Environment

Climate change may cause ‘serious, pervasive and irreversible' damage: Report

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Reuters - Climate change may have "serious, pervasive and irreversible" impacts on human society and nature, according to a draft U.N. report due for approval this week that says governments still have time to avert the worst.
 

Climate change threatens Antarctica’s emperor penguin population

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Time - The greatest hazard comes from warming temperatures' impact on sea-ice cover, which the penguins rely on for travel and hunting.
 

Chile becomes first South American country to tax carbon

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Reuters - President Michelle Bachelet of Chile enacted new environmental tax legislation on Friday making the country the first in South America to tax carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
 

Antarctica's ice loss changed Earth's gravity: Study

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Times of India - Antarctica has lost so much ice that it has caused a shift in Earth's gravity, according to a new study. 

The European Space Agency (ESA)'s GOCE satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature.
 

In Chile, an animal whose numbers please no one

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New York Times - The guidebooks for Tierra del Fuego somehow fail to mention the gunfire. From the mist-shrouded Patagonian steppe to the dense beech forests, shots pierce the air here for months on end each year. Hunters armed with telescopic rifles roam this archipelago at the southern tip of South America in pickup trucks as they pick off their prey: the guanaco.
 

Blue whale recovery report leaves room for caution

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Earth Island Journal - A recent report that the blue whales along the California coast in the Eastern Pacific Ocean have recovered from the severe damage done to the population by commercial whaling, which continued up until the mid-1960s on these giants, has gone viral on the Internet. While the story is a positive one, there is room for some caution.
 

Threat of hydropower dam still looms in Chile's Patagonia

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IPS - After its victory in a nearly decade-long struggle against HidroAysén, a project that would have built five large hydroelectric dams on wilderness rivers, Chile’s Patagonia region is gearing up for a new battle: blocking a quiet attempt to build a dam on the Cuervo River.
 

New ‘State of the World’s Rivers’ project documents decline in rivers from dams

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IRN - Today, International Rivers launches “The State of the World's Rivers,” a first-of-its-kind interactive online database that illustrates the role that dams have played in impoverishing the health of the world's river basins. The database shows how river fragmentation due to decades of dam-building is highly correlated with poor water quality and low biodiversity. Many of the world’s great river basins have been dammed to the point of serious decline, including the Mississippi, Yangtze, Paraná and Danube. 
 

A life reserve for sustainable development in Chile's Patagonia

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IPS- The people of Patagonia in southern Chile are working to make the Aysén region a “life reserve”. Neighbouring Argentina, across the border, is a historic ally in this remote wilderness area which is struggling to achieve sustainable development and boost growth by making use of its natural assets.
 

When forests aren't really forests: the high cost of Chile’s tree plantations

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Mongabay.com, by Julian Moll-Rocek- At first glance, the statistics tell a hopeful story: Chile’s forests are expanding. According to Global Forest Watch, overall forest cover changes show approximately 300,000 hectares were gained between 2000 and 2013 in Chile’s central and southern regions. Specifically, 1.4 million hectares of forest cover were gained, while about 1.1 million hectares were lost. 
 
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