Notes from a rare planet: If we lose coral reefs, we not only lose biodiversity but also medicines

Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Protect the coral reefs — the life you save might be your own (Grist)

  • On coral reefs being valuable to medical research: “ There’s an enormous amount of life in our oceans, particularly in coral reefs. Where you have high concentrations of different organisms living together in one place, you have a treasure trove of unique microorganisms — and compounds produced by those organisms — not found elsewhere on Earth.”

U.S. review reaffirms embattled U.N. climate report (Climatide)

  • “And when it comes to the risks associated with climate change, the National Research Council’s reviewers are more plainspoken than the IPCC: Climate change poses significant risks for a wide range of human and natural systems.”

100+ Indonesian firefighters are battling peatland fires set by oil palm plantation developers in the Riau province on Sumatra (Mongabay)

  • “Riau is viewed by environmentalists as ground-zero for efforts to slow deforestation and destruction of peatlands, activities which account for more than three-quarters of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

North America’s tiniest turtle vanish (Mongabay)

  • “Despite decades of conservation work, populations of North America’s smallest turtle, the bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), is continuing to decline. Habitat destruction, invasive plants, road-kill, and the illegal pet trade have all played a role in the bog turtle historic decline, but researchers are now reporting increased mortalities across bog turtle populations, bringing fears of disease or an as-yet-unnamed environmental issue.”

Baby Leopards, Monkeys, Bear Cub & More Stashed In Man’s Suitcase at Thai Airport (TreeHugger)

  • “The 36-year-old UAE citizen was arrested at Bangkok’s international airport while waiting to check in for his flight. Huffington Post reports that he “had been monitoring him since his black market purchase of the rare and endangered animals, according to the FREELAND Foundation, an anti-trafficking group based in Thailand.”