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Weekly Environmental Updates
Air guns used in seismic surveys may pose a threat to sea turtles, say scientists at the University of Exeter. The guns produce air waves that penetrate the ocean floor in order to map oil and gas reserves. Auditory damage, behavioral changes, and entanglement in gear used in the process are all said to be possible ramifications for the turtles.
Environmental jargon is baffling the public and reducing interest in environmental concerns, say some. The meaning of terms used by environmental experts such as "fugitive emissions", "technology transfer" and "water footprint" are unclear and put people off rather than enlightening them. Examples that directly affect people's lives are reportedly more effective in changing behavior vs. abstract discussions and statistics.
Do we underestimate the so-called "intelligence" of plants? Some researchers think so and point to their ability to sense the behavior of other plants and their extreme sensitivity to multiple factors in their environment as proof of their cognizance. Other scientists warn that plants are unable to think in the human sense and that their power to integrate information cannot be equated with intelligence.
A 1,400 year-old Ginkgo tree is causing a sensation in central China as its brilliant yellow leaves shed and create a virtual carpet of gold. Thousands are flocking to a Zen Buddhist temple in the city of Xi'an where the tree was planted during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Pictures and video are available at the link above.
Is it true that mammals and insects get drunk? Studies say an emphatic "yes" and they do so both accidently and purposely. Moths and butterflies will go for beer and wine while birds enjoy fermented berries and deer partake of fermented orchid apples.
A new fleet of bio buses will begin running in England next year, significantly increasing air quality. Twenty buses, which utilize methane gas made from human waste, will serve the city of Bristol, including some of its areas with the lowest air quality. The U.K.'s first bio bus began operating last year on the appropriately named route number two.
Roman Hills