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Damaging ecosystems

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Scientists claim pesticides are linked to bee decline. Climate 'key driver' in European forest disturbances. Deep-sea mining 'must responsibly respect ecosystems' 17 February 2014Last updated at 06:12 ET By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News, Chicago Elements such as lanthanum are in high demand for use in hybrid car batteries Scientists have made an impassioned plea for humanity to pause and think before making a headlong rush to exploit the deep sea.

Deep-sea mining 'must responsibly respect ecosystems'

Nations adopt landmark mercury pollution convention. 10 October 2013Last updated at 05:56 ET By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News Rising gold prices has seen an increase in small-scale gold mines, most of which use mercury Nations have begun signing a legally binding treaty designed to curb mercury pollution and the use of the toxic metal in products around the globe.

Nations adopt landmark mercury pollution convention

Mercury can produce a range of adverse human health effects, including permanent damage to the nervous system. Can we restore the world’s coral reefs? 21 August 2013Last updated at 09:23 GMT Even the Great Barrier Reef is having to face up to the challenge of a changing world Advances in science could offer hope for the world's besieged coral reefs.

Can we restore the world’s coral reefs?

Gavin Haines investigates. Whether we are blowing them up with dynamite, dropping anchors on them or warming up the oceans they live in, mankind is leading a sustained attack on the world's coral reefs. Fracking: RSPB objects to Cuadrilla plans for two sites. 17 August 2013Last updated at 01:58 ET By Roger Harrabin Environment analyst Singleton is an important site for whooper swans The RSPB has lodged objections to proposals to drill for shale gas and oil in Lancashire and West Sussex.

Fracking: RSPB objects to Cuadrilla plans for two sites

The bird charity says regulations are inadequate to ensure water, landscapes and wildlife are protected. But Cuadrilla, which is exploring the sites, says its activities will not harm birds or other wildlife. On Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron urged the UK to back fracking, which involves shattering shales to release trapped gas. These are the first formal objections to fracking from the RSPB, and they concern a drilling proposal at Singleton in Lancashire, 0.8 miles (1.2km) from an internationally important area for pink-footed geese and whooper swans. Continue reading the main story Fracking fact check The prime minister says shale gas will reduce energy bills but his own energy department says that will only happen if we can exploit lots of gas.

Big animal extinction 'severed nutrient arteries' 12 August 2013Last updated at 02:01 ET By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News The study is the first to look at how prehistoric megafauna distributed nutrients The demise of big animals in the Amazon region 12,000 years ago cut a key way that nutrients were distributed across the landscape, a study has suggested.

Big animal extinction 'severed nutrient arteries'

Researchers say animals such as huge armadillo-like creatures would have distributed vital nutrients for plants via their dung and bodies. The effects, still visible today, raise questions about the impact of losing large modern species like elephants. Toxic Derbyshire 'Blue Lagoon' dyed black. 10 June 2013Last updated at 13:35 ET Continue reading the main story Despite warning signs, dozens of swimmers flock to the "beauty spot" Residents say the change to black seems to be putting people off Although the lagoon looked picturesque, the water has a pH level of 11.3 Continue reading the main story A pool at a disused Derbyshire quarry, known locally as the Blue Lagoon, has been dyed black in a bid to deter people from swimming in it.

Toxic Derbyshire 'Blue Lagoon' dyed black

Despite the water at the quarry at Harpur Hill, near Buxton, having a pH level of 11.3 dozens of people still swim there. Bleach has a pH level of 12.3 and signs warn swimmers the water could cause skin complaints. Swimmers are also warned the water contains rubbish and dead animals. A High Peak Borough Council spokeswoman said the pool contained vehicle parts, "all sorts of rubbish" and warned that the water temperature was "extremely cold". Arctic drilling: UK 'complacent', say MPs. 26 July 2013Last updated at 22:11 ET The MPs have renewed their calls for an Arctic environmental sanctuary The UK is "complacently standing by" as firms start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic, a group of MPs has said.

Arctic drilling: UK 'complacent', say MPs

The Environmental Audit Committee said this was despite oil companies being unable to prove "they could clean up an oil spill in such harsh conditions". Members renewed their call for a halt to new drilling, saying it was risky for the climate and the environment. The government said it was not its place to tell Arctic states which resources they could extract. Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that two-thirds of existing fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned before 2050 if global temperatures are to be kept within the projected danger threshold of a 2C rise. The Aral Sea Crisis. The Aral Sea is situated in Central Asia, between the Southern part of Kazakhstan and Northern Uzbekistan.

The Aral Sea Crisis

Desert 'carbon farming' to curb CO2. 1 August 2013Last updated at 10:45 ET By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News Jatropha seeds can be used to produce biofuel but the plant itself can absorb large amounts of CO2 Scientists say that planting large numbers of jatropha trees in desert areas could be an effective way of curbing emissions of CO2.

Desert 'carbon farming' to curb CO2

Dubbed "carbon farming", researchers say the idea is economically competitive with high-tech carbon capture and storage projects. But critics say the idea could be have unforeseen, negative impacts including driving up food prices. Anglo-American mining plans threaten millions of salmon.