Fiji says U.S. faces climate risks, urges Trump to ‘stay in canoe’

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Fiji, due to lead global talks on climate change, said on Thursday that rising sea levels threaten New York and Miami and urged U.S. President Donald Trump to “stay in the canoe” alongside other nations in the fight against global warming.


Reuters: Environment

Globe-trotting pollutants raise some cancer risks four times higher than predicted

A new way of looking at how pollutants ride through the atmosphere has quadrupled the estimate of global lung cancer risk from a pollutant caused by combustion, to a level that is now double the allowable limit recommended by the World Health Organization.

The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition online, showed that tiny floating particles can grow semi-solid around pollutants, allowing them to last longer and travel much farther than what previous global climate models predicted.

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Genetic Mutation In Whale Eyes May Increase Mortality Risks

Ocean Leadership ~

Scientists studied a genetic mutation in the eyes of Northern right whales and Bowhead whales, seen here. (Credit: Kate Stafford/Bering Land Bridge Natural Preserve)

(Click to enlarge) Scientists studied a genetic mutation in the eyes of Northern right whales and Bowhead whales, seen here. (Credit: Kate Stafford/Bering Land Bridge Natural Preserve)

Scientists have found that a genetic mutation in the eyes of right whales that hampers their ability to see in bright light may make them more susceptible to fatal entanglements in fishing gear, one of the major causes of death for this critically endangered mammal.

(From Phys.org)– The study of this whale species, which numbers less than 500 individuals remaining in the Western Atlantic Ocean, may also help scientists better understand how vision works in other mammals, including people.

Florida Institute of Technology doctoral student Lorian Schweikert and her adviser, Michael Grace, professor of neuroscience and senior associate dean of science, worked with Jeffry Fasick, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Tampa, to characterize this newly discovered mutation in Northern right whales and Bowhead whales. Their results suggest that this mutation may seriously harm the whales’ ability to visually avoid entanglement.

According to their new study, “Evolutionary Loss of Cone Photoreception in Balaenid Whales Reveals Circuit Stability in the Mammalian Retina,” published this month in the Journal of Comparative Neurology, the normal light-detecting proteins in cone photoreceptor cells are missing in these whales, demonstrating for the first time the complete loss of cone-based light detection in any mammal.

Read the full article here: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-genetic-mutation-whale-eyes-mortality.html#jCp

 

The post Genetic Mutation In Whale Eyes May Increase Mortality Risks appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Study assesses climate change vulnerability in urban America

Flooding due to rising ocean levels. Debilitating heat waves that last longer and occur more frequently. Rising rates of diseases caused by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes, such as Lyme disease, Chikungunya, and Zika. Increasing numbers of Emergency Room visits for asthma attacks due to higher levels of ground-level ozone. Impacts of climate change such as these will affect cities across the country.

One of the first efforts to systematically assess how cities are preparing for climate change shows that city planners have yet to fully assess their vulnerability to climate change, leaving serious risks unaddressed. In their evaluations to-date, they see infrastructure and risks to specific human populations as the primary areas of concern. Despite these concerns, expert assessments of urban climate vulnerability often do not address the real risks that local planners face.

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Researchers assess heatwave risks associated with climate change

Combining climate and mortality data, researchers have estimated that 315 deaths in Greater London and 735 deaths in Central Paris can be strongly linked to the 2003 heatwave that set record-breaking temperatures across Europe. Taking their analysis a step further, they determine that 64 (± 3) deaths from the London dataset and 506 (± 51) deaths from the Paris dataset are attributable to anthropogenic climate change, which increased the risk of heat related mortality by 20% and 70%, respectively, in the two cities. The team, led by scientists from the University of Oxford and Public Health England, has reported its latest findings in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

ENN: Top Stories

El Nino indicator hits record high, adds to weather risks: NOAA

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A key indicator for the strength of El Niño has reached a record high, the U.S. weather agency said, adding to signs that a weather pattern known for causing extreme droughts, storms and floods could become one of the strongest ever.


Reuters: Environment

Pest blights India’s GM cotton crop, fuelling debate over risks

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Two Indian states are suffering the first major pest infestation since the country adopted genetically modified cotton in 2002, raising concerns over the vulnerability of the lab-grown seeds that yield nearly all of the cotton in the world’s top producer.



Reuters: Environment

Fukushima: Japanese government and IAEA ignore radiation risks to coastal population

Radiation can be carried long distances by marine currents, concentrated in sediments, and carried in sea spray 16km or more inland, writes Tim Deere-Jones. So Fukushima poses a hazard to coastal populations and any who eat produce from their farms. So what are the Japanese Government and IAEA doing? Ignoring the problem, and failing to gather data.
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Scientists Warn of Air Pollution Risks in West Africa

New research by European and African scientists, including a team from the University of York, warns of the risks posed by the increasing air pollution over the cities of West Africa – amid fears it could have an impact on human health, meteorology and regional climate.

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Seed study reveals future risks to nature

The first worldwide study of animals and the seeds they eat has overturned a long-held assumption – that large animals mainly eat large seeds. The finding by UNSW Australia scientists has implications for conservation showing that a wider variety of plants than is often thought could be at risk if large animals go extinct and do not disperse their seeds.

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