One-third of the world’s protected areas face ‘shocking’ human impact

May 18, 2018 by  
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Bad news for wildlife: 2.3 million square miles of protected areas around the world face human pressure from activities like road building, urbanization, or grazing, according to a new study . Lead author Kendall Jones, a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland , said in a statement , “We found major road infrastructure such as highways, industrial agriculture, and even entire cities occurring inside the boundaries of places supposed to be set aside for nature conservation .” Millions of square miles “have this level of human influence that is harmful to the species they are trying to protect,” University of Queensland professor James Watson told the BBC . “It is not passive, it’s not agnostic; it is harmful and that is quite shocking.” Scientists at the University of Queensland, University of Northern British Columbia , and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) teamed up for the study, described as a reality check, that was recently published in the journal Science . Related: Chile creates five new national parks from 10 million acres of land in historic act Watson said that governments claim the areas are protected “when in reality they aren’t.” Even though more land has been protected in the last few decades, the lack of real protection is a major reason for  biodiversity ‘s continued, catastrophic decline. There was a ray of hope in the study’s findings: protected areas that have strict biodiversity conservation objectives in place tend to experience less human pressure. WCS listed the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia, the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador, and the Madidi National Park in Bolivia as examples. Watson said, “We know protected areas work — when well-funded, well-managed and well placed, they are extremely effective in halting the threats that cause biodiversity loss and ensure species return from the brink of extinction . There are also many protected areas that are still in good condition and protect the last strongholds of endangered species worldwide. The challenge is to improve the management of those protected areas that are most valuable for nature conservation to ensure they safeguard it.” + Wildlife Conservation Society + University of Queensland + Science Via the BBC Image via Depositphotos

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One-third of the world’s protected areas face ‘shocking’ human impact

Bering Sea ice is "at record low levels for this time of year"

May 18, 2018 by  
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Arctic sea ice is low, with the Bering Sea’s ice extent “the lowest recorded since at least 1979,” according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This reflects a larger overall trend: in April, Arctic sea ice covered an area 378,400 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average. According to Alaska-based meteorologist Rick Thoman, Bering Sea ice extent “is five percent of normal” for the middle of May, and “there is almost nothing left except for near shore ice in protected areas.” The worrisome part of all this? There are still four months to go in the Arctic’s melt season. NSIDC provided information on Arctic sea ice extent in April of this year, and said 2016 and 2018 essentially tied “for lowest April sea ice extent on record.” Barents Sea and Bering Sea ice extent was below average, as it was during the 2017 to 2018 winter. According to Earther , the Bering Sea has been something of a ground zero for crazy ice, with sea ice disappearing when it was supposed to be growing in February, rebounding slightly in March, and then plummeting in April. Bering Sea ice extent is 5% of normal for mid-May and there is almost nothing left except for near shore ice in protected areas. Chukchi Sea ice extent also at record low, with open water now north of 71N. #akwx #Arctic @Climatologist49 @ZLabe @lisashefguy @amy_holman pic.twitter.com/Ur7UmoptgL — Rick Thoman (@AlaskaWx) May 17, 2018 Related: Extreme Arctic warmth deeply concerning, scientists say Warm oceans have played a role in the dive of Bering Sea ice levels; University of Alaska Fairbanks climate researcher Brian Brettschneider told Earther that “Bering Sea SSTs [sea surface temperatures] have been at record or near record levels for months now. This represents a strong positive feedback. Warm waters are hard to freeze, which then allows for more solar absorption.” And Bering Sea ice typically protects Chukchi Sea ice. When Bering Sea ice disappeared in February, open water seeped into the Chukchi Sea — an event that has probably only happened in one other winter on record. + National Snow and Ice Data Center Via Earther Images via Depositphotos and the National Snow and Ice Data Center

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Bering Sea ice is "at record low levels for this time of year"

UK invites fracking companies to drill under national parks lands

February 13, 2015 by  
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Enjoy Britain’s national parks while you can, because they may soon be forever changed by shale gas exploration. UK lawmakers have amended earlier legislation to allow for fracking in protected areas, so long as the surface drilling takes places just outside the border of those areas. Fracking companies will be permitted to drill down and then horizontally into protected areas, as if in attempt to fool environmental activists into thinking it doesn’t count. Read the rest of UK invites fracking companies to drill under national parks lands Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: fracking in natural areas , fracking in nional parks , fracking protections , protecting nature from fracking , UK , UK amendment fracking , UK fracking , UK laws , united kingdom

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UK invites fracking companies to drill under national parks lands

Community-Managed Forests Preserve More Trees Than Government Protected Areas, Study Says

September 2, 2011 by  
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Circling back on an issue TreeHugger wrote about in 2009, with a new study backing up the idea that community-managed forests preserve them better than government-run protected areas. A new study done by the Center for International Forestry Research , published in Forest Ecology and Management looked at 40 protected areas and 33 community-managed forests in 16 nations. The community forests only lost 0.24%… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Community-Managed Forests Preserve More Trees Than Government Protected Areas, Study Says

The Everglades Added to UNESCO Endangered Sites List

August 2, 2010 by  
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Everglades National Park was listed as a UNESCO endangered place due to its continued aquatic degradation. Sarah and Jason /Flickr In contrast to the controversial decision to remove “World Heritage in Danger” status from Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands , UNESCO has announced a list of natural sites that will now receive the designation. Topping the list are two protected areas in the United States: Everglades National Park and

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The Everglades Added to UNESCO Endangered Sites List

How Can We Detox Our Cars From Their Oil Addiction? (Part 1)

August 2, 2010 by  
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Photo: Flickr , CC From Here to There The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was only the latest in a long list of reasons why we should transition away from oil as rapidly as we can. It’s a monumental task, but we should not be intimidated, for all the longest journeys began with a single step… So what is that step and how can we get our cars off oil

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How Can We Detox Our Cars From Their Oil Addiction? (Part 1)

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