WARSAW, Aug 21 2014 (IPS) - Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world's strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from a nearby town for some shopping.
WASHINGTON, Aug 20 2014 (IPS) - The U.S. and Brazilian governments are moving into the final stages of weighing approval for the commercialisation of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, moves that would mark the first such permits anywhere in the world.
As more extreme weather hits South Asia, the effects of climate change are taking a toll on the economy, with the region at risk of losing up to 8.8 percent of their GDP by 2100, analyst Mahfuz Ahmed tells DW.
SANTIAGO - Chile's helmeted water toad, a unique species in the world and the largest amphibian in that South American country, is in serious danger of extinction due to habitat loss and other factors, experts told Efe
Selective logging in India's Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in Biotropica.
Air pollution caused by fires set for land-clearing on Sumatra has become a regularly occurrence in Southeast Asia, spurring hand-wringing in Singapore and Malaysia over health effects and worries among environmentalists over the climate impacts.
JUBA, Aug 21 2014 (IPS) - Along the fertile banks of sub-Saharan Africa's White Nile, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile River, a war veteran's co-op is planting for a food secure future in South Sudan, a country potentially facing famine.
Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out in part because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species-dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog (Boophis ankarafensis)-is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened.
A cold breeze blew off the Antarctic plain, numbing the noses and ears of scientists standing around a dark hole in the ice. Flecks of ice crackled off a winch as it reeled the last few metres of cable out of the hole. Two workers in sterile suits leaned over to grab the payload - a cylinder the length of a baseball bat - dangling at the end of the cable. They used a hammer to chip away the ice and a blow drier to thaw part of the assembly. "Did it close?" asked the winch operator.
All of them are definitely charismatic and collectively are one of people's favourite animals - yet the world's 18 penguin species are now at "considerable risk", scientists warn. And unless effective conservation measures that should include the urgent establishment of more Marine Protected Areas - including in the hard-to-police high seas beyond national jurisdictions - are taken now, penguins will be at even greater risk from future climate change.
If the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument becomes a marine reserve, it would double the area globally subject to tight fishing restrictions. Other countries are also working to expand the area of such ocean havens.
An Australia-Africa initiative is sowing nearly $1m in training, mentoring and action plans to combat pests' threat to agriculture
A new assessment from Europe's CryoSat spacecraft shows Greenland to be losing about 375 cu km of ice each year. Added to the discharges coming from Antarctica, it means Earth's two big ice sheets are now dumping roughly 500 cu km of ice in the oceans annually.
SAN FRANCISCO - The threats from climate change are many: extreme weather, shrinking snowpack, altered ecosystems and rising and more acidic seas, to name a few. Another lesser-known issue may hit especially close to home for city dwellers. In the world's already smoggy metropolises, pollution is likely to grow worse, a phenomenon scientists have taken to calling the climate penalty.
KASIGAU, Kenya, Aug 20 2014 (IPS) - When Mercy Ngaruiya first settled in Kasigau in south eastern Kenya a decade ago, she found a depleted forest that was the result of years of tree felling and bush clearing.Back then, she says, poverty and unemployment levels were high, there was limited supply of fresh water, and education and health services were poor. Mike Korchinsky, the president of Wildlife Works, a Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) project development and management company, remembers it all too well.
The destruction of Russian forests to supply timber to international markets is becoming one of the biggest threats to the world's largest cat, the Siberian tiger. Russia has more forests than any other country, representing about one-fifth of the world's total forest cover and contains more than half of the world's coniferous forests. However, worldwide demand for high quality timber, along with weak regulations, has led to widespread logging of Russia's trees.
Around 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory on the African continent in just three years, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between 2010 and 2012 an average of 6.8 percent of the elephant population was killed annually, equaling just over 20 percent of the continent's population in that time. Elephant deaths are now exceeding births, which on average are 5 percent annually.
When a snake climbs a tree, it squeezes the trunk up to five times harder than necessary, according to a new study. For the first time, biologists have measured the force exerted by climbing snakes, using pressure sensors on a vertical pipe, wrapped in tennis grip.
India's less iconic species, such as pangolins and tortoises, are being hunted or illegally traded, according to campaigners who say that more conservation efforts are needed to preserve less well-known wildlife.
A major study has found Caribbean coral reefs could disappear in 20 years. DW spoke to Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of the global marine and polar programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.