Kakadu’s grasshopper population healthy


Originally posted on Parks Australia:

Leichhardts grasshopper Alyurr (Leichhardts grasshopper)

Alyurr (Leichhardts grasshopper) The alyurr population have been monitored since January 2003 as fires can have a damaging effect on them.

One of Kakadu’s iconic species – the brightly-coloured Leichhardts grasshopper is showing healthy populations across a number of survey sites. In 2012 a large, hot bushfire occurred and we expected to see less alyurr the following year. However, in January 2014 there was a huge increase in numbers at one of the regularly surveyed sites – from 13 to 800 individuals.

Such a rapid increase has never been recorded in Kakadu so this is a really interesting occurrence. As there weren’t enough females to have laid that many eggs, it suggests that, unlike most tropical grasshoppers, alyurr eggs may be viable for more than one year. This is exciting news because it means the population may have a better chance of survival in the case of an uncontrolled fire or…

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China is building a Great Wall of Trees to fight climate change and the encroaching Gobi Desert


Originally posted on Quartz:

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but it is also engaged in a massive tree-planting program that has helped to offset tropical deforestation, and suck some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Reforestation efforts in China, combined with regrowth on abandoned farmland in Russia, have helped offset about 85% of the loss in above-ground biomass carbon lost to tropical deforestation since 2003, according to a new study in the academic journal Nature Climate Change. 

“The increase in vegetation primarily came from a lucky combination of environmental and economic factors and massive tree-planting projects in China,” said lead study author Yi Liu of Australia’s University of New South Wales.

Analyzing two decades worth of satellite data, researchers found that the amount of carbon absorbed in vegetation had increased by about 4 billion tons since 2003, even as tropical forests have shrunk in Indonesia and Brazil, and pest infestations and wildfires have cleared forests in Canada and the United States.

Mean annual change in aboveground biomass carbon between 1993 and 2012 Increases…

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See 9 Stunning Photos From the Volcano Eruption in Chile


Originally posted on TIME:

Last week’s eruption of the Calbuco volcano in Chile was its first in more than four decades. Officials issued a red alert for a nearby city, Puerto Montt, and evacuated more than 1,500 people in a six-mile radius of the volcano—some 600 miles south of Santiago—as ash began to spew into the air.

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Limited Posts for Next Week or So


The last week or so has been marked by a degree of havoc, due to illness initially and followed up with what was the equivalent of a category 1 or 2 cyclone, which crossed the coast just to the north of where I live. There has been plenty of damage, flooding and extended periods of power outages across a very wide region. What this will mean for my Blogs is that there will be very limited posts over the next week or so. Reasonably normal service will be returned as soon as that is possible.