Environment

Widespread Greenland Melting Was Due to Forest Fires and Warming, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - May 20, 2014
Rising temperatures and ash from Northern Hemisphere forest fires combined to cause large-scale surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet in 2012, an

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Extent of Greenland ice melt, July 8-12, 2012 echo of a similar event that occurred in 1889, a new study finds. The massive Greenland ice sheet — the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet — experiences annual melting at low elevations near the coastline, but surface melt is rare in the dry snow region in its center. In July 2012, however, satellites observed for the first time surface melt across more than 97 percent of the ice sheet, generating reports that the event was almost exclusively the result of climate change. In the new report, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that in both 2012 and 1889 exceptionally warm temperatures combined with black carbon sediments from Northern Hemisphere forest fires to darken the surface of the ice sheet to a critical albedo threshold, causing the large-scale melting events. Since Arctic temperatures and the frequency of forest fires are both expected to rise with climate change, large-scale melt events on the Greenland ice sheet may begin to occur almost annually by 2100, the researchers say.
Categories: Environment, Health

Girl Scout Camp: Then & Now

Girl Scouts of America - May 20, 2014
Girl Scouts has been nonpartisan and inclusive for 102 years. Even our very first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, GA, included girls of varying ethnicities, faiths, and economic backgrounds. This tradition is built into camp, a cornerstone Girl Scout experience.
While many camp and outdoor activities stick to tradition, Girl Scouts also provides more modern experiences and facilities, which many girls and their families are seeking.

From STEM camp and surf camp to Hogwarts camp, farming and sustainability camp, and Camp CEO, Girl Scouts is committed to pursuing its mission through innovative, fun, and memorable camp experiences.Take a look at...

Girl Scouts camp: then and now!



Then: 1970—Cheryl Williams, a unit leader in Tallahassee, FL, is surrounded by laughing campers. Source: NHPCNow: A camp counselor and campers delight in the sun at Girl Scouts of Western Washington’s Girl Scout Camp River Ranch, nestled at the foothills of the Cascade mountains approximately 45 minutes outside Seattle. Source.





Then: 1925—A troop leader reads to scouts in a semi-circle in the "Cave,” a meeting place with table and bench. Two other Troop Leaders sit in the group. Source: NHPC.Now: On a break from swimming in the camp pool and dominating the camp challenge courses, a troop leader reads to a troop from Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri’s Camp Prairie Schooner near Kansas City. Source









Then: 1940s (unspecified)— Seven scouts in a semi-circle roast marshmallow on sticks over a stone campfire. Source: NHPC.Now: Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois keep alive the marshmallow-roasting tradition with fun and friends! Source.










Then: 1959—Six Senior Girl Scouts camp out; one girl plays guitar while they all sing together. Source: NHPC.
Now: All smiles and fun, Girl Scouts learn to play guitar outside together at Girls and Guitar camp! Source.








Then: 1919—Girl Scouts perform a circle dance in a clearing. Source: NHPCNow: Girl Scouts of Wisconsin-Badgerland incorporate Healthy Habits into camp programming to ensure girl wellness. Here, Girl Scouts create a handstand circle—we’re pretty sure they’re laughing under water! Source.


Interested in finding a camp for your girl to flex her leadership muscle and have some fun? Find your local council and contact them regarding their innovative, fun, and memorable camp experiences!


Categories: Environment

Oregon’s Jackson County Votes Today on Whether to Ban Transgenic Crops

The EnvironmentaList - May 20, 2014
Measure 15-119 is the opening salvo of Oregonians' high-stakes campaign against Big Biotech
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

India's New Prime Minister Plans To Make A Major Push on Solar Energy Major Push on Solar Energy

Yale Environment 360 - May 19, 2014
India's new government plans to bring electricity to the homes of its entire population of 1.2 billion within the next five years, largely through solar panel installations, Narendra Modi Bloomberg News reports. Although nearly 400 million Indians do not have access to electricity, newly elected prime minister Narendra Modi, who won an overwhelming victory in last week's national vote, has pledged to enable every household to run at least one light bulb by 2019. If all goes well, household solar projects would allow every home to run two light bulbs, a solar cooker, and a television, one of Modi's energy advisers said. The plan follows an unfulfilled pledge from the previous administration to bring electricity to all homes by 2012. Modi, who pioneered India's first incentive program for large-scale solar projects when he was chief minister of Gujarat state, has made expanding solar a top priority because it has the potential to create jobs and supply power to millions of households, many of which are scattered throughout rural areas and not connected to the grid. "We look upon solar as having the potential to completely transform the way we look at the energy space," said the energy adviser.
Categories: Environment, Health

India's New President Plans To Make Major Push on Solar Energy

Yale Environment 360 - May 19, 2014
India's new government plans to bring electricity to the homes of its entire population of 1.2 billion within the next five years, largely through solar panel installations, Narendra Modi Bloomberg News reports. Although nearly 400 million Indians do not have access to electricity, newly elected president Narendra Modi, who won an overwhelming victory in last week's national vote, has pledged to enable every household to run at least one light bulb by 2019. If all goes well, household solar projects would allow every home to run two light bulbs, a solar cooker, and a television, one of Modi's energy advisers said. The plan follows an unfulfilled pledge from the previous administration to bring electricity to all homes by 2012. Modi, who pioneered India's first incentive program for large-scale solar projects when he was chief minister of Gujarat state, has made expanding solar a top priority because it has the potential to create jobs and supply power to millions of households, many of which are scattered throughout rural areas and not connected to the grid. "We look upon solar as having the potential to completely transform the way we look at the energy space," said the energy adviser.
Categories: Environment, Health

A Blueprint to End Paralysis Over Global Action on Climate

Yale Environment 360 - May 19, 2014
The international community should stop chasing the chimera of a binding treaty to limit CO2 emissions. Instead, it should pursue an approach that encourages countries to engage in a “race to the top” in low-carbon energy solutions. BY TIMOTHY E. WIRTH AND THOMAS A. DASCHLE
Categories: Environment, Health

Fher, vocalista de Maná, en defensa de Cabo Pulmo.

Costa Salvaje - May 19, 2014
Fher, vocalista de Maná, en defensa de Cabo Pulmo.
Categories: Environment

Rare Plants in Alberta Endangered by Tar Sands Extraction

The EnvironmentaList - May 18, 2014
Tar sands mining and transport threatens part of food web, but unlike animals, plants have few legal protections
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

U.S. Honeybee Death Rate Is Too High for Long-term Survival, Report Says

Yale Environment 360 - May 16, 2014
Honeybees in the United States are dying at a rate too high to ensure their long-term survival, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

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U.S. honeybee deaths (USDA). Over the past winter — a season when honeybee hives are most vulnerable — the U.S. lost 23.2 percent of its hive honeybee population. That is lower than the previous winter's 30.5 percent death rate, but the cumulative impact on honeybee populations over the past eight years poses a major threat to their long-term survival, as well as the country's agricultural productivity, the USDA said. Roughly a quarter of U.S. crops depend on honeybees for pollination. "Yearly fluctuations in the rate of losses like these only demonstrate how complicated the whole issue of honey bee heath has become," said a USDA researcher, citing factors such as viruses, pathogens, and pesticides. One class of pesticides in particular, neonicotinoids, has been implicated in honeybee deaths. The European Union banned three widely used neonicotinoids last year, but they are still used in the U.S.
Categories: Environment, Health

Activists Sue Taiji Whaling Museum to Save Albino ‘Angel’

The EnvironmentaList - May 16, 2014
Suit addresses conditions of captive dolphins and takes aim at the notorious dolphin hunts in Japan
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA to Aid Wildfire Relief in Southern California

Operation USA - May 15, 2014

Los Angeles-based relief agency to distribute N95 particulate filtering masks in fire areas

Los Angeles, Calif., May 15, 2014– Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, today announced that it will distribute more than 1,000 N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators to those fighting and recovering from wildfires sweeping across Southern California this week. The masks, which were stored at the Operation USA warehouse in the Port of Los Angeles, will aid individuals in the affected areas by preventing the inhalation of ash and other dangerous toxins. The organization is calling for additional financial and in-kind support from donors and partners to further aid relief efforts.

As of Thursday afternoon numerous major fires, fueled by extreme dry heat and high winds, had burned upwards of 10,000 acres in San Diego County alone, with damage spreading across Southern California as fires continue to burn. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from areas where fires have broken out, with thousands of homes losing power–many suffering fire damage. The full extent of the damage is not yet known.

N95 masks distributed by Operation USA will be delivered to partner agencies and fire departments aiding relief efforts as soon as possible. Donations to Operation USA will be allocated to immediate relief needs and for long term recovery of community-based organizations.

Operation USA previously aided wildfire relief in Southern California in 2007 with the provision of supplies and cash grants to local agencies serving fire victims.

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—bulk quantities of safety supplies, portable generators, work boots, safety goggles, gloves, and more—are also being requested. Only new items in bulk are being accepted at this time. For more information call 1-800-678-7255.

United air miles can be donated to Operation USA 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. Learn more at www.opusa.org.

Richard Walden, President and CEO of Operation USA, is available as an expert source on disaster recovery.

PRESS CONTACT:
Mary Dolan
Operation USA
mdolan@opusa.org
323-413-2353

Categories: Environment

Small Wild Cats Face Big Threats, but Receive Little Conservation Funds

The EnvironmentaList - May 15, 2014
Relative obscurity of small cats means they are overlooked by most wildlife conservation groups
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Intensity of Hurricanes Now Peaking Farther From Equator

Yale Environment 360 - May 15, 2014
Powerful, destructive tropical cyclones are now reaching their peak intensity farther from the equator and closer to the poles, according to a new study in the journal Hurricane Sandy's progression in 2012 Nature. Over the last 30 years, tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes or typhoons, have moved poleward at a rate of roughly 33 miles per decade in the Northern Hemisphere and 38 miles per decade in the Southern Hemisphere. Ocean temperatures between 82 and 86 degrees F seem to be "ideal for the genesis of tropical cyclones," said MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel, who co-authored the study, "and as that belt migrates poleward, which surely it must as the whole ocean warms, the tropical cyclone genesis regions might just move with it." The poleward shift of hurricanes and typhoons could lead to "potentially profound consequences to life and property" in regions that previously had not been hit by tropical cyclones.
Categories: Environment, Health

She-Shells! Girl Scout Allyson Willis Proves You Can Make a Difference No Matter Your Age

Girl Scouts of America - May 15, 2014
For her Girl Scout Bronze Award project, Allyson Willis of Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay successfully designed and implemented a petition and letter-writing campaign to persuade Delaware lawmakers to name the channeled whelk, a type of sea snail pictured below, Delaware’s official state shell.  
Video credit: Middletown Transcript
"I realized that a lot of the states around us, New Jersey and New York, had state shells even though we have more beaches than they do," Allyson told delawareonline. "It kind of made me mad. It was almost like we weren't there."She-shells!: Delaware Governor Jay Markell signed a channeled whelk. The shell, along with a copy of the bill Allyson helped pass, will be included in an exhibit at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.  Allyson worked closely with Rep. Quinn Johnson of Middletown to craft the bill that became law. 
 "...for me, [this bill is] more about Allyson, her classmates, and her fellow Girl Scouts taking an interest in the environment and in the legislative process," Rep. Johnson told the Middletown Transcript. "We try to listen to all our constituents, and something like this just shows that you don't have to be of voting age to be a constituent or to make a difference."Making the world a better place: From left to right: Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay CEO Anne Hogan; Girl Scout Allyson Willis (seated); Allyson's dad, Jim Willis; Allyson's mom, Renne Willis; and Delaware Governor Jack Markell. Allyson's grandparents, not pictured, were also in attendance, and she even had family travel from New Mexico to witness her make history!"It is so important to encourage civic engagement among young people and show them the value of advocating on behalf of issues that matter to them," Gov. Markell said in a release. "This piece of legislation is the result of Allyson's efforts and shows the impact one person can have on their community."

For Allyson, her success is still surreal.

"I thought it was just a little girl's dream that would never come true," she said.


To learn how a girl in your life can flex her leadership muscle in Girl Scouts, please visit girlscouts.org/join
To learn how you can volunteer and help a girl reach her leadership potential, please visit our webpage. 
Categories: Environment

Five Questions for John Holdren on the U.S. Climate Assessment

Yale Environment 360 - May 15, 2014
The federal government this month released its National Climate Assessment, the most comprehensive report to John P. Holdren
date on the climate impacts already being felt in the U.S. Saying climate change “has moved firmly into the present,” the report documented how drier regions are growing drier, heat waves more intense, and large swaths of forest dying from insect infestations. Yale Environment 360 asked John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, five questions about the report and about plans by President Obama to intensify actions to rein in CO2 emissions and adapt to rising seas and other changes.
Read more.
Categories: Environment, Health

Groundwater Depletion Is Destabilizing the San Andreas Fault and Increasing Earthquake Risk

The EnvironmentaList - May 15, 2014
New Research also links seasonal water levels to seasonal patterns in seismicity
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Define Beauty in New PSA Challenge!

Girl Scouts of America - May 14, 2014
How do you define beauty?
Far too often, we consider beauty a matter of appearance. But what’s important to remember is that beauty is more than skin deep. It encompasses all of the wonderful traits that make us unique—and beautiful—in our own ways. So we’re wondering: how do you define beauty? Are you beautiful for your desire to help those in need? Because the bands on your braces are cool colors? Because your red hair shines flame-bright in the sun? Whether because of a unique birthmark or an unbridled excitement to try new things, we’re all beautiful in our own ways. So celebrate it! And be free to be you.
As part of our Free Being MePSA contest, we want you to tell the world why it’s important to love yourself, including your physical appearance and the things that make you stand out as a person. We invite you, alone or with a group of up to five girls, to create a short video PSA highlighting the above as well as urging others to celebrate what makes them unique—and beautiful!
Not sure where to start? Visit our contest page, and consider using the following questions as prompts:
·         Different people—depending on where in the world they live, for one—find different things beautiful. What are some things you find beautiful no matter where you travel?·         What might make every girl everywhere feel free to be herself? ·         What do you think the world would be like if every girl felt her accomplishments mattered more than how she looks?
We hope you’ll give your PSA submission your all! Don’t forget to encourage your friends to vote for your video on our Facebook page; the lucky winner(s) will receive an iPad Air!

Girl Scouts Speak Out will accept submissions from April 28, 12:00 a.m. ET, to August 31, 11:59 p.m. ET. 
Categories: Environment

Early El Niño Conditions May Spell Big Weather Impact This Year

Yale Environment 360 - May 14, 2014
Indications are growing that an El Niño weather pattern may be forming in the Pacific Ocean, which could have a profound impact on global weather. El Niño events are spawned by unusually warm ocean waters in the Pacific,

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Sea surface height and these NASA satellite images are one indication of warmer waters. The images depict sea-surface height anomalies, with above average sea-surface height shown in various shades of brown. Above average sea-surface heights are an indication of warmer waters, which expand as temperatures rise. These two images compare conditions in 1997 — a year with one of the most powerful El Niño events of the 20th century — with conditions this May. If an El Niño pattern does develop this year, it could lead to wetter conditions in western North America and South America, which could help end a severe drought now plaguing the U.S. West. The 1997/98 El Niño also created warmer and drier conditions in much of Asia. Other evidence, including data from a network of buoys in the Pacific, also shows a deep pool of warm waters sliding east across the Pacific since January.
Categories: Environment, Health

Examining How Marine Life Might Adapt to Acidified Oceans

Yale Environment 360 - May 14, 2014
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, marine biologist Gretchen Hofmann discusses how well mollusks and other shell-building organisms might evolve to live in increasingly corrosive ocean conditions caused by soaring CO2 emissions. BY ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
Categories: Environment, Health
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