Environment

Trees Growing Significantly Faster in Warming Climate, Study Finds

Yale Environment 360 - 6 hours 8 min ago
An analysis of data spanning 140 years from one of the world's oldest forest study sites indicates that trees have

Collecting growth ring samples from study site been growing significantly faster and stands have become larger since the 1960s. The study, published in Nature Communications, was based on 600,000 individual tree surveys conducted since 1870 at a central European forest study site. European beech and Norway spruce, the dominant tree species in the experimental plots, grew 77 and 32 percent faster, respectively, than they did 50 years ago, the analysis found. The trends are primarily due to rising temperatures and longer growing seasons, the researchers say, although increasing carbon dioxide and nitrogen levels in the atmosphere could also play a role. The stages of tree development haven't changed, the researchers say; instead, trees are moving through their development trajectory much faster than before. The changes could affect other plants and animals in the forest ecosystem that rely on specific phases of forest development, the study notes.
Categories: Environment, Health

How Norway and Russia Made A Cod Fishery Live and Thrive

Yale Environment 360 - 10 hours 11 min ago
The prime cod fishing grounds of North America have been depleted or wiped out by overfishing and poor management. But in Arctic waters, Norway and Russia are working cooperatively to sustain a highly productive — and profitable — northern cod fishery. BY JOHN WALDMAN
Categories: Environment, Health

“A Weekend to Change the Course of History”?

The EnvironmentaList - 11 hours 43 min ago
Beyond appealing to powers-that-be, climate justice movements need to focus on creating systemic change to address the climate crisis
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Global Shift to Mass Transit Could Have Major Financial and Climate Benefits

Yale Environment 360 - September 17, 2014
Expanding public transportation and infrastructure that promotes walking and biking throughout the world's

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Urban transportation-related emissions cities could save $100 trillion and cut transportation-related carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2050, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Urban transportation-related emissions could double by 2050 as growth continues in major cities in China, India, and other developing countries. But if China alone were to develop extensive bus rapid transit and commuter transit networks, its predicted transportation-related emissions in 2050 could be cut by 40 percent, the analysis found. The U.S. — currently the world's largest contributor to urban transportation-related emissions — is seeing declines in that sector as population growth slows, vehicle fuel efficiency improves, and people drive less. But those emissions cuts could accelerate sharply if urban mass transit were improved, the report said.
Categories: Environment, Health

Peak to Peak: An Intimate Look at The Bighorn Sheep of the Rockies

Yale Environment 360 - September 17, 2014
The third-place winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest focuses on a herd of bighorn sheep in Montana and features remarkable scenes of lambs as they gambol along the slopes of the northern Rockies. Produced by Jeremy Roberts, the video follows a field biologist as he monitors the sheep and talks about the possible impact of climate change on the animals’ future.
Categories: Environment, Health

Governor Brown Sign’s Historic Groundwater Legislation

The EnvironmentaList - September 17, 2014
Trio of bills may put California on the path to groundwater sustainability
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA to Ship Ebola Relief Supplies to West Africa

Operation USA - September 16, 2014

Los Angeles nongovernmental organization to send protective equipment and cleaning supplies to Liberia

Los Angeles, Calif., September 16, 2014— Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, today announced that it will send a shipment of Ebola relief supplies–containing more than 6,000 pounds of personal protective equipment including 50,000 N-95 masks and 50,000 pairs of latex gloves, as well as hospital grade cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and disinfectants–to West Africa this week. The Ministry of Health in Liberia has pre-cleared the shipment and will use the supplies to aid in treating those infected, isolating the outbreak and combating the further spread of the disease.

The organization will also aid other local groups, including West African expatriate communities in the Southern California area, by coordinating the shipment of those groups’ relief supplies by sea and potentially as part of future airlifts.

Operation USA’s deployment comes on the heels of the President’s announcement that the U.S. government will lead a major relief initiative in West Africa called “Operation United Assistance,” which will send more than 3,000 military medical personnel to the area in an effort to curb the spread of Ebola.

“We are grateful to President Obama for addressing vital needs in Ebola-ravaged countries, but the massive amount of supplies needed to support thousands of health workers and military personnel in the field will take up a great deal of the available airlift capacity heading to the area,” said Richard Walden, President and CEO of Operation USA. “As a private NGO, we’re fortunate to have secured transportation for this shipment—but, it’s important for the public to continue to support and fund ongoing relief efforts through private organizations, which are crucial to the fight against Ebola and which will not benefit from ‘Operation United Assistance’ funds.”

As of Wednesday, the official death toll had climbed to 2,400 across five countries. Experts fear the true impact may be far greater and could reach hundreds of thousands of deaths before the end of the year.

Operation USA previously responded to an Ebola crisis in The Congo (then known as Zaire) in 1995, sending an airlift of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to Kikwit General Hospital, where a localized outbreak killed 245 people.

HOW TO HELP:
Donate online at donate.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, PO BOX 36188, Los Angeles, CA 90036-0188. Donations can also be made via text message: text AID to 50555 to donate $10. Text donations are collected for the benefit of Operation USA by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mGive.org/t.

Corporate donations supporting recovery efforts– personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks and protective suits, hospital-grade cleaning supplies, water purification supplies, and electric generators–are also being requested. Only new items in bulk are being accepted at this time. Transportation assistance–domestically and internationally by land, air and sea–is also being requested. For more information call 1-800-678-7255.

United Airlines air miles can be donated to Operation USA to support relief worker travel through United Airlines’ Charity Miles program at www.united.com.

About OPERATION USA:
Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people.

Richard Walden, President and CEO of Operation USA, is available as an expert source on disaster recovery as well as effective approaches to combating disease outbreaks.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Mary Dolan or Richard Walden
Operation USA
mdolan@opusa.org; rwalden@opusa.org
323-413-2353

Categories: Environment

Tackling Climate Change Could Pay Off in as Little as 15 Years, Report Finds

Yale Environment 360 - September 16, 2014
Limiting greenhouse gas emissions globally over the next 15 years is both economically feasible and likely to save money, according to a new report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Between 2015 and 2030, nations are expected to invest roughly $90 trillion in urban land-use and energy infrastructure, the analysis estimated. Steering those investments toward renewable energy, efficiency improvements, and other low-emission technologies would make that global investment more costly, the panel of government and business leaders conceded. But these costs could eventually be offset by the lowered operating costs associated with renewable power, the report suggested. Although they are difficult to quantify, health care savings associated with improved air quality would also offset costs. According to the report, the biggest challenges for governments will be enacting stronger rules and policies that favor low-carbon development, such as cutting the $600 billion currently spent on fossil fuel subsidies.
Categories: Environment, Health

Volunteer Spotlight: Selma Rutledge, Follow the Roadrunner, Girl Scouts Gateway Council

Girl Scouts of America - September 16, 2014
With recruitment in full-swing, we are continuing our series that will share stories about some of our amazing volunteers with the entire Girl Scouts community.  There are 30,000 girls waiting for the chance to be a Girl Scout, so the time is now to build our volunteer force!  These exceptional people prove that anyone can be a Girl Scout volunteer:  they are young professionals, senior citizens, men, and so much more.  And 88% of Girl Scout volunteers believe their lives are better because they volunteer. So what are you waiting for? Volunteer today!
For as long as she can remember, Selma Rutledge has worn a piece of Girl Scouts insignia on her clothing.  Whenever prompted by women, young and old, she always remarks, “I am a Girl Scout!  Follow me!”
A longtime volunteer with the Gateway Council in Florida, Selma’s involvement with the Girl Scouts began after a life-changing event that no parent ever wants to experience.  “It was 1979, and I got a knock at the door.  The police came to say that my son, who was on a trip at the time, had drowned,” Selma recalled.  “But at that very moment, this voice came to me and said, ‘You have many sons and daughters.  Pay it forward.’  That’s what keeps me going.”
That little voice in Selma’s head propelled her to give back to the youth community in Jacksonville for 35 years and to make an impact on their lives.  “Every child, every girl I see, I want to tell them you can make it,” said Selma.  “Don’t say you can’t until you put forth the effort.”
As one of the oldest active volunteers of the Gateway council, Selma continually reaches across all boundaries and lines to make sure every girl has the chance to be a Girl Scout.  In particular, through the S.H.A.R.E. (Show Her a Real Experience) program, she has helped to raise over $30,000 in the last two years which goes right to providing financial assistance to girls who want to join Girl Scouts, but couldn’t without your support.  As a tribute to her fundraising efforts, a stage at North Fort was named the Selma Rutledge Stage, after her.
When lauded for her hard work, Selma humbly remarked, “I try to do the best I can.  It’s not all about me; it’s about the girls.  As they grow, it helps me to grow.  I’m much older, and I need to see them come in behind me and continue serving.”
Selma is also the recipient of numerous local appreciation awards, including the Sustaining the Mission Award, Outstanding Leader Award, and the Thanks badge.  She hopes that, through leading by example, she can inspire others to do the same.  “Through Girl Scouts, young people can learn a lot by dealing with the girls.  They can become great leaders,” said Selma.  “If they see they can do something that can help somebody along the way to improve the world, then that’s it.”
Though Selma may be 81 years old, to her age is nothing but a number.   “I walk two miles every day to stay active,” Selma said.  “My children call me the roadrunner.”  And she has shown no signs of slowing down.
Categories: Environment

Can Dumping Poison on the Farallon Islands Save It From Mice Overpopulation?

The EnvironmentaList - September 16, 2014
USFWS plans to shower world’s most mice-infested archipelago with rodenticide-infused food pellets.
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

11º Festival oceánico y competencia de surf Dempsey Holder

Costa Salvaje - September 16, 2014
11º Festival oceánico y competencia de surf Dempsey Holder
Categories: Environment

Urban Air Pollution May Affect Brains of Young Children, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - September 15, 2014
Children living in areas with high air pollution are at increased risk for brain inflammation and for developing

Smog over Mexico City neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, according to a study by researchers at the University of Montana. The scientists compared brain and spinal fluids of children living in low-pollution areas to those of children living in Mexico City, an area notorious for its poor air quality. They found that children living in the city had significantly increased levels of combustion-related metals in their systems, as well as higher levels of antibodies related to inflammation. The antibodies are an indicator of autoimmune response and are possibly tied to higher risks for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, according to the researchers. They say that a study following the Mexico City children as they age is needed to determine whether there is a relationship between their autoimmune responses and documented brain and cognition changes.
Categories: Environment, Health

Urban Air Pollution May Harm Brains of Young Children, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - September 15, 2014
Children living in areas with high air pollution are at increased risk for brain inflammation and for developing

Smog over Mexico City neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, according to a study by researchers at the University of Montana. The scientists compared brain and spinal fluids of children living in low-pollution areas to those of children living in Mexico City, an area notorious for its poor air quality. They found that children living in the city had significantly increased levels of combustion-related metals in their systems, as well as higher levels of antibodies related to inflammation. The antibodies are an indicator of autoimmune response and are possibly tied to higher risks for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, according to the researchers. They say that a study following the Mexico City children as they age is needed to determine whether there is a relationship between their autoimmune responses and the documented brain and cognition changes.
Categories: Environment, Health

Air Pollution in Large Cities May Harm Brains of Young Children, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - September 15, 2014
Children living in large cities are at increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative conditions

Smog over Mexico City such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, according to a recent study from the University of Montana. The researchers compared brain and spinal fluids of children living in low-pollution areas to those of children living in Mexico City, the largest metropolitan area in the Western hemisphere. They found that children living in the city had significantly increased levels of combustion-related metals in their systems, and higher levels of antibodies related to inflammation. The antibodies are an indicator of autoimmune responses and are potentially related to increases in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, which researchers have observed in young urban children. The results also suggest that Mexico City's air pollution could be playing a role in steep increases in cases of multiple sclerosis, a neuroinflammatory disease. Once there is a breakdown in the blood-brain barrier, particulate matter and harmful neurotoxins, bacteria, and viruses can enter the body, the researchers note.
Categories: Environment, Health

Interview: Making Farm-to-Table a Truly Sustainable Movement

Yale Environment 360 - September 15, 2014
Renowned chef Dan Barber is synonymous with the farm-to-table movement. His two New York restaurants Dan Barber feature organic ingredients grown or raised on nearby farms, including the one that surrounds his Hudson Valley restaurant. So it’s striking that in his new book, The Third Plate, Barber maintains that the movement he has been championing hasn’t gone far enough. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Barber says if the farm-to-table movement is to truly support sustainability, end the rise of monocultures, and produce delicious food, it’s the table that must support the farm, not the other way around. And that, he says, calls for a new way of cooking and eating.
Read the interview | Listen to a podcast
Categories: Environment, Health

Spotlight on National Young Woman of Distinction, Camille Borders

Girl Scouts of America - September 15, 2014
The National Young Women of Distinction honor is given by Girl Scouts of the USA to the top ten Girl Scout Gold Award recipients whose Take Action projects demonstrated outstanding leadership, had a measureable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. The girls and their projects will be showcased on the Girl Scout Blog in advance of being honored at the 2014 national convention in Salt Lake City this October.
Camille Borders: Girls Run the World: Encouraging Political Activism in Young WomenAge: 17Hometown: Blush Ash, OhioYears of Girl Scouting: 11
Inspiration:
“If I was suddenly met by Aladdin and his blue genie in the dry Arabian heat, I know exactly what I would wish for,” Camille said. Her wish would be that other girls and women would find the courage to step up and lead. Of course, without a genie, Camille had to make her wish come true in a different way.
Seeing that women made up only 18 percent of the U.S. Congress, Camille realized that the lack of women in politics is a major issue that needed to be addressed. The same study also showed that this lack of political ambition among women is connected to a lack of encouragement to run for office. If she could provide girls with the right kind of support and confidence, she could help fix the gender gap in politics.
How Camille is Changing the World:
Camille created a non-partisan seminar, “Girls Run the World: Encouraging Political Activism in Young Women,” to challenge girls to change the status quo. Camille used a team of women’s political organizations and a few other helping hands to organize the seminar and ensure that it would be an annual event.
Camille showed the girls what other female activists had done in the past, and then the group of 30 engaged in conversation and panel discussions with current role models. Most of the girls said they felt more encouraged to read the news and run for their student councils after participating.
Camille’s project drew the interest of a nearby school district, the state capital, and also another Girl Scout troop that hoped to share it with other girls. Camille has a dream and is working to achieve it. Her passion for helping empower girls is such an inspiration!
Next Steps:
Camille will be attending Washington University to study Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Girl Scouts will honor Camille and her fellow National Young Women of Distinction on Sunday, October 19 at our 2014 Girl Scout Convention.
Categories: Environment

Lettuce, From a Skyscraper Near You

The EnvironmentaList - September 15, 2014
Vertical farms are gaining traction from Illinois to Singapore, but questions remain about their role in urban agriculture.
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

New High-Resolution Maps Show Greenhouse Gas Emissions at City-Level

Yale Environment 360 - September 12, 2014
Researchers have developed a new method for mapping global carbon emissions for individual cities on an

Click to Enlarge

Emissions before and after financial crisis hourly basis — a major improvement over previous techniques, which quantified greenhouse emissions less accurately and at coarser scales, according to researchers at Arizona State University. The maps are derived from worldwide databases of population, power plants, and national fuel use statistics, and they encompass 15 years of data. Among other findings, the analysis revealed increased emissions in China, India, Europe, and the northern U.S. in 2010, after the peak of the global financial crisis. The researchers say this reflects faster recoveries from the crisis in those regions compared to, for example, the southeastern U.S., where emissions lagged in 2010. The results of the analysis match ground-level measurements, confirming the accuracy of the maps, the researchers say.
Categories: Environment, Health

Blue Whale Recovery Report Leaves Room for Caution

The EnvironmentaList - September 12, 2014
New study only relevant to the Eastern Pacific Ocean; other blue whale populations around the world remain severely depressed
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Volunteer Spotlight: Bruce Sexauer, Mr. Troop Leader, Girl Scouts of Alaska

Girl Scouts of America - September 11, 2014
With recruitment in full-swing, we are kicking off a series that will share stories about some of our amazing volunteers with the entire Girl Scouts community.  There are 30,000 girls waiting for the chance to be a Girl Scout, so the time is now to build our volunteer force!  These exceptional people prove that anyone can be a Girl Scout volunteer:  they are young professionals, senior citizens, men, and so much more.  And 88% of Girl Scout volunteers believe their lives are betterbecause they volunteer.  So what are you waiting for? Volunteer today!
When you ask someone what they think of when they hear “Girl Scouts,” the answers will usually include cookies, crafts, and camping.  But for one Alaskan dad, he thinks of his all-girl LEGO robotics team, the Electronically Overdressed Survivors.
By day, he works at the Army Corps of Engineers, but by night, “I am, in fact, a troop leader,” Bruce said with a laugh.  “People are usually a bit confused by that at first, but that’s my role.  I get to lead this special troop of girls as a part of the Girl Scouts Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program and get them ready for competition.”
The competition?  First LEGO League (FLL), a themed robotics competition pitting teams against each other at the local, national, and international levels.  This year’s theme is education, following on the previous years’ theme of natural disasters.
At the beginning of Bruce’s involvement with FLL, he was not a troop leader, but was asked to be a judge.  He came home that day, as per usual, and talked to his daughter, Ellie, now 12.  While talking about their days, they came to realize that Ellie was participating in the same competition Bruce was asked to judge.  He accepted the position, and was able to see his daughter’s competition firsthand.   “We went that first weekend and I got hooked,” said Bruce.  “After five years of being involved, I became the head coach of my daughter’s team, or essentially their troop [leader].”
At face value, FLL seems like a single-sided competition:  build a robot and have it perform simple tasks.  However, Bruce maintains it is much more complex than it seems.  As Bruce explained, “One-fourth of the competition is overall score, but there is also a robot and programming portion, where the girls describe how they designed the robot; a research component, where they investigate the theme, identify a problem, and present a solution to the judging panel; and finally, a core value component, where the participants have to demonstrate values like ‘gracious professionalism,’ not unlike the values of the Girl Scouts.”


While Bruce was, obviously, never a Girl Scout, he said this experience has given him a great appreciation for the organization, as well as volunteering.  “I have to thank the Girl Scouts for sponsoring this team and letting a dad take the lead,” Bruce said.  “Stereotypically, in STEM fields, people think boys would be better than girls, but we won our [co-ed] state competition last year, and we’re breaking that stereotype every day.”
But just because they’re winners, doesn’t mean they’re going to slow down.  “Our plan is to win state this year again, and work our way to an international competition that’s being held in St. Louis,” Bruce divulged.  “We have a great team, a fantastic group of young ladies, and I want to know much more we can achieve by working together and motivating each other.”
But as much as the girls are learning about robotics, Bruce is learning even more about himself.  “Sometimes you have to keep the rough and gruff exterior, but when there are deeper issues going on, you need to turn on the empathy,” said Bruce.  “It’s thrilling to be able to work with them, especially my daughter.”
Categories: Environment
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