Ecosystems_and_Environment_FALL___2010

Ecosystems_and_Environment_FALL___2010 - Science Headlines...

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November 30, 2010 Science Headlines Ecosystems and Our Environment
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2000-'09 warmest decade on record, U.S. reports By Randolph E. Schmid The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The 2000-2009 decade was the warmest on record , easily surpassing the previous hottest decade — the 1990s — researchers said Tuesday in a report providing fresh evidence that the planet may be warming at a potentially disastrous rate . In 2009, global surface temperatures were 1.01 degrees above average, which tied the year for the fifth warmest year on record, the National Climatic Data Center said. And that helped push the 2000-2009 decade to 0.96 degree above normal, which the agency said "shattered" the 1990s record value of 0.65 degree above normal. The warmest year on record was 2005 at 1.11 degrees above normal.
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The findings follow years of gradually rising global temperatures , which atmospheric scientists attribute to the warming effect of gases released into the air by human activities , including burning fossil fuels . Concerns about the effects of a warmer climate include rising sea levels and the potential spread of tropical diseases , changes in hurricane patterns , increased drought in some areas, disruption of crop growth and wildlife patterns, and loss of species unable to adapt . ……. .
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Emperor penguins face extinction BBC News January 28, 2008 Emperor penguins , whose long treks across Antarctic ice to mate have been immortalised by Hollywood, are heading towards extinction , scientists say. Based on predictions of sea ice (and) climate change models, the penguins are likely to see their numbers decrease by 95% by 2100 . That level of decline could greatly upset the delicate Antarctic food chain. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Emperor penguins , the largest species, are unique in that they are the only penguins that breed during the harsh Antarctic winters . Colonies gather far inland after long treks across sea ice, where the females lay just one egg that is tended by the male . That means that the ice plays a major role in their overall breeding success . Also, the extent of sea ice cover influences the abundance of krill (small, shrimp-like crustaceans) and the fish species that eat them - both food sources for the penguins .
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What is ecology ? -- ―the study of interactions of living things with each other and with their environment‖ Are ecology and environmentalism the same? Are ecologists and environmentalists synonymous? Environmentalists – want to preserve nature Ecologists – study nature Many ecologists are environmentalists. Why? Review: Life is organized systematically – -- Individual – the smallest functional unit of a species -- Population – a group of individuals May be local, e.g. number of frogs in a pond -- -- or in 2 ponds – -- or in a state – or in 2 states. Cells
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Ecosystems_and_Environment_FALL___2010 - Science Headlines...

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