Turtles and Dugongs

The "turtle and dugong capital of the world", the northern Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait region, faces increased pressure under climate change from human actions such as fishing, hunting, onshore development and pollution. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 square miles. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.

Fraud and Conspiracy found at a Syracuse-based Environmental Firm

A federal jury in Utica, New York has found Syracuse-based Certified Environmental Services, Inc (CES), two of its managers, and one of its employees guilty of conspiracy and fraud relating to violations of the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act was put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect citizens from harmful air emissions. One of the pollutants which the act covers is asbestos fibers.

Ending Hunger in Africa

As hunger and drought spread across Africa, there's a huge focus on increasing yields of staple crops, such as maize, wheat, cassava, and rice. Although these crops are important for improving food security, they cannot cure malnutrition alone. There is no one-size fits all or single crop solution to solving global hunger, alleviating poverty, or protecting the environment and mitigating climate change. But the good news is that there is a multi-crop solution and it's already being spear-headed by farmers on the ground: vegetables.

Tropics in decline – WWF 2010 Living Planet report

New analysis shows populations of tropical species are plummeting and humanity’s demands on natural resources are sky-rocketing to 50 per cent more than the earth can sustain, reveals the 2010 edition of WWF's Living Planet Report – the leading survey of the planet’s health. The biennial report, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, uses the global Living Planet Index as a measure of the health of almost 8,000 populations of more than 2,500 species. The global Index shows a decrease by 30 per cent since 1970, with the tropics hardest hit showing a 60 per cent decline in less than 40 years. "There is an alarming rate of biodiversity loss in low-income, often tropical countries while the developed world is living in a false paradise, fuelled by excessive consumption and high carbon emissions," said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.

Growing Population and Climate

Changes in population growth and composition, including aging and urbanization, could significantly affect global emissions of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years. The research, appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was conducted by an international team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. By mid-century it is estimated that global population could rise by more than three billion people, with most of that increase occurring in urban areas. The study showed that a slowing of population growth, following one of the slower growth paths considered plausible by demographers at the United Nations, could contribute to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers found that such slow growth paths by 2050 could account for 16 to 29 percent of the emissions reductions thought necessary to keep global temperatures from causing serious impacts.

Fat Distribution Controlled by Genetics

People become overweight in different ways. Some will develop a beer gut (apple-shaped) while some will have the fat go to their rear and thighs (pear-shaped). Two new major studies have identified a set of genes that determine where the fat goes in obese people. The team of international researchers also identified genes that determine individual susceptibility to obesity.

Poverty forces Roma people to scavenge toxic e-waste

Roma communities in France, currently the subject of a controversial crackdown by the Sarkozy administration, are being forced to scavenge growing volumes of potentially dangerous e-waste in a bid to escape poverty, an Ecologist investigation has revealed.

Hurricane Paula menaces Mexico and Cuba

Mexico evacuated tourists and residents from islands off the Yucatan peninsula on Tuesday as Hurricane Paula, a Category 2 storm, was on track to sideswipe Mexico's Caribbean resorts before heading toward Cuba. Packing winds of 100 miles per hour, the storm was expected to brush past the Yucatan coast, home to hundreds of resorts, before veering toward Cuba on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane center said. As it neared the Yucatan coast, Paula poured heavy rains on Cancun, Mexico's biggest tourist destination, and threatened to flood poor, outlying slums.

Plastic Solar Cells

Physicists at Rutgers University in New Jersey have discovered new properties in a material that could result in efficient and inexpensive plastic solar cells for electricity production. The discovery, posted online and slated for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature Materials, reveals that energy carrying particles generated by packets of light can travel on the order of a thousand times farther in organic (carbon-based) semiconductors than scientists previously observed. This boosts scientists' hopes that solar cells based on this new type of technology may one day overtake silicon solar cells in cost and performance, thereby increasing the practicality of solar generated electricity as an alternate energy source to fossil fuels.

Massive logjam in Borneo blocks Malaysia’s longest river

A massive 50-km-long (30-mi) logjam has blocked the Rajang river in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, bringing river traffic to a standstill and posing a threat to riverbank communities, reports Malaysian state media. The Rajang, Malaysia's longest river, is presently unnavigable, according to Bernama.