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Showing posts from September, 2018

Sluggish approach to an Ocean Treaty?

As the first round of UN negotiations towards a historic UN Ocean Treaty draws to a close, Dr Sandra Schoettner of Greenpeace’s global ocean sanctuaries campaign, has criticised the 'sluggish' response of key countries.

Our oceans are our life support system.  The ocean ecosystem produces half the oxygen we breathe.  The oceans absorb carbon dioxide and play a vital role in containing global warming.  We need to protect our oceans.  This is why a new international treaty is needed.



But not all countries are coming on board with the vigour required.
Oceans belong to us all Greenpeace says oceans beyond national boundaries "belong to us all" and need urgent international protection.

For the first time in history, this shared responsibility could be enshrined in law with a Global Ocean Treaty.
Over the past two weeks of UN negotiations, many countries from Africa, Pacific and Caribbean islands, Latin America and Europe have eagerly set about  drafting the text of the tre…

Lack of green space affects our cognitive development

Children living in urban greener neighborhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to a British Journal of Educational Psychology study. Spatial working memory is responsible for recording information about one's environment and spatial orientation, and it is strongly inter-related with attentional control.

Although I grew up in the 1950-60s in a council housing estate in London, it was at that time beautifully maintained, and we were fortunate as children to be surrounded by green space.

We walked in the local park and not far away was Wimbledon Common.  We were, in that sense at least, rich.   Does lack of green space affect cognitive ability? Biologists often say that we humans are hunter-gatherers living in a concrete jungle.  But how does this jungle affect our cognitive development, and our awareness of it?

A new study of 4758 11-year-olds in England, shows that living in urban areas with limited green space is related to poorer spacial working memory.  This is …

Frog brain development inhibited by low dose pesticide

New research published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry reveals that low doses of a commonly used pesticide potentially harm the Northern Leopard frog by inhibiting their brain development. Case against chlorpyrifos stacks up The pesticide,  chlorpyrifos, which has been used since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas, had clear effects on Northern Leopard tadpoles’ neurodevelopment, even in situations where the pesticide did not cause a decline in the amphibians’ food source.


Developmental exposure to chlorpyrifos The leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) tadpoles were reared through metamorphosis in artificial ponds containing either 0 or 1 µg/L chlorpyrifos and either chlorpyrifos‐resistant or chlorpyrifos‐sensitive Daphnia pulexzooplankton. 
Developmental exposure to chlorpyrifos resulted in metamorphs with a relatively wider optic tectum, medulla, and diencephalon compared with controls, and this result was found regardless of the zooplankton population of th…

Britain needs bolder action on petrol and diesel

Last year, the UK government committed to ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. That just is not good enough to meet climate change commitments. Environmental experts now believe we are close to a tipping point in global warming. If we are to meet national and global targets on global warming emissions, we need urgent and effective action. This means governments must make robust and realistic decisions.
Transport largest emissions source Transport is the UK’s largest source of direct carbon emissions. The continued sale of petrol and diesel cars for a further twenty years would mean continuing with increased levels of emissions and pollution far into the future - not just for the next twenty years, but for at least a decade beyond, as people go on using older cars for longer.

If the governments are serious about taking action, then an earlier exit from petrol and diesel is needed.
WWF assessment A study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) calculates that a 2030…