Month: December 2010

  • Polar bears ‘spotted swimming with cubs on back’

    Polar bears have been spotted carrying their cubs on their backs while they swim through icy waters, according to an article in UK online newspaper the Telegraph. According to the article, the practice is thought to be the result of the bears having to swim longer distances in the sea because of recent reductions in the arctic summer sea ice.

  • Amazon deforestation slows in Brazil

    Deforestation in the Amazon forest fell to its lowest level on record, the Brazilian government said on Wednesday, marking what could be a watershed in the conservation of the world’s largest rain forest. The figures coincide with a United Nations global climate conference in Mexico. There, Brazil wants to showcase it is one of the few major economies significantly slashing its greenhouse gas emissions, which for it come mostly from burning or rotting trees. “We will honor the pledge we made and we don’t need any favors. We do it because it’s our obligation,” said President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, adding that the developed world was failing to agree to ambitious cuts in greenhouse gases and was not transparent about financial aid to developing nations.

  • Governments around the World are Acting to Reduce their Footprints

    The sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) in Cancun is the latest UN effort to get the international community to act on climate change. Although COP16 is not expected to produce a binding agreement, many governments have adopted initiatives to diminish their environmental impacts and carbon footprint.

  • Many Coastal Wetlands Likely to Disappear This Century

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2010) — Many coastal wetlands worldwide — including several on the U.S. Atlantic coast — may be more sensitive than previously thought to climate change and sea-level rise projections for the 21st century.

  • Turning Wastewater Into a Revenue Stream

    Safely getting rid of what we flush away each day is the unglamorous role of the wastewater treatment plant. But a new process that turns sewage into high-quality fertilizer proves that creative minds can find inspiration for innovation just about anywhere.

  • Polluted Holidays in Iran

    A holiday is supposed to be a fun off day to enjoy life in some fashion. For the second time in a month, heavy air pollution in Iran’s smog-filled capital has forced authorities to close government offices and schools and declare a two-day public holiday because of the health dangers of being outdoors. Yet this happened in July 2009 too when Iranian authorities declared public holiday in the capital Tehran after a sandstorm blotted out the already heavily polluted city. All of this is caused by several factors, some man made and some due to local climate and geological conditions. It is also not unique for Tehran though that city is suffering in the extreme.

  • US Natural Gas, Oil reserves soar

    U.S. natural gas reserves increased by the most in history last year, and crude reserves also rose, as companies drilled frantically into shale rock formations with new technology, the Energy Information Administration said in an annual report on Tuesday. U.S. net proved natural gas reserves rose 11 percent, or 28.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf), in 2009 to total 284 tcf, underscoring the dramatic impact that new gas pumped from shale rock formations is having on world energy supply. Louisiana, whose statewide reserves grew quickest, saw its economically viable gas reserves surge by 77 percent, or 9.2 tcf, led by developments in its Haynesville Shale.

  • New Prize Announced in “Get to Know” Contest, Deadline Extended

    “Get to Know” contest for youth has extended its deadline until December 17th, 2010. There is also a new $500 cash prize for the young nature artist whose work is chosen for the cover of the 2012 Get to Know Calendar. Contest organizers are inviting all American youth age 5-18 to take advantage of these changes by getting outdoors and “getting to know” the amazing wild neighbors who share their ecosystems through art, writing, photography and video. Biodiversity-themed art, writing and photography entries based on first-hand experiences with nature online at until December 17th, which brings the contest closing right into the festive season. All youth between the ages of 5 and 18 living in the United States are eligible to enter in these categories. Youth from all over the world are invited to help ring in the New Year – 2011 International Year of Forests – by creating short videos themed “This is my Forest” for the Get to Know Contest. The unique international video category will accept entries at until May 2011. Get to Know Contest winners will get exciting prizes, including a week-long Art & Nature Camp experience at a Canadian national park for those 12 and older, and a $500 cash prize for the young artist whose work is chosen for the cover of the 2012 Get to Know Contest Calendar. Additionally, winning art and writing entries will be published in the 2012 Get to Know Contest Calendar, and winning videos will be showcased at United Nations International Year of Forests events.