Smart logging in Mexico, the Jaguars approve

Community leaders managing a fragment of ancient Mexican jungle say their approach to logging precious hardwoods protects rare jaguar and may guide nearby U.N. climate talks seeking a forest blueprint. Community forest management means giving land ownership to local villagers, so that they harvest timber with an eye on the future and damage the forest less than industrial logging concessions which typically last 20 or 30 years. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries are gathered in Mexico's Cancun beach resort, 155 miles north of the Noh-Bec forest community, where they are trying to design an extra incentive to reward careful foresters.

ENN teams with BBC Earth

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BBC Earth will take your questions to Bristol, England, where they'll ask them to big name members of the BBC's Natural History Unit. These are some of the world's most recognized natural history, wildlife film and photography experts.
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Reflective Crops Could Cool the Planet

Planting more reflective versions of crops could cool regional temperatures in summertime, reducing the impact of increasing global temperatures in these areas, according to ongoing research. Increasing the reflectivity of crop plants by 20 percent could decrease temperatures in a given area by about one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), said Joy Singarayer of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

Prehistoric Reptilian Diversity Caused by Rainforest Collapse

At 300 million years ago, global warming brought about an abrupt collapse of tropical rainforests. According to a new study, it is now believed that this event spawned the evolutionary burst of reptiles. It gave rise to the dinosaurs, which dominated the globe for over 150 million years.

Breaking all of life’s rules: scientists discover bacteria that can survive on arsenic

While for days rumors have circulated around the Internet that NASA had discovered alien life, the truth may be even less expected. Instead of aliens, NASA-funded researchers have discovered a microorganism on Earth that breaks all the rules of life: in Mono Lake in California scientists found a bacterium that can survive wholly on arsenic.

Bamboo can capture carbon fast, says report

[CANCUN, MEXICO] Bamboo, a wild grass that grows in Africa, Asia and Latin America, could help tackle climate change and provide income for local communities, a conference has heard. It can sequester carbon faster than similar fast-growing tree species such as Chinese fir and eucalyptus when properly managed, said Coosje Hoogendoorn, director-general of International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), based in Beijing, China.

Ocean acidification may threaten food security

Acidification of the seas linked to climate change could threaten fisheries production and is already causing the fastest shift in ocean chemistry in 65 million years, a U.N. study showed on Thursday. Production of shellfish, such as mussels, shrimp or lobsters, could be most at risk since they will find it harder to build protective shells, according to the report issued on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Mexico. It could also damage coral reefs, vital as nurseries for many commercial fish stocks. "Ocean acidification is yet another red flag being raised, carrying planetary health warnings about the uncontrolled growth in greenhouse gas emissions," said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).

Peak Oil, Then Coal

When will production of oil and coal peak? After the peak, production will decline because supplies are being depleted and no new sources are to be found. Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used. Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that either the peak has already occurred, that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly. The most recent edition of the respected science journal Nature contemplates the end of cheap coal with an analysis of the decline of global coal supplies by Post Carbon Institute Fellows David Fridley and Richard Heinberg. The estimates for global peak coal production vary wildly. Many coal associations suggest the peak could occur in 200 years or more, while scholarly estimates predict the peak to occur as early as 2010. Research in 2009 by the University of Newcastle in Australia concluded that global coal production could peak sometime between 2010 and 2048.

A Key to Prevent Cancer is Shown to be False

The likelihood of developing cancer is largely attributed to an individual's genetic inheritance, but can also be affected by lifestyle choices and what we eat. In a 2009 article, the American Cancer Society recommended eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to prevent cancer. Now, a new study from the University of Oxford suggests that fruits and vegetables, while important for a healthy diet, are unlikely to protect against cancer.

NASA images reveal disappearing mangroves worldwide

In August NASA and the US Geological Survey released the first-ever satellite analysis of the world's mangrove ecosystems. What they found was dire: mangroves covered 12.3% less area than previously estimated.