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The Decline of the Coconut Crab: protection methods used in the Seychelles could conserve the species

Environment | Oceans, May 12th, 2022

Coconut crabs have seen a huge decrease in population due to overharvesting and increasing demand from tourist restaurants. Strict regulations on fishing, pollution, disturbance and the implementation of marine protected areas could save the species if measures are taken soon.

Will the world really break up with plastic?

Environment | Oceans, April 11th, 2022

Plastic has become the defining feature of the current age, where human activity dominates the environment and climate, known as the Anthropocene. Plastic has been found in extremely remote places, from the deepest trenches of the ocean to the top of Mt. Everest. It is intimately part of our lives and has even been found in human blood.

Problems down under: The 6th mass bleaching event of The Great Barrier Reef is happening now

Environment | Oceans, April 3rd, 2022

Known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders Of the World, the Great Barrier Reef attracts over three million tourists to the Queensland coast every year. If the average global temperature warms by 2°C above current levels, it is predicted that global coral cover will decrease by 95%—a staggering figure which will have catastrophic impacts on ecological processes and the economies of many countries.

How an indigenous resistance prevented a high-value fisheries collapse in the Pacific islands

Environment | Oceans, March 31st, 2022

The questions of what property is and how it can and should be managed are central to the academic fields of economics, finance, history and sociology. Looking at successful examples of vulnerable and valuable resources, such as commodity fisheries, can help us answer important questions: What role did the management of the commons play, and what was the impact of indigenous traditions?

The importance of coral reef connectivity under climate change

Environment | Oceans, March 3rd, 2022

Evidence suggests that rising ocean temperatures are limiting the ability of coral larvae to migrate between reefs, with the associated biodiversity losses reducing coral resilience to disease, overfishing, and the impacts of climate change.

A call for a ceasefire in the water wars of the Southeastern United States

Environment | Oceans, March 1st, 2022

The waters of Apalachicola Bay are quiet this year. Gone are the trademark hums of outboard motors, the slapping of waves against skiff hulls, the knocking of oyster shells against boat decks as the tonger fishermen empty their nets. There will be no oysters this year, nor for the next three.

Hawaii becomes the first state to ban shark fishing entirely

Environment | Oceans, February 28th, 2022

Sharks have ruled and sustained the oceans for millions of years, but their existence is threatened due to immoral practices such as shark finning. Hawaii has recently become the first state in the United States to ban shark finning, and a European Citizens’ Initiative wants to implement new laws to protect sharks, but will movements like these prove effective?

Acoustic enrichment is aiding coral reef recovery

Environment | Oceans, February 22nd, 2022

Coral reefs are often referred to as the ‘rainforests of the ocean’ due to the richness of biodiversity they harbour and the vital role they play in the functioning of marine ecosystems. Globally, reefs support over 500 million people through tourism and fishing, providing a livelihood and an essential source of protein, whilst also producing multiple medicinal compounds used to treat cancer, HIV, and cardiovascular diseases.

Songs of the Sea: the sounds of recovering coral reefs

Environment | Oceans, February 15th, 2022

Whoops, knocks, purrs, croaks and laughs are all sounds that emanate from the creatures that live in the restored coral reefs of Indonesia. These sounds are a part of healthy, functioning reef ecosystems and can tell us about how they function and their diversity.

A two-year fishing ban may help reverse the decline in the shortfin mako shark population

Environmental | Oceans, January 20th, 2022

For years, shortfin mako sharks have been threatened by longline fishing bycatch and shark finning. A new report shows that science-based protections may help rebuild this endangered species population—a new hope for shark conservation.

The threat of ‘supertrawlers’ to cetaceans

Environment | Oceans, December 30th, 2021

‘Supertrawlers’ are large-scale commercial fishing boats that trail nets the size of 450 tennis courts. The gaping maw of a supertrawler net is the length of seven blue whales, and when it sweeps the ocean depths, it captures large quantities of marine wildlife—not just its intended fish species.

Scientific Insights: a brief guide to how marine biologists measure biodiversity in inshore reef environments

Environment | Oceans, December 26th, 2021

Inshore reef environments (IREs) are the first affected by plastic and chemical pollutants, which enter oceans via industrial development, shipping waste, and river runoff. Thus, the monitoring of biodiversity along coastlines is vital to measure and understand the health of these keystone ecosystems.

Are global fish stocks on the brink of collapse?

Environment | Oceans, December 21st, 2021

Global fish stocks are in a far worse state than previously thought, with roughly half being overexploited and 10% on the brink of collapse. However, these harrowing figures cannot truly capture the state of global fisheries; as uncertainty, inadequate data, and ineffectual management means we have a limited understanding of wide-scale stock collapse risk.

Landed in hot water: threatened salmon shift behaviour in the face of climate change

Environment | Oceans, December 6th, 2021

Chinook salmon are a threatened species of anadromous fish, migrating thousands of miles to breed. In the face of climate change, a minority group of juvenile salmon have adopted a novel life history trait that, so far, has been the life support of the entire Californian population. Now, the innovative young salmon face a new threat of habitat loss, as waters warm and impassable dams block their access to cooler waters.

Pelagia noctiluca and Chrysaora hysoscella take an unexpected voyage to the Adriatic Sea

Environment | Oceans, November 15th, 2021

The beautiful Adriatic Sea has recently been visited by two marvellous jellyfish species—Pelagia noctiluca and Chrysaora hysoscella. Local scientists were shocked about these sightings, leaving many to question the frequency and potential consequences of the jellyfish visits.

Sustainable Seafood: What, Why and How?

Environment | Oceans, November 1st, 2021

Recent years and events have demonstrated the need for a transition towards more sustainable food systems. In order to achieve this transition, we have to ask the simple ‘what’, why’, and ‘how’ questions concerning sustainability, dietary choices, and global food systems.

The Grindadráp - A tradition or a bloodbath?

Environment | Oceans, October 13th, 2021

The Grindadráp is a deeply rooted part of Faroese culture; however, it has recently received plenty of criticism from international audiences due to a new record hunt where 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were beached and slaughtered.

Phytoplankton: heroes or victims of climate change?

Environment | Oceans, September 30th, 2021

Microscopic life in our oceans plays a vital role in taking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—but can we rely on them to curb our emissions?

Tropical reefs under threat as tumour-like disease dysregulates coral metabolism

Environment | Oceans, July 27th, 2021

Samples taken from Hawaii’s coral reefs and analysed using biochemical profiling have revealed that a devastating disease linked to human activity is degrading tropical reefs by disrupting coral metabolism.

Sulu Sulawesi: a seascape approach to funding a blue economy

Environment | Oceans, June 22nd, 2021

Currently 5% of our oceans are actively protected, by 2030 Conservation International hopes that 30% of marine areas will be under protection. The establishment of seascapes may just help shift current marine economies into sustainable ‘blue’ economies.

A status report on the critically endangered Māui dolphin

Environment | Oceans, March 18th, 2021

Two of the world’s smallest dolphins have been listed as endangered and critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The populations of Hector’s and Māui dolphins are dwindling, with only around 10,000 Hector’s and a mere 63 Māui dolphins, respectively.

The Decline of the Coconut Crab: protection methods used in the Seychelles could conserve the species

Environment | Oceans

Will the world really break up with plastic?

Environment | Oceans

Problems down under: The 6th mass bleaching event of The Great Barrier Reef is happening now

Environment | Oceans

How an indigenous resistance prevented a high-value fisheries collapse in the Pacific islands

Environment | Oceans

The importance of coral reef connectivity under climate change

Environment | Oceans

A call for a ceasefire in the water wars of the Southeastern United States

Environment | Oceans

Hawaii becomes the first state to ban shark fishing entirely

Environment | Oceans

Acoustic enrichment is aiding coral reef recovery

Environment | Oceans

Songs of the Sea: the sounds of recovering coral reefs

Environment | Oceans

A two-year fishing ban may help reverse the decline in the shortfin mako shark population

Environmental | Oceans

The threat of ‘supertrawlers’ to cetaceans

Environment | Oceans

Scientific Insights: a brief guide to how marine biologists measure biodiversity in inshore reef environments

Are global fish stocks on the brink of collapse?

Environment | Oceans

Landed in hot water: threatened salmon shift behaviour in the face of climate change

Environment | Oceans

Pelagia noctiluca and Chrysaora hysoscella take an unexpected voyage to the Adriatic Sea

Environment | Oceans

Sustainable Seafood: What, Why and How?

Environment | Oceans

The Grindadráp - A tradition or a bloodbath?

Environment | Oceans

Phytoplankton: heroes or victims of climate change?

Environment | Oceans

Tropical reefs under threat as tumour-like disease dysregulates coral metabolism

Environment | Oceans

Sulu Sulawesi: a seascape approach to funding a blue economy

Environment | Oceans

A status report on the critically endangered Māui dolphin

Environment | Oceans

Cultural burns: An indigenous solution to the forest fires of the Pacific Northwest

Environment | Forests, April 30th, 2022

While forest fires pose an immense threat to residents of the Pacific Northwest region of North America, an underutilized indigenous practice may offer a solution.

The Amazon is rapidly becoming less resilient to environmental stressors

Environment | Forests, April 21st, 2022

The resilience of the Amazon rainforest to natural and anthropogenic stressors is crucial in maintaining biodiversity, modulating regional climate and dampening CO2 increases. However, deforestation and climate change are reducing this reliance, pushing the Amazon ever closer to the brink of wide-scale dieback.

Ash dieback: the fatal fungus costing the Earth

Environment | Forests, January 11th, 2022

Ash dieback is transforming the British countryside, leaving extinction cascades and a £15 billion price tag in its wake. Have we learnt our lesson, or will history repeat itself?

Wildfires in the Mediterranean: a little too wild

Environment | Forests, September 16th, 2021

There is growing evidence that higher temperatures associated with global warming are increasing the number of summer wildfires across the Mediterranean region.

Unspoken victims of warfare: the destructive impacts of armed conflict on local biodiversity

Environment | Forests, September 6th, 2021

In the last 50 years, over 80% of human conflicts have overlapped with a biodiversity hotspot, despite these areas only taking up 3% of the Earth’s land surface. Currently, 64 of 195 countries that have biodiversity hotspots, have been listed as areas of priority for conservation efforts.

Northern Borneo’s mangrove forests are disappearing, along with our blue carbon stocks

Environment | Forests, August 30th, 2021

An island where palm oil plantations cover land as far as the eye can see, Borneo’s tropical rainforests are not the only forests under threat of deforestation. Between 2000 and 2015, 25,500 hectares of mangrove forests have disappeared.

The Bolsonaro Administration is not taking enough action to conserve Earth’s shrinking lungs.

Environment | Forests, May 12th, 2021

The Amazonian rainforest is vital to mitigating the impacts of climate change. However, findings suggest that, due to ongoing human disturbances, deforested areas of the world’s largest rainforest are not recovering at a fast-enough rate.

Should wolves be protected on Swiss soil? A referendum that divides a neutral country.

Environment | Forests, March 1st, 2021

On the 27th of November 2020, 51.9 per cent of Swiss voters voted ‘No’ in a referendum revising the Swiss Hunting Act of 1986. In Switzerland, wolves will continue to be a nationally protected species.

Agriculture is decreasing carbon stocks in the Ecuadorian páramo

Environment | Mountains, January 24th, 2022

The Andean Páramo has a uniquely high soil carbon storage potential, which contributes to the water retention and hydraulic conductivity that are central to providing fresh water to its surrounding communities. However, studies are suggesting that the impact of expanding agriculture is steadily depleting the soil from its carbon levels.

Southeast Asia’s mountains are losing their tropical forests to make room for agricultural expansion

Environment | Mountains, August 1st, 2021

Satellite datasets have determined that between 2001 to 2019, around 61 million hectares of tropical forests have been lost in the mountains of Southeast Asia.

Desertification in the Dobrogea: Romania’s agricultural lands are eroding away

Environment | Grasslands , February 19th, 2022

As one of the biggest agricultural producers of Europe, Romania now faces the wrath of climate change, with large areas of the country experiencing desertification. Drought is now becoming the norm, water becoming scarce, and tornadoes have struck for the first time; local communities are getting desperate.

Increasing drought events are drying up grasslands and croplands in the northern hemisphere

Environment | Grasslands, October 7th, 2021

Global databases have found trends indicating that the increased prevalence and intensity of droughts are reducing the net gross primary productivity of northern mid-latitude grassland ecosystems.

How peatland restoration is helping the UK’s ospreys to bounce back

Environment | Grasslands, September 19th, 2021

Restoring peatlands is vital in the fight against climate change. The Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve, in Cumbria, is now leading in peatland restoration, helping to prevent the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Additionally, the reserve has become a successful nesting site for one of the UK’s most treasured birds of prey: the osprey.

Gabon and Kenya call for international support in the fight against human-elephant conflict.

Environment | Grasslands, May 8th, 2021

Two countries, opposite coasts, both calling for international aid in mitigating the never-ending clashes between wild elephants and rural communities.

Sub-Saharan groundwater supply in the face of climate change—an uncertain future?

Environment | Deserts, October 4th, 2021

Groundwater abstractions within sub-Saharan Africa must increase in order to satisfy the projected growth in water demand. Yet little is known about the renewability of groundwater resources, particularly under climate change, as limited observational data and modeling uncertainty is preventing any robust estimations.

Mammal and bird communities are collapsing in the Mojave Desert

Environment | Deserts, July 17th, 2021

Evolution has given desert animals time to equip themselves with strategies to bear—even thrive—the temperatures of the barren lands. Although, previously, desert communities had thousands of years to adapt to their environment. Now with the rate of our current warming climate, even these heat-specialists cannot keep up.

Icefish breeding colony discovered in the Weddell Sea

Environment | Tundras and Poles, March 7th, 2022

A vast breeding colony of Jonah’s icefish, Neopagetopsis ionah, has been discovered in the southern Weddell Sea, Antarctica. The surprising discovery now prompts more questions about the behaviour of these unique icefish, the associations between Antarctic benthic communities and calls for support to establish a marine protected area.

Siberia’s hottest record is literally ground-breaking

Environment | Tundras and Poles, February 22nd, 2022

Heatwaves across Siberia have broken records, burnt forests, and even melted the ground. As the icy foundations of Siberia give way, indigenous communities across the region are faced with collapsing infrastructure, emergency-state oil spills and the outbreaks of ancient, fatal diseases.

Rising ocean temperatures are set to drive fundamental shifts in Arctic communities

Environment | Tundras and Poles, September 2nd, 2021

Rising ocean temperatures, sea ice decline, and the geographic re-distribution of Atlantic species are threatening vulnerable Arctic marine communities. Unless warming abates, Arctic species are likely to be replaced by boreal (Atlantic) generalists.

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet: much more than just rising sea levels.

Environment | Tundras and Poles, June 16th, 2021

An international collaborative study found that mercury levels in Greenland glacial meltwater compare to levels measured in industrial China.

Do protected areas actually help wildlife?

Environment | Earth Systems, May 8th, 2022

The idea of designating areas as protected—under the assumption they will benefit wildlife—forms the basis of modern conservation. However, there is evidence demonstrating that designating protected areas is not necessarily beneficial to wildlife, highlighting the need to ensure effective protected area management.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai: the environmental impact of a volcano that shook the Earth

Environment | Earth Systems, April 7th, 2022

On the 15th of January 2022, the volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai erupted with unprecedented force. The eruption sent reverberations around the Earth several times and challenged what we know about eruption physics—what does this mean for the environment?

Is Brazil facing a water crisis?

Environment | Earth Systems, February 12th, 2022

Despite potentially huge water resources, Brazil is increasingly facing more recurrent and severe water crises. An overreliance on surface water resources and decades of mismanagement has left Brazilian water supplies highly vulnerable to variability in precipitation, an issue exacerbated by climate change and rampant deforestation.

Are there such things as ‘natural’ disasters?

Environment | Earth Systems, January 17th, 2022

The impacts of natural disasters are dependent on the severity of the natural hazard and societal vulnerability, with the latter often more important in determining the human cost. Given that vulnerability is a function of several socio-economic factors, are any disasters truly ‘natural’?

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