Showing posts with label ENVIRONMENT & NATURE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ENVIRONMENT & NATURE. Show all posts

06 May 2022

Scientists Spot Bizarre 'Yellow Brick Road' in Pacific Ocean.

The path to the Emerald City might travel along the ocean's bottom. The crew of the Exploration Vessel Nautilus caught sight of a strange-looking formation while studying an area called Liliʻuokalani Ridge in the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean.

The feature resembles a road paved in cobblestones. Impressed researchers viewing live dive footage of the formation described it as a "yellow brick road" and "the road to Atlantis," and called it bizarre, cool and crazy in a video released last week.



Immense Reservoir of Fossil Seawater discovered under Antarctic Ice Shelf.

An immense groundwater reservoir that sits beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet has been mapped for the first time. The reservoir is said to extend downward for over a kilometer and could have a significant influence on how the Antarctic Ice Sheet responds to climate change and affects sea level.

The discovery marks the first evidence of the reservoir, which scientists had suspected sat beneath the ice shelf but (until now) had been unable to verify. 



22 April 2022

David Attenborough has been named "Champion of the Earth".

Biologist, natural historian and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has been awarded a "Champions of the Earth" Lifetime Achievement Award by the UN's Environment Programme (UNEP).

The award — the UN's highest environmental honor — is given to individuals, groups, and institutions that have made their mark in environmentalism. Attenborough, whose most recent efforts include the BBC's Green Planet, A Perfect Planet, and Apple TV's upcoming Prehistoric Planet was given the award for his "dedication to research, documentation, and advocacy for the protection of nature and its restoration".

Attenborough's career as a natural historian and broadcaster began in the 1950s. In recent years, he has become much more vocal in arguing for urgent action on the environment and the climate crisis, calling it "our greatest threat in thousands of years" in a speech to the UN. 



03 April 2022

Prof Wilfried Brutsaert bags Stockholm Water Prize 2022.

Professor Emeritus Wilfried Brutsaert has been named as the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2022. He has been awarded for his groundbreaking work to quantify environmental evaporation. Wilfried Brutsaert is Professor in Engineering Emeritus at Cornell University, USA. His innovative works on Evaporation and Hydrology are of lasting theoretical and practical importance, particularly in view of climate change. In addition, Wilfried Brutsaert has pioneered novel approaches to understanding changes in groundwater storage.

About the award:

The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious water award and is often described as the Nobel Prize of water.

The prestigious Prize has been awarded since 1991 to people and organizations for extraordinary water-related achievements.

The Prize is awarded by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.



31 March 2022

First wildlife bond issued by World Bank to save Africa’s Black Rhino.

The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) has issued the Wildlife Conservation Bond (WCB) to support of South Africa’s efforts to conserve endangered species of Black Rhino. Wildlife Conservation Bond (WCB) is also known as “Rhino Bond”. It is a five-year $150 million Sustainable Development Bond. It includes a potential performance payment from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The bond will contribute to protecting and increasing black rhino populations in two protected areas in South Africa namely the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) and the Great Fish River Nature Reserve (GFRNR).



Mohamad Reza Masoumi from Iran bags 13th Greenstorm photography award.

Mohamad Reza Masoumi from Iran has won the 13th edition of the prestigious Greenstorm Global Photography Award, which is organised in association with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Greenstorm Global Photography Award is organised by Greenstorm Foundation every year and the theme for the year 2022 was 'Restore Green Lineage'.

The first runner-up for the award is Jophel Botero Ybiosa from the Philippines.

This year's award saw a whopping 3,519 entries submitted by photographers from 42 countries, including the US, England, Canada, Algeria, Brazil, Iran, Malaysia, South Korea, Morocco and Vietnam.

Greenstorm Foundation is a not-for-profit public trust formed to impact appropriate behavioural changes among people through the power of creativity.



World Air Quality Report - 2021

This 2021 World Air Quality Report presents an overview of the state of global air quality in 2021. The report is based on PM2.5 air quality data from 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions and territories around the world. The data used to create this report was generated by tens of thousands of regulatory and low-cost air quality monitoring stations operated by governments, non-profit organizations, research institutions, educational facilities, companies, and citizen scientists around the world.

Sixty three of the world's 100 most polluted cities are in India according to the World Air Quality Report 2021, prepared by Swiss Organisation IQAir, released on 22 March 2022.

Delhi in India remains the most polluted city in the world for the 4th conscecutive year followed by Dhaka, Bangladesh. 


28 March 2022

California groundbreaking set for world's largest wildlife crossing.

Groundbreaking is set for next month on what's billed as the world's largest wildlife crossing — a bridge over a major Southern California highway that will provide more room to roam for mountain lions and other animals hemmed in by urban sprawl.

A ceremony marking the start of construction for the span over U.S. 101 near Los Angeles will take place on Earth Day, April 22, the National Wildlife Federation announced Thursday 24 March.

The bridge will give big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space in the Santa Monica Mountains and better access to food and potential mates, said the wildlife federation.



06 March 2022

UN agrees to "historic" global treaty to end plastic waste.

World leaders from 175 countries have agreed to draw up a legally binding UN treaty that will regulate plastic production and pollution on an international scale for the first time.

Passed at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, using a recycled plastic gavel, the resolution will see nations hash out a set of universal rules and targets to end plastic waste "from source to sea" – much like the Paris Agreement did for carbon emissions.

To date, the world has generated more than seven billion tonnes of plastic waste. Of this, only nine per cent has been recycled.

Another 12 per cent has been incinerated, releasing the fossil fuels it contains into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.

But the vast majority, around 79 per cent of all the plastic ever produced, is currently piling up in landfills and polluting the environment, harming marine life and breaking down into microplastics that have found their way into everything from Arctic ice to the placenta of unborn babies.

And this problem is only set to get worse as plastic pollution is on course to triple by 2040.

How exactly the UNEP treaty, which the organisation says marks a "historic day in the campaign to beat plastic pollution," will tackle these issues is set to be nailed down by a dedicated Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee over the next two years. The aim is to produce a draft by the end of 2024.



28 February 2022

Cyclone Emnati hits Madagascar.

Winds of up to 135 kilometres per hour (84 mph) battered Madagascar early on Wednesday (24) as Cyclone Emnati made landfall, becoming the fourth major storm to hit the Indian Ocean island in a month.

Emnati struck on the southeastern side of the island, where another cyclone, Batsirai, killed scores of people just under three weeks ago.

More than 30,000 people were evacuated ahead of Emnati's path as a precaution, the government's Office for Risk and Disaster Management said.

But it was later on Wednesday reclassified as a tropical storm as its speed slowed to 100 kmh (62 mph) and there were no early reports of casualties or damage. Emnati was expected to exit into the ocean by Wednesday evening, the meteorological department said.

The island is still recovering from the effects of Cyclone Batsirai, which hit on Feb. 5, killing at least 124 people, damaging or destroying the homes of 124,000 and displacing around 30,000.



20 February 2022

International Darwin Day - 12 February.

International Darwin Day celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on 12 February 1809, and it is a day to celebrate science and humanity. Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, changed the field of natural history by putting forth the theory of evolution by natural selection. It will be a day of celebration, activism, and international cooperation for the advancement of science, education, and human well-being.

Darwin Day will be observed by the United Nations and its members as an opportunity for international partnerships through the common language of science for the common good of all.

The mission of International Darwin Day is to inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin.

He was best known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. He is recognized for his theory of Evolution.


18 February 2022

The One Ocean Summit - 2022.

The President of the French Republic organised a One Planet Summit dedicated to the ocean, was held in Brest, France on 9-11 February 2022. 

The “One Ocean Summit” was held in the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the support of the United Nations.

The goal of the One Ocean Summit was to raise the collective level of ambition of the international community on marine issues and to translate our shared responsibility to the ocean into tangible commitments.



01 February 2022

Great Barrier Reef: Australia pledges A$1bn but draws renewed climate criticism.

Australia will spend A$1bn (£520m; $700m) over nine years on improving the water quality and other aspects of the ailing Great Barrier Reef, its PM says.

Scientists have welcomed the money but warn it does not tackle the reef's overriding threat of climate change.

A climate laggard among rich nations, Australia is often criticised for not doing more to prevent coral bleaching caused by warmer seas.

PM Scott Morrison argued the new investment would have broad benefits.

It will fund projects that reduce erosion and pollutants entering the sea, and other conservation efforts - such as combating illegal fishing and coral-eating starfish.



Snowfall in the Sahara desert.

Snowfall in a hot desert may seem a contradiction but snow has been recorded several times in the Sahara Desert over the last decades, most recently in January 2022. Thus, snowfall may be unusual but is not unprecedented in the region.

In order for snow to form, two distinctive weather properties are needed: cold temperatures and moist air. The presence of snow reflects a special combination of air circulation in the atmosphere and the nature of the land surface upon which the snow falls.

Although the Sahara commonly experiences very high temperatures (more than 50°C), low temperatures are also recorded (in particular at night) because of the bare land surface and the cloudless skies. A maximum cold of -14°C was recorded in Algeria in January 2005 during the northern hemisphere winter.

The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert. It spans across 11 countries in northern Africa: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the Red Sea on the east, the Mediterranean Sea on the north and the Sahel Savannah on the south.



24 January 2022

A new Rainfrog Species found in Panama.

Somewhere in the tropical rainforests of Panama's Mount Chucantí lies a tiny rainfrog that was completely new to science until recently. The mountain's high elevation (1000 m), and the resulting geographical isolation, makes it a unique landscape suitable to host several endemic species.

In 2012, after horseback riding and hiking up steep slopes for a herpetology expedition, an international team led by Dr Abel Batista and Dr Konrad Mebert came across a unique species. Scientists saw this hitherto unknown frog species lurking from the leaf of a bromeliad plant at night hours.

In 2018, after the team confirmed the new species’ novelty through DNA analysis, the research study sponsor Rainforest Trust held an auction. No, not to sell the discovery, but to allow the winner to name the species. Finally, the tiny frog was named after the climate activist Greta Thunberg, acknowledging her efforts to curb climate change.



21 January 2022

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai Volcano Erupts.

A powerful volcanic eruption has obliterated a small, uninhabited South Pacific island known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai. Damage assessments are still ongoing, but preliminary reports indicate that some communities in the island nation of Tonga have been severely damaged by volcanic ash and significant tsunami waves.

The volcano had sporadically erupted multiple times since 2009. The most recent activity began in late December 2021 as a series of Surtseyan eruptions built up and reshaped the island, while sending bursts of tephra and volcanic gases spewing from the vent. Relatively powerful blasts shook Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai on January 13, but it was an even more intense series of explosions early on January 15 that generated atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves that traveled the world.

Several Earth-observing satellites collected data during and after the eruption. Scientists affiliated with NASA’s Disasters program are now gathering imagery and data, and they are sharing it with colleagues around the world, including disaster response agencies.

The sheer power of the eruption was quickly apparent in satellite imagery. As shown in the animation above, a vast plume of material created what volcanologists call an umbrella cloud with crescent-shaped bow shock waves and a vast number of lightning strikes.



16 January 2022

US and Japan warn on tsunami.

The US and Japan have advised people on their Pacific coastlines to get away from the shore as a precaution against tsunami waves caused by a volcano eruption in the South Pacific.

Japan has warned of waves as high as three metres, and waves of 1.2 metres hit the south of the country.

The US warned of strong currents and waves, and coastal flooding.

The huge underwater volcanic eruption caused waves of more than a metre to crash into Tonga.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano was heard across the South Pacific, and eventually as far away as the US.

Many parts of Tonga, whose capital is just 65km (40 miles) south of the eruption, are covered in ash and are experiencing a near-total blackout of power, phone lines and internet services. The extent of any injuries or damage is still unclear.



09 December 2021

New Species of Bird Discovered in South America.

Flatbill flycatchers are members of the genus Rhynchocyclus in the exclusively New World family Tyrannidae.

Four known species in the genus are distributed from southern Mexico to northeastern Bolivia, eastern Venezuela, and Brazil.

Rhynchocyclus currently includes four species: the olivaceous flatbill (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus), the eye-ringed flatbill (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris), the Pacific flatbill (Rhynchocyclus pacificus) and the fulvous-breasted flatbill (Rhynchocyclus fulvipectus).

The authors analyzed DNA and morphological data from museum specimens of Rhynchocyclus species and subspecies as well as their song recordings.

The results strongly suggest the existence of a previously unknown cryptic species in the genus.

The new species prefers seasonally flooded floodplain forests (várzea), including degraded patches close to human settlements.



03 December 2021

U.S. is World’s biggest producer of Plastic Waste.

The United States is the world’s leader in the generation of plastic waste, nearly all from fossil fuels, and must develop a plan to curb its destructive impacts on the health of oceans and marine wildlife, concludes a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The first recommendation of the committee of academic experts who wrote the report is that the U.S. stop producing so much plastic, especially non-reusable materials or plastics that are not “practically recyclable,” Inside Climate News reported. The report also proposed a national cap on the production of virgin plastics.

“The developing plastic waste crisis has been building for decades,” the study said, as reported by The Washington Post. “The success of the 20th century miracle invention of plastics has also produced a global scale deluge of plastic waste seemingly everywhere we look.”

The committee was able to conclude that while only 4.3 percent of the world’s population lives in the United States, the nation was the top generator of plastic waste, producing 42 million metric tons in 2016, with per person plastic waste generation at 287 pounds.


21 November 2021

IQAir Air Quality Index

According to the data from air quality and pollution city tracking service from IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group and also a technology partner of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)., Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are among the top ten most polluted cities of the world. 

Delhi topped the list with AQI at 556, Kolkata and Mumbai recorded an AQI of 177 and 169, respectively, at 4th and 6th position. The cities with the worst AQI indices also include Lahore, in Pakistan, and Chengdu, in China.

Here are the ten cities with the worst air quality indicators and pollution rankings, according to IQAir:

  • Delhi, India (AQI: 556)
  • Lahore, Pakistan (AQI: 354)
  • Sofia, Bulgaria (AQI: 178)
  • Kolkata, India (AQI: 177)
  • Zagreb, Croatia (AQI: 173)
  • Mumbai, India (AQI: 169)
  • Belgrade, Serbia (AQI: 165)
  • Chengdu, China (AQI: 165)
  • Skopje, North Macedonia (AQI: 164)
  • Krakow, Poland (AQI: 160)






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