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2010 International Year of Biodiversity. Ongoing extinction at 1000 times natural rate: most species to disappear in <100 years
Green sea turtles, whose ancestors evolved on land and took to the sea to live about 150 million years ago, are one of the few species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct.
World's biodiversity crisis needs action, says UN. With species extinction running at about 1,000 times the "natural" or "background" rate, some biologists contend that we are in the middle of the Earth's sixth great extinction - the previous five stemming from natural events such as asteroid impacts.
The United Nations has launched the International Year of Biodiversity, warning that the ongoing loss of species around the world is affecting human well being. Eight years ago, governments pledged to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but the pledge will not be met. read more »
Filmmaker to swim across Pacific & Garbage Patch, floating mass of plastic junk size of North America, 10-meters deep
The floating mass of plastic junk - almost the size of the Northern Territory - in the Pacific is an environmental catastrophe: "...the nature of the problem is so immense and the fact it doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of any particular country means as a cause it's kind of like the runt of the litter, something that no particular country wants to take responsibility for." According to the United Nations Environment Program, it causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 mammals including whales, dolphins, turtles and seals.
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Faster than predicted: Himalayan glacier'll disappear..endanger water resource. Nepal: world highest Cabinet meeting at Everest
Energy companies remove the tops of entire mountains. Now it turns out humanity’s use of that coal is removing the tops of entire glaciers. Climate models have repeatedly underestimated the speed and scale of major climate change impacts. That is why climate scientists - and indeed everyone but the blinkered deniers - are increasingly desperate that the we cut emissions sharply and quickly.
Dubai's 59-billion debt from artificial modernity, free-spending & consuming while depleting what nature provides
"This came as a big shock" – that Dubai is in debt by 59 billion and might not be able to pay its bills sent a wave of uncertainty rippling through markets just as investors thought the worst of the global financial instability was over. Once, Dubai was "like the new beacon for all the world's money" [HOME, the 2009 documentary]... "Dubai has endless sun, but no solar panels. It is the totem of total modernity that never fails to amaze the world. Nothing seems further removed from nature than Dubai, although nothing depends on nature more than Dubai. Dubai is a sort of culmination of the western model - we haven't understood that we're depleting what nature provides."
Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap rapidly retreats, 85% of 1912's ice cover vanished..recent surface melting not occurred over 11700 yrs
The ice atop Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has continued to retreat rapidly, declining 26 percent since 2000, scientists say in a new report. 85% of the ice cover that was present in 1912 has vanished. It is anticipated to be completely gone in 20 years. Surface melting like that seen in recent years has not occurred over the last 11,700 years.
The impact of these events and the precursor that they offer of the trends to follow e.g. - droughts, intensified storms, floods, sea level increase and famine, are all a result of global warming which, according to an organization (IPCC) of 2,500 scientists from 130 countries is a result of human-caused activities that produce greenhouse gases.
Photos courtesy of Yann Arthus-Bertrand / HOME, National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) for Tanzania, and Wikipedia read more »
Vietnam: 1/3 of delta, where 17 mil ppl live, half country's rice is grown, may be submerged if sea rises by 3 ft
In a worse-case projection, a Vietnamese government report released last month says that more than one-third of the delta, where 17 million people live and nearly half the country’s rice is grown, could be submerged if sea levels rise by 3 feet in the decades to come. In a more modest projection, it calculates that one-fifth of the delta would be flooded, said Tran Thuc, who leads Vietnam’s National Institute for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Sciences and is the chief author of the report. Storm surges could periodically raise that level, he said, and experts say an intrusion of salt water and industrial pollution could contaminate much of the remaining delta area.
Photos courtesy of AFP / Getty and EPA
Original Source: NY Times