Reuters: In July 2010, U.S. investor Todd Lemons and Russian energy giant Gazprom believed they were just weeks from winning final approval for a landmark forest preservation project in Indonesia.
A year later, the project is close to collapse, a casualty of labyrinthine Indonesian bureaucracy, opaque laws and a secretive palm oil company.
The Guardian: Goi is now a dead village. The two fish ponds, bakery and chicken farm that used to be the pride and joy of its chief deacon, Barrisa Tete Dooh, lie abandoned, covered in a thick black layer. The village’s fishing creek is contaminated; the school has been looted; the mangrove forests are coated in bitumen and everyone has left, refugees from a place blighted by the exploitation of the region’s most valuable asset: crude oil.
NYTGreenBlogs: Amid the high-rise office buildings, towering apartment complexes and sprawling construction sites, green pockets are hard to find in Gurgaon, a New Delhi suburb that is home to the back-office operations of some of the world’s biggest companies. So the local government, private companies and citizens have banded together to plant a million trees.
Mongabay: The ocean holds endless surprises still. In an underwater cave off the Pacific island nation of Palau, researchers have made an astounding discovery: an eel species unknown to science that harkens back 200 million years. The new species, described in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B as an ‘enigmatic, small eel-like fish’, sports anatomical features that differentiate it from the over 800 known species of eel surviving today.
BBC: The 400-million-year-old samples revealed rings of cells characteristic of wood, a team of scientists observed.
They also suggested that the woody substance appeared to be a mechanism to transport water rather than acting as a support to allow plants to grow taller.
National Wildlife Federation: As of mid-July, researchers from Texas A&M University had measured the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico to be more than 3,300 square miles. Fertilizer runoff from farms combined with the historically higher waters in the Mississippi River could make it grow to more than 9,400 square miles, making it the largest on record.
Nancy Rabalais, Ph. D., executive director and professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, said the “dead zone” in the Gulf is caused by nutrients from agricultural runoff.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 41 percent of the land in the U.S. eventually drains into the Mississippi River. Farming fertilizers, urban runoff, treated sewage and other pollutants from as far north as South Dakota work their way into the river every spring and empty into the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.
There, an accumulation of nitrogen and nutrients deplete oxygen levels in the seawater. When they drop to dangerously low levels, it triggers hypoxia, a condition that can kill all sea life in the area. Dead zones are often described as “ocean deserts” as they support little life and fish can’t be found for miles.
McClatchy: About half the recent record loss of Arctic sea ice can be blamed on global warming caused by human activity, according to a new study by scientists from the nation’s leading climate research center.
The peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Science Foundation is the first to attribute a specific proportion of the ice melt to greenhouse gases and particulates from pollution.