Introduction

This newsfeed presents summaries of articles and studies about the current geological age – the Anthropocene, in which the dominant influence on Earth’s climate & environment is human activity fuelled by the world energy system. This has created a biosphere emergency.

A button at the end of each summary links to the source. Further information can be found by clicking on the tags shown ... 

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Hotter Hotspots, Drier Dryspots, Wetter Wetspots, and Stronger Storms

Background (Nino neutral) global warming (relative to 1880-1920) is now at least 1.2°C (2.2°F) as a result of accelerated warming since 2015.

What else is new? Hotspots are getting hotter. The major hotspot in April stretched from Iraq to India and Pakistan, and toward the northeast through Russia (Fig. 1). Temperature exceeded 45°C (113°F) in late April in at least nine Indian cities, on its ... 

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US shale companies enjoy ‘tsunami of cash’ on high oil prices

America’s shale oil companies are enjoying a cash bonanza, as soaring oil prices and months of capital restraint transform the fortunes and balance sheets of a sector once notorious for debt-fuelled drilling sprees.

And the amount of cash generated by operators this year will be greater than the total earned over the past 20 years, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights. “It’s ... 

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Australia’s tropical rainforests have been dying faster for decades in ‘clear and stark climate warning’

Australia’s tropical rainforest trees have being dying at double the previous rate since the 1980s, seemingly because of global heating, according to new research that raises concerns tropical forests could start to release more carbon dioxide than they absorb.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found the average life of tropical trees in north Queensland had been reduced by about half ... 

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Mideast sandstorms snarl traffic, close schools, harm health

Sandstorms across the Middle East have delayed flights, closed schools and hospitalised thousands—a phenomenon experts say could worsen as climate change warps regional weather patterns.

The Middle East has always been battered by dust and sandstorms, but they have become more frequent and intense in recent years.

The trend is associated with overgrazing and deforestation, overuse of river water ... 

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Extreme temperatures compound poverty in Pakistan’s hottest city

Jacobabad in Pakistan’s arid Sindh province is in the grip of the latest heatwave to hit South Asia—peaking at 51˚C (124˚F).

Canals in the city—a vital source of irrigation for nearby farms—have run dry, with a smattering of stagnant water barely visible around strewn rubbish.

Experts say the searing weather is in line with projections for global warming.

The city is on the “front ... 

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Pakistan city hits nearly 50˚C (122˚F) as blistering heatwave grips nation

Pakistan is in the grip of a blistering heatwave, with parts of the nation already scorched by temperatures of nearly 50˚C (122˚F) as officials warn of acute water shortages and a threat to health.

Swathes of Pakistan have been smothered by high temperatures since late April, in extreme weather the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned is consistent with climate change.

On Thursday, ... 

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Record carbon dioxide levels alarm scientists

A new record for the highest daily level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been set this week, ringing alarm bells about the pace of global warming. The daily record of 421.37 parts per million CO₂ was recorded at Manau Loa by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, with similar numbers reported by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Scientific consensus is that the ... 

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NASA’s ECOSTRESS detects ‘heat islands’ in extreme Indian heat wave

A relentless heat wave has blanketed India and Pakistan since mid-March, causing dozens of deaths, fires, increased air pollution, and reduced crop yields. Weather forecasts show no prospect of relief any time soon. NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station instrument (ECOSTRESS) has been measuring these temperatures from space, at the highest spatial resolution ... 

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The Tories are going all out to shut down protest. Just Stop Oil activists like me will not be deterred

If your house was burning down and the emergency services were not answering your call, what would you do? Would you try to put out the fire yourself? This is what climate activists are currently doing, and what they will continue to do, whatever changes the government makes to legislation to curb protest.

Think about what António Guterres, the United Nations general secretary, said: “Climate ... 

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World ‘at a crossroads’ in management of droughts, up 29% in a generation and worsening, reports the UN

Humanity is “at a crossroads” when it comes to managing drought and accelerating mitigation must be done “urgently, using every tool we can,” says a new report from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

  • Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has risen 29%
  • From 1970 to 2019, weather, climate and water hazards accounted
 ... 

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How microplastics in the air are polluting the most remote places on Earth

Microplastics are being transported to some of the most remote places on Earth by the wind, according to new research involving the University of East Anglia. A new study published today in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment shows how wind transports these particles great distances, and much faster than water can.

In the atmosphere, these microscopic pieces of plastic can travel from their point ... 

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India relaxes environment rules for coal mines, citing heatwave

India has relaxed environmental compliance rules for coal mines seeking to ramp up production as power outages exacerbate a sweltering heatwave, a government notice showed.

Coal makes up more than two-thirds of India’s energy needs.

Soaring temperatures have prompted higher energy demand in recent weeks and left India facing a 25 million tonne shortfall at a time when coal spot prices have skyrocketed ... 

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Saudi Aramco overtakes Apple as the world’s most valuable company

Saudi Aramco has overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable company after higher oil prices pushed shares of the world’s biggest crude exporter to record levels, while a broader tech stock sell-off weighs on the iPhone maker.

The Saudi Arabian oil company’s market capitalisation on Wednesday was $2.426 trillion, exceeding Apple’s $2.415 trillion by just over $10 billion.

Saudi Aramco raised ... 

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Tropical dry forests disappearing rapidly around the globe

Since 2000, more than 71 million hectares of dry forest have been destroyed, an area about twice the size of Germany. Many hotspots of deforestation are concentrated in South America, such as in the Gran Chaco in Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia, or the Cerrado in Brazil, as well as in Asia, such as the dry forests of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. “What is worrying is also that we found ... 

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The Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland, is at risk of collapse

Spanning more than 179,000 km2 (69,000 square miles) in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, the Pantanal boasts one of the highest concentration of flora and fauna in South America while serving as one of the planet’s most successful models for sustainable use of a common resource pool. Most of its land is used for traditional cattle ranching and fishing by local communities and sport ... 

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‘Devastating’: 91% of reefs surveyed on Great Barrier Reef affected by coral bleaching in 2022

The Reef snapshot: summer 2021-22, quietly published by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on Tuesday night after weeks of delay, said above-average water temperatures in late summer had caused coral bleaching throughout the 2,300km (1,429 mile) reef system, but particularly in the central region between Cape Tribulation and the Whitsundays.

“The surveys confirm a mass bleaching event, ... 

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Facing a new climate reality, Southern California lawns could wither

The relentless dry spell that is withering the American West is steadily warping normal life. Major reservoirs have baked down to record lows and are still dropping, threatening the ability to generate hydropower. Farming regions that fill the country’s produce aisles are being forced to leave fields fallow, unable to irrigate. The warming climate is fanning wildfires and melting off the mountain ... 

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India tries to adapt to extreme heat but is paying a heavy price

Typically, heat waves in India affect only part of the country, occur in the summer and only last for a week or so. But a string of early heat waves this spring has been longer and more widespread than any observed before. India experienced its hottest March on record. Northwest and central India followed with their hottest April.

Vigyan Shukla, a 45-year-old farmer on north India’s plains, has ... 

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India, Pakistan must brace for even worse heatwaves

The devastating heatwave that gripped India and Pakistan over the last two months is unprecedented, but worse—perhaps far worse—is on the horizon as climate change continues apace, top climate scientists told AFP.

Extreme heat across much of India and neighbouring Pakistan in March and April exposed more than a billion people to scorching temperatures well above 40˚C (104˚F). The hottest part ... 

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Brazil deforestation shatters April record

Satellite images show a total area of destroyed forest cover of 1,012.5 square kilometres (391 square miles) from April 1 to 29, with the last day of the month yet to be analysed.

The area, equivalent to some 140,000 football fields, is by far the biggest for April since record-keeping began in 2015.

This was double the previous high for the month of April, and the third record in four months.

Since ... 

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‘Canaries in the coalmine’: loss of birds signals changing planet

The world’s birds, described as the planet’s “canaries in the coalmine”, are disappearing in large numbers as the colossal impact of humanity on the Earth grows, a global review has found.

There are about 11,000 species of bird spanning the globe. The review found that 48% of bird species are known or suspected to be undergoing population declines, compared with 39% with flat trends, 6% showing ... 

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The number of flying insects in Great Britain has plunged by almost 60% since 2004

The number of flying insects in Great Britain has plunged by almost 60% since 2004, according to a survey that counted splats on car registration plates.

The results from many thousands of journeys by members of the public in the summer of 2021 were compared with results from 2004. The fall was highest in England, at 65%, with Wales recording 55% fewer insects and Scotland 28%.

The new results are ... 

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Precolonial First Nations oyster fisheries sustained millennia of intense harvests

Oyster fisheries in Australia and North America survived for up to 10,000 years prior to colonisation, sustaining First Nations communities even under intense harvest.

Oyster fisheries have declined globally in modern times: an estimated 85% of 19th-century oyster reef area has been lost in the past 200 years.

In Australia, the research drew upon 16 known oyster middens in south-east Queensland – ... 

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Pertamina gets planning approval for $2.4 billion Rokan block development

Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas company Pertamina has reportedly received approval for the $2.41 billion investment plan to expand the Rokan oil block.

Pertamina has received the approval from the country’s oil and gas regulator Satuan Kerja Khusus Pelaksana Kegiatan Usaha Hulu Minyak dan Gas Bumi (SKK Migas). With the approval, Pertamina is allowed to commence a second phase of development ... 

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Construction begins on the world’s largest offshore wind farm

The team building Dogger Bank Wind Farm has officially marked the start of its offshore construction work with the installation of the first length of high voltage DC (HVDC) export cable off the Yorkshire coast.

Tier one supplier NKT is leading the work to install the Dogger Bank A nearshore cable, that will connect the first phase of the windfarm more than 130km (81 miles) off the coast to a landfall ... 

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Petrobras begins production from FPSO Guanabara in Mero field

The Guanabara floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) has been designed to process up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day and 12 million cubic metres of gas per day. The platform has an oil storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels.

Constructed and operated by Modec, FPSO Guanabara reached the Mero field in late January 2022. Following this, it was connected to wells and subsea equipment ... 

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Heat wave sparks blackouts, questions on India’s coal usage

An unusually early and brutal heat wave is scorching parts of India, with acute power shortages affecting millions as demand for electricity surges to record levels.

Supplies of coal at many thermal power plants are running perilously low, spawning daily power outages in several states. The shortages are sparking scrutiny of India’s long reliance on coal, which produces 70% of the country’s ... 

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Horn of Africa ravaged by worst drought in four decades

In the Horn of Africa as a whole, in an area stretching from northern Kenya to Somalia and swaths of Ethiopia, up to 20 million people could go hungry this year as delayed rains exacerbate what was already the worst drought in four decades. After three consecutive rainy seasons failed and a fourth looks likely to do the same, crops have disappeared and more than a million livestock have died in ... 

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Where your recycling actually goes

Just 9% of all plastic waste ever created has been recycled.

Last year, the U.S. exported 74,000 shipping containers of plastic waste to low-income countries.

For decades, China was the primary destination for global plastic waste. Now more countries in Latin America are emerging as hotspots.

“Waste that is being generated in the United States is ping-ponging across the globe,” ... 

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Over 21% of reptile species at risk of extinction

21% of reptile species are threatened with extinction, including more than half of turtles and crocodiles.

More than 40% of amphibians, 25% of mammals and 13% of birds could face extinction.

In a new global assessment, published in the journal Nature, researchers assessed 10,196 reptile species and evaluated them using criteria from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ... 

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‘Relentless’ destruction of rainforest continuing despite Cop26 pledge

Pristine rainforests were once again destroyed at a relentless rate in 2021, according to new figures, prompting concerns governments will not meet a COP26 deal to halt and reverse deforestation by the end of the decade.

From the Brazilian Amazon to the Congo basin, the tropics lost 11.1 million hectares of tree cover last year, including 3.75 million hectares of primary forest critical to limiting ... 

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Past the precipice? Projected coral habitability under global heating

A variety of corals form an outcrop on Flynn Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Queensland, Australia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coral_Outcrop_Flynn_Reef.jpg

Coral reefs are rapidly declining due to local environmental degradation and global climate change. In particular, corals are vulnerable to ocean heating. Hotter oceans can kill corals via expulsion of their food-producing algae and eventual starvation, or by cooking them to death.

As of 2021, we estimate that over 91% and 79% of reef locations will experience bleaching conditions at least ... 

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Investors at top US banks refuse to back climate proposals

Investors refused to back resolutions demanding stricter fossil fuel financing policies at three major US banks.

Proposals filed at Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citi called on the banks to align their fossil fuel financing policies with achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and to ensure financing did not contribute to “new fossil fuel supplies”. But the resolutions were backed by only about ... 

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Boom and Bust Coal 2022

The world has more than more than 2,400 coal-fired power plants, for a total capacity of nearly 2,100 gigawatts (GW). An additional 176GW of coal capacity is under construction at more than 189 plants. A further additional 280GW is planned at 296 plants, equivalent to the current operating fleets of the United States and Japan combined.

In 2021, 45GW of capacity was added (in 15 countries), and 26.8GW ... 

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With coal surge, China puts energy security and growth before climate

Chinese leaders pledged ahead of climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, last November to peak national emissions before 2030 and stop building coal power plants abroad.

A study published Friday indicates that at least 18 new coal plant projects abroad will probably go ahead despite ... 

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China doubles down on coal

China is in the throes of a building boom to jump start its economy. The government of President Xi Jinping has “scrambled in recent months to try to reverse a slowdown” in economic growth caused by many things, including rising oil and gas prices brought on by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

China’s chosen economic path is hugely energy-intensive. It requires vast amounts of electricity, ... 

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Dead rivers, polluted oceans: Industry adds to world’s mounting water crisis

Half of all river basins across the world are now “severely affected” by water diversion projects, which can exacerbate drought conditions and lead to human conflict. About the same percentage of lakes and reservoirs in Asia, Europe and North America also show eutrophication, an excess of nutrients that can lead to algae blooms and ecosystem collapse.

While many such problems are tied ... 

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Lost golden toad heralds climate’s massive extinction threat

In this mysterious woodland the cloud drapes over mountain ridges and “the trees are dwarfed and wind-sculpted, gnarled and heavily laden with mosses,” said J Alan Pounds, an ecologist at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica.

“The soils are very dark and so golden toads would stand out like animal figurines. It was quite a spectacle.”

 ... 

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Biden Plans to Open More Public Land to Drilling

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it would resume selling leases for new oil and gas drilling on public lands.

The Interior Department said in a statement that it planned next week to auction off leases to drill on 145,000 acres of public lands in nine states. They would be the first new fossil fuel leases to be offered on public lands since President Biden took office.

And ... 

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Chile announces unprecedented plan to ration water as drought enters 13th year

As a punishing, record-breaking drought enters its 13th year, Chile has announced an unprecedented plan to ration water for the capital of Santiago, a city of nearly 6 million.

The plan features a four-tier alert system that goes from green to red and starts with public service announcements, moves on to restricting water pressure and ends with rotating water cuts of up to 24 hours for about 1.7 ... 

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Electric vehicle targets ‘impossible’ without changes to lithium pipeline

Stuart Crow, chair of Lake Resources, said western companies and governments had failed to build adequate supply chains for lithium, making the sudden boom in electric vehicle manufacturing unsustainable. “There simply isn’t going to be enough lithium on the face of the planet, regardless of who expands and who delivers, it just won’t be there,” he said. “The carmakers are ... 

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The oil giants drilling among the giraffes in Uganda

As one of the world’s most famous game reserves, Murchison Falls National Park is home to some of the largest populations of elephants, giraffes, lions and leopards anywhere on the planet. Chief warden Edison Nuwamanya rattles off the numbers by heart: 2,700 elephants, 15,800 buffalo, 1,950 Rothschild’s giraffes and more than 150,000 kobs, a type of antelope. Decades of hard work and investment ... 

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Canada approves controversial Bay du Nord offshore oil project

Canada’s environment minister approved Wednesday a controversial offshore oil project expected to see 300 million barrels of oil extracted over 30 years

Reference

This is equivalent to about 3 days of global oil consumption.

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The world is ‘perilously close’ to irreversible climate change

  • Amazon rainforest becomes a savanna

The 2.5 million square mile rainforest is so vast it creates its own rainfall and is home to 10% of the world’s species.

But rising temperatures and increasing drought are bringing it ever closer to crossing the threshold from lush rainforest to arid savannah.

“The recent evidence has been quite alarming. It really does look like we’re closing in on a place where a relatively ... 

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Increase in atmospheric methane set another record during 2021. Carbon dioxide levels also record a big jump

For the second year in a row, NOAA scientists observed a record annual increase in atmospheric levels of methane, a powerful, heat-trapping greenhouse gas that’s the second biggest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon dioxide.

NOAA’s preliminary analysis showed the annual increase in atmospheric methane during 2021 was 17 parts per billion (ppb), the largest annual increase ... 

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Bird populations in Panama rainforest in severe decline

Scientists from the University of Illinois tracked species of birds in a protected forest reserve in central Panama to determine if and how populations had changed from 1977 to 2020.

A new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the majority of sampled species had declined in abundance, many of them severely.

Of the declining species sampled, 35 out of 40 lost ... 

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The global ‘plastic flood’ reaches the Arctic

Large quantities of plastic—transported by rivers, the air and shipping–can now be found in the Arctic Ocean. High concentrations of microplastic can be found in the water, on the seafloor, remote beaches, in rivers, and even in ice and snow. The plastic is not only a burden for ecosystems; it could also worsen climate change.

Today, between 19 and 23 million metric tons of plastic litter per ... 

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Narrabri coal mine expansion gets final approval from NSW planning commission

A $400 million coal mine expansion that would result in almost half a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions has been conditionally approved by New South Wales planning authorities.

The NSW independent planning commission (IPC) has given final approval to Whitehaven’s expansion of its Narrabri underground coal mine in the state’s north-west.

The project will extend the mine’s life by 13 ... 

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Climate warming has dealt yet another blow to the Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its sixth massive bleaching event as climate change has warmed the ocean, raising concerns over whether one of the world’s natural wonders is nearing a tipping point.

Reef managers confirmed Friday that aerial surveys detected catastrophic bleaching on 60% of the reef’s corals.

It is the sixth massive bleaching the reef has suffered in two decades, ... 

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Transocean Ltd. Invests in Exploration of Seabed Minerals to Support the Renewable Energy Supply Chain

Transocean Ltd. announced today that it has purchased a minority interest in Ocean Minerals Ltd., a company engaged in the exploration of seabed resources containing metals critical to the growing renewable energy market.

Ocean Minerals, through its affiliate, Moana Minerals Limited, was awarded a license by the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority last month for exploration of ... 

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A striking growth of CO2 emissions from the global cement industry driven by new facilities in emerging countries

Maps of global cement plants worldwide. (a) CO2 emissions and (b) age distribution as of 2019 by plant clinker capacity.
Trends in CO2 emissions from the global cement industry by region during 1990–2019.

Global industrialization and urbanization processes enabled a diverse cement production boom over the past three decades, as cement is the most important building construction material. Consequently, the cement industry is the second-largest industrial CO2 emitter (∼25% of global industrial CO2 emissions) globally.

The past three decades have witnessed a soaring emission increase by 1.9 times of ... 

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A disease more lethal than covid-19 has nearly wiped out northern US long-eared bats

15 years after its was first discovered in a New York cave, white-nose syndrome has decimated the nation’s population of northern long-eared bats, reducing their numbers to almost nothing.

It evolved in the dark millions of years ago with bats in Eurasia, which, unlike bats in the United States, appear to be unaffected by the disease. After the fungus made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, possibly ... 

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It’s 70˚F (40˚C) warmer than normal in eastern Antarctica. Scientists are flabbergasted.

The coldest location on the planet has experienced an episode of warm weather this week unlike any ever observed, with temperatures over the eastern Antarctic ice sheet soaring 50 to 90˚F (28 to 50˚C) above normal. The warmth has smashed records and shocked scientists.

“This event is completely unprecedented and upended our expectations about the Antarctic climate system,” said Jonathan ... 

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Medium- and long-term contracts signed by Chinese coal suppliers shall account for over 80% of their resources: economic planner

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, will launch special investigation into the implementation of medium- and long-term contracts signed by coal suppliers in 2022. The commission requires the medium- and long-term contracts signed by coal enterprises to account for more than 80 percent of the resources they own.

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US fires have become 4 times larger, 3 times more frequent since 2000

Work published in Science Advances shows that large fires have not only become more common, they are also spreading into new areas, impacting land that previously did not burn.

“Projected changes in climate, fuel and ignitions suggest that we’ll see more and larger fires in the future. Our analyses show that those changes are already happening,” said Virginia Iglesias, ... 

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Global carbon dioxide emissions rebounded to their highest level in history in 2021

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tons, their highest ever level, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 crisis and relied heavily on coal to power that growth, according to new IEA analysis.

The increase in global CO2 emissions of over 2 billion tons was the largest in history in absolute terms, more than offsetting the ... 

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Increasing frequency of El Niño events expected by 2040

The study examined four possible scenarios for future carbon emissions, and found increased risk of El Niño events in all four.

This means El Niño events and associated climate extremes are now more likely “regardless of any significant mitigation actions” to reduce emissions, the researchers warn.

 ... 

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Amazon rainforest tipping point is looming

The Amazon is approaching a tipping point, data shows, after which the rainforest would be lost with “profound” implications for the global climate and biodiversity.

Novel statistical analysis shows that more than 75% of the untouched forest has lost stability since the early 2000s, meaning it takes longer to recover after droughts and wildfires.

The greatest loss of stability is in areas closer ... 

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Florida wildfires force hundreds to evacuate their homes

Hundreds of residents in the US state of Florida were evacuated from their homes after a rash of wildfires that ignited dead vegetation swept through the area.

Dry conditions in Florida have created elevated fire dangers, with 148 active wildfires burning across the state this year, including the 1,214 hectare (3,000 acre) Bertha Swamp Fire in neighbouring Gulf County.

The blazes across Florida’s ... 

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Africa, already suffering from warming, will see worse

Although Africa has contributed relatively little to the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, the continent has suffered some of the world’s heaviest impacts of climate change. This will only get worse, according to a new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Jean Paul Adam, who heads the climate change division at the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, ... 

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Deforestation emissions far higher than previously thought

Carbon emissions from tropical deforestation this century are far higher than previously thought, doubling in just two decades and continuing to accelerate, according to a study.

The world’s forests form an enormous carbon store, holding an estimated 861 gigatons of carbon – equivalent to nearly a century’s worth of annual fossil fuel emissions at the current rate. When trees are cut down, ... 

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Gang-gang cockatoo threatened species

The gang-gang cockatoo, the animal emblem of the Australian Capital Territory, will be officially listed as a threatened species after a large decline in its numbers due to the climate crisis and the bushfire disaster.

The decline is expected to continue because increased heatwaves and fire frequency as a result of the climate emergency is increasing pressure on the species across its range, with ... 

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Death of the last known river dolphin in the transboundary pool in the Mekong between Laos and Cambodia

The Mekong dolphin population has long been IUCN red-listed as Critically Endangered.

The last known river dolphin in the transboundary pool on the Cambodia-Laos border was found dead on February 15, 2022. This death most likely represents a national-level extinction for Laos. The dolphin was 25 years old, male, 260cm in length and weighed 110kg (243 pounds).

The population was publicly declared functionally ... 

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World’s top banks show minimal clear commitments to shift financing away from fossil fuels

The top 10 banks—ranked as the largest funders of fossil fuel organizations—are talking more about climate change in general. However, in an analysis of annual reports, these banks were found to be vague when it comes to initiatives to counter it.

In 2020 alone, $425.92 billion was spent financing fossil fuels by this group—which includes banks from the US, such as JP Morgan Chase; the UK, ... 

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Each Antarctic tourist effectively melts 83 metric tons of snow

The remote continent is becoming increasingly accessible—during the 2019-20 season, the number of sightseeing visitors reached 74,000, with the vast majority travelling by ship.

All activity in Antarctica—be it powered drills for scientific ice coring or vehicles for transport—burns fuel. As we burn fuel to keep warm, or to move around, our activities release microscopic particles of “black ... 

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Saudi Aramco closed a deal to sell a stake in its natural-gas pipelines for $15.5 billion

An investor group, led by BlackRock, acquired a 49% stake in Aramco Gas Pipelines Co. in a lease and leaseback deal in December, according to a statement. The consortium also comprised Keppel Infrastructure Trust, Silk Road Fund, China Merchants Capital, and Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Hassana Investment Co.

In a similarly-structured transaction in April, Aramco sold a $12.4 billion stake related ... 

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Study recommends excluding and moving offshore wind farms away from the protected areas in the Mediterranean

A scientific team recommends excluding and moving offshore wind farms from the protected areas in the Mediterranean due to the serious negative impacts these facilities can cause on the marine biodiversity and the landscape.

The team reviewed nearly 150 papers. This diagnosis aims to be useful in other Mediterranean areas and other seas and oceans of the world that feature a high diversity, the existence ... 

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Chinese government to help run coal power plants at full capacity

China will help its coal-fired power plants run at full capacity, the government has announced, raising further alarm about the fate of Beijing’s climate pledges.

It was decided in the Monday meeting that “coal supply will be increased and coal-fired power plants will be supported in running at full capacity and generating more electricity” to meet industrial and residential ... 

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‘Like a war zone’: Deaths in Brazil floods, mudslides top 100

The area is known for its leafy streets, stately homes, imperial palace – today a museum – and the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Tuesday’s storms dumped 258 millimetres (10 inches) of rain on the city in three hours, nearly equal to the total rainfall in the previous month.

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World spends $US1.8 trillion a year on subsidies that harm environment

Research prompts warnings humanity is ‘financing its own extinction’ through subsidies damaging to the climate and wildlife.

From tax breaks for beef production in the Amazon to financial support for unsustainable groundwater pumping in the Middle East, government spending and other subsidies are harming the environment.

The fossil fuel industry ($US 620 billion), the agricultural sector ($US520 ... 

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The great climate backslide: How governments are regressing worldwide

From the U.S. to China, in Europe, India and Japan, fossil fuels are staging a comeback, clean energy stocks are taking a hammering, and the prospects for speeding the transition to renewable sources of power are looking grim. That’s even as renewable energy costs have fallen rapidly and investment in clean technologies is soaring.

Oil is on a roll as the world economy picks up from its pandemic-induced ... 

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Trying to cool the Earth by dimming sunlight could be worse than global warming

A group of 60 scientists called for a moratorium on solar geoengineering last month, including technologies such as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI). This involves a fleet of airplanes releasing aerosol particles—which reflect sunlight back to outer space—into the atmosphere, cooling down the Earth.

SAI could pose grave dangers, potentially worse than the warming it seeks to remedy.

A cooler ... 

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US west megadrought worsens to driest in at least 1,200 years

The American West’s megadrought deepened so much last year that it is now the driest in at least 1,200 years and is a worst-case climate change scenario playing out live.

A dramatic drying in 2021—about as dry as 2002 and one of the driest years ever recorded for the region—pushed the 22-year drought past the previous record-holder for megadroughts in the late 1500s and shows no signs of ... 

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The World Has Been Using A Lot More Oil Than We Thought

For the past 15 years the world has been using more oil than the primary monitoring agency thought.

The changes aren’t small. At 2.9 billion barrels, the additional demand they’ve just found is equivalent to five times the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or an entire year’s worth of consumption in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and Mexico.

Not surprisingly, the revisions were made ... 

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Europe’s biggest banks provide £24 billion to oil and gas firms despite net zero pledges

25 European banks have provided $US33 billion (£24 billion) in loans and other financing to 50 companies with large oil and gas expansion plans, less than a year since pledging to target net zero carbon emissions.

More than half ($US19 billion) of the financing came from HSBC and Barclays, France’s BNP Paribas and Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

Since 2016, the European banks have provided financing ... 

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Koala listed as endangered after Australian governments fail to halt its decline

The Australian government has officially listed thekoala as endangered after a decline in its numbers due to land clearing and catastrophic bushfires shrinking its habitat.

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, accepted the recommendation of the threatened species scientific committee that the koala populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory should have their ... 

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Dams alter river temperatures and endanger fish, yet 3,700 more will be built

The ubiquitous dams around the world are built to guard against extreme flooding, meet steadily increasing water demands and provide hydroelectric power. They also alter river ecosystems — such as by changing temperatures downstream — and can substantially change nearby fish populations.

In China, the Xinanjiang and Danjiangkou hydroelectric dams caused the peak summer temperature to decrease ... 

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‘Oil spills of our time’: experts sound alarm about plastic lost in cargo ship disasters

Container ship accidents at sea should be considered the “oil spills of our time”, warned environmental organisations that found a toxic mix of metals, carcinogenic and other harmful chemicals on plastic washed up on Sri Lanka’s beaches after a cargo ship fire.

When the X-Press Pearl sank off nine nautical miles off Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, in May 2021, the most “significant harm” ... 

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Plastic pollution in oceans on track to rise for decades

Plastic pollution at sea is reaching worrying levels and will continue to grow even if significant action is taken now to stop such waste from reaching the world’s oceans, according to a review of hundreds of academic studies.

Some regions—such as the Mediterranean, the East China and Yellow Seas—already contain dangerous levels of plastic, while others risk becoming increasingly polluted ... 

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World must work together to tackle plastic ocean threat: WWF

Plastic has infiltrated all parts of the ocean and is now found “in the smallest plankton up to the largest whale” wildlife group WWF said.

Tiny fragments of plastic have reached even the most remote and seemingly-pristine regions of the planet: it peppers Arctic sea ice and has been found inside fish in the deepest recesses of the ocean, the Mariana Trench.

WWF sought to bolster the case ... 

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The largest marine wildlife disease event in history

Healthy-looking ochre sea stars have minimal genetic difference from those displaying symptoms of sea star wasting syndrome, say Oregon State University researchers who examined whether genetic variation was the reason some animals went unaffected during an epidemic of the deadly disease.

Also called the purple ochre and known scientifically as Pisaster ochraceus, the ochre sea star saw its populations ... 

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Barely 15% of the world’s coastal regions remain ecologically intact

Just 15.5% of the world’s coastal regions remain ecologically intact, according to new research that calls for urgent conservation measures to protect what remains and restore sites that are degraded.

It found that up to 2013 – the latest year for which the data was available – few intact coastlines remained.

The small areas of coast that remain undamaged by pressures such as fishing, agriculture, ... 

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EU includes gas and nuclear in guidebook for ‘green’ investments

The European Commission has been accused of undermining its climate goals after it defied critics by pushing ahead with plans to include gas and nuclear in an EU guidebook for “green” investments.

Gas and nuclear were deemed bridge technologies to meet the EU’s target of net zero emissions by 2050, in long-awaited proposals on the EU’s “taxonomy for environmentally sustainable economic ... 

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Climate change has likely begun to suffocate the world’s fisheries

By 2080, around 70% of the world’s oceans could be suffocating from a lack of oxygen as a result of climate change, potentially impacting marine ecosystems worldwide.

The new models find mid-ocean depths that support many fisheries worldwide are already losing oxygen at unnatural rates and passed a critical threshold of oxygen loss in 2021.

Oceans carry dissolved oxygen as a gas, and just like ... 

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Last refuges for coral reefs to disappear above 1.5˚C of global warming

Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine life, including more than 4,000 species of fish. They also provide a source of income or food to half a billion people.

One way that climate change threatens coral reefs is by driving an increase in the frequency and severity of marine heatwaves. During prolonged periods of heat, reefs can experience mass coral bleaching. This occurs when coral ... 

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IEA: Electricity CO₂ emissions reach record high and set to remain constant to 2024

After small drop in 2020, global electricity demand grew by 6% in 2021. It was the largest ever annual increase in absolute terms (over 1,500 TWh). Around half took place in China.

Coal fired electricity met more than half of the global increase. It grew by 9% and reached a record level. Renewables grew by 6%, gas-fired generation 2%, and nuclear 3.5%. In total, CO2 emissions ... 

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Study – Critical minerals for electric vehicles: a telecoupling review

The world faces a growing demand for critical minerals to meet expanding demand for clean energy and low-carbon technologies and to fuel the transition to cleaner energy futures (Bazilian 2018, Lèbre et al 2020... 

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Study – Rapid glacier retreat rates observed in West Antarctica

The Pope, Smith and Kohler glaciers, in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica, have experienced enhanced ocean-induced ice-shelf melt, glacier acceleration, ice thinning and grounding-line retreat in the past 30 years.

After correction for tidal effects, we detect a sustained pattern of retreat coincident with high melt rates of ungrounded ice, marked by episodes of more rapid retreat.

In ... 

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Accumulated heat in the upper ocean is at record levels again

The world’s oceans are hotter than ever before, continuing their record-breaking temperature streak for the sixth straight year.

For the last year, the researchers found that the upper 2,000 meters in all oceans absorbed 14 more Zettajoules than in 2020, equal to 145 times world electricity generation in 2020. For context, all of the energy humans use the world over in a single year is about ... 

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Could Or Should Wood Be A Climate Solution?

Aerial view of Drax Power Station, the third-most polluting power station in Europe, located close to Selby, North Yorkshire, England.

When the EU adopted its 2009 Renewable Energy Directive — a plan to reach 20% renewable energy by 2020 to help the bloc adhere to the world’s first climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol — it followed a long tradition of giving wood-fired power plants the same emissions-free status as wind and solar. As a result, coal-dependent countries like Britain and Germany began heavily subsidizing wood ... 

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China’s coal production hit record levels in 2021

China’s coal production reached record levels last year as the state encouraged miners to ramp up their fossil fuel output to safeguard the country’s energy supplies through the winter gas crisis.

Chinese coal production climbed to an all-time high of 4.07 billion tonnes in 2021, up 4.7% on the previous year.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that global consumption of coal power, ... 

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New research links Australia’s forest fires to climate change

The research published in Nature Communications is the first of its kind and combines analysis of previous forest fire sites with eight drivers of fire activity including climate, fuel accumulation, ignition and management (prescribed burning).  

Thirty-two years of satellite data and 90 years of ground-based datasets from climate and weather observations, and simulated fuel loads for Australian ... 

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Carbon dioxide removal technologies take a giant step forward

In addition to drastically cutting global fossil fuel emissions, society needs to develop and use technologies to remove the CO2 already in the atmosphere.

Geologist Peter B. Kelemen is a research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He has been a key architect of the Oman Drilling Project, ... 

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1 in 3 Americans now ‘alarmed’ by climate change

New results from a long-running public opinion survey show that about 1 in 3 Americans is now “alarmed” by global warming. Is it any wonder, given the horrific onslaught of fires, floods, heat waves and other climate disasters we’ve experienced in the last year alone?

The shift in public opinion is surely being driven by experience. A recent Washington Post analysis found that more ... 

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Extreme weather in 2021

The past six years have been the six hottest on record.

More than 400 weather stations around the world beat their all-time highest temperature records in 2021.

Ten countries – Oman, UAE, Canada, the United States, Morocco, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, Tunisia and Dominica – broke or tied their national highest record.

One hundred and seven countries beat their monthly high temperature record, and five ... 

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UK government: 4°C warming by 2100: “can’t be ruled out”

As required by the UK Climate Change Act 2008, the government has today submitted the Third Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) to Parliament.

Professor Richard Betts MBE, who led this team, says that “One of the key conclusions from the University of Exeter’s work was that current worldwide policies could result in up to 4°C warming by 2100.”

“The agreements made at the ... 

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Safe planetary boundary for pollutants, including plastics, exceeded

In 2009, an international team of researchers identified nine planetary boundaries that demarcate the remarkably stable state Earth has remained within for 10,000 years—since the dawn of civilization. These boundaries include greenhouse gas emissions, the ozone layer, forests, freshwater and biodiversity. The researchers quantified the boundaries that influence Earth’s stability, and concluded ... 

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China fires up giant coal power plant in face of calls for cuts

China, under fire for approving new coal power stations as other countries try to curb greenhouse gases, has completed the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country.

A report published this month by researchers at China’s State Grid Corporation said energy security concerns mean the country is likely to build as much as 150 ... 

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Brazil: deforestation jumps in world’s largest savanna as scientists raise alarm

Deforestation last year rose to the highest level since 2015 in Brazil’s Cerrado, prompting scientists on Monday to raise alarm over the state of the world’s most species-rich savanna and a major carbon sink that helps to stave off climate change.

The Cerrado, the world’s largest savanna spread across several states of Brazil, is often called an “upside-down forest” because of the deep ... 

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‘Carbon bomb’: Queensland, Australia, reveals big jump in land clearing

Queensland landholders are clearing the equivalent of about 1,000 Melbourne Cricket Grounds a day, including endangered ecological regions, according to state government data that raises new doubts about the accuracy of Australia’s carbon emissions claims.

The Statewide Landcover and Trees Study for 2018-19 showed landholders cleared 680,688 hectares (1.7 million acres) of woody vegetation, or ... 

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Coal power’s sharp rebound is taking it to a new record in 2021, threatening net zero goals

After falling in 2019 and 2020, global power generation from coal is expected to jump by 9% in 2021 to an all-time high.

Depending on weather patterns and economic growth, overall coal demand could reach new all-time highs as soon as 2022 and remain at that level for the following two years.

The rebound is being driven by 2021’s rapid economic recovery, which has pushed up electricity demand ... 

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Filipinos count cost of climate crisis as typhoons get ever more destructive

A few days before Christmas, Super-typhoon Rai – known locally as Odette – ravaged the Philippines. Lost lives continue to climb two weeks on. Vast numbers of buildings were destroyed – from houses to schools; food crops lost to flooding.

On average, 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines each year and they are growing progressively more destructive. The culprit is greenhouse-gas emissions ... 

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Himalayan glaciers melting at ‘exceptional rate’

The accelerating melting of the Himalayan glaciers threatens the water supply of millions of people in Asia, new research warns.

Himalayan glaciers have lost ice ten times more quickly over the last few decades than on average since the last major glacier expansion 400-700 years ago.

The Himalayan mountain range is home to the world’s third-largest amount of glacier ice, after Antarctica and ... 

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Study – The Expanding Coal Power Fleet in Southeast Asia

Coal combustion for power generation made up 30% of global CO2 emissions in 2018. To achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global average temperatures below 2°C, power generation must be decarbonized globally by mid-century. This requires a rapid phase-out of coal-fired power generation. However, global coal power expansion continues, mostly in developing countries where electricity ... 

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Scientist says time is running out for West Antarctic ice sheet

The last time carbon dioxide levels were where they are today, at more than 415 parts per million, was 4 million years ago, and the result of the associated warming due to greenhouse gas was melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and several meters of sea level rise. Unless we can bring our present atmospheric carbon dioxide level down, the eventual outcome will again be substantial loss of ice ... 

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‘A 99.5% decline’: what caused Australia’s bogong moth catastrophe?

  • Land-clearing for crops in the Murray-Darling basin, the main winter breeding ground for the moths,
  • Severe drought in the breeding grounds,
  • Increased use of pesticides such as neonicotinoids in Australia (some of which are banned in other countries),
  • Increased light pollution, which disrupts the moths’ migration,
  • Destruction of habitat and flowering plants on their migration routes, and
  • A climate that is becoming warmer and drier.

The moths provide a necessary feast for mountain pygmy-possums awakening from hibernation, and are also a key food source for birds, other mammals, reptiles and frogs, many of which are endangered in alpine regions.

“Even other invertebrates, such as ants and spiders, are seen feasting on the moths. The nutrients left every year by the moths are also important to the alpine soil and plants.”

“Given ... 

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Cobalt’s human cost: Social consequences of green energy must be assessed in addition to environmental impacts

While driving an electric car has fewer environmental impacts than gasoline-powered cars, the production of the parts necessary for these green technologies can have dire effects on human well-being.

After studying the impacts of mining cobalt—a common ingredient in lithium-ion batteries—on communities in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, an interdisciplinary team of researchers ... 

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Concurrent heatwaves seven times more frequent than 1980s

Concurrent heatwaves the size of Mongolia or Iran were 7x more frequent in 2010s than 1980s. And their intensity rose 17%, and geographic extent increased 46%.

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Almost 17 million vertebrates killed in the 2020 wildfires in Brazil

Scientists estimate that 16.9 million vertebrates were killed by fires in the Pantanal wetlands, Brazil, between Jan & Nov 2020.

Sampling likely excluded species incl. jaguars, pumas & tapirs, & doesn’t reflect subsequent animal deaths from habitat loss.

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The world is burning the most coal ever to keep the lights on

The world likely will generate more electricity from the dirtiest source this year than ever before, indicating just how far the energy transition still needs to run in the fight against climate change.

Coal-fueled generation is set to jump 9% from last year, according to an International Energy Agency report released Friday.

The U.S. and European Union had the biggest increases in coal use at about ... 

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Humanity continues to degrade the Arctic

The Arctic continues to warm more than twice as fast as the rest of the globe.

Summer 2021 saw the second-lowest amount of older, multi-year ice since 1985, and the post-winter sea ice volume in April 2021 was the lowest since records began in 2010.

Seven of the nine Arctic regions observed showed higher ocean primary productivity in 2021 than the long-term average (2003-20). All regions continue ... 

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Butressing of Thwaites glacier in Antarctica expected to fail within 10 years

Scientists have discovered a series of worrying weaknesses in the ice shelf holding back one of Antarctica’s most dangerous glaciers, suggesting that this important buttress against sea level rise could shatter within the next three to five years.

Until recently, the ice shelf was seen as the most stable part of Thwaites Glacier (shown on the left of the image above). Because of this brace, the ... 

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Deep-sea mining may push hundreds of species to extinction

Almost two-thirds of the hundreds of mollusc species that live in the deep sea are at risk of extinction, according to a new study that rings another alarm bell over the impact on biodiversity of mining the seabed.

More than 80% of the ocean remains unmapped, unobserved and unexplored, and there is increasing opposition to deep-sea mining from governments, civil society groups and scientists, who ... 

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124 Australian species added to endangered species list

Among the species listed is the bogong moth.

Scientists have detected steady declines in numbers of bogong moths since the 1980s. But in 2017 and 2018 that crashed to numbers so low the species was described as “undetectable” in the alpine regions where it used to arrive in spring in numbers as high as 4.4 billion.

The ecologist, Ken Green, has been monitoring bogong moths for 40 years.

He and ... 

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15% of Florida’s manatee population has died this year due to human activity

A record manatee die-off in Florida this year has become so dire that federal officials are taking a once unthinkable step — feeding the wild marine mammals to help them survive the winter.

More than 1,000 manatees, about 15% of the state’s total population, have died this year. But even with a supplemental feeding program — delivering heads of lettuce and cabbage as the manatees gather in ... 

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As climate ‘net-zero’ plans grow, so do concerns from scientists

Scientists and monitoring groups are growing increasingly alarmed at the slew of vague net-zero pledges that appear to privilege offsets and future technological breakthroughs over short-term emissions cuts.

“They’re not fit for purpose, any of them,” Myles Allen, director of Oxford Net Zero at the University of Oxford said of today’s carbon neutrality plans.

“You ... 

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We are professional fire watchers, and we’re astounded by the scale of fires in remote Australia right now

While southern Australia experienced a wet winter and a soggy spring, northern Australia has seen the opposite. Extreme fire weather in October and November led to bushfires across 120,000 square kilometers of southern savanna regions.

Significant fires continue to burn in the Kimberley, the Top End, Cape York and the northern deserts. And while recent rain across the central deserts has reduced ... 

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Human greenhouse gas emissions kill seabirds

The warming of the planet is taking a deadly toll on seabirds that are suffering population declines from starvation, inability to reproduce, heat waves and extreme weather.

One estimate by researchers from University of British Columbia stated that seabird populations have fallen 70% since the mid-20th century.

Researchers from the University of Washington and other institutions who studied dozens ... 

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Drought and heatwaves in Australia cause widespread tree death

The drought and heatwaves that seared eastern Australia in the lead-up to the 2019-20 black summer bushfires killed as much as 60% of the trees in some areas that escaped the fires.

While Australian species are typically hardened to extreme conditions, the record heat and dryness of 2019 pushed some common tree varieties beyond their thresholds, potentially threatening whole ecosystems if they don’t ... 

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Record floods linked to climate change have left the people of South Sudan in crisis

Climate scientists say the floods in 2019 and 2020 were driven in part by global warming-linked changes in a weather pattern called the Indian Ocean Dipole.

In East Africa, this led to extreme floods. The rains this year have been so catastrophic for a different reason: The water from the past two years simply never receded.

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Britain wildlife is in freefall with 70 of 245 bird species now seriously at risk

The red list of Britain’s most endangered birds has increased to 70 species. Birds are placed on the red list either because their populations have severely declined in Britain, or because they are considered under threat of global extinction.

The red list now accounts for more than a quarter of Britain’s 245 bird species, almost double the 36 species given the status of “highest conservation ... 

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One in six Australian birds are now threatened

216 out of 1,299 species are threatened – up from 195 in 2011 – with the climate crisis pushing more birds on to the list or increasing the threat status of those in danger.

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Time when warming levels will be reached

Forest fires in Australia are worsening

The Black Summer forest fires of 2019–2020 in Australia burned more than 24 million hectares (59 million acres), directly causing 33 deaths and almost 450 more from smoke inhalation. Nearly 3 billion animals (mammals, reptiles, birds, and frogs) were killed or displaced.

A study has found:

  • The annual area burned by fire across Australia’s
 ... 

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Human emissions causing increasing rates of albatross break-ups

Climate change and warming waters are pushing black-browed albatross break-up rates higher. Typically after choosing a partner, only 1-3% would separate in search of greener romantic pastures.

But in the years with unusually warm water temperatures, that average consistently rose, with up to 8% of couples splitting up. The study looked at a wild population of 15,500 breeding pairs in the Falkland ... 

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Antarctic ice sheet destabilized within a decade

After the natural warming that followed the last Ice Age, there were repeated periods when masses of icebergs broke off from Antarctica into the Southern Ocean. A new data-model study led by the University of Bonn (Germany) now shows that it took only a decade to initiate this tipping point in the climate system, and that ice mass loss then continued for many centuries. Accompanying modeling studies ... 

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Brazil Amazon deforestation up 22% in a year; a 15 year record

The 13,235 square kilometers (5,110 square miles) of forest lost from August 2020 to July 2021 was the largest swath since 14,286 square kilometers were cleared in 2005-06.

The rate of clearance in the past year is equivalent to 6 acres per minute, continuously all day and night.

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US wildfires have killed nearly 20% of world’s giant sequoias in 2 years

Sequoias are the largest trees by volume and are native in only about 70 groves scattered along the western side of the Sierra Nevada range. They were once considered nearly fire-proof.

Fires tore through more than a third of groves in California and torched an estimated 2,261 to 3,637 sequoias. Fires in the same area last year killed an unprecedented 7,500 to 10,400 of the 75,000 trees.

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Floods and wildfires are now normal life in small-town Canada

Three of British Columbia’s worst wildfire years have taken place in the last four years, and the widespread floods and mudslides last week took place after roughly a month’s worth of rain fell in a matter of days, leading to slides that tore apart highways and homes.

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Over 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction

From a study published in 2019:

Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades.

The main drivers of species declines appear to be in order of importance: i) habitat loss and conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanisation; ii) pollution, mainly that ... 

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The true cost of growing food in Spain’s arid south

Las Tablas de Daimiel is a unique wetland in the vast, almost treeless plains of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain, but the park has had the life sucked out of it to slake intensive agriculture’s insatiable thirst.

3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of Las Tablas wetland are all that remain of what, according to the World Wildlife Fund, was once a system of 50,000 hectares.

The park has been dry for ... 

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Humans kill off 1 in 6 birds in the EU and UK

One of every six birds – a net loss of 600 million breeding birds in total – have disappeared over less than four decades.

The study by scientists from the RSPB, BirdLife International and the Czech Society for Ornithology analysed data for 378 of 445 bird species native to countries in the EU and UK, finding that the overall abundance of breeding birds declined by between 17% and 19% between ... 

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Humans kill off 1 in 4 birds in the US and Canada

The US and Canada have lost more than one in four birds – a total of three billion – between 1970 and 2019, culminating in what scientists who published a new study are calling a “widespread ecological crisis”.

Researchers observed a 29% decline in bird populations across diverse groups and habitats.

The study did not analyze the reason for the drop. But around the world, birds are thought ... 

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The East African Pipeline

TotalEnergies & China’s CNOOC will drill more than 431 wells in Uganda and pump the crude in a pipeline heated to 50˚C 1,450km (900 miles) to a port in Tanzania.

The pipeline will deliver 1.7bn barrels of crude (270,300 million litres).

Road and pipeline construction will devastate habitat of giraffes, pangolins, hyenas, lions, chimpanzees, buffaloes, hippos, hartebeests, waterbucks, warthogs, ... 

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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will survive if warming kept to 1.5˚C

If global warming is kept to 1.5˚C, the mix of corals on the Barrier Reef will change but it could still thrive, said the study’s lead author Professor Terry Hughes, of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

“If we go to 3, 4˚C of global average warming which is tragically the trajectory we are currently on, then there won’t be much ... 

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UN: Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record in 2020

The World Meteorological Organization reported Monday that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary reduction during pandemic-related lockdowns.

In its annual report on heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the U.N. weather agency also pointed to signs of a worrying new development: ... 

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Australia’s Unprecedented Future Temperature Extremes Under Paris Limits to Warming

The severity of possible future temperature extremes poses serious challenges for preparedness for future climatic change. The modelled Victoria and NSW extremes indicate the possibility that sites within major Australian cities, such Sydney or Melbourne, could incur unprecedented temperatures of 50°C under 2°C of global mean warming.

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Germany portrays itself as a climate leader. But it’s still razing villages for coal mines.

Germany’s Garzweiler coal mine has already swallowed more than a dozen villages. Centuries-old churches and family homes have been razed and the land they were built on torn away. Farmland has disappeared, graveyards have been emptied.

“All destroyed for coal,” said Eckhardt Heukamp, surveying the vast pit that drops away from the edge of his fields, 20 miles west of Cologne.

But there’s still ... 

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Across Iraq’s south, there is a sense of an ending

Where civilization emerged between the Tigris and Euphrates, climate change is poisoning the land and emptying the villages.

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Climate: Removing CO₂ from the air no longer optional

“We need drastic, radical emissions reductions, and on top of that we need some CDR,” said Glen Peters, research director at the Centre for International Climate Research.

There are basically two ways to extract CO₂ from air.

One is to boost nature’s capacity to absorb and stockpile carbon. Healing degraded forests, restoring mangroves, industrial-scale tree planting, boosting ... 

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Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought

Global warming has pushed what would’ve been a moderate drought in southwestern North America into megadrought territory.

2000–2018 was the driest 19 year period since the late 1500s.

Climate model trends show the region on a trajectory for the drought to be comparable to most severe drought since year 800CE, in medieval times.

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The Extinction Crisis

Earth now faces a global extinction crisis never witnessed by humankind. Scientists predict that more than 1 million species are on track for extinction in the coming decades. Every taxon is in trouble –

  • Amphibians: More than 33% of the known 6,300 species are at risk of extinction.
  • Birds: 12% of known 9,865 species are considered
 ... 

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Colossal Fossil Total Projects Peak Oil by 2030, Still ‘Leaves it to Others’ to Meet Paris Targets

Total Energies is leaving it to others to meet the carbon reduction goals in the Paris agreement, after the Paris-based colossal fossil predicted the world will hit peak oil demand around 2030 but still produce 40 to 64 million barrels per day in 2050.

 ... 

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Norway to keep searching for oil and gas

A minority coalition of the Labour Party and the rural Centre Party will take power after defeating the Conservative-led government in last month’s election.

“The Norwegian petroleum industry will be developed, not dismantled,” the two parties said in a joint policy document, adding that it will maintain the existing system of handing out exploration licences.

The oil industry welcomed ... 

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‘Running out of time’: Asia struggles to kick coal addiction

Hopes for a cleaner future have been fired by pledges from top coal consumer China and other countries to go carbon neutral, but much of the region is making a painfully slow transition to renewable sources.

The challenge is illustrated by the enormous Suralaya coal plant on Indonesia’s Java island, one of the biggest in Southeast Asia, which can power about 14 million homes a year.

Indonesia ... 

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Floods, landslides kill 116 in India and Nepal

The death toll from days of flooding and landslides in India and Nepal crossed 100 on Wednesday, including several families swept away or crushed in their homes by avalanches of mud and rocks.

 ... 

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Flooding in Venice worsens off-season amid climate change

After Venice suffered the second-worst flood in its history in November 2019, it was inundated with four more exceptional tides within six weeks, shocking Venetians and triggering fears about the worsening impact of climate change.

“I can only say that in August, a month when this never used to happen, we had tides over a meter five times.

Venice’s worse-case scenario for sea level rise ... 

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Global heating is having a deadly impact on Nicaragua’s sugar cane workers, who toil in temperatures of up to 45˚C

 ... 

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Animal populations worldwide have declined nearly 70% in just 50 years

Nearly 21,000 monitored populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians, encompassing almost 4,400 species around the world, have declined an average of 68% between 1970 and 2016, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020.

Species in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as global freshwater habitats, were disproportionately impacted, declining, on ... 

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In South America, the climate future has arrived.

Across the region, the price of historic dryness is being measured in lost crops, a slowdown in mining, surging transportation costs and shortages of energy in a region heavily dependent on hydropower.

Chile, is caught in the vortex of a 13-year drought, its longest and most severe in 1,000 years. The government has declared an agricultural emergency in 8 of its 16 regions and is offering aid to ... 

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Biodiversity loss caused by Australian society

Nature is being destroyed at a rate never before seen in human history, that rate is accelerating and almost all of the destruction is caused by humans. 

Australia is ranked third in the world for the most species extinction, and number one when it comes to extinctions of mammals. More than a third of all mammal extinctions since industrialisation have occurred in Australia.

A study ... 

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A new global energy economy is emerging, but the transformation still has a long way to go

Today’s emission reduction pledges cover less than 20% of the gap that needs to be closed by 2030 to keep a 1.5 °C path within reach.

For all the advances being made by renewables and electric mobility, 2021 is seeing a large rebound in coal and oil use. Largely for this reason, it is also seeing the second-largest annual increase in CO2 emissions in history.

Public spending on sustainable energy ... 

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Model suggests fish fecal carbon sequestering in the ocean has declined by half over the past century

An international team of researchers has created a model that estimates the effects on the world’s oceans over the past century by fish and their excrement.

The model showed that the amount of fecal matter dropped by fish globally is approximately half of what it once was, which suggests only half as much carbon is being sequestered. The remainder is likely entering the atmosphere, contributing ... 

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UN deforestation prevention scheme collapses

Protecting trees is key to meeting ambitious climate goals, with tropical rainforest loss accounting for about eight percent of annual carbon dioxide emissions, according to monitoring platform Global Forest Watch.

Indonesia, home to the world’s third-largest expanse of tropical forest, walked away from the $1-billion deal with Norway, having received only a tiny fraction of the money.

While ... 

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Floods in China

Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi, recorded rainfall of 185mm, about seven times the pre-2010 average for October. Shanxi is a land-locked province SW of Beijing.

About 1.75 million people have been affected in total. Flooding has forced more than 120,000 people to leave their homes, destroyed 17,000 homes, forced the suspension of operations of hundreds of mines and damaged 190,000 hectares (470,000 ... 

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2021 wildfires in western U.S.

What the US Forest Service once characterized as a four-month-long fire season starting in late summer and early autumn now stretches into six to eight months of the year. Wildfires are starting earlier, burning more intensely and scorching swaths of land larger than ever before.

More than half of the 20 largest fires in California history burned in just the last four years.

More than 95% of the west ... 

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Nearly half of Britain’s biodiversity has gone since industrial revolution

Almost half of Britain’s natural biodiversity has disappeared over the centuries, with farming and urban spread triggered by the industrial and agricultural revolutions being blamed as major factors for this loss.

Across the nation, woods and grassland have been ripped up and fields of single crops planted in their place. Over two-thirds of the UK is now used for agriculture and 8% has been built ... 

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Extreme drought in Brazil triggers fatal sand storms

Unusually powerful sandstorms have left at least six people dead in Sao Paulo in recent weeks, local media said, as southeastern Brazil grapples with severe drought.

Scenes of huge orange dust clouds rumbling across the countryside—with winds of up to 100 kph (62mph)—have been seen at least three times since the end of September, terrifying residents in urban and rural areas of Sao Paulo and ... 

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China’s pledge on overseas coal — by the numbers

China’s promise to stop financing coal power abroad is a positive step, but researchers say the emissions savings pale in comparison to those from its domestic coal use.

“China is a long way from phasing out coal altogether.” 

Despite the country’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2060, its domestic coal production has nearly tripled since 2001. By contrast, the amount of coal produced ... 

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34 inches (864mm) of rain in 24 hours across parts of Northern Italy

Rossiglione, Italy, ended up with 34.8 inches (883.8 mm) of rainfall over 24 hours, equivalent to 82.9 percent of the city’s average annual rainfall.

In 12 hours, from 5:40 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. local time, the city recorded a staggering 29.2 inches (740.6 mm), which broke the record for the European continent.

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Tropical Cyclone Shaheen produced as much as four years’ worth of rain in Oman

Up to 14½ inches (368mm) fell in Al Khaburah, which is just to the west of where the storm came ashore. The city of about 40,000 people averages between three and four inches (75 to 100mm) of rain per year.

Shaheen was the first tropical cyclone to make landfall along Oman’s northern coast since 1890 and only the third on record. None have been observed in the era of weather satellites (since ... 

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The Anthropocene causes 23 species to be declared extinct

In the nearly half-century since the U.S. Endangered Species Act came into force, only 11 other species have ever been delisted because they disappeared.

A million plants and animals are in danger of disappearing, many within decades. The newly extinct species are the casualties of climate change and habitat destruction, dying out sooner than any new protections can save them.

The species pushed over ... 

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Russia forest fire damage worst since records began

Russia has endured its worst forest fire season in the country’s modern history.

Fires have destroyed more than 18.16 million hectares (45 million acres) of Russian forest in 2021, setting an absolute record since the country began monitoring forest fires using satellites in 2001. The previous record was set in 2012, when fires covered 18.11 million hectares of forest.

The statistics do not record ... 

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Australian society devastating wildlife

Koalas

  • 30% decline of total population in 3 years; the state of New South Wales was worst with a 41% decline in 3 years.
  • Now extinct in 47 electorates and only one electorate, Mayo in the Mt Lofty Ranges of South Australia, has more than 5,000 koalas.
  • Every
 ... 

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Change of rainfall over the US

Data from 29,798 clean-ups around the world uncovers some of the worst litter hotspots

Single-use plastics formed the majority of litter in this study. And in general, litter hotspots were associated with socioeconomic factors such as a concentration of built infrastructure, less national wealth, and a high level of lighting at night.

The best solution is to stop the waste problem long before it reaches the sea.

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California continues to burn

A severe drought, coupled with extreme temperatures, have sustained several major fires for much of August. As of 14 September, more than 7,000 wildfires have been recorded, burning over 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) across the state.

As the fires continue to burn, hot and dry conditions and forecasted thunderstorms have prompted officials to issue warnings through part of the state’s ... 

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Rapid increase in global light pollution

Over the past 25 years, the transition to solid-state LED lighting has been accompanied by rapid increases in light pollution, by up to 270% globally, and 400% in some regions.

“Without concerted action to reverse this trend, the impact on the natural environment will accelerate, further exacerbating the biodiversity crisis, wasting energy, and meaning a whole generation will grow up in ... 

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Half of global coral cover destroyed since the 1950s

The world’s coral reef cover has halved since the 1950s, ravaged by global heating, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction, a trend that is projected to continue as the planet continues to heat in the 21st century.

Diversity of species on reefs has dropped by more than 60% and total reef cover had approximately halved.

“Marine heatwaves are rapidly intensifying, leading to more ... 

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Wave of net zero emission targets will still cause dangerous warming

National net zero emission targets could, if fully implemented, reduce best estimates of projected global average temperature increase to 2.0–2.4 °C by 2100, bringing the Paris Agreement temperature goal within reach.

A total of 131 countries are discussing, have announced or have adopted net zero targets, covering 72% of global emissions.

Currently implemented policies will increase warming ... 

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Military deployed to fight fires in Spain

260 Spanish troops are assisting firefighters battling a raging blaze that has emptied out villages and burned through forestland for days.

“We have talked for a long time about the consequences of abandoning the environment, or climate change. Today, we are living them,” Juan Sánchez, director of the operations center at Andalusia’s forest–fire agency, told reporters.

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Humans causing species to lurch towards extinction

Efforts to halt decline of population & diversity of animals & plants have largely failed.

28% of the 138,000 species assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are now at risk of extinction, including 37% of sharks & rays.

In 2019 the UN’s biodiversity experts warned that a million species are on the brink of extinction—raising the spectre that ... 

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Russia’s New Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, shown as the dashed line in the image below, was connected on September 10, 2021.

The 1,230km (764 mile) long pipeline will double the capacity of the gas exported from Russian gas fields to Germany, duplicating the existing original Nord Stream pipeline.

Shell & 4 other investors paid more than half of $11.3bn cost.

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Social cost of 2019’s plastic more than GDP of India

The pollution, emissions and clean-up costs of plastic produced in 2019 alone exceeded the annual GDP of India.

It estimated that unless there is concerted international action, this cost will double by 2040.

Since the 1950s, roughly 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced with around 60% of that tossed into landfills or the natural environment.

The debris is estimated to cause the deaths ... 

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