Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Hurricane Harvey’s ‘Overwhelming’ Rains were Likely Nation’s Most Extreme Event

January 30, 2018

Houston Hurricane Harvey

Floodwaters from Harvey overflowed from the bayous around Houston in late August. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Hurricane Harvey dispensed an unprecedented 33 trillion gallons+ of water over Texas and the southern United States. Peak rainfall totals reached record-crushing levels, just over 5 feet (60 inches) near Nederland and Groves, Tex., near Port Arthur….exceeding the previously accepted United States […]


Governor Brown Takes Action to Increase Zero-Emission Vehicles, Fund New Climate Investments

Jan 26 2018  see full news release here ….California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture and recycling, among other projects. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities…. The $1.25 billion climate investment plan can be found here. […]


Dangerously Low on Water, Cape Town Now Faces ‘Day Zero’; A Warning for California and the American West?

the-south-african-weather-service-says-climate-change-is-making-its-historical-models-useless- theeshop dam AP Photo

The Theewaterskloof Dam, the city’s largest, is just 13% full. (AP Photo) After a three-year drought, Cape Town is now at serious risk of becoming one of the few major cities in the world to lose piped water to homes and most businesses. As far back as 2007, South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs warned […]


Nearly Half of California’s Vegetation at Risk From Climate Stress

January 26, 2018

Slashing emissions to Paris climate agreement targets could reduce impacts on CA vegetation 20-30% per new UC Davis, USGS, CDFW, NPS study Cutting emissions so that global temperatures increase by no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) could reduce those impacts by half, with about a quarter of the state’s natural vegetation affected. It […]


Think of honeybees as ‘livestock,’ not wildlife, argue experts

The scientists recommend policies to limit the impact of managed honeybees, including hive size limits, the moving of colonies to track the bloom of different crops, and greater controls on managed hives in protected areas. As with other intensively farmed animals, overcrowding and homogenous diets have depressed bee immune systems and sent pathogen rates soaring […]


11 Billion Pieces of Plastic Are Smothering Reefs, Infecting Corals

When plastic debris meets coral the likelihood of disease increases from 4 to 89 percent — a 20-fold change. About 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on reefs across the Asia-Pacific region, and this will likely increase 40% over the next 7 years. “While we can’t stop the huge impact of global warming on coral […]


Protecting piping plovers: Evaluating population viability and efficacy of conservation management using integrated population models

The results show that by integrating many data sources — long-term population survey, nest monitoring and mark-resight data (banding birds and recording their presence during subsequent annual surveys) — our understanding of past and future population changes can be improved. Posted: 23 Jan 2018 08:25 AM PST read full ScienceDaily article here Visitors to Sleeping […]


Towards natural capital accounting in the Netherlands

January 25, 2018

Companies, government officials and other stakeholders in the Netherlands are piloting approaches to more accurately measure their dependence and impact on natural capital. in 2016 they began developing a system of National Natural Capital Accounts… 5 Jan 2018 Read the full UN Environment Program article here By Joop van Bodegraven, policy adviser on nature conservation […]


Discrepancies between satellite and global model estimates of land water storage– Models may underestimate large water storage changes

Overall, the model results calculated a decline in global water storage during the study period, while GRACE data indicate it was on the rise. However, the study notes that while the climate increased water storage globally, humans caused significant declines in certain regions. But ensuring water availability for human consumption and agriculture is in many […]


Pathways to 1.5°C and 2°C warming based on observational and geological constraints.

Earth’s global average temperature is likely to rise to 1.5°C above the period before the industrial revolution within the next 17-18 years, and to 2.0°C in 35-41 years respectively if the carbon emission rate remains at its present-day value Cumulative carbon emissions need to remain below 195-205 PgC (from the start of 2017) to deliver […]