IFCE Global Environmental Weekly Events [10/5 - 10/11/2018]
A new UN report shows that with the global temperature increase 1.5C, hundreds of millions of people will suffer from the negative impact of global warming, intensifying heat extremes.
Currently, fossil fuel interests have been increased, leading to politician view climate ations as a neglectable part. For example, a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) report highlights the importance of reforestation and forest protection. After couple hours, Jair Bolsonaro, who promise that Brazil will quit from Paris Agreements and open Amazon rainforest to the market, has a great advantage in the first round of the Brazilian presidential election. Meanwhile, Donald Trump also announced that the United States will quit from the climate deals. Furthermore, Scott Morrison, prime minister at Australia, states that there is no fund for global climate conference.
Jim Skea, a co-chair of the IPCC working group on mitigation, said:“I hope world leaders could pay attention to climate issue instead of making some minor changes. ”
Source: the Guardian
2.US economists win Nobel prize for work on climate and growth
Two US economists have been co-awarded the Nobel prize for their work on climate change and the role of government in growth. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences explains that William Nordhaus and Paul Romer could awarded the Nobel prize because they research the basic and pressing issues in our era.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences also states that the two US economists construct a model to analyze the interaction between market and natural and knowledge. The method could solve a basic and pressing economic issue which is how to create long-term and sustainable economic growth.
Furthermore, Romer responses to a newest UN report about discussing the safe limitation of climate change. Romer said:“ If we try to limit carbon emissions, we will find this mission is not as hard as we imaged. People believe environmental protection is expensive and hard, leading them to ignore environmental issues. However, if we pay attention to the environmental issues, humans are able to obtain amazing achievements in environmental area. ”
Source: The Guardian
3.Australia defies climate warning to back coal
Australia defies climate warning to back coal industry. The latest UN’s report indicates the importance of setting the safe limitation of climate change as 1.5C. However, Michael McCormack, Australia's Deputy PM, announced that Australia government would continually use coal to power its domestic electricity.
UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that shutting down all kinds of coal-fired power projects before 2050 for avoiding our earth suffer from the negative of heat extremes. Michael McCormack added that coal industry supports 60% 60% of Australia's electricity and creates 50,000 jobs. Thus, his government will not change its plan and projects only because of someone’s suggestion.
Currently, coal lobbies promote a technique, carbon capture and storage (CCS), as a solution to remove the negative impact of coal industry development on climate change. IPCC recognizes this new technology. However, many analysts believe that the development of this CCS technology is too slow to achieve the emissions reduction goals.
4.New York City area wetlands may be unwitting generator of greenhouse gasses
New York City release combined sewage overflow (CSO) into Hudson River Estuary annually. However, there is limited information about the effect of CSO on climate change. Recently, a new research, publishing in the Soil Science Society of America Journal shows that CSO could increase the carbon dioxide and methane emissions which are greenhouse gas.
Researchers at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (GC/CUNY) and Queens College simulated the situation when CSO was inputted into Hudson River Estuary and conduct a control experiment to measure the effect of CSO. The result of the research indicates that CSO could increase several times of the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane.
Jeffrey Bird, professor of biology and earth and environmental sciences at GC/CUNY and Queens College, said:“ As we all knew, CSO impacts the public health. Unfortunately, there is limited research pay attention to the effect of CSO on climate change. New York City is necessary to identify and qualify all emission sources of greenhouse gas for reducing its contribution to climate change. ”. The study group plan to analyze how CSO impacts nitrous oxide emissions in the next step.
5.Coca-Cola and Nestle among worst plastic polluters based on global clean-ups
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle are worst plastic polluters, contributing a lot to global plastic pollutions. From the UK to Vietnam, volunteers found the frequency of these brand’s packing is high during the global clean-ups. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola’s packing is the most frequently identified in the global clean operations.
Von Hernandez, global coordinators at Break Free From Plastic, said:“ These brand provide undeniable evidence about how companies play a role in the global plastic crisis. These companies committed a serious crime through continuity trashing the earth by utilizing unrecyclable throwaway plastic packaging.” According to this finding, a spokesperson from Coca-Cola responded that they would try their best to solve this problem. Meanwhile, PepsiCo and Nestle also announced that they would use recyclable plastic packaging to reduce plastic pollutions.
Eoin Dubsky, campaigner at SumOfUs, said:“ Plastic pollution is not only an issue, relating to a corporate image. Over 250,000 people have already signed our petition to ask the European Parliament Environment Committee for making companies responsible for their plastic products. Only legislation process could help the environment committee to build a beautiful world without plastic pollutions.”
British tech firm Xeros had started selling these specially designed washing machines, under the name Hydrofinity, on the back of scientific research from the UK's University of Leeds. Nylon polymers "have an inherent polarity that attracts stains" and can replace most water in a laundry cycle, says Stephen Burkinshaw, chair of textile chemistry at the university.
It’s a killer robot with a good heart. After years of development and testing, researchers in Australia are preparing to launch an autonomous underwater drone designed to help safeguard the Great Barrier Reef — a mission that includes neutralizing with a lethal injection a coral-eating species of starfish that threatens the reef’s health.
Dubbed RangerBot, the briefcase-sized robot has a vision system that lets it navigate underwater, avoid obstacles and identify crown-of-thorns starfish. These creatures, which are covered in venomous spines and can grow almost to the size of a manhole cover, can “devastate large tracts of reef,” said Matthew Dunbabin, an engineering and robotics professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and one of the researchers who built the bot.
Dunbabin said the robot, which uses thrusters to move around, is able to identify its quarry with 99.4 percent accuracy. “Once the identification is confirmed, RangerBot can instigate an injection which is fatal for the crown-of-thorns starfish but doesn’t affect anything else on the reef,” he said in a statement.
But crown-of-thorns starfish are just one threat facing the world’s largest coral reef, which stretches more than 1,400 miles off Australia’s northeastern coast. Water pollution and overfishing are stressing the reef, and warming ocean temperatures are starving the coral of the algae on which it feeds. That can cause bleaching, which gives the coral a ghostly pallor and makes it more likely to die.
In 2016, huge swaths of the reef experienced a “mass bleaching” event, and some scientists feared the once-vibrant ecosystem was on the brink of collapse. Recent research shows the reef is recovering, but it remains vulnerable.