivating these large changes in CO2. In addition, the Southern Ocean around Antarctica is expected to have been an important centre of action, because this is where deep water can be lifted up to the sea surface and 'exhale' its CO2 to the atmosphere.

“Greening” Fisheries Could Calm Troubled Waters


The global fishing industry is suffering from a "failure of management" that will likely lead to the collapse of several fisheries unless unsustainable subsidies are scaled down or phased out, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Fishing is a critical means of providing food, livelihood, trade, and economic growth in many developing countries, as well as the United States and other developed countries. In many small island developing nations and coastal countries-such as Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, and Ghana-fish provide at least 50 percent of the population's total animal protein intake. And approximately 43.5 million people's year-round incomes depend on fish production while another 4 million people depend on seasonal jobs as fishers and fish product workers.
Currently, some 52 percent of the world's marine fisheries are fully exploited and producing at or near their maximum limits. Another 28 percent are categorized as overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion. When fisheries collapse, the result is more than just the loss of fish life: livelihoods, communities, and entire economies are ruined.
Though the current outlook for fisheries may be troubling, researchers say that all is not lost. According to the Green Economy Initiative's report, an $8 billion annual investment in rebuilding and greening the world's fisheries could have a positive and lasting impact on the fishing industry worldwide. The funding would come from scaling down or phasing out the nearly $30 billion worth of subsidies currently in place worldwide. Researchers say this investment has the potential to both increase fish catches and generate $1.7 trillion in longterm economic returns over the next four decades.

US Army will be building a Huge Solar Thermal Power Plant at Fort Irwin, California

The Army will be joining with an unnamed private sector partner to build a 500 MW solar thermal power plant at Fort Irwin, California. The plant will supply both power to the public electric grid as well as the base itself. The Army is touting the project as providing greater energy security in the event of a disruption to the power supply at large.
Reported By: treehugger.com

Dauphin Island - the US Army has launched a plan turning the Gulf oil spil into a gelatinous solid , which will be turned into turned into asphalt

In order to protect the coastline at Dauphin Island -- a site where tar balls have made landfall and hundreds of fish are washing up dead on the beach -- the US Army has launched a highly experimental plan to prevent any oil from reaching its shores. It plans on trapping the oil in Hesco baskets and then applying a chemical called CI Agent, turning the oil into a gelatinous solid. That solid, comprised from oil from the gulf spill, will then be collected and turned into asphalt.
Reported By: treehugger.com

Eyewear company Modo is looking to make a big splash with its new line of green eyeglasses, called ECO- Earth Conscious Optics.

Eyewear company Modo is looking to make a big splash with its new line of green eyeglasses, called ECO- Earth Conscious Optics. For around $130, you can look good and feel better, knowing that your designer eye wear is made from at least 95- if not 100- percent recycled stainless steel and repurposed plastic. Modo is touting the new line as "a radically new approach to eyewear," which "reinterprets the whole product lifecycle in an environmentally sustainable way."
Reported By: Treehugger.com

Leonardo DiCaprio : who has his own environmental foundation, donates to the NRDC ,developing his own eco-hotel.

Leonardo DiCaprio -- who has his own environmental foundation, lends his voice to multiple documentaries, donates to the NRDC and other charities, and is developing his own eco-hotel in Belize.
Reported By: treehugger.com

200 UN member nations have agreed to work towards a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East. US President Barack Obama backed the deal.

Nearly 200 nations, signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), have agreed to work towards a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The members, meeting at the UN in New York, called for a conference in 2012 attended by Middle Eastern states - including Iran - to establish the zone. The unanimously agreed document also said that Israel should sign the NPT. US President Barack Obama backed the deal but said he was "strongly opposed" to Israel being singled out.
Reported By: BBC

Honeywell, Google,the Big Three automakers have approached President Obama for action on the climate bill

A group of 60 companies, together with environmental groups, delivered a letter to President Obama and Sens. Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid yesterday calling for action on the Senate climate bill. No one knows the fate of the Kerry-Lieberman bill, introduced earlier this month, but big names like the Big Three automakers, Honeywell, and Google are saying the time for action is now.
Reported By: Treehugger.com

Hurricanes could complicate the clean-up of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and damage other offshore pipelines


With the hurricane season looming, a study says storm-induced underwater currents may spark mudslides on the seafloor.
This could break oil pipes, but the leaks could be small and difficult to detect, they say.
The study will be released on 10 June by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
The researchers further warn that the damage could have irreversible impacts on the environment.
Hurricane studies are nothing new - scientists have long known that storms can create waves some 20m high. Damage to oil pipelines has also been noticed in the past, but the recent research was able to measure the huge forces hurricanes exert at great depths (bottom stress).
The scientists based their study on the observations of the powerful category 4 Hurricane Ivan that raked the Gulf of Mexico in 2004. They installed six large sensors on the seafloor to record changes induced by hurricanes in underwater currents. The oceanographers found that currents became so strong that they triggered mudslides - powerful enough to break pipelines or other underwater equipment.
This is not good news for the Gulf of Mexico, whose seabed is criss-crossed with some 50,000km of pipelines. The region provides almost a third of the US oil supply and about a quarter of its natural gas, but it is prone to hurricanes - especially early in the season, which officially begins on 1 June.

More UK bathing beaches have excellent water quality than last year, but pollution has worsened since 2006


It rated 421 of 769 beaches as excellent - 33 more than 2009, but below the 505 rated highly in 2006.
It blamed heavy rainfall during the past three summers for overloading sewage systems and washing fertiliser and pollutants onto beaches.
It also warned that several popular beaches would fail EU rules from 2015.
The annual Good Beach Guide is published on Friday and lists results of water quality tests conducted from May to September 2009.
It warned that stricter EU regulations, due to come into force in 2015, will see 83 beaches fail even the minimum water quality standard unless improvements are carried out.

The society said this caused overloaded sewer systems to discharge raw sewage on to some beaches, and pollutants such as animal waste, fertilisers and refuse to be washed from farm land and city streets into rivers and the sea.

US President Barack Obama has ordered a tripling of manpower in coastal areas where oil has washed ashore or threatens to within 24 hours.


Speaking on a tour of oil-hit areas, Mr Obama said the US would "do whatever it takes" to help those affected.
The oil company BP says operations to seal the hole in the damaged well are continuing.
BP chief executive Tony Hayward said the outcome would not be clear for another 48 hours.
He said the new "top kill" effort - untested before at this depth of 5,000ft (1.5km) - was "going pretty well according to plan".
Mr Obama said the additional manpower would lay more booms, clean beaches and monitor stricken wildlife.
He said 20,000 people had already been deployed to contain and clean up the spill.
Doug Suttles of BP: ''We've had periods of pumping followed by periods of monitoring''
He said US Energy Secretary Steven Chu was leading a team of "the world's top scientists, engineers and experts" in devising a contingency plan should the "top kill" attempt fail.
"Our response will continue with its full force regardless of the outcome of the top-kill approach," he told reporters.
Mr Obama said he would take responsibility for "solving this crisis", though he said BP would be held financially accountable for the "enormous damage".
"I'm the president and the buck stops with me," he said.
Earlier on the tour, Mr Obama visited a beach guarded by a protective boom, and was seen stooping to inspect the sand and picking up a handful of tar balls.
Thousands of barrels of oil have been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico after a Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank last month, killing 11 employees.
The thick crude oil has already permeated more than 110km (70 miles) of Louisiana's coastline, threatening fragile wetlands and putting the vital fishing industry at risk.
Earlier, Mr Hayward has said that BP engineers had successfully completed a second phase of the "top kill" procedure - pumping in debris, known as a "junk shot" - which would next allow them to pump in more heavyweight mud.
If the mud works in stopping the flow, BP can then pour cement to seal the well for good.
In a shake-up of the offshore oil industry, Mr Obama on Thursday suspended test drilling on 33 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as halting exploratory deepwater drilling for another six months.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Australia has said it will begin legal action against Japan over its whaling in the Antarctic.


It will argue that the annual whaling hunt in the Southern Ocean is in violation of an international ban on commercial whaling. Japan, which kills hundreds of whales ever year, says the hunt is carried out for scientific research purposes. Critics say this is a cover for commercial whaling and that whale meat not used in research is sold for food.
The Australian government says it will lodge formal proceedings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague next week.
There has been a ban on commercial whaling for 25 years, but a Japanese whaling fleet heads to the Southern Ocean each southern summer to harpoon hundreds of whales as part of what it calls lethal research, which is allowed.
Japan is Australia's second biggest trading partner, and Canberra says it hopes the move will not damage their friendly relations. The Japanese fisheries ministry has described the legal action as "very disappointing".
The Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the two countries have agreed to treat the matter as "an independent legal arbitration of a disagreement between friends".

Society to review climate message


The UK's Royal Society is reviewing its public statements on climate change after 43 Fellows complained that it had oversimplified its messages. They said the communications did not properly distinguish between what was widely agreed on climate science and what is not fully understood.
The society's ruling council has responded by setting up a panel to produce a consensus document. The panel should report in July and the report is to be published in September.
It is chaired by physicist John Pethica, vice-president of the Royal Society.
Its deliberations are reviewed by two critical sub-groups, each believed to comprise seven members.
Each of these groups contains a number of society Fellows who are doubtful in some way about the received view of the risks of rising CO2 levels.

A Royal Society pamphlet Climate Change Controversies is the main focus of the criticism. A version of it is on the organisation's website. It was written in response to attacks on mainstream science which the Royal Society considered scurrilous.
It reads: "This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change…"
One Fellow who said he was not absolutely convinced of the dangers of CO2 told me: "This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned - that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that.

Professor Lindzen says the "unprecedented" statement is misleading because neither the current warming nor the CO2 level are unprecedented. He complains that the statement on uncertainties is also misleading because it does not reveal that uncertainties about future climate projections are, in his view, immense.

A spokesman for the society defended the letter, saying that the rise in man-made CO2 was indeed unprecedented. But Professor Lindzen told me: "This is part of an inflation of a scientific position which has sadly become rather routine for spokesmen for scientific bodies."

Coalition wants UK space lift-off


The new science minister David Willetts says space is an important growth sector for the UK economy and he intends to do all he can to support it.

UK space had witnessed some key developments just prior to the General Election. These included the establishment of an executive space agency, and the production of a major report that set out a strategy to grow the British space industry over the next 20 years, creating 100,000 jobs in the process.
Mr Willetts acknowledged that the election process had paused the momentum, but he told the Council that he was ready to push forward again.
He paid tribute to his predecessor, the Labour science minister Lord Drayson, for his efforts on space, and said the coalition had no intention of tearing up good work just for the sake of it.

Mr Willetts reaffirmed his desire to make the space agency a truly executive body with control over policy and funding that hitherto has been spread across government departments and science research bodies.

He highlighted the role satellites could play in climate monitoring, and in providing universal access to broadband internet. And he said he wanted to see the UK take part in the emerging global space tourism business.

Finally, on the issue of space science, the minister said he would be talking to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to see how its "controversies" in recent years could be resolved.

Chernobyl-sized catastrophe could be brewing under, the sea. iRobot is helping with the Seaglider to determine the environmental impact of Oill Spill

Louisiana State University professor Ed Overton leans out of a fishing boat and dunks a small jar beneath the surface of the oil-covered water. "God, what a mess," he says under his breath, scooping up a canister of the oil that's been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. As one oceanographer put it, a Chernobyl-sized catastrophe could be brewing under the sea. Scientists are already rushing to determine the environmental impact of the Gulf oil spill, and iRobot is helping with the Seaglider, an unmanned underwater vehicle that has been sent to the ocean floor to prowl for submerged oil.
Reported by treehugger.com and CNN.

Australia threatens Japan with legal acyion over whaling

Threatened for some time now, Australia has begun legal action against Japan to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean. Formal proceedings will begin in The Hague next week and would lead to a provisional order for Japan to halt whaling ahead of a full hearing. As you might imagine, the Japanese fisheries ministry isn't too pleased.
Reported By treehugger.com

US President Barack Obama is visiting Louisiana to inspect the damage and the clean up operation


US President Barack Obama has arrived in Louisiana to view first-hand the damage wrought by what is said to be the largest oil spill in US history.  Mr Obama was first heading to inspect a beach being guarded by a protective boom.

Reports BBC.

BP CEO Hayward , says Gulf of Mexico Oill Spill is an environmental catastrophe. Some Success in top kill.

BP has measured "some success" in the Gulf of Mexico with a risky procedure known as "top kill," which has never been tried before a mile under the ocean's surface, the company's top executive said Friday.The oil flow stopped when heavy drilling mud was being pumped into the well at high pressure, but it was too early to tell whether the operation will be able to permanently keep oil from gushing out, said Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive officer. The oil giant plans to resume pumping mud later Friday. "Clearly, while we're pumping mud there is no oil and gas coming into the sea," Hayward said. A live video feed from the ocean floor showed a thick brown stream gushing into the water. That material was almost all nontoxic, water-based mud -- not oil -- he said.
Hayward, who had previously said the environmental impact on Gulf of Mexico would be modest, upgraded his assessment Friday to an "environmental catastrophe."
Reports CNN.

Apple Worth More than Microsoft


The rivalry of the decade finally settled? Considering the fact that the common man started associating the word 'iPod' with every music player and the word 'iPhone' with every smartphone, it does not come as too much of a surprise that Apple has now surpassed Microsoft to become the largest tech company in the world and the second largest company overall in the US, in terms of market capitalization. Market capitalization, for noobs, is simply the product of number of 'outstanding shares' of the company in the market, by the share price. It has been the story of the decade, the turn around of Hollywood proportions. In 1997, Michael Dell, whose company now does not value a tenth of Apple, suggested that Apple should "close up the shop and return money to shareholders". But, after churning out one iconic product after another, Apple made sure that its share rose from a paltry $10 to nearly $250, a rise of about 2500%. However, the speedily growing value attached to Apple by investors also heralds a cultural shift. It seems that consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Satara: Dutch fashion label's sustainable business practices: The non-profit trains and supports underprivileged women in developing nations with the aim of achieving gender equality and the eradication of poverty.

Satara: Dutch fashion label's sustainable business practices: The non-profit trains and supports underprivileged women in developing nations with the aim of achieving gender equality and the eradication of poverty. Satara works with talented graduates from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute who teach their skills to seamstresses in India while the Mann Deshi microcredit bank provides local support. Volunteers from Dutch universities also lend assistance at home and abroad. As the website says, "This network has the will and ability to create a sustainable clothing and textiles production network in India, and in doing so bring underprivileged women confidence, independence, and ultimately hope for a better future for themselves and their children."


Reported By Treehugger.com

President Obama is expected to announce tough new drilling regulations after a key report into the spill is released

President Obama is expected to announce tough new drilling regulations after a key report into the spill is released. The preliminary report from the US Department of the Interior will focus on lessons to be learned from the disaster. Mr Obama is expected to order tighter safeguards for offshore drilling and to extend a ban on new permits for drilling in the Arctic.
Reported By: BBC.

BP says its operation to pump mud into a breached Gulf of Mexico oil well to try to stem the flow of oil caused by a rig explosion is going to plan

BP says its operation to pump mud into a breached Gulf of Mexico oil well to try to stem the flow of oil caused by a rig explosion is going to plan. The US government is backing the "top kill" procedure, which has never been tried at such a depth. BP is under intense pressure to succeed after previous attempts to stem the leak failed.
Reported By BBC.

The Alaotra Grebe, a small diving bird native to Madagascar has been officially classified extinct

The Alaotra Grebe, a small diving bird native to Madagascar has been officially classified extinct, according to a leading bird conservation organization.BirdLife International reported that the species, once found on Lake Alaotra, the largest lake in Madagascar, declined rapidly due to carnivorous fish being introduced to the lake and the use of nylon gill nets by local fishermen.
Reported By CNN.

The Great (Fire)Wall of China


If you happen to be in mainland China by chance and search a seemingly harmless word “Huluobo” (Mandarin for carrot!), you would get a plain white blank screen. Mammoth and sophisticated, yet evidently crude at times: the Great Firewall of China.
Internet regulation in China is done by Internet Monitoring and Surveillance units in every city plus three huge firewalls in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Websites, blogs, chatrooms and even text messages are scanned and matched against a list of “sensitive” terms. If found “objectionable, obscene or a threat to stability of the country” you either get a blank screen on your computer or mobile, or search results with descriptions but no hyperlinks to the banned sites. So your quest for more information about “carrot” is censored because in Mandarin, it matches the surname of the Chinese President Hu Jintao. And yes, searching about their political leaders is not allowed. Other so-called “objectionable” content includes the unemployment statistics of the country.
Although it has received severe criticism from human rights activists, the Chinese censorship model is seen by many countries that plan to censor internet as a successful model in place.
This belief stems from the fact that censorship in China is not only about firewalls and scanners.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Zealander Peter Bethune, an activist accused of interfering with Japan's whaling fleet is scheduled to begin in a Japanese court Thursday

The trial of an activist accused of interfering with Japan's whaling fleet is scheduled to begin in a Japanese court Thursday. Peter Bethune, 44, faces five criminal counts, including trespassing, in an incident earlier this year in the waters off the Antartic where Japan conducts its annual whaling expedition.Bethune belongs to the activist group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The group said the New Zealander was attempting to make a citizen's arrest of the Shonan Maru 2 skipper for the January collision that sank the Ady Gil, a futuristic vessel used to intercept and block harpoon ships.
Reported by CNN.

Shrinking of the Aral Sea has been one of the world's most shocking man-made environmental disasters. Kazakhstan,and World Bank trying to save it.

The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been described as one of the world's most shocking man-made environmental disasters. The sea lost over 90 percent of its area after the rivers that fed it were diverted to irrigate cotton crops elsewhere in the arid region in the 1960s. But there is now an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan, supported by the World Bank, to save the north part of the Aral Sea. In 2005 work on the $86 million Kok-Aral Dyke was completed, separating the North Aral from the rest of the sea. It has helped to raise the sea level by about 12 meters from its lowest level in 2003.
Reports CNN.

In Web 2.0 maps will be colour coded to represent and highlight world's endangered coral reefs.

In Web 2.0 maps will be colour coded to represent and highlight world's endangered coral reefs. The features of interactive maps will be used by Reefs at Risk Revisited, a conservation and research project headed by the World Resources Institute. The online map is being used to collect data from nearly 30 project partners, including WWF and Conservation International, and the final report will be freely available to the public.

Reports CNN.

Global warming to affect small mammals more severely

Small Mammals are very vulnerable to global warming. A study by the Stanford University has reached to this conclusion. They have found evidence that the population of small mammals were affected during the last round of Global warming around 12000 years ago. Many species, say researchers, have never recovered their populations leaving them vulnerable to future rises in temperature. Deposits in Samwell Cave in the foothills of the southern Cascades mountain range revealed that populations of gophers and voles during the period (the end of the Pleistocene epoch) were on a par with those of deer mice. But while the deer mice population thrived in the warming period and has become one of the most common small mammals in the U.S. today, gophers, voles and other small species' populations fell away permanently.
Reports CNN.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beijing Zoo puts their animals on menu


You might think that a zoo's mission is to care for animals and to educate the general public about the fascinating creatures that we share our planet with. For most zoos, that's the case, but the Beijing Zoo operates a bit differently. You can't feed the animals, but you can eat them (or at least, their relatives); the zoo's restaurant serves things like the webbed toes of hippopotamus, dishes made with crocodiles, scorpions, kangaroo tail, deer penis, ant soup, shark fin soup, peacock, etc. Until recently, signs on the animals' cages even contained information about which parts were tastiest and which parts could be used to make traditional medicine (aka placebos, for the most part).
That's exactly the problem. Zoos should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. China is already facing the extinction of many species, and animal welfare doesn't seem to be a priority for most of the authorities. If at least zoos were educating the general public instead of giving them hippo recipe ideas...

Some sharks can become invisible


Light trickery allows for optical illusion to prey and predators .In open water, there is often no place to hide. Some sharks have overcome this problem by making themselves invisible to both prey and predators, according to a new study.
Light trickery permits the optical illusion, described in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. The findings represent the first experimental tests of shark luminescence. This means they can produce and emit light from their bodies.
This shark's shimmer originates from light emitting organs called photophores from underneath its body, effectively creating a glow from that region.

Floods drive thousands from homes in Poland Death toll rises to 15; damage estimated at more than $2.5 billion


The death toll from the worst floods to hit Poland in over a decade reached 15 Monday, as flood waters spread toward the north of the country and burst through a dike, officials said.
Heavy rain has caused damage estimated at more than $2.5 billion over the last week, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes along the Vistula river, which flows from the southern Tatra mountains into the Baltic.
The situation was particularly bad Monday in the village of Swiniary, 50 miles northwest of Warsaw, where water from the Vistula punched a 165-feet-long hole in a dike.
"Emergency services have blown up the river embankment below the hole to help the water return to the river bed," Interior Ministry spokeswoman Malgorzata Wozniak said. "The flood barriers in many parts of Poland are in a very poor condition now after days of inundation."
Embankments were also blown up over the weekend in the town of Sandomierz in southern Poland to relieve conditions there.
Poland's interior ministry said it had assigned $46 million for people who suffered most from the floods and that each household would receive $1,812 to secure basic supplies of food and clothing.
Poland's meteorology institute said it expected more rain in the northern parts of the country in the next few days.

India: Tax hike a Solution ?

Out of 1.1 billion smokers across the world, a staggering 120 million live in india .In quick summery,raising taxes on cigerrates and bidis to internationally recommended levels would not only save millions of lives but also will generate additional revenue for the government to the tune of rs 180 billion,according to american and canadian economist and public health specialist.The taxes on tobacoo are far too low compared to developed economies.The WHO recommends that taxes on cigerrates be 65 per cent to 80 percent of the retail price.In india the figure is as low as 40 per cent. however if the figures is rasied to 75 percent it can ward off 3.4 million premature tobacoo related deaths and as well as raise the govt exchequer by Rs. 146.3 billion each year.The situation is same with bidis,though 85 percent of indian smoke bidis ,the product is taxed at 9 percent of its retail price.

Fish with nine hands like fins is one of the newly discovered species. It is one of the endangered species.

Fish with nine hands like fins is one of the newly discovered species. It is one of the endangered species.

President Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have supported South Korea in this latest standoff. North Korea threatens

Tensions have been mounting between North Korea and South Korea. North Korea threatens South Korea with dire consequences if it continues its offensive. South Korea on the other hand has been trying to muster up international support for action against North Korea for deliberately sinking it warship with a torpedo attack. Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have supported the South Koreans in this latest standoff. The tensions have got the financial markets tumbling across the world. South Korea has already come up with various restrictive measure against North Korea.

Polar Bears will be affected by climate change and global warming adversely

The climate change and global warming will affect Polar Bears adversely. There reproduction and survival will be severely impacted. Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears, a new study has concluded. The research is the first to directly model how changing climate will affect polar bear reproduction and survival. Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behavior and ecology, it predicts pregnancy rates will fall and fewer bears will survive fasting during longer ice-free seasons. These changes will happen suddenly as bears pass a 'tipping point'. Details of the research are published in the journal Biological Conservation.

BP has committed to set aside $ 500 million for studying the impact of the Oil spill on the environment.

BP has committed to set aside $ 500 million for studying the impact of the Oil spill on the environment. This move silences the critics who have been vociferously attacking BP for its in ability to handle the emergency situation arising out of the oil spill. The money will be spending over a period of ten years. The U.S. government has also been pressurizing BP to act fast. Recently BP shares have been tumbling as investors feel that the loss in reputation in the US market would severely affect its financials.

BP will use “top kill” approach to seal the spilling oil well, says , BP CEO Tony Hayward

On Wednesday BP will again try to cap the oil well which has been spilling oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It will try the “top Kill” approach which has a success rate of 60-70%. BP plans to pump thick, viscous fluid twice the density of water into the site of the leak to stop the flow so the well can then be sealed with cement. The whole operation will be carried out about a mile below the sea surface.

BP CEO, Tony Hayward promises to clean every drop of oil from the Gulf of Mexico Coast

BP CEO, Tony Hayward committed that BP will clean up every drop of oil that from the coast operations are undergoing. He added ""We will remediate any environmental damage and we will put the Gulf Coast right and back to normality as fast as we can.". Company off late has been under severe criticism for undermining the environmental impact of the oil spill.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Planet eating Star captured by Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured evidence of a Sun-like star "eating" a nearby planet.
Astronomers knew that stars were capable of swallowing planets in orbit around them, but this is the first time the event has been "seen" so clearly. Although the planet was too far away for Hubble to photograph, scientists have created an image of it, based on analysis of the telescope's data. The discovery was published in the The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

BA passengers are headed for trouble as the strike by the cabin crew begins, It is claimed tweets by Unite’s Derek Simpson breaks talks

BA passengers are headed for trouble as the strike by the cabin crew begins. The cabin crew is on a five day strike after their talks with the airline over pay and working conditions failed. BA is in a downward slide, it has reported record losses. Also it has often been affected by strikes by its employees. It is reported that the talks failed as Walsh realized that that Derek Simpson, Unite’s joint general secretary, was sending ‘tweets’ of the progress on Twitter. A rather strange walks to end talks.
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