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Showing posts from November, 2019

Wexit and climate pollution: a tale of two Canadas

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National Observer This PinP photo was taken along a highway construction project in SK. There are already two Canadas when it comes to climate pollution, and they've been heading in opposite directions for years. A successful "Wexit" would split them into two separate countries: One would become the world's most climate polluting country per person, with an economy twice as dirty as China's. Story here.

Earth set to warm 3.2 C by 2100 unless efforts to cut emissions are tripled, new UN report finds

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CBC News Syrian & Iraqi refugees. Photo by Ggia. One expert calls findings of 3.2 C warming 'terrifying.’ Story here.

Greenhouse gas levels at an all-time high - again. A WMO video.

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Greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere reach yet another high

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WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION Sunset over Manitoba. A PinP photo. Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high, according to the World Meteorological Organization.  Story here.

The loss of ‘eternal ice’ threatens Mongolian reindeer herders’ way of life

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ScienceNews Map: Distribution of Rangifer tarandus (Caribou/Reindeer) TBjornstad Newly-recorded oral histories of the Tsaatan people help researchers document climate change.  Story here.  

Nearly all (North) America's endangered species will struggle to adapt to climate crisis

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The Guardian An emaciated moose in Riding Mtn. National Park, Canada. A PinP photo. All but one of 459 species have traits making them vulnerable to rising temperatures, study finds. Story here. To quote from the initial study in Nature, Climate Change:  "Climate change is a threat to ecosystems and biodiversity globally and has emerged as a driver of observed and potential species decline and extinction. Government laws and policies should play a vital role in supporting climate change adaptation for imperilled species, yet imperilled species protections have been critiqued as insufficient in Australia, Canada and Europe."   PinP -->

Australian blazes will ‘reframe our understanding of bushfire’

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Science Magazine Fire on Cape Barren Is. Australia, 2016. Photo by Planet Labs, Inc. Summary Australia is on fire like never before—and this year's "bushfire" season, which typically peaks in January or February, has barely begun. Driven in part by a severe drought, fires have burned 1.65 million hectares in the state of New South Wales, more than the state's total in the previous 3 years combined. Six people have died and more than 500 homes have been destroyed. As  Science  went to press, some 70 uncontrolled fires were burning in adjacent Queensland, and South Australia was bracing for potentially "catastrophic" burns. David Bowman, a fire geographer and director of the Fire Centre Research Hub at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, spoke with  Science  about the unprecedented crisis. The flames have charred even wet ecosystems once thought safe, he says. And the fires have become "white-hot politically," with Prime Minister Sco

End the criminalization of land rights defenders. (Video)

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Juul spreads over the world as home market collapses in scandal

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BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM E-cigarettes. Photo by Ecig Click The embattled American vape company Juul is pushing foreign governments to ditch strict e-cigarette regulations as it aggressively expands across the globe in an attempt to offset lost profits in the US. Story here.

Fueling Concerns of Approaching Catastrophic 'Tipping Point,' Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon Hit Highest Level in Decade

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Common Dreams Another denizen of the Amazon. Photo by Tom MacKenzie -  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "These figures confirm what we feared, namely that 2019 has been a dark year for the rainforest in Brazil."    Story here.

Study counts 1.8 million pieces of trash at the bottom of Canada's Bay of Fundy

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The National Observer Daniels Flat (Bay of Fundy) A survey estimates more than 1.8 million pieces of garbage are strewn over the bottom of the Bay of Fundy, prompting concerns about potential harm to marine life. Story here.

It's big. It's risky. It's unacceptable!

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Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society In the northeast corner of Alberta lies Wood Buffalo National Park.  Known for its sheer size and biodiversity, it is Canada’s largest national park and World Heritage Site. Its size and remote location have led many to believe it is untouched by human impacts, but it has sadly been affected by upstream industrial development outside of the Park. It is now additionally threatened by a proposed open-pit oil sands mine just 30-km south of its borders. If approved, the Teck Frontier oil sands mine would be the largest open-pit mine in North America, with a massive 290 sq-km footprint.  This mine would pose serious environmental risks to the approximately 1 million migratory birds that fly over the region, species at risk that depend on the intact boreal habitat, and negatively influence downstream waters on the Athabasca River.  The federal government has a public comment period open until November 24, 2019  to hear what people think of

Brazil supports sugarcane growing in Amazon

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SCIENCE MAGAZINE "Harvesting"   by  Beegee49   Brazil has reopened the door to expanding sugarcane plantations in the Amazon, even though it is difficult to grow the crop there. Scientists worry the move will increase deforestation and harm biodiversity and carbon sequestration in the jungle. President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pushed for more economic development in the Amazon, on 5 November revoked a 2009 agricultural zoning plan that prohibited public funding for sugarcane production within the Amazon region, where low yields increase risk for private investors. But Bolsonaro's administration says the ban is unnecessary because other laws require that the cultivation be environmentally sustainable. Brazil is already the world's largest producer of sugarcane, with approximately 10 million hectares of cane fields—only 1.5% of which are now in the Amazon. The region's extremely humid weather and poor soils are not ideal for popular cane varieties, and stu

The next Passenger Pigeon? A uniquely Canadian bird - the Eskimo Curlew - has not been seen for over half-a-century!

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The Committee on the Status of Endangered Species in Canada (COSEWIC). The Eskimo Curlew. Photo credit - the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Eskimo Curlew, a bird known to nest only in Canada, has been assessed as Endangered. Given there have been no verified sightings of this wildlife species anywhere since 1963, the Eskimo Curlew is on the brink of becoming the first Canadian bird to be declared Extinct since the Passenger Pigeon nearly 100 years ago. Without a reversal in habitat loss, climate change and direct human impacts, these assessments of Extirpated and Extinct will become more frequent.

Climate change poses 'lifelong' child health risk

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Phys Org It's feared that a changing climate may be providing improved conditions for the mosquito which spreads the zika virus, sometimes responsible for severe brain conditions in infants like this. Climate change will damage the health of an entire generation unless there are immediate cuts to fossil fuel emissions, from a rise in deadly infectious diseases to surging malnutrition, experts warned Thursday. Story here.

New report exposes horror of working conditions for millions of sanitation workers in the developing world

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World Health Organization A community sanitation worker adds water purifying tablets to the  jerry cans of water just filled by the children at the Pagak Reception Centre.  UNICEF/Ethiopia/2014/Thompson Millions of sanitation workers in the developing world are forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives, and violate their dignity and human rights, according to a report released today.

Microplastics found in oysters, clams on Oregon coast, study finds. (Last year, Canadian scientists discovered high levels of microplastics in B.C.’s oyster beds). Is our clothing to blame?

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EurekAlert Pacific oysters, farmed in the U.S. Photo by NOAA. Tiny threads of plastics are showing up in Pacific oysters and razor clams along the Oregon coast -- and the yoga pants, fleece jackets, and sweat-wicking clothing that Pacific Northwesterners love to wear are a source of that pollution, according to a new Portland State University study. Story here. RELATED: More bad news for the world’s oceans - out of Canada!

Drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050, report predicts

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CBC News Superbugs are likely to kill nearly 400,000 Canadians and cost the economy about $400 billion in gross domestic product over the next 30 years, warns a landmark report.    Story here. A Canstock photo image. PinP: As is too often the case, a big piece of the information puzzle is left out of stories such as this. Antibiotics have been overused almost everywhere in the world for a long time, often to raise animals for food. Among other things, it makes them grow faster and fattens them up to fetch a better price at market time. Yet governments forge ahead, like Manitoba's is doing, to expand the very style of livestock production that spawns such problems.  Please read: "In Hogs We Trust." Part 1 . Could the Manitoba government’s return to a deregulated hog industry actually contribute to a world health crisIs?

Hurricanes have become bigger and more destructive for the U.S. and Canada, study finds

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Phys Org --> A new study at the University of Copenhagen shows that hurricanes have become more destructive since 1900, and the worst of them are more than three times as frequent now than 100 years ago. A new way of calculating the destruction, compensating for the societal change in wealth, unequivocally shows a climatic increase in the frequency of the most destructive hurricanes that routinely raise havoc on the North American southern and east coasts.  Story here. After its ravages through the Bahamas, Dorian proceeded along the coasts of the  Southeastern United States  and  Atlantic Canada ,  (above) leaving behind considerable damage and economic losses in those regions.   Photo by  Coastal Elite Halifax, Canada

Brazil’s Atlantic forest: putting the pieces back together

BirdLife INTERNATIONAL Surrounded by a sea of cattle ranches and sugarcane plantations, a few ‘islands’ of Atlantic Forest remain. By establishing a private reserve and working with local people to connect forest fragments, SAVE Brasil is showing that it is possible to turn the tide on extinction. Story here.

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency (Condensed Version)

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--> Alliance of World Scientists Photo - public domain. We scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat. In this paper, we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years. Results show greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, with increasingly damaging effects. With few exceptions, we are largely failing to address this predicament. Story here. RELATED: Warning of 'Untold Human Suffering,' Over 11,000 Scientists From Around the World Declare Climate Emergency

Carbon bomb: Study says climate impact from loss of intact tropical forests grossly underreported

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Science News -  Wildlife Conservation Society A tropical forest in Guatemala. Photo by Chixoy. A new study says that carbon impacts from the loss of intact tropical forests has been grossly underreported. Story here.

'Landmark New Research' Links Neonics With Collapse of Fisheries

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Common Dreams "Marine Life"   by  Andrey Narchuk  is licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0  "Just awful, what gruesome harm we are inflicting on the environment." Story here. RELATED: Two stories by Larry Powell. New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too.  Is modern agriculture’s hold on nature becoming a death grip? Will New Research From Europe Nudge Canada into a "Neonic" Ban?

The Amazon River: A Major Source of Organic Plastic Additives to the Tropical North Atlantic?

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Environmental Science & Technology The Amazon empties into the Atlantic. "Flick"  Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE Dissolved surface water concentrations of two important families of plastic additives were found in remarkably high concentrations in the Amazon river plume. Story here.

Why fish ARE getting smaller (Video)

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Agricultural impacts of our climate crisis are becoming more apparent

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PhysOrg Photo credit - IPCC. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presents a sobering analyses addressing the substantial contributions of agriculture to climate change and the ways the climate crisis is projected to jeopardize global food security if urgent action isn't taken. Story here.