Production systems involving ruminant animals have come under pressure from some sectors of the community concerned about climate change due to the production of methane (CH4, a greenhouse gas) by these animals. While methane has a much shorter life (12 years) in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the reason it attracts so much negative publicity is that methane is calculated to have a 25 greater fold impact on climate change than carbon dioxide. Much of the atmospheric methane is oxidised to carbon dioxide and water, but with general emission levels increasing since the industrial era, (as with carbon dioxide), there is only so much certain systems can deal with. So should we therefore be worried about the impacts of the methane from our livestock on climate change? (Read More)
The sun is the largest energy source in the solar system. In fact, more energy from the sun hits the earth in one hour than the entire world uses in one year! And every living thing on earth, even microbes deep in the blackest reaches of the ocean, depend on the sun for life. Solar energy technology harnesses the power of the sun for human use, but we’ve only just begun to tap its full potential. (Read More)
Governments around the world need to pass national laws outlawing the possession of wildlife and timber that has been illegally harvested or traded elsewhere, a new report by the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) urges.
At present, unlisted but endangered flora and fauna can be legally sold in other nations, even if it was illicitly taken from the countries of origin, due to a lack of coverage in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). As the Guardian revealed last year, conservation authorities believe that the survival of many endangered species is being threatened as a result. (Read More)
There’s a smart piece in Nature about the limitations of genetic engineering in creating more efficient crops. It’s the story of old methods trumping the new. Whether it’s radio, vinyl records, or books, we see over and over again that older technologies fill a vital role in the modern world. Likewise, plant breeders working with traditional techniques “are overtaking agricultural-biotechnology companies that have invested years of work in tests with GM crops,” writes Natasha Gilbert. (Read More)
Spring weather can be unpredictable. Reduce injury risk and plan ahead. | Your Health – Your Environment Blog
Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather.Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” (Read More)
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