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Cambodia: Mekong dam a threat to rare dolphins - and villagers too
THE DON SAHONG hydroelectric dam threatens the last 80 Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River - as well as the livelihoods of the people downstream in Cambodia, who depend heavily on the river’s resources.
The people in Preah Romkel village of Stung Treng province claim their way of life is in danger. The eco-tourism that boosts the local economy will be destroyed if the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins are driven into extinction by the impact of the new Don Sahong Dam on the Laos-Cambodian border.
Lok Chanthou, deputy chief of Preah Romkel village, said villagers would be among the first to feel the impact of the dam. The Mekong river ecology would change and there would be no fish to catch and no dolphins to attract the tourists, she said.
"We are an eco-tourism community. Our lives depend on the river and its natural beauty. The dam construction is affecting tourism. If the dolphins die out, the tourism business will die as well," Chanthou said.
Full story at www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Mekong-dam-a-threat-to-rare-dolphins--and-villager-30286974.html
#Cambodia #Laos #Mekong #dam #Irrawaddy #dolphins
Image: Irrawaddi dolphin, by Dan Koehl ... See MoreSee Less
52 minutes ago ·
SE Asia’s damaged peat swamps could release 8.7 gigatonnes of CO2
Clear-cut rainforests and homeless orangutans make for powerful images, but it’s what you don’t see — hidden just below the surface — that may be the most sinister threat from tropical development. Long after the last tree is harvested from a peat swamp, decomposition of the soil continues to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now, alarming new models show us how much is at stake, and how quickly it is being lost.
Just over half of the world’s tropical peat is found in South-East Asia, where swamps began forming 6-8,000 years ago. The organic material accumulates at a rate of 0.2-2.0mm per year, locking in large quantities of carbon. There it safely remains — unless the land is drained for agriculture or development.
By 2010, oil palm plantations had replaced 2.1 million hectares (8,100 square miles) of the region’s peat forests, while another 2.3 million hectares had been logged and abandoned. Combined, that is just smaller than Denmark.
According to new models published by a team of researchers with the US Forest Service and Universities of New Hampshire and Oregon State, that land will release 8.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years.
To put this in perspective, that is equal to 23 power plants consuming 47 million train car-loads of coal during the same period. To offset this, we need to keep 18 million cars off the roadways for a century, or prevent every car on the planet from driving for two years ...
Read the full story on Mongabay.com at news.mongabay.com/2016/05/se-asias-damaged-peat-swamps-could-release-8-7-gigatons-of-co2/
#Indonesia #forests #deforestation #palmoil #climate #globalwarming
Image: Peat forest in Sumatra, Indonesia, razed by fire to make way for oil palm plantation (c) Paul Hilton ... See MoreSee Less
1 hour ago ·
Climate: Oceans delay warming of Antarctic waters, study finds
Paris (AFP) - Deep, cold ocean currents from the North Atlantic blunt the effect of global warming on Antarctica and slow the rise of sea levels, according to a study published Monday.
This icy insulation of the snowy continent -- covered by a sheath of ice up to four kilometres (2.5 miles) thick -- could last for centuries, the research published in Nature Geoscience said.
That's good news to hundreds of millions of people in low-lying regions who are threatened by seas set to rise up to a metre by the end of the century, according to the latest report by the UN climate science panel.
Read in full at www.yahoo.com/news/oceans-delay-warming-antarctic-waters-study-190946457.html
#climate #oceans #Antarctica #globalwarming #climatechange #Atlantic
Image: Adelie penguins in Antarctica, by Jason Auch ... See MoreSee Less
2 hours ago ·