Saturday, September 30, 2006

Environmental News

From the Environmental News Network:

Top Ten Articles of the Week

In the news September 25th - 29th: A landmark law, the value of northern forests, fences and migration, protecting wetlands from drilling, and much more.

1. Schwarzenegger Signs Landmark Greenhouse Gas Law
In a move backers hope will change the U.S. approach to the problem of global warming, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law Wednesday aimed at reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions.

2. China to Release Rare Tigers to Shrinking Forests
China will train 620 endangered Siberian tigers to survive in the wild as part of a controversial effort to return them to the country's shrinking northeast forests, state media reported on Monday.

3. Intact Northern Forests Worth $250 Billion a Year, According to Study
Forests in northern nations such as Russia and Canada are worth $250 billion a year because of services they provide by purifying water or soaking up greenhouse gases, a researcher said on Tuesday.

4. U.S.-Mexico Border Fence May Harm Animal Migration
A plan to fence off a third of the U.S. border to stop illegal immigration from Mexico may harm migration routes used by animals including rare birds and jaguars, environmentalists and U.S. authorities warn.

5. U.S. Says Will Pull Alaska Wetlands from Oil Drilling
In a win for environmentalists, the U.S. Interior Department says it is willing to withdraw sensitive wetlands from a large area in Alaska's western Arctic region that it wanted to open next week to oil and natural gas drilling.

6. Senator Seeks to Speed Nuclear Waste Shipments to Yucca Mountain
A Senate committee chairman said Wednesday he wants to start shipping nuclear waste to Nevada's Yucca Mountain in 2010, seven years ahead of the Bush administration's schedule. A bill by Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., would mandate construction of a surface storage facility at the site that could hold nuclear waste until the long-delayed underground dump is ready.

7. Earth May Be at Warmest Point in One Million Years
Earth may be close to the warmest it has been in the last million years, especially in the part of the Pacific Ocean where potentially violent El Nino weather patterns are born, climate scientists reported Monday.

8. Journal: Agency Blocked Hurricane Report
A government agency blocked release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes, the journal Nature reported Tuesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disputed the Nature article, saying there was not a report but a two-page fact sheet about the topic.

9. Brazil Greens See Tensions if Lula Wins Second Term
With his leftist credentials and background as a factory worker in polluted Sao Paulo, environmentalists had high hopes of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva when he took office in 2003. But the results are mixed.

10. Diaper Component Tested to Protect Water
When Nebraska researchers began looking for ways to soak up nitrogen fertilizer from cropland before it could make its way to ground water, they turned the standard in absorption: disposable baby diapers.

Photo: A close-up of a brightly-colored Cactus flower. Credit: Gary M. Stolz/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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