The Environment & Ecology Report-003

Mount EtnaErupts

The latest eruption on Mount Etna sent flames hundreds of metres
into the air at the weekend, the 30th of July 2011.

Mangos and Almonds

The Journal Ecology Letters recently published some
interesting research. Men who consume antioxidant-rich foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and mangos have healthier sperm, which can help their baby-making abilities, according to the latest research out of the University
ofWestern Australia.

Fishing Vessel Leaks Diesel

Hundreds of gallons of diesel leaked into the surf at a state park after a 40-foot
fishing vessel ran aground near the mouth of Gray’s Harbor, Wash.

Polar Bears on the Decline

From 1981 through 1998, the condition of adult male and female polar bears has
declined significantly in western Hudson Bay, as have natality and the
proportion of yearling cubs caught during the open water period that were
independent at the time of capture. Over this same period, the breakup of the
sea ice on western Hudson Bay has been
occurring earlier. There was a significant positive relationship between the
time of breakup and the condition of adult females (i.e., the earlier the
breakup, the poorer the condition of the bears). The trend toward earlier
breakup was also correlated with rising spring air temperatures over the study
area from 1950 to 1990. We suggest that the proximate cause of the decline in
physical and reproductive parameters of polar bears in western Hudson Bay over the last 19 years has been a trend toward earlier breakup, which has caused the bears to come ashore in progressively poorer condition. The ultimate factor responsible for the earlier breakup in western Hudson Bay appears to be a long-term
warming trend in April–June atmospheric temperatures.


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