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

23 October 2021

Saudi Arabia commits to net zero emissions by 2060.

The world's biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, has pledged to cut its carbon emissions to net zero by 2060.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Gulf state would invest more than $180bn (£130bn) to reach the goal.

But he said the kingdom would continue to produce oil for decades to come.

The announcement comes days before the COP26 climate change summit, at which world leaders will be pressed on their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and thereby reduce global warming.

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18 October 2021

UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15).

The Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade, was kikked off on 11 October 2021. 

Hosted by China, the first phase takes place virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021 in the Chinese city of Kunming, followed by the second phase from 25 April to 8 May 2022. This is when world leaders will meet in person to conclude negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework – a new accord to halt and reverse the loss of the planet's plants, animals and ecosystems.

The first virtual segment brings ministers around the world together to demonstrate their commitment to achieving the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature, achieving transformative change across our societies and putting nature on a path to recovery by 2030. The EU, represented at the virtual conference by Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, is leading efforts and working with like-minded partners to achieve an ambitious global agreement to halt biodiversity loss, as set out in the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu.

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15 October 2021

One in five of Europe’s bird species slipping towards extinction.

The common swift, common snipe and rook are among species slipping towards extinction in Europe, according to the continent’s latest “red list” report, which finds that one in five bird species is now at risk.

From the Azores in the west to the Ural mountains in the east, birds that have been the cornerstones of European ecosystems are disappearing, according to the BirdLife International analysis, which is based on observations of 544 native bird species. Three species have become regionally extinct in Europe since the last report in 2015 – Pallas’s sandgrouse, common buttonquail and pine bunting.

In total, 30% of species assessed are showing population decline, according to observations from thousands of experts and volunteers working in 54 countries and territories. At a European level, 13% of birds are threatened with extinction and a further 6% are near threatened. “The results are alarming but we are not surprised,” said Anna Staneva, interim head of conservation, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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14 October 2021

Ecological Threat Report 2021.

1.26 billion people at highest risk of conflict and displacement caused by environmental damage

On October 07 2021, marks the launch of the second Ecological Threat Report (ETR) from the international think tank, the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).

Key results

  • Eleven of 15 countries with the worst environmental threat scores are currently classified as being in conflict. Another four are classified as at high risk of substantial falls in peace, highlighting the relationship between resource degradation and conflict.
  • Half of the world's population will live in the 40 least peaceful countries, by 2050. This will be an increase of 1.3 billion people from 2020 levels.
  • New global poll data reveals only 23% of China's citizens see climate change as a serious threat making it the 7th least concerned country.
  • Global food insecurity has increased by 44% since 2014, affecting 30.4% of the world's population in 2020, and is likely to rise further.
  • COVID-19 has increased food insecurity and prevented refugees from returning home.
  • With conflict having cost the global economy $600 billion in 2020, the ETR shows that COP26 negotiations need to approve resilience funding to ecological hotspots before drivers of conflict intensify.
  • The ETR analyses a broad range of indicators associated with ecological risk including food and water availability, population growth and societal resilience, to better understand the countries most at risk of experiencing significant deterioration in peace.

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12 October 2021

Access to a healthy environment, declared as a human right by UN rights council.

The Human Rights Council has recognised, for the first time, that having a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right. 

In resolution 48/13, the Council called on States around the world to work together, and with other partners, to implement this newly recognised right. 

The text, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, was passed with 43 votes in favour and 4 abstentions - from Russia, India, China and Japan.

At the same time, through a second resolution (48/14), the Council also increased its focus on the human rights impacts of climate change by establishing a Special Rapporteur dedicated specifically to that issue. 

According to World Health Organization (WHO), 24% of all global deaths, roughly 13.7 million deaths a year, are linked to the environment, due to risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure.

Source: https://news.un.org

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07 October 2021

The State of Climate Services 2021: Water

This latest World Metrological Organisation (WMO) report explores the progress made by WMO Members in using climate services to address water-related challenges and highlights the gaps in user engagement, forecasting, observing networks, and data collection that still exist. 

More than 2 billion people are living in countries under water stress and 3.6 billion people face inadequate access to water at least one month per year. Meanwhile, water-related hazards have increased in frequency for the past 20 years. Since 2000, flood-related disasters have increased by 134%, and the number and duration of droughts also increased by 29%. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is vital to achieving long-term social, economic and environmental well-being. But, although most countries have advanced their level of IWRM implementation, 107 countries remain off track to hit the goal of sustainably managing their water resources by 2030.

Based on its findings, the report makes six strategic recommendations to improve the implementation and effectiveness of climate services for water worldwide:

  • Invest in Integrated Resources Water Management as a solution to better manage water stress, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs);
  • Invest in end-to-end drought and flood early warning systems in at-risk LDCs, including for drought warning in Africa and flood warning in Asia;
  • Fill the capacity gap in collecting data for basic hydrological variables which underpin climate services and early warning systems;
  • Improve the interaction among national level stakeholders to co-develop and operationalize climate services with information users to better support adaptation in the water sector. There is also a pressing need for better monitoring and evaluation of socio-economic benefits, which will help to showcase best practices;
  • Fill the gaps in data on country capacities for climate services in the water sector, especially for SIDS;
  • Join the Water and Climate Coalition11 to promote policy development for integrated water and climate assessments, solutions and services, and benefit from a network of partners that develop and implement tangible, practical projects, programs and systems to improve hydroclimate services for resilience and adaptation.

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06 October 2021

Global warming kills 14 percent of world’s corals in 10 years.

Global warming helped wipe out 14 percent of the world’s coral reefs between 2009 and 2018, the largest-ever survey of coral health has found, warning that more of the vibrant underwater ecosystems were likely to die if oceans warm further.

Corals in South Asia and the Pacific, around the Arabian Peninsula, and off the coast of Australia, were the hardest hit, according to the report, compiled by more than 300 scientists in the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

The report spanned data for 40 years, 73 countries and 12,000 sites and found the total area destroyed equal to about 11,700 square kilometres (4,517 square miles).

The report titled "Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020" was released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) on 05 October 2021.

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26 September 2021

Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted.

Guatemala's Fuego volcano began a strong eruptive phase on Thursday (23rd), spewing lava and ash in a series of explosions that have not yet forced any evacuations.

The eruptions produced a long river of lava flowing down to the base of the volcano, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of the capital Guatemala City.

Fuego, 3.7 kilometers high (12,240 feet), is one of three active volcanoes in Guatemala.

The recently recorded activity is the strongest since June 2018, when Fuego unleashed a torrent of mud and ash that wiped the village of San Miguel Los Lotes from the map and more than 200 people were killed.

On Thursday, several communities at the foot of the mountain reported nothing more serious than a downpour of ash, said the national Conred disaster coordination center.

Source: https://phys.org

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Heavy rains as Cyclone Gulab makes landfall in India.

A cyclone packing strong winds and rains has barrelled into India’s east coast, as tens of thousands of people in three states were evacuated to shelters.

Heavy rains and strong winds were reported along the coast on Sunday evening as the tropical storm over the Bay of Bengal began making landfall, barely four months after another cyclone hit the region, leaving destruction in its wake.

Cloud bands had touched the coastal regions of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh indicating Cyclone Gulab had begun to make landfall, the India Meteorological Department tweeted.

The storm with wind speeds up to 95km/h (59mph) was expected to cross the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh states by midnight (19:30 GMT).

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WHO revises air quality norms for first time since 2005.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a tight revision in its air quality guidelines (AQG). This is the first revision in the global air quality by WHO since 2005. In the new guidelines, WHO has lowered the acceptable exposure levels to key pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM).

Under the new guidelines:

  • WHO has lowered acceptable thresholds for several pollutants, including PM 2.5. Now, PM 2.5 concentrations must remain below 15µg/m³.
  • According to the new limits, average annual PM2.5 concentrations should not be higher than 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Air pollution kills at least 7 million people prematurely each year. The revised guidelines encourage countries to slash fossil fuel emissions.
  • These guidelines are not legally binding on countries. The reduced level of air pollution will improve the health of people.
Source: www.who.int


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22 September 2021

UNESCO steps up efforts for biodiversity conservation with the designation of 20 new biosphere reserves.

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme today added 20 new sites, in 21 countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now numbers 727 biosphere reserves in 131 countries, including 22 transboundary sites. UNESCO Biosphere reserves now cover more than 5% of the Earth’s landmass, in which biodiversity conservation, environmental education, research and sustainable development are combined.

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) meeting in Abuja from 13 to 17 September (for the first time on the African continent) approved these additions along with the extension or re-zoning of two existing biosphere reserves. The MAB programme  also celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Lesotho, Libya and Saudi Arabia join the MAB Network this year with the designation of their first sites: Matšeng Biosphere Reserve, Ashaafean Biosphere Reserve, and Juzur Farasan Biosphere Reserve, respectively. In Europe, the Five-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube becomes the first MAB site to be co-managed by as many countries (Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia).

01. Five-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube (Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia)

02. Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Reserve, Canada.

03. Martinique Biosphere Reserve, France.

04. Moselle Sud Biosphere Reserve, France.

05. Monte Grappa Biosphere Reserve, Italy.

06. Kolsai Kolderi Biosphere Reserve, Kazakhstan.

07. Wando Biosphere Reserve, Republic of Korea.

08. Matšeng Biosphere Reserve, Lesotho.

09. Ashaafean Biosphere Reserve, Libya.

10. Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve, Malaysia.

11. Uvs Lake Depression Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, Mongolia – Russian Federation.

12. Avireri-Vraem Biosphere Reserve, Peru.

13. Kuznetsky Alatau Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation.

14. Mountain Great Bogdo Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation.

15. Juzur Farasan Biosphere Reserve, Saudi Arabia.

16. Ribeira Sacra E Serras Do Oribio E Courel Biosphere Reserve, Spain.

17. Doi Chiang Dao Biosphere Reserve, Thailand.

18. Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve, Uzbekistan.

19. Nui Chua Biosphere Reserve, Viet Nam.

20. Kon ha Nung Biosphere Reserve, Viet Nam.

Source: https://en.unesco.org.

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19 September 2021

Tropical Storm Peter and TD 17 form in tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters said Tropical Storm Peter formed over the Atlantic Ocean early Sunday (19th), and a new tropical depression was spinning over the far eastern Atlantic.

Peter was centered about 630 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a 5 a.m. EDT advisory.

The tropical storm was expected to bring rain to the islands including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico through Tuesday. Forecasters expected 1 to 2 inches of rainfall through Tuesday.

Top winds were around 40 mph and Peter was moving northwest at 15 mph. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

Only two other Atlantic hurricane seasons have had 16 named storms by Sept. 19 since the satellite era began in 1966. Those were the 2005 and 2020 seasons, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

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15 September 2021

DGCA, EASA partner for safety, environment protection standards.

Aviation regulators European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have entered into a working arrangement to achieve common safety and environmental protection standards.

Through the agreement, which recognises mutual interests, the aviation regulators of India and Europe hope to reduce the economic burden imposed on the aviation industry by redundant technical inspections, evaluations and testing.

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U.S., EU pursuing global deal to slash planet-warming methane.

The United States and the European Union have agreed to aim to cut emissions of the planet-warming gas methane by around a third by the end of this decade and are pushing other major economies to join them.

Their pact comes as Washington and Brussels seek to galvanize other major economies ahead of a world summit to address climate change in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, and could have a significant impact on the energy, agriculture and waste industries responsible for the bulk of methane emissions.

The greenhouse gas methane, the biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide (CO2), is facing more scrutiny as governments seek solutions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, a goal of the Paris climate agreement.

In an attempt to jumpstart the action, the United States and the EU later this week will make a joint pledge to reduce human-caused methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared with 2020 levels, according to a draft of the Global Methane Pledge.

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04 September 2021

Alejandro Prieto: The grand prize winner of Bird Photographer of the Year 2021

Mexican photographer Alejandro Prieto's image of a bird at the US-Mexico border wall has won a prestigious photo contest.

Mr Prieto was named the grand prize winner of the Bird Photographer of the Year competition after his image was selected from 22,000 entries.

His winning photograph depicts a roadrunner bird that has stopped in front of the wall. He says the image highlights the threat to biodiversity that the wall poses.

The US-Mexico border region is a delicate ecosystem with regular animal and bird migrations moving north and south on the American continent.

In this region, a number of species need to cross the border to mate with their genetically different cousins, including the endangered North American jaguar and the black bear, which was re-introduced to Texas in the 1990s.

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Hurun Future Unicorn List 2021.

The Hurun Research Institute has released the Hurun Future Unicorn List 2021, a ranking of  start-ups founded in the 2000s.

As per the report, number of Unicorns in USA and China is at 396 and 277 respectively while India follows at number three with 51 unicorns. UK is number 4 position with 32 unicorns and Germany at 5th spot with 18.

As per the report, India is the third largest Unicorn ecosystem in the world after US and China.

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02 September 2021

Air pollution shortens life expectancy in India.

Air pollution is likely to reduce the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians by more than nine years, according to a report released by a U.S. research group on Wednesday.

More than 480 million people living in the vast swathes of central, eastern and northern India, including the capital, New Delhi, endure significantly high pollution levels, said the report prepared by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).

For example, air quality has significantly worsened in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh, it said.

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19 August 2021

New island created by underwater volcano in Japan.

An underwater volcano has erupted in Japan, creating a new tiny island. The new island is around one kilometre in diameter, and is located near to the volcanic island Iwo Jima, about 1.2 kilometres south of Tokyo.

It was spotted by the Japan Coast Guard after a nearby underwater volcano started erupting. The island formed from lava that erupted from the volcano as it cooled and rose to the sea surface.

The Meteorological Agency has issued a warning about smoke and ash in nearby waters as the eruption continues.

It's not the first time a new island has been formed because of a volcano. New islands have popped up in the area in 1904, 1914 and 1986, but all of them eventually disappeared due to coastal erosion.

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World's Most Polluted Cities - 2020.

According to a report prepared by HouseFresh, a British company, Ghaziabad was the second most polluted city in the world in 2020. As per the report, Bangladesh was the most polluted country in the world in 2020. The report has stated that after Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Mongolia, were the most polluted countries in 2020. 

The report, which named 50 'most polluted cities' in the world, stated that Ghaziabad had an average air quality index (AQI) of 2.5 particulate matter (PM) in 106.6µg/m3. 

The report stated that China's Hotan province is the most polluted city in the world as it recorded PM2.5 of 110.2µg/m3. The report attributed the poor air quality level in Hotan to sandstorms resulting due to its proximity to the Taklimakan Desert. 

After Hotan and Ghaziabad, Bangladesh's Manikganj was ranked as the third most polluted city of the world with a PM2.5 of 80.2µg/m3.

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17 August 2021

July was Earth’s hottest month on record.

July was the hottest month globally ever recorded, a US scientific agency said Friday (13), in the latest data to sound the alarm about the climate crisis.

July is typically the world's warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This has said Mr. Rick Spinrad, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA said combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit (0.93 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest July since record-keeping began 142 years ago.

The month was 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was equaled in 2019 and 2020.

July 2021 by the numbers

  • Around the globe: the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 1.67 degrees F (0.93 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C), making it the hottest July since records began 142 years ago. It was 0.02 of a degree F (0.01 of a degree C) higher than the previous record set in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020.

  • The Northern Hemisphere: the land-surface only temperature was the highest ever recorded for July, at an unprecedented 2.77 degrees F (1.54 degrees C) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2012.

  • Regional records: Asia had its hottest July on record, besting the previous record set in 2010; Europe had its second-hottest July on record—tying with July 2010 and trailing behind July 2018; and North America, South America, Africa and Oceania all had a top-10 warmest July.

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