In this issue

Issue 175


Climate change and conservation: no going back now
In the face of the rapidly emerging, large-scale impacts of climate change, a recently released CSIRO report highlights the need for Australia to rethink its approach to biodiversity conservation and the national reserve system.
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Sewage ponds a refuge for wetland-deprived waterbirds
By 2080, coastal wetlands may occupy 70 per cent less of the planet than they do today. Sea-level rise, triggered by climate change, will account for around one-third of the decline. The impact of this loss on waterbirds, the most recognisable group of wetland fauna, is unknown. But, we believe that certain wetlands – particularly waste treatment ponds – are important for many waterfowl species.
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Blackwater: the dark side of drought-breaking floods
In late 2010, after years of severe drought, heavy rains fell over much of the southern Murray-Darling Basin. While the rain and subsequent flooding were celebrated as a return to normal weather conditions, many river systems suffered from the lethal effects of ‘blackwater' – poorly oxygenated water that can kill aquatic life.
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Sixty years of patience pays off for alpine ecologists
Australia's alpine ecosystems are vulnerable to the changing patterns of climate, fire and land-use predicted for the coming century. Monitoring these changes and managing the land sustainably will require detailed knowledge of baseline ecosystem structure and function – insights that we now have, thanks to decades of persistent ecological monitoring.
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Bigeye: Pacific tuna fishery with a future
In 2010, 60 per cent of the global tuna catch came from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, the world's biggest tuna fishery. At 2.4 million tonnes, the 2010 catch is the fishery's second highest annual catch on record. So how much tuna is out there and is the amount of fishing sustainable?
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Offset plantations and the risk of ‘bio-perversities'
Carbon offset plantations are viewed by many as a new ‘gold rush'. But the narrow focus on planting trees to offset carbon emissions has many ecologists worried. How do carbon plantations affect local biodiversity? What about the increased pressure on water resources? Or the potential for introduced species to become weeds in the new area?
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Brian Griffiths: called back to the sea
Biological oceanographer Brian Griffith officially retired from CSIRO in 2010. But, with an impressive ocean-voyaging record behind him, it's no surprise the sea lured him back. Here, Brian talks to ECOS about playing soccer on sea ice, and his recent work on the technical design team for
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Warming ocean could start big shift of Antarctic ice
Research to boost flow rates of geothermal wells
Could smart phone use improve climate models?
Conservation reserve reverses bird decline
Managing south-east's water under climate change
Energy rating system for commercial buildings clocks up 500
Tiny Aussie fish among 100 most endangered species
Extreme events put climate change on big business' agenda
Atlas maps ecosystems that depend on groundwater
More research needed on effects of forest mortality
Jellyfish blooms: the Trojan horse effect
Cotton-growing know-how for poverty reduction in Africa
Smog trailing ships at sea
Electric vehicle fast-recharge network opens in Perth
Wind farm to meet regional city's domestic power needs
‘Lady of the Sea' under threat
Buddy diving to explore changing marine environment
Sustainability mindset key to future: building industry body
Australian and African scientists unite on food crisis
Hunger threat from Lower Mekong dams: scientists
Green buildings provide many happy returns
Iconic WA cockatoos get research funding boost
Herbicide resistance in the WA wheatbelt comes under the microscope
Dismay as Tassie devil disease revealed to be immortal

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