Ecos

A bimonthly scholarly journal that publishes research and issues of sustainability in the environment, industry and community. Focused on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Articles from No. 154, April-May

A New Challenge for the Clean Energy Sector
At the time this Ecos was going to press, the clean energy sector was still pondering the implications of the Federal Government's surprise announcement in late April that it would postpone an emissions trading scheme for Australia until after the...
Blogging on Climate Change-A Job for the Brave
As Graham Readfearn knows from personal experience, blogging on the polarising and interminably complex issue of climate change is not a job for the faint-hearted. In this review he looks at Australian climate change blogs that are making an impact...
Cautious Support for New Basin Plan, but Scientists Urge Big-Picture View
A group of more than 30 of Australia's leading freshwater scientists have issued a public reminder to the Federal Government that its Murray-Darling Basin Plan--due for release in 2011--represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore the ailing...
Change a Constant for Australian Rice Growers: Water-Intensive Rice Farming Is a Contentious Issue in a Bone-Dry Country. Australian Growers Battle Negative Public Opinion and an 8-Year Drought-Which Isn't over Yet, as Adam Barclay Discovered
Reporting the impact of an 8-year drought on rice production is a strange caper, I thought, as the wheels of a four-wheel motorbike covered me head to toe with mud. I was sitting behind Rob Houghton, a farmer from just outside Leeton, New South Wales,...
Devils on Offshore Islands
Up to 80 healthy Tasmanian devils will be released on Maria Island, off the east coast of Tasmania, in attempt to build an 'insurance population' against the devastating Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) a contagious cancer that has been spreading...
Handfishes: Thylacines of the Sea?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A taxonomic review has added nine species to a curious group of fishes that once walked the world, and raised an urgent need for their conservation. In December 2008, ichthyologists at the CSIRO Australian National Fish...
Hastening Slowly in the Global Renewables Race
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Until a few years back, renewable energies--such as solar, wind, bioenergy, tidal and wave power--were widely regarded as incapable of delivering utility-scale power. Now renewables account for a quarter of the installed power...
Managing Fire's Impact on Biodiversity: Management of Fire Prone Areas Is a Difficult and Contentious Issue for Land Managers throughout Australia. as Well as Protecting Human Lives and Property, They Also Face the Challenge of Managing for Biodiversity Outcomes and Increasingly Also the Issue of Conserving Forest Carbon
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The stringybark woodlands of south-west Victoria provide habitat for the endangered red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne). With only about 1000 birds remaining in Australia, the woodlands are managed...
Mapping Native Vegetation Loss in the Wet Tropics
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] From fog rising above the canopy, to fungi bursting from the forest floor and pandanus fringing the sea, native vegetation in Australia's Wet Tropics creates endless images of natural beauty and is an important biodiversity...
Methane Reductions Needed Urgently
Following a growth spurt that lasted from mid-2006 to mid-2009, the methane emission growth rate is back down to near zero. But the methane problem--a significant contribution to global warming during the industrial period--is not over. Methane levels...
Newly Discovered Southern Ocean Current Equivalent to 40 Amazon Rivers
A deep ocean current with a volume equivalent to 40 Amazon Rivers has been discovered by Japanese and Australian scientists in the Southern Ocean, 4200 km south-west of Perth. In a recent paper published in Nature Geoscience, researchers described...
Preparing to Adapt to Unavoidable Climate Change: The Terms' Adaptation' and 'Mitigation' Are Fundamental to the Public Debate on Climate Change. Most Efforts to Address Climate Change So Far Have Been Almost Entirely Focused on Mitigation-Taking Action to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and to Enhance the World's Carbon 'Sinks'
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] But the reality is that no matter how successful these mitigation efforts are, all of the Earth's species and ecosystems are faced with the challenge of adapting to climate change. This is because the flow-on effects of higher...
Sending Water South Not a Simple Proposition
Southern Australia is struggling with increasing uncertainty, and rising costs, of water supply. While the idea of capturing water from the annually flooded north and sending it south has gained much traction recently, competing environmental and other...
Supporting Rainforest Biodiversity in a Changing Climate
Climate change threatens the biodiversity of Australia's Wet Tropics rainforests. But dedicated scientists are investigating practical ways to help biodiversity now, and increase their resilience in the future, using climate refugia. The Wet Tropics...
Wild Man's Dedication Led Environmental Publishing
Ecos marks, with great sadness, the passing of Chris Baxter OAM, an inspirational Australian, who served as a vital member of the Editorial Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2008. Despite battling cancer on different fronts, Chris chose to reach out...
Winds Open Window onto the Deep Sea
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Australian and US scientists have been investigating the impact of wind variability on the Southern Ocean surface layer. Their research, published recently in Nature Geoscience, helps us understand processes that have a major...