Hydropower Dams Threaten People, Environment in Southwest China

Hydropower dams threaten one of China’s last free-flowing rivers, reports the New York Times.

Chinese officials have reignited discussions in building a series of hydropower dams along the Nu River in China’s southwest Yunnan Province. The region is both ecologically diverse and environmentally threatened.

Not only would the dams harm many endangered fish spawning habitats, but it would also displace thousands of ethnic minorities.

The dams would also impact neighboring countries, such as Myanmar and Thailand who depend on the river for fishing and farming practices.

Read the full article here.

Uranium Mining Approved Next to Grand Canyon

Uranium mining at the edge of Grand Canyon National Park has been federally approved.

Even though President Obama instilled a mining ban through last year, the mining project was approved next to one of America’s most iconic national parks and is set to begin operations in 2015.

The approval is based on a study from more than 25 years ago and didn’t fall under the ban. Environmental groups have already begun voicing disapproval for the project and stated the study was outdated.

The mine would remove vegetation and set up containment ponds, but environmentalists are also concerned with the threat of water pollution to the Red Wall aquifer.

To read more about the uranium mining plans, visit Mongabay.com.

 

Acidification Threatening Arctic

As the Arctic faces massive melting, another threat looms.

A new study suggests the Arctic ecosystems are suffering from acidification that is killing off many of the organisms that thrive in it. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have transformed into carbonic acid in the sea.

Higher levels of acid make it more difficult for certain organisms, such as crabs and shell fish to grow shells, imperiling some of the key organisms in the sea and threatening the entire food chain.

Read the full story here.