The environmental audit, for the United Nations, found that each person in the world now requires a third more land to supply his or her needs than the Earth can supply.
Thirty per cent of amphibians, 23 per cent of mammals and 12 per cent of birds are under threat of extinction, while one in ten of the world’s major rivers runs dry every year before it reaches the sea.
The bleak verdict on the environment was issued as an “urgent call for action” by the United Nations Environment Programme, which said that the “point of no return” was fast approaching.
Satellite data collected by the scientists between July 1999 and July 2005 showed clear signs that melting had occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland and at high latitudes and elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely.
"Antarctica has shown little to no warming in the recent past with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula," said Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado, Boulder. "But now large regions are showing the first signs of the impacts of warming as interpreted by this satellite analysis."
Changes in the ice mass of Antarctica, Earth's largest freshwater reservoir, are important to understanding global sea level rise. Large amounts of Antarctic freshwater flowing into the ocean also could affect ocean salinity, currents and global climate.
Where have all the bees gone?
The phenomenon is recent, dating back to autumn, when beekeepers along the east coast of the US started to notice the die-offs. It was given the name of fall dwindle disease, but now it has been renamed to reflect better its dramatic nature, and is known as colony collapse disorder.
It is swift in its effect. Over the course of a week the majority of the bees in an affected colony will flee the hive and disappear, going off to die elsewhere. The few remaining insects are then found to be enormously diseased - they have a “tremendous pathogen load”, the scientists say. But why? No one yet knows.
… The disease showed a completely new set of symptoms, “which does not seem to match anything in the literature”, said the entomologist.
… the few bees left inside the hive were carrying “a tremendous number of pathogens” - virtually every known bee virus could be detected in the insects, she said, and some bees were carrying five or six viruses at a time, as well as fungal infections. Because of this it was assumed that the bees’ immune systems were being suppressed in some way.
Endless Universe Made Possible by New Model: Cosmologists first offered an oscillating universe model, with no beginning or end, as a Big Bang alternative in the 1930s. The idea was abandoned because the oscillations could not be reconciled with the rules of physics, including the second law of thermodynamics... The second law says entropy (a measure of disorder) can't be destroyed. But if entropy increases from one oscillation to the next, the universe becomes larger with each cycle. "The universe would grow like a runaway snowball..." Frampton said. Each oscillation will also become successively longer. "Extrapolating backwards in time, this implies that the oscillations before our present one were shorter and shorter. This leads inevitably to a Big Bang..."
Frampton and Baum circumvent the Big Bang by postulating that, at the turnaround, any remaining entropy is in patches too remote for interaction. Having each "causal patch" become a separate universe allows each universe to contract essentially empty of matter and entropy. "The presence of any matter creates insuperable difficulties with contraction," Frampton said. "The idea of coming back empty is the most important ingredient of this new cyclic model."