Common birds in global decline. World’s common bird species are in decline as a result of habitat loss, a global survey warns. The assessment from BirdLife International, found that 45% of common European bird populations are falling, including the Turtle-dove which has seen a 62% drop in numbers of the last 25 years. On the other side of the world, Australian wading birds have seen population losses of 81% over the same time period, the assessment says. — Nature

‘Chemical equator’ divides hemispheres: Scientists have discovered a “chemical equator” that divides the polluted air of the Northern Hemisphere from the largely uncontaminated atmosphere of the Southern Hemisphere. Researchers from Britain’s University of York found evidence for an atmospheric chemical line about 50 kilometres wide in cloudless skies in the Western Pacific, with levels of carbon monoxide four times higher on the northern side. — Reuters

Shun meat, says UN climate chief. People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming, says the UN’s top climate scientist. “The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.” — BBC News

Rubber Dodo award for governor: Sarah Palin may have seen the light – sort of – on climate change but that did not spare her from being singled out yesterday as America’s environmental enemy of the year. The Centre for Biological Diversity awarded Palin its Rubber Dodo award for her insistence .”Governor Palin has waged a deceptive, dangerous, and costly battle against the polar bear,” Kieran Suckling, the centre’s director, said. “Her position on global warming is so extreme, she makes Dick Cheney look like an Al Gore devotee.”– The Guardian

What do new discoveries tell us about the meaning of Stonehenge? Archaeologists have recently excavated a small area within Britain’s most famous Stone Age site and found evidence to suggest that Stonehenge was once a centre of healing, a sort of “Neolithic Lourdes” where people would come from far and wide in the hope of being cured of their ills. — The Independent

Peter Fray

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