Today’s green news:
Giving the environment its own domain. Al Gore (via his Alliance for Climate Protection) is partnering with Dot Eco LLC to try and secure the to .eco domain for environmental causes. People like .COM domains, or alternatively country level domains. But WashPo’s Michael Arrington is dubious about who this is really for: “People like .COM domains, or alternatively country level domains. These other ones are little more than traps to force brands to protect their trademarks during expensive pre-sale periods. The company behind the domain gets the most of the money, and ICANN, the quasi-governmental, quasi-mafia organization that oversees this mess gets their cut as well.”
Green business. With a new administration in town, lobbyists on environmental issues have been flocking to Washington, says Dot Earth. Which means people representing fossil fuel, renewable energy and “everything in between,” says Andrew C Revkin.
Erm, Amazon won’t always be a great carbon sink… A 30-year study published in Science magazine has shown that drought affected the ability of the Amazon to act as a carbon absorber. Reports ScienceDaily, “for at least 25 years the Amazon forest acted as a vast carbon sink.” BUT, the 2005 drought “sharply reversed decades of carbon absorption” In normal years the forest can soak up nearly 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. However the drought caused a loss of more than 3 billion tonnes. Which meant, overall, 5 billion extra tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — this “exceeds the annual emissions of Europe and Japan combined.” The conclusion, If Amazon droughts continue they will actually help speed climate change up.
Canaries in the gold mine. England’s Royal Society for the Protection of BIrds has joined European organisations to plot data about how birds are being affected by higher average temperatures. While warmer weather is good for some birds, for the most part it’s detrimental. Of the 122 bird types studied, 30 are expected to enlarge their range, while the other 92 are likely to undergo a reduction, says Fair Home. Some birds hardly ever seen in the UK — like the great reed warbler, the bee-eater, the Cirl bunting and the subalpine warbler — could take advantage of the warmth to “populate far more areas of the country”. But the RSPB has also warned that this could mean death for others — “the Scottish crossbill, already found only in the pine forests of Scotland may become extinct.”