Health & ScienceHealth & Science
A United Nations-backed conference of major wheat producing countries has concluded with a call for urgent international action prevent and control a dangerous fungus that can cause heavy damage to wheat crops and threatens food security.
The head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) called for revising accounting and reporting standards to boost investor confidence amid the current global financial crisis, which he warned is spreading like a pandemic.
Britain's Prince Charles has called for rich countries to pay an annual utility bill for the benefits given to the world by its rainforests. Speaking in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, the prince called rainforests the world's greatest public utility. They act as an air conditioner, store fresh water and provide work, he said.
The toxic chemical melamine is probably being routinely added to Chinese animal feed, state media has reported. Correspondents say the unusually frank reports in several news outlets are an admission that contamination could be widespread throughout the food chain.
The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an end a period of about a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas were essentially stable, according to a team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers.
Human demands on the world's resources are nearly a third more than what the earth can sustain, setting the stage for an ecological credit crunch, says a new report. The WWF's 2008 Living Planet Report, which offers a summery of the planet's health, says future generations will face a crunch if humans continue to amass an ecological deficit.
Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas that worries climate scientists. Airborne levels of two other potent gases _ one from ancient plants, the other from flat-panel screen technology _ are on the rise, too. And that has scientists wondering about accelerated global warming.
A lightning killed 52 steers during an electric night storm earlier this week in a Uruguayan farm in San Jose, approximately a hundred kilometres from the capital Montevideo. Apparently the open range cattle were stunned to death as the lightning struck a metal fence.
Ministers and officials will decide whether to add three hazardous chemicals – including the world's most widely used form of asbestos – to a trade watch list under a United Nations-backed treaty, aimed at helping developing countries more effectively manage potentially harmful imported substances.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO will publish the first-ever world map of underground aquifers, which account for some 96 per cent of global freshwater resources, the agency announced in a press release today.