Human Influence on Global Droughts Goes Back 100 Years, finds NASA study

by Jessica Merzdorf, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Human-generated greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles were affecting global drought risk as far back as the early 20th century, according to a study from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City.

The study, published in the journal Nature, compared predicted and real-world soil moisture data to look for human influences on global drought patterns in the 20th century. Climate models predict that a human “fingerprint” – a global pattern of regional drying and wetting characteristic of the climate response to greenhouse gases – should be visible early in the 1900s and increase over time as emissions increased. Using observational data such as precipitation and historical data reconstructed from tree rings, the researchers found that the real-world data began to align with the fingerprint within the first half of the 20th century.Read More »

Protecting rare species can benefit human life: Research brief

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (05/16/19) — Preserving rare species for the sake of global biodiversity has long been the primary focus for conservationists.

To better protect rare animals, insects and plants, and to prepare for an uncertain future influenced by climate change, a team of researchers is aiming to merge this conventional wisdom with a new way of thinking: arguing researchers needs to better understand how rare species benefit people outside of their existence value.Read More »

One million species face extinction, world is on notice, says major UN report

Countercurrents | May 07, 2019

wild life photo

Nearly one million species risk becoming extinct within decades while current efforts to conserve the earth’s resources will likely fail if radical action is not taken, says a major UN report on the impact of humans on nature.

Speaking in Paris at the launch of the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – the first such report since 2005 – UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that its findings put the world “on notice”.Read More »

Ocean degradation accelerated by global warming

by Henry Allan

Several recently released studies have documented the accelerating changes to Earth’s oceans as a result of climate change, including a reduction in the oxygen content, which is threatening vast swaths of marine life. One of the most prominent is an article in the February 25 issue of Scientific American, headlined, “The Ocean is Running Out of Breath, Scientists Warn.”Read More »

Water is Life – They are Stealing our Livelihood and We aren’t Even Noticing

by Peter Koenig

The unrelenting, ruthless and ultimately sociopathic attempts by myriad individuals and entities in the capitalist orbit to turn everything into a commodity,  a “profit center”, no matter how vital and sacred, testify to the fact that capitalism must be seen and combated as a system with an irrepressible malignant dynamic.

Today, 22 March 2018, marks World Water Day. It is also the week, when the 8th World Water Forum (WWF-8) convenes, 18 to 23 March 2018, in Brasilia. It is no coincidence, for sure, that Brazil was chosen for this noble WWF – about the water equivalent to the political and corporate elites, represented at the WEF – World Economic Forum, in Davos. The two are intimately related, and interlinked, as we will see.

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Extinction of Insects: A planetary distress call

by 

Insects are facing extinction all over the world, at a rate that bodes disastrous ecological collapse, reports the first global scientific review published in the journal Biological Conservation. (FranciscoSánchez-Bayo, Kris A.G.Wyckhuys, Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers, Biological Conservation, Vol. 232, Apr. 2019)

More than 40% insect species are threatened with extinction and a third are endangered, according to the analysis. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, reptiles and birds. The total mass of insects is falling by 2.5% per year, that suggests with the best data available they could face total extinction within a century.Read More »

Of Insects and Men

by Evaggelos Vallianatos

Invisible denizens — everywhere

Insects are all over the world – in and over the waters at the edge of the seas, in and over the waters of lakes, rivers and creeks and swamps and irrigation ditches. They thrive in the forests, mountains, deserts, land, cities, villages, in the tropics and in the homes of the poor and the powerful. Their populations are the largest of all other species. They have been occupying the Earth for 400 million years.Read More »