Showing posts from February, 2020

In the line of fire

Nature Climate Change   The bushfires burning in Australia have led to widespread local and global calls for increased efforts to mitigate climate change. Details here.

Full impact of mysterious Brazil oil spill remains unknown

BirdLife International Last summer, an oil spill of unknown origin hit Brazil’s northeast coast – just as migrating shorebirds arrived in the area. Our Partner SAVE Brasil has been campaigning for action and striving to measure the impact on birds - but more support is urgently needed.  More here.

New research shows, human exploitation of fossil fuels may be playing an even bigger role in our climate crisis than earlier thought.

Extraction of Earth's oil, gas and coal reserves is probably unleashing  vastly more methane (CH4) into the air than is currently being estimated. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and significant contributor to the dangerous heating of our planet.  by Larry Powell. Pump jacks extract crude oil from the Bakken field southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada. Are such operations releasing even more methane t han we once thought? A  PinP  photo. Using the largest ice drill in the world (below), the researchers “looked back in time” to the 17 hundreds, by drilling deep into the ice in Greenland and Antarctica.    The Blue Ice Drill, used to collect  the cores  used in this study.  Photo by B. Hmiel.                                                                        By analyzing air bubbles trapped, both in the ice cores and the snow , they were able to measure how much methane was escaping into the air at the time. Since this was the “pre-industrial era,” before major human expa

Regardless of the decision, Teck Frontier proves the system is still broken

UPDATE: This company has now withdrawn its application for the mine. The Pembina Institute Canada is facing a decision on the biggest oil sands mine proposal in almost a decade. Alberta’s Frontier oil sands mine, proposed by Teck Resources, has gone through a lengthy regulatory process culminating in a recommended approval from a joint federal-provincial review panel and is now under consideration by the federal cabinet. A casual observer might assume that given the potent environmental and economic impacts, this process would have been comprehensive. Yet, the panel's report, which shares the reasoning behind the decision, is remarkably weak on its consideration of climate impacts .   More here.

Climate change to create farmland in the north, but at environmental costs, study reveals

PHYS ORG High Alpine Tundra in Noatak National Preserve, Alaska.  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In a warming world, Canada's north may become our breadbasket of the future - but this new "farming frontier" also poses environmental threats from increased carbon emissions to degraded water quality, according to the first-ever study involving University of Guelph researchers.   Story here.

Global financial giants swear off funding an especially dirty fuel.

The New York Times The Alberta tar sands. Source: "Beautiful Destruction." Some of the world's biggest financial institutions have stopped putting money behind oil production in the Canadian province of Alberta, home to one of the world's most extensive and dirtiest, oil reserves.    Story here.  

Why bumble bees are going extinct in time of 'climate chaos'

PHYS ORG Tricoloured Bumble bees - Bombus ternarius - forage on chives in an organic garden in Manitoba. Circa 2000. A PinP photo. When you were young, were you the type of child who would scour open fields looking for bumble bees? Today, it is much harder for kids to spot them, since bumble bees are drastically declining in North America and in Europe.    More here. RELATED: Plight of the Humble Bee -  Canadian regulators refuse to protect a priceless pollinator from a known toxin. Recent research contradicts a claim by the chemical giant, Bayer, that its newest bug-killer is safe for bees.

This is the age of the megafire – and it’s being fuelled by our leaders

Tim Flannery  for the Guardian Bushfires spire from Yuraygir National Park, Australia. Photo by European Space Agency. In the face of the climate disaster it helped create, the Australian government has given us only lies and denial.   Story here.