Ecosystems & Species

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Drought in East Africa likely to Persist as Global Temperatures Continue to Rise

A new study finds that decreased rainfall in eastern Africa is linked to climate change. Increased frequency of drought will risk food shortages for the approximately 17.5 million people living in the Greater Horn of Africa—Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. 

Video: Addicted to Risk—Oil Spill, Financial Crisis and Now Climate Change

Author Naomi Klein discusses how our culture of risk jeopardizes our planet, well-being and those least capable of defending themselves.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Pacific Walrus "warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act"

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a decision today that the Pacific walrus "warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act," noting that it "is primarily threatened by the loss of sea ice in its arctic habitat due to climate change."  However, the agency said that "an official rulemaking to propose that protection is currently precluded by the need to address other higher priority species."

Rising ocean temperatures and acidity may prove a deadly one-two punch for the world’s corals

A recent experiment by scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama has revealed just how rising atmospheric carbon dioxide will deliver a one-two punch to coral reefs in coming decades, potentially knocking them out by preventing growth in juvenile corals.

Polar Bear Population in Canada's Western Hudson Bay Unlikely to Survive Climate Disruption

Declining sea ice in Canada's Western Hudson Bay already has been linked to a decline in the area's polar bear population.  Today, researchers report  that as the ice-free period in the region becomes longer, fewer females will successfully reproduce and those that do will have smaller litters. The authors say their findings "serve as another indicator that the western Hudson Bay population will probably not remain viable under predicted climatic conditions."

Renewable Energy Can Phase Out Fossil Fuels in 40 Years

If the world continues its current trajectory for fossil fuel use, species, ecosystems and natural resources are all at risk from runaway climate change. WWF released a new report showing how the world can transition away from dirty energy sources and achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.

New melt record for Greenland Ice Sheet

New research shows that 2010 set new records for the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in coming decades.

Arctic Sea Ice is Among World's Most Threatened Ecosystems

According to a new report, the top ten ecosystems most threatened by climate change include Arctic sea ice with its many imperiled species.  To address the threat, the report says we must sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions and "increase habitat and species resilience" by minimizing other major stresses to the ecosystem.  

Polar Bears to Remain as Threatened Species

The Obama Administration has declined to upgrade the polar bear’s threatened species status, listed under the Endangered Species Act, to endangered. Geoff York, WWF polar bear scientist, discusses the growing climate change threat to polar bears.

Arctic Sees Second Lowest November Sea Ice Extent on Record, Favoring another Cold Season of Extremes in Mid-Latitudes

The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports today (6 December 2010) that November Arctic sea ice extent was the second lowest on record. Exposed ocean waters that normally are ice-covered in parts of the Arctic are pumping heat into the region's atmosphere, altering atmospheric circulation, and contributing to extreme weather conditions that extend into mid-latitudes.

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