Something killed a lot of sperm whales in the past—and it wasn’t whalers

Something killed a lot of sperm whales in the past—and it wasn’t whalers

Sperm whales are a genetic puzzle. The deep-diving, squid-eating giants that inspired Moby Dick are found in every ocean, where they can mate with partners from around the world; as such, they should be quite genetically diverse. Yet, their genetic diversity is actually very low, hinting that something killed a lot of them off in the past. And that something wasn’t whalers.

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Bees are being ‘driven to the edge’ as humans and climate change destroy their havens

Bees are being 'driven to the edge' as humans and climate change destroy their havens

A third of Irish bee species are threatened with extinction with bumblebee populations falling year-on-year due to removal of hedgerows and ditches, use of pesticides and insecticides and climate change. Tomorrow is the first ever global World Bee Day and experts hope an EU ban on insecticides linked to declining bee populations will help prevent further deterioration of the vital pollinators here. Local authorities and homeowners could also help by planting bee-friendly flowers including snowdrops…

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Canada Is Now Home to the World’s Largest Stretch of Protected Boreal Forests

Canada Is Now Home to the World’s Largest Stretch of Protected Boreal Forests

More than half of Canada’s landmass is comprised of boreal forest—a vast and tree-filled region that extends across the country. To help conserve the forest, the province of Alberta has designated four new protected parks in its northeastern region, reports David Thurton of the CBC. When added to other contiguous conserved lands in Alberta, the new parks make up the largest stretch of protected boreal forests on the planet.

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Investigation Reveals Tyson Foods as #1 Culprit in Largest “Dead Zone” on Earth

Investigation Reveals Tyson Foods as #1 Culprit in Largest "Dead Zone" on Earth

Nearly 9000 square-miles of ocean along the Gulf Coast is uninhabitable by marine life. Loaded with agricultural toxins and devoid of oxygen, it’s the largest “dead zone” in US history, and last summer it got even bigger. We’ve known the cause of the ecological “dead zone” for decades — fertilizer run-off from Big Agriculture via the Mississippi River — but a new investigative report identifies the number one polluter by name, Tyson Foods.

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Climate change on track to cause major insect wipeout, scientists warn

Climate change on track to cause major insect wipeout, scientists warn

Global warming is on track to cause a major wipeout of insects, compounding already severe losses, according to a new analysis. Insects are vital to most ecosystems and a widespread collapse would cause extremely far-reaching disruption to life on Earth, the scientists warn. Their research shows that, even with all the carbon cuts already pledged by nations so far, climate change would make almost half of insect habitat unsuitable by the end of the century, with pollinators like bees particularly affected.

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10 rivers are responsible for 90% of the plastic in the ocean

10 rivers are responsible for 90% of the plastic in the ocean

Around 90 percent of the plastic polluting our oceans comes from just ten rivers, a new study has shown.

Eight of those rivers are in Asia, with the remaining two — the Nile and the Niger — in Africa.

The report, conducted by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany, was based on dozens of reports, as well as the debris collected at 79 sampling sites along 57 rivers.

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Can Bringing Back Mammoths Help Stop Climate Change?

Can Bringing Back Mammoths Help Stop Climate Change?

If you managed to time travel back to Ice-Age Europe, you might be forgiven for thinking you had instead crash-landed in some desolate part of the African savannah. But the chilly temperatures and the presence of six-ton shaggy beasts with extremely long tusks would confirm you really were in the Pleistocene epoch, otherwise known as the Ice Age. You’d be visiting the mammoth steppe, an environment that stretched from Spain across Eurasia and the Bering Strait to Canada.

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