Financial Incentives Could Conserve Tropical Forest Diversity

The past few decades have seen the rise of global incentive programs offering payments to landowners to help reduce tropical deforestation. Until now, assessments of these programs have largely overlooked decreases in forest diversity. In what might be a first of its kind study, University of Missouri researchers have integrated forest imaging with field-level inventories and landowner surveys to assess the impact of conservation payments in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin forests. They found that conservation payment programs are making a difference in the diversity of tree species in protected spaces. Further, the species being protected are twice as likely to be of commercial timber value and at risk of extinction.

NASA Looks at Tropical Cyclones Irwin and Hilary Rainfall and Fujiwara Effect

NASA used satellite data to tally the rainfall generated by Hurricanes Hilary and Irwin as they interacted in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Climate change could put rare bat species at greater risk

An endangered bat species with a UK population of less than 1,000 could be further threatened by the effects of global warming, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Historical wildlife trends reliable for predicting species at risk

Scientists at the University of York have shown that using historical wildlife data provides a more accurate measure of how vulnerable certain species might be to extinction from climate change.Some of the methods used to predict at risk species are trend-based – an indicator of what happens gradually over time – while others are trait based, which uses signs of climate change in the current environment.

Impact of giant Antarctic iceberg – update on Larsen-C

The largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula lost 10% of its area when an iceberg four times the size of London broke free earlier this month.Since the 12 July 2017 breakaway Dr Anna Hogg, from the University of Leeds, and Dr Hilmar Gudmundsson, from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), have continued to track the iceberg – known as A68 – using the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Commission’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite.

Science faculty researchers develop new way to measure fluid-rock interaction in oil reservoir

University of Calgary geoscientists have developed new technology that measures, at an extremely fine scale, the interaction between water and other fluids and rock from an unconventional oil reservoir.Faculty of Science researchers used their micro-injection system coupled with live imaging to precisely measure fluid-rock interaction, called “wettability,” at the microscopic, or micro-scale, for the first time.

Chemical reaction – the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation

Petroleum-derived chemicals are intrinsic to virtually every product in today’s society, from the medicines we take to the agrochemicals that produce our food and the plastics that encase our mobile devices. As pressure mounts to reduce the world’s fossil fuel consumption, developing greener manufacturing processes that use less energy and produce less waste is becoming increasingly urgent.

Climate Change Linked to Rising Suicide Rates in India, Study Finds

A new study links rising temperatures and subsequent crop failures to more than 59,000 suicides in India over the past 30 years.  The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed 47 years of suicide records from India’s National Crime Records Bureau, as well as data on temperature, climate, and crop yields. It found that on days above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, a 1.8 degrees rise in temperature caused an average of 70 suicides. This correlation was found only during growing seasons, when higher temperatures can damage crop yields and deal devastating blows to the one-third of Indian farmers who live below the international poverty line.

Wildfires Continue to Beleaguer Western Canada

Like tourist season, wildfire season is also in full swing in British Columbia.  Whereas tourists are welcomed to the Canadian province, wildfires are not.  In British Columbia alone there are close to 500 wildfires active to date.  Most of these wildfires are located in three general areas--in the Caribou Fire Centre located in the Frasier Plateau directly north of Vancouver, in the Kamloops Fire Centre in the Thomas Plateau, which is east of Whistler, and the Southeast Fire Centre which is east of Kamloops.  All current fires of note can be viewed on this interactive map: Wildfires in British Columbia are common at this time of year due to rising temperatures, however, this year is the third worst year in the region for forest fires.  To date 840 fires have broken out since April 1 of this year.  Although it started slow, 2017 is shaping up to be a record breaking fire season if not for numbers of fires, then for the sheer amount of hectares burned.  In an area where rainfall is the norm, to have days and weeks without rainfall is unusual and helps to create a hot, dry environment with plenty of underbrush that fires use as fuel.  

Homeland Security To Waive Environmental Rules On Border Wall Projects

The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it will use its authority to bypass environmental laws and other regulations to "ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads" near the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego."The sector remains an area of high illegal entry for which there is an immediate need to improve current infrastructure and construct additional border barriers and roads," the agency said in a statement. "To begin to meet the need for additional border infrastructure in this area, DHS will implement various border infrastructure projects."