Climate change and coral reef destruction
Current climate targets are not enough to save the world's coral reefs - and policymakers urgently need to consider the economic benefits they bring.
Those are two of the conclusions from a UN-backed project aiming to quantify the financial costs of damaging nature.
“ There's evidence that current levels of CO2 are already causing damage to reefs ”
Alex Rogers, Institute of Zoology "Stabilising at anything more than about 350ppm will lead to further destruction, and really we need to be aiming for zero emissions."
Useful facts from the BBC news site:
# Up to 50% of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels over the past 200 years has been absorbed by the world's oceans
# This has lowered the pH value of seawater - the measure of acidity and alkalinity - by 0.1
# The vast majority of liquids lie between pH 0 (very acidic) and pH 14 (very alkaline); 7 is neutral
# Seawater is mildly alkaline with a "natural" pH of about 8.2
# The IPCC forecasts that ocean pH will fall by "between 0.14 and 0.35 units over the 21st Century, adding to the present fall of 0.1 units since pre-industrial times."
Related story from december 2008
"Scientists say they now have unambiguous evidence that the warming in the Arctic is accelerating.
Computer models have long predicted that decreasing sea ice should amplify temperature changes in the northern polar region."
in full: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7786910.stm
Arctic ice thinning at alarming rate
" The thickness of Arctic sea ice "plummeted" last winter, thinning by as much as one-fifth in some regions, satellite data has revealed.
A study by UK researchers showed that the ice thickness had been fairly constant for the previous five winters. "
Sand lizards released in Surrey, mid-Wales and Dorset
Hundreds of rare sand lizards are being released into the wild at locations in England and Wales from which they had previously disappeared.
The sand lizard was once a common sight across heathland, but the gradual destruction of its habitats has led to its extinction in many places.
400 lizards will be set free within a fortnight, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation group said.
Your garden can help!
The reintroduction of the sand lizards is part of a 133-point action plan, intended to reverse the decline of the UK's frogs, toads, lizards and snakes.
The plan includes research, monitoring species and encouraging land-owners to create habitats such as ponds to help wildlife flourish.
Dr Tom Tew, chief scientist at Natural England, the government's conservation agency, said: "Reptiles and amphibians are coming under pressure from an increasing number of factors including habitat loss, disease and a future of climate change.
"This important reintroduction programme is an example of the action that must be taken to reverse the decline in England's biodiversity and to conserve the habitats that our unique wildlife relies upon."
a good article on the sand lizard: