Noise pollution harms wildlife, degrades habitats Traffic noise is just another inconvenience for many of us. But for wildlife, noise from honking, and zooming vehicles can often be an insidious threat: it can degrade habitats without leaving any physical evidence of change, warns a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Road noise — even in moderate levels — pushes migrating birds away from their stopover habitats, researchers from Boise State University in Idaho found. Those that stay back become weak.“I was initially surprised that even moderate road noise — comparable to a suburban setting — would have such a wide-ranging impact on migrating birds,” William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay. “On reflection, however, I guess such migrators have to be hyper-vigilent about noise, as they’re constantly moving to new areas where unseen predators could be lurking.”
Evidence confirms volcanic island collapses may trigger mega-tsunamis A pre-historical sudden collapse of one of the tallest and most active oceanic volcanoes on Earth — Fogo, in the Cape Verde Islands – triggered a mega-tsunami with waves impacting 220 metres (721 feet) above present sea level resulting in catastrophic consequences, according to a new University of Bristol study published in Science Advances.
EU Health Forum considers crisis the new normal After nearly a decade of economic crisis, an Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and a refugee crisis, experts say that EU health systems must get used to the fact that "shockwaves" are here to stay.They hope that the Ebola outbreak will be a wake up call, that, without stronger European leadership, healthcare in the EU will come under many threats. At the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) on Thursday (1 October), DEVCO, the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, hosted a forum dealing with how to secure health in the EU through development work and international cooperation.
The Gypsies problem in Europe Under new planning rules, Travellers and Gypsies must be able to prove they are actually traveling to qualify for limited planning benefits to create new sites. But for many, it's impossible to do that. Not only to remain in employment, or education - but precisely because there are so few sites, that they are unable to travel.Living on an unauthorised campsite carries a heavy weight of suffering and disadvantage. Travellers contend daily with the risk of criminalisation and eviction, as well as limited access to basic services such as running water and sanitation.Any attempt to subsume diverse groups under one label is going to be fraught with tension - and this is certainly true in terms of the word 'Traveller'.
Sierra Nevada snowpack at historic low On April 1, California Governor Jerry Brown stood in a Sierra Nevada meadow atop parched, brown grass — at an elevation of 6,800 feet, where there would normally be five feet of snow at that time of year — and announced the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions.The Golden State is still in the grip of a severe drought that began in 2012, and new research suggests it is one of the worst in centuries.The day Gov. Brown announced the statewide water restrictions, snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas was reported to be at just 5 percent of its historical average, as calculated from records dating back to the 1930s.
Could Mealworms Help Solve our Styrofoam Waste Problem? Plastic waste is out of control in this country, and Styrofoam is one of the worst offenders. Americans toss out 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year. Over two million tons of the stuff ends up in landfills, where it does not biodegrade. Scientists think they may have found a solution for our Styrofoam problem, though: feed it to the worms!
Antibacterial vs. Plain Soap A survey by the American Cleaning Institute and the industry-run Personal Care Products Council revealed that 74 percent of Americans use antibacterial soap.Fifty-six percent of them use it regularly, and, reportedly, 75 percent of moms with children in the household said they would be “angry” if antibacterial soap was no longer on the market.
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