Alarm as Indian tiger numbers fall to 1,400: The number of wild tigers in India has dwindled to little more than 1,400, less than half the previous estimate, in an alarming decline blamed by wildlife experts on poaching and urbanisation. The last major survey, in 2002, recorded 3,642 tigers. Until this census, India was thought to be home to 40% of the world’s tigers, with 23 tiger reserves in 17 states. Rajesh Gopal, of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, said: “The tiger has suffered due to direct poaching, loss of quality habitat, and loss of its prey.” Guardian

Stabilizing climate requires cutting emissions to zero: Even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to zero tomorrow, global temperatures would remain high for at least 500 years, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. The findings suggest that stablizing emissions at current levels will not be enough to curtail the effects of climate change. Using a sophisticated computer model developed at the University of Victoria in Canada, climate scientists Ken Caldeira and Damon Matthews “investigated how much climate changes as a result of each individual emission of carbon dioxide, and found that each increment of emission leads to another increment of warming.” Monga Bay

Back to the future on energy: If you were not already frightened by the prospect of climate change, here is a reason to become very afraid: a multinational oil company has just issued a call for wholesale government intervention and regulation of the energy industry. Of course, governments already regulate and tax energy on a large scale but this is different. Shell wants government to take charge. It wants politicians to decide what energy we consume and what form it should take, what investments should be made and which technologies should be adopted. Only a decade ago, such a statement from a pillar of multinational capitalism such as Shell would be unthinkable. Times

Drought killing wildlife: ‘never dry as this’: Years of very low rainfall in the northern Flinders Ranges of South Australia are being blamed for the death of wildlife and hundreds of trees. Experts say river red gums can for live for 1,000 years in dry conditions. But Phil Barron, from Greening Australia, says hundreds of the mighty trees in the Flinders are dead or dying. ABC Online

No pristine oceans left, new map shows: Every area of the oceans is feeling the effects of fishing, pollution, or human-caused global warming, the study says, and some regions are being affected by all of these factors and more. A team led by Ben Halpern of the University of California, Santa Barbara, created the first global map that shows the various kinds of damage being done to marine ecosystems. The team assigned scores to 17 human impacts and tallied them up for every ocean region to reveal the overall effect people are having on marine life.  National Geographic

Peter Fray

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