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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

How long to midnight? The Doomsday Clock measures more than nuclear risk – and it’s about to be reset again

Wed, 19/01/2022 - 18:59
The Doomsday Clock has never before been as close to midnight as it is now. There is scant hope of it winding back on its 75th anniversary. Jack Heinemann, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Canterbury Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Legal tools exist to protect South Africa’s city ecosystems: it's up to councils to use them

Mon, 17/01/2022 - 14:56
Urban ecosystem services sustain life but aren’t well protected. Anél du Plessis, Professor of Law & NRF South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability, North-West University Angela van der Berg, Acting Director of the Global Environmental Law Centre, University of the Western Cape Maricélle Botes, PhD Researcher at the South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES), North-West University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

With fewer animals to spread their seeds, plants could have trouble adapting to climate change

Thu, 13/01/2022 - 19:25
Forests around the world will need to shift their ranges to adapt to climate change. But many trees and plants rely on animals to spread their seeds widely, and those partners are declining. Evan Fricke, Faculty Fellow in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University Alejandro Ordonez, Assistant Professor of Global Change Biology, Aarhus University Haldre Rogers, Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University Jens-Christian Svenning, Professor of ecology, Aarhus University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

New Zealand summers are getting hotter – and humans aren’t the only ones feeling the effects

Mon, 10/01/2022 - 23:45
2021 was NZ’s hottest year on record, and the current summer heatwave is a reminder that our biodiversity is already being affected. Cate Macinnis-Ng, Associate Professor, University of Auckland Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Chalk streams: why 'England's rainforests' are so rare and precious

Sun, 02/01/2022 - 10:53
A staggering 85% of the world’s chalk streams are found in England. Rachel Stubbington, Professor in River Ecology, Nottingham Trent University Kieran J. Gething, PhD Candidate in Ecology, Nottingham Trent University Tim Sykes, PhD Candidate in Environmental Biosciences, University of Southampton Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

From a lifelong passion for ants, E.O. Wilson guided humanity to think of sustainability

Mon, 27/12/2021 - 13:57
E.O. Wilson was one of the world’s leading experts on ants, but his other passion was convincing humans to see themselves as part of the natural world. Doug Tallamy, Professor of Entomology, University of Delaware Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Frankincense and myrrh have been revered since ancient times – but now they're under threat

Mon, 20/12/2021 - 15:49
Trees that produce resin for frankincense and myrrh – used for thousands of years in healthcare, worship and trade – are facing collapsing populations. Eoin Lettice, Lecturer in Plant Science, University College Cork Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

1 millipede, 1,306 legs: we just discovered the world's leggiest animal hiding in Western Australia

Thu, 16/12/2021 - 19:09
Millipede means ‘1,000 feet’, but until now the name was a bit of an exaggeration. Bruno Alves Buzatto, Principal Biologist at Bennelongia Environmental Consultants, The University of Western Australia Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Tropical forests can recover surprisingly quickly on deforested lands – and letting them regrow naturally is an effective and low-cost way to slow climate change

Thu, 09/12/2021 - 19:03
As governments and corporations pledge to help the planet by planting trillions of trees, a new study spotlights an effective, low-cost alternative: letting tropical forests regrow naturally. Robin Chazdon, Professor Emerita of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut Bruno Hérault, Tropical Forest Scientist, Forests & Societies Research Unit, Cirad Catarina Conte Jakovac, Associate professor of Plant Science, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Lourens Poorter, Professor of Functional Ecology, Wageningen University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Why it's time to make ecocide a crime: for the sake of its victims

Wed, 08/12/2021 - 14:14
Criminalising ecocide means its victims will be able to receive reparations, helping to rebuild destroyed ecosystems and communities. Rachel Killean, Senior Lecturer in Law, Queen's University Belfast Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

One in four UK birds now on endangered species red list due to habitat loss and climate change

Wed, 01/12/2021 - 16:22
Swifts, house martins and greenfinches are the newest arrivals to the UK red list. Juliet Vickery, Chief Executive, British Trust for Ornithology and Honorary Professor of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Africa's growing road network may affect ecosystems: we reviewed the evidence

Wed, 01/12/2021 - 13:31
The presence of roads, even inside protected areas, may pose a significant threat to species. Lavinia Perumal, PhD candidate Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, University of Cape Town Mark New, Director, African Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town Matthias Jonas, Senior Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Wei Liu, Guest Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Statistical ecology can unlock the power of biodiversity data in Africa

Tue, 23/11/2021 - 14:17
There is a promising trend of growing research and training in statistical ecology in Africa. Henintsoa Onivola Minoarivelo, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Cape Town Francisco Cervantes Peralta, Post-doctoral Researcher in Statistical Ecology, University of Cape Town Timothy Kuiper, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cape Town Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

How a Romanian village resurrected the Danube Delta after the fall of the Iron Curtain

Sun, 21/11/2021 - 16:57
Mahmudia became a wasteland under dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu’s communist agricultural policy. But villagers fought to resurrect their home and reconnect with the wilderness. Iolanda-Veronica Ganea, PhD student in Environmental Science, Babes Bolyai University Badarau Alexandru Sabin, Associate Professor of Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation, PhD, Babes Bolyai University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Invasive species are threatening Antarctica's fragile ecosystems as human activity grows and the world warms

Fri, 19/11/2021 - 21:16
While some invasive animals have breached Antarctica, the continent is still pristine. Our challenge is keeping it that way. Dana M Bergstrom, Principal Research Scientist, University of Wollongong Shavawn Donoghue, Adjunct Researcher, University of Tasmania Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Climate change: how elephants help pump planet-warming carbon underground

Thu, 18/11/2021 - 09:28
Efforts to preserve biodiversity and slow climate change make natural bedfellows. Jeppe Aagaard Kristensen, Carlsberg Foundation Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford Ecosystems Lab, University of Oxford Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

A 150-year-old note from Charles Darwin is inspiring a change in the way forests are planted

Thu, 04/11/2021 - 17:08
Charles Darwin’s ideas about diversity of plants growing together is now inspiring researchers create healthier forests. Rob MacKenzie, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Birmingham Christine Foyer, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Birmingham Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

This Amazon dam is supposed to provide clean energy, but it's destroying livelihoods and unique species

Mon, 01/11/2021 - 10:11
Diverting water to a hydroelectric dam might seem eco-friendly, but the devastating consequences to local ecosystems cannot be ignored. Brian Garvey, Lecturer in Work, Employment and Organisation, University of Strathclyde Sonia Magalhaes, Adjunct Professor of Agrarian Sciences, Federal University of Pará Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Drying land and heating seas: why nature in Australia's southwest is on the climate frontline

Thu, 28/10/2021 - 05:55
Australia’s southwest is a biodiversity hotspot - and it’s also a climate change hotspot. Something has to give. Jatin Kala, Senior Lecturer and ARC DECRA felllow, Murdoch University Belinda Robson, Associate Professor, Murdoch University Joe Fontaine, Lecturer, Environmental and Conservation Science, Murdoch University Stephen Beatty, Research Leader (Catchments to Coast), Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems, Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University Thomas Wernberg, Professor, The University of Western Australia Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.

Climate change is muting fall colors, but it's just the latest way that humans have altered US forests

Wed, 27/10/2021 - 13:17
Warm autumn weather has produced dull leaf colors across the eastern US this year, but climate change isn’t the only way that humans have altered trees’ fall displays. Marc Abrams, Professor of Forest Ecology and Physiology, Penn State Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.