Polar Bears Listed as Threatened Species in U.S.

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 14, 2008   View Article

After delaying a decision for several weeks, the U.S. government today listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), creating new protections for the bears in their Alaskan habitat.

Plastic Bag Bans Gaining Momentum Around the World

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 4, 2008   View Article

From Australia to the U.K., and all across the U.S., politicians and corporations are pondering banning or taxing plastic bags.

Entire Synthetic Genome Created

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 25, 2008   View Article

Scientists yesterday announced that they have successfully created an entire synthetic genome in the lab by stitching together the DNA of the smallest known free-living bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium.

Experts are hailing the research as an important breakthrough in genetic manipulation that will one day lead to the “routine” creation of synthetic genomes—possibly including those of mammals.

Sea Lice From Fish Farms May Wipe Out Wild Salmon

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 13, 2007   View Article

Four years from now wild pink salmon may vanish from Canada’s Broughton Archipelago, a new study warns.

The killers, according to the research, are sea lice from fish farms.

Arctic Melt Opens Northwest Passage

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 17, 2007   View Article

The famed Northwest Passage—a direct shipping route from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean—is ice free for the first time since satellite records began in 1978, scientists reported Friday.

The passage is a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic. It would save valuable time and fuel for ships that now travel through the Suez Canal in Egypt or the Panama Canal in Central America.

Amazon Deforestation Drops Significantly, Government Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 14, 2007   View Article

The pace of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 25 percent in a recent 12-month period, according to recently released government figures.

Even so, some conservation groups claim the decrease is due to lower demand for crops that grow on cleared forest land, and not successful environmental policies.

Global Warming Can Be Stopped, World Climate Experts Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 4, 2007   View Article

Humans have the means to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the catastrophic consequences of global warming, a major climate report released today concludes.

But in order to stabilize the climate, the transition from fossil fuels like coal and oil needs to occur within decades, according to the final report this year from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach