Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles: report

by Kerry Sheridan Agence France Presse MIAMI, United States (AFP) — The world’s leading brands of bottled water are contaminated with tiny plastic particles that are likely seeping in during the packaging process, according to a major study across nine countries published Wednesday. “Widespread contamination” with plastic was found in the study, led by microplastic researcher Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia, according to a summary released by Orb Media, […]

China plans panda park that will dwarf Yellowstone

SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — China will create a bastion of giant pandas three times the size of Yellowstone National Park to link up and encourage breeding among existing wild populations of the notoriously slow-reproducing animal, state media reported Thursday. At least 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) has been secured over the next five years for construction of the Giant Panda National Park in mountainous southwestern China for the nation’s favorite creature, the China Daily reported. […]

New Zealand summer heatwave sets all-time record

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — New Zealand has sweltered through its hottest summer on record and can expect more of the same if climate change continues unabated, the government’s scientific agency said Tuesday. Daily temperatures averaged 18.8 Celsius (65.84 Fahrenheit), 2.1C more than normal, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said. With the mercury reaching as high as 38.7C in the South Island, NIWA said it was the hottest summer since records […]

Rumble in the jungle: mother bear fights off Indian tiger

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — Tourists on a wildlife safari in central India were treated to a rare and vicious fight for survival between a sloth bear defending its young and a huge Bengal tiger. The ferocious battle between the jungle giants was captured on film by a tour guide in Maharashtra who had a ringside seat to the 15-minute brawl as the mother fought off the predator. Her instincts kicked into gear as the […]

1.5 million penguins discovered on remote Antarctic islands

by MariĆ«tte Le Roux Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A thriving “hotspot” of 1.5 million Adelie penguins, a species fast declining in parts of the world, has been discovered on remote islands off the Antarctic Peninsula, surprised scientists said Friday. The first bird census of the Danger Islands unearthed over 750,000 Adelie breeding pairs, more than the rest of the area combined, the team reported in the journal Scientific Reports. The group of […]

1.5 million penguins discovered on remote Antarctic islands

by MariĆ«tte Le Roux Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A thriving hotspot of some 1.5 million Adelie penguins has been discovered on the remote Danger Islands in the east Antarctic, surprised scientists announced Friday. Just 160 kilometers (100 miles) away in the West Antarctic, the same species is in decline due to sea ice melt blamed on global warming, they said. The first complete census revealed that the Danger Islands host more than 750,000 […]

Antarctic sea ice shrinks for second-straight year

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Sea ice cover in Antarctica has dropped to its second-lowest on record, Australian authorities said Friday, adding that it was not yet clear what was driving the reduction after several years of record-highs. The report came as scientists said earlier this week that the Arctic region was seeing record high temperatures, with sea ice covering the smallest area in winter since records began more than half-a-century ago. The Australian Antarctic […]

Antarctica: a laboratory for climate change

by Mathilde Bellenger Agence France Presse ANTARTICA (AFP) — A decade ago, a thick layer of ice covered the Collins Glacier on Antarctica’s King George Island. Now, the rocky landscape is visible to the naked eye, in a region that is both a victim of and a laboratory for climate change. “I had the opportunity to come here over a 15-year period, and even within a human’s lifetime, you can already see the changes brought […]

Wind, solar could meet 80 percent of US demand: study

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Wind and solar power could meet 80 percent of US demand for electricity, as long as improvements are made in transmission and storage, researchers said Tuesday. Until a few years ago, these renewable energy sources were thought to be capable of supplying only about 20-30 percent of US needs, according to the report in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. Currently, the United States gets about two-thirds of its electricity […]

Eagle Broadcasting Corporation conducts citronella planting and clean-up drive in Pasong Tamo elementary school

  QUEZON CITY, Philippines (Eagle News) — Eagle Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday, February 24 conducted a citronella planting and clean-up drive in Pasong Elementary School in Quezon City, as part of the activities of EBC to mark its 50th anniversary this year. The event was participated in by the employees of the Eagle Broadcasting Corporation together with the teachers, students and department heads of the Pasong Tamo Elementary School. EBC’s clean-up drive and citronella planting […]

Taiwan to ban disposable plastic items by 2030

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AFP) — Taiwan is planning a blanket ban on single-use plastic items including straws, cups and shopping bags by 2030, officials said Thursday, with restaurants facing new restrictions from next year. It is the latest push by Taiwan to cut waste and pollution after introducing a recycling program and charges for plastic bags. The island’s eco-drive has also extended to limiting the use of incense at temples and festivals to protect public health. […]

All the wild horses are extinct: study

by Kerry SHERIDAN Agence France-Presse MIAMI, United States (AFP) — All the world’s wild horses have gone extinct, according to a study Thursday that unexpectedly rewrites the horse family tree based on a new DNA analysis of their ancestry. What most people thought were the last remaining wild horses on Earth — known as Przewalski’s horses — were actually domesticated horses that escaped their owners, said the report in the journal Science. “This was a […]