Record-low snow accumulation on biggest Alpine glacier

Swiss glaciers have continued to shrink at an alarming rate this year, while snow accumulation on the largest glacier in the Alps reached a record low, a study showed Friday. Although 2020 has not been a year of extremes, the glaciers in the Swiss Alps are still in steady decline, losing a full two percent of their volume this year alone, according to an annual study on the state of the glaciers published by the Swiss Academies of Science. That is in line with the average over the past 10 years, but the numbers are still “very concerning”, report author … Continue reading Record-low snow accumulation on biggest Alpine glacier

Canada will ban single-use plastic items by the end of 2021

A woman in Toronto carries her groceries in plastic bags on April 24, 2020. Travelers to Canada should not expect to see some everyday plastic items starting next year. The country plans to ban single-use plastics — checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and even foodware made from hard-to-recycle plastics nationwide by the end of 2021, the move is part of a larger effort by the nation to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. Plastic pollution threatens our natural environment, it fills our rivers or lakes, and most particularly our oceans, choking the wildlife that live there, Canadian … Continue reading Canada will ban single-use plastic items by the end of 2021

Hottest September on record: Could 2020 be the world’s warmest year ever?

September was the hottest on record globally, the EU’s climate service has revealed, putting the world on course for 2020 being the warmest ever year, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said on Wednesday that every month this year had ranked within the top four warmest of the month in question, while September had broken records overall. It was 0.05°C warmer last month than September 2019 the last record holder and was 0.08°C warmer than the same period in 2016. September 2020 also saw the second lowest Arctic sea ice extent ever recorded, both for daily and monthly averages, it comes after … Continue reading Hottest September on record: Could 2020 be the world’s warmest year ever?

Arctic ice shrinks to near-record-low, raising fears about global warming

Ice in the Arctic Ocean melted to its second-lowest level on record this year, scientists announced on Monday, in yet another sign of how global warming is rapidly transforming the polar region. Satellites recorded this year’s sea ice minimum at 3.74 million square km on September 15, only the second time the ice has been measured below 4 million square km in 40 years of record-keeping, according to researchers at the United States’s National Snow and Ice Data Center. It’s been a crazy year up north, with sea ice at a near-record low, heat waves in Siberia, and massive forest … Continue reading Arctic ice shrinks to near-record-low, raising fears about global warming

Firms urge governments to boost climate action

Some of the world’s biggest companies have backed growing calls for governments to do more to reverse the accelerating destruction of the natural world and support broader efforts to fight climate change. More than 560 companies with combined revenues of $4 trillion, including Walmart, Citigroup and Microsoft, signed on to a statement calling for action over the next decade. The call comes as the United Nations prepares to host a biodiversity summit later this month, aiming to build momentum towards forging a new global pact to ward off threats to nature exemplified by recent fires in the Amazon and California. … Continue reading Firms urge governments to boost climate action

Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf

A big chunk of ice has just broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf – 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden in north-east Greenland. The ejected section covers about 110 square km; satellite imagery shows it to have shattered into many small pieces. The loss is further evidence say scientists of the rapid climate changes taking place in Greenland. “The atmosphere in this region has warmed by about 3C since 1980,” said Dr Jenny Turton. “And in 2019 and 2020, it saw record summer temperatures,” the polar researcher at Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany told BBC News. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden is roughly 80km long … Continue reading Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf

One in eight deaths in Europe linked to environmental pollution, report says

In this Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 file photo, plumes of smoke rise from Europe’s largest lignite power plant in Belchatow, central Poland.    At least one in eight European deaths is a result of poor quality environments, a new report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed. Air and noise pollution as well as changes due to climate change such as heatwaves impact the health and well being of the most vulnerable, said the report, which draws on World Health Organization data on death and disease. “There is a clear link between the state of the environment and the … Continue reading One in eight deaths in Europe linked to environmental pollution, report says

UK to set legally binding environmental targets in climate push

The United Kingdom says it will bring in legally binding targets on air quality, waste reduction, biodiversity and cleaner water as part of efforts to combat climate change, improve the environment and rebuild the economy. Targets will be set in the four areas of air, waste, biodiversity and water, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday. The targets will form part of the environment bill, introduced last year and set to resume its passage through Parliament soon, which will force the current and future governments to focus on environmental improvements. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised … Continue reading UK to set legally binding environmental targets in climate push

Weather

‘Hottest temperature on Earth’ as Death Valley, US hits 54.4C What could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth – 130F (54.4C) – may have been reached in Death Valley National Park, California. The recording is being verified by the US National Weather Service. It comes amid a heatwave on the US’s west coast, where temperatures are forecast to rise further this week. The scorching conditions have led to two days of blackouts in California, after a power plant malfunctioned on Saturday. Sunday’s reading was recorded in Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Before this, the hottest temperature reliably … Continue reading Weather

Alberta Glaciers

First of its kind study analyzed flow patterns in glacier-fed rivers, to find impact on communities A first of its kind study from the University of British Columbia has found that melting glaciers will bring water shortages to one in four people living in Alberta. The study, which was published in the journal of Nature Climate Change on Aug. 3, found that global glacier retreat will have big impacts on the availability of water for communities that rely on glacier runoff during the summer season. Sam Anderson, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate in UBC’s department of earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences, grew up … Continue reading Alberta Glaciers