Environment

Environment

Global rise in temperature is linked to diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise and diabetic cases are expected to be 642 million by 2040 with the 55% rise from 2015. Research across the world has begun questioning the role of rising environment temperature. A recent meta-analysis conducted on a population from all 50 US states found the link between temperature and age-adjusted diabetic occurrence. In support of the fact, some previous studies have shown in past that exposure to lower temperature (at least 10 days) can help improve the insulin sensitivity due to activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT).

A new research says Kitchens are more polluted than roads

According to a new study, your home especially kitchens causes more pollution compared to outer environment. There were more interesting findings like travelling through auto rickshaws exposes you to more soot followed by bike and then cars. CNG buses don’t emit soot and are comparatively safer to any other vehicles. The study also found out that pollution is more in winter than in summer. The study further suggests that use of AC can reduce the exposure to polluted air.

WHO report says air Pollution is killing more than million children every year

According to a recent WHO report, over 1.7 million children (aged <5 years) die every year due to air pollution. The report also suggest of precautionary measures which can be used to save the children. They have developing organs, immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways which makes them vulnerable to dirty air and water. Certain common causes of children deaths (e.g. pneumonia) can be prevented using clean bed nets and using clean water.

Dropping oxygen levels in Oceans are great risk factors for marine and human life both

A recent study evaluating the effects on climate change on oceans showed that increased human activity and increased natural resource consumption has led to dropping oxygen levels by 2% in last 50 years. It looks a quite less proportion but such an increase can cause dangerous impact on the natural life of marine living beings. The results of the study were presented at Kiel, Germany.

Fish seeking new water sources due to sea warming

Fishermen in Scotland have recently added squid to the menu of sea creatures. This species is generally associated with warm sea water rather freezing north. Few decades ago, squid was a rarity in the North Sea but today boats bring thousands of tonnes every year. This is good news for Scottish fish lovers; however rising temperature is a bad news for other countries which are highly dependent on Fish production. Bangladesh is one of those countries where fish gives 60% of its animal protein and it is vital for 16 million people.

Global warming likely to turn UK into top wine producer, study finds

Fancy a glass of crisp Edinburgh Riesling? How about a drop of Margate Merlot or a cheeky little Sauvignon Blanc from Essex? Forget Château Petrus. Château Cheshire is on its way, according to researchers who forecast that large areas of Britain could become improbable wine-producing centres of excellence because of global warming. Growing Pinot Grigio as far north as the Scottish borders or Chardonnay in Shropshire is a real possibility as UK temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, said Mark Maslin, a professor of climatology at University College London. “Malbec is the one we are most shocked by,” he said, referring to the popular red wine from Argentina and the south of France made from a grape variety that needs a lot of heat and sunlight. More at: https://www.ft.com

How China’s climate revolution can stop global warming

In 2017, China will open its emissions trading system (ETS), which will become the largest cap-and-trade market in the world in terms of total tons of carbon. This market could provide an example for the rest of the world, if they can get it right. A cap-and-trade system gives polluters economic incentives to produce less greenhouse gases by allowing them to monetize the difference when their emissions are less than those set by the cap. According to figures from the China Carbon Market Monitor, as of June 30, 2016, the carbon market for the seven ETS pilot projects had accumulated a trading volume of 94 million tons of carbon. More at: http://www.dw.com/

Megacity planning must change in four years to limit global warming

By the end of this decade it may be too late to limit global warming to scientifically guided limits, if the infrastructure built in the next four years is constructed along the same lines as currently planned. Building high-carbon infrastructure – from transport systems predicated on motor car use, to new coal-fired power plants, and buildings that leak energy – effectively “locks in” a future of greenhouse gas emissions that are likely to far exceed the planet’s capacity to absorb carbon. Though such factors have been the subject of numerous scientific studies in the past decade, countries have been slow to take the implications on board. The latest warning comes from the C40 group of mayors and city authorities that have signed up to their own limits on carbon and actions to combat climate change and reduce its impacts, often independently of their national or federal governments.More at: https://www.theguardian.com

Global warming scarred the surface of Mars: Deep canyons and valleys were formed by dramatic warming periods that lasted 10 MILLION years

Deep canyons and valleys on Mars may have formed as the result of warming periods that stretched for up to 10 million years, melting the glaciers that covered its surface. The theory could solve the mystery of Mars’ water-carved features, which formed roughly 3.8 billion years ago during a period many believe the planet was frozen. According to the researchers, a build-up of greenhouse gases in the planet’s thick atmosphere may have spurred dramatic climate cycles, allowing for liquid water to emerge and later refreeze in another ice age. More at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

U.S. record highs beat record lows by a staggering 51-to-1 ratio in November

As the planet warms in response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ratio of high temperature records compared to low temperature records has become more skewed. If the climate weren’t warming, that long-term ratio should average out to about 1-to-1. However, that isn’t the world we’re living in. A 2009 study found that the record highs to lows ratio was 2-to-1 for the lower 48 states during the 2000s, and this disparity has only grown since then. Projections show the imbalance increasing in coming decades as global warming continues. New, preliminary numbers from the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) show that during November 2016, the ratio of record highs (4401) to record lows (87) was a shocking 51-to-1.  More at: http://mashable.com/

Trump’s Top Environmental Adviser Says Pesticides Aren’t Bad for You

To lead the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency, President-elect Donald Trump settled on notorious climate-change denier Myron Ebell. The decision rattled climate activists—see Julia Lurie’s interview with Bill McKibbonand David Roberts on Vox. But it isn’t just greenhouse gas emissions that are likely to get a free ride under an Ebell-influenced EPA. Farm chemicals, too, would likely flow unabated if Ebell’s agenda comes to dominate Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency. More at: http://www.motherjones.com/

Five Things You Can Change To Help The Environment

Climate change and anthropological pressure on the environment is a global issue, one so large that an individual may question what their eco-friendly efforts are actually achieving. Recent political developments have exacerbated this air of futility as we find ourselves at a tipping point in regards to the environment and climate action. However these set-backs mean that unity is more important than ever, and doing our individual part to contribute to the whole is vital.

  1. Eat less meat
  2. Sustainably sourced food
  3. Be plastic aware
  4. Reuse & upcycle plastic containers as much as possible
  5. Advocate environmental awareness

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/

World leaders discuss ban of climate-busting refrigerants

After being directed for almost 30 years at substances that destroy ozone, the Montreal Protocol will for the first time target a group of greenhouse gases. Beginning today in Kigali, Rwanda, member states of the United Nations are finalizing the terms of what could be the largest commitment to reducing global warming since the Paris Agreement on climate last December. Delegates are likely to take till the meeting’s final day on 14 October to hammer out the knotty details of an amendment to the protocol. Ideally, the amendment will set the terms for a rapid phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the most common of which is the refrigerant HFC-134a, which has 1,430 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide (CO2) over 100 years. The amendment would stop the manufacture of HFCs and then reduce their use over time. More at: http://www.nature.com/news

Alys Fowler: the best trees for a small garden

In my local park there is a tree crowned with amber-red haws, big enough to pluck and suck off the flesh. They taste sweet, with a hint of apple – a little mealy but delicious enough. This is the eastern haw, Crataegus orientalis. It has everything a small tree should: flowers in spring, colour in autumn, and fruit that attracts a host of small birds to flit around its branches. It doesn’t mind if the conditions are windswept, where it becomes sculptured and craggy. It has a spreading habit with slightly pendulous thorny branches, but you can slowly prune it into a shape that fits your space. The leaves are deeply lobed dark green with a woolly bloom that makes them appear silvery in spring, turning buttery yellow and bronze in autumn. The flowers are chalk white with pink anthers, followed by large reddish fruit in autumn. The haws often persist well into winter, hanging like Christmas ornaments. More at: https://www.theguardian.com

The mystery of the ‘ghost trees’ may be solved

The redwood appears like a phantom: as if from thin air. What looked like a trick of the light a moment ago materializes into a trunk, branches, needles — a tree, roughly the height of a man, with delicate leaves the color of bone. It is an albino redwood, the “ghost” of California’s coastal forests. “I like that metaphor a lot,” biologist Zane Moore said, as he grasps a branch of the unusual conifer and holds it up to the light. Brilliant October sunshine filters through the high forest canopy, where the silver-green needles of healthy trees soak up rays and turn them into fuel. But the albino tree lacks chlorophyll, the green pigment that allows plants to make food from light via photosynthesis. It is incapable of the one thing that all trees must do to live. More at: https://www.washingtonpost.com

City estimates 10,000 trees will be killed by emerald ash borer

Originally from Asia, emerald ash borers spread through infested wood that’s transported. Burn infested wood to destroy the borer’s eggs and larvae. More than 10,000 ash trees in Lawrence will die in coming years due to an invasive species of beetle destroying the trees from the inside out. Those numbers account for as much as one-third of the trees making up the canopy the city is nationally recognized for. Lawrence’s horticulture and forestry manager, Crystal Miles, said the insect will eventually infect 100 percent of the city’s ash trees. “The emerald ash borer is going to be around until all (its) food supply is gone,” Miles said. Since the emerald ash borer was detected, about 130 infected ash trees have been cut down from the grounds of city parks, buildings and right-of-ways, and Miles said the goal is to have removed 200 by year’s end. Miles said those trees showed advanced signs of infestation. More at: http://www2.ljworld.com/

‘Enhanced’ environment boosts mouse immune systems

A groundbreaking study demonstrates that the type of surroundings a mouse lives in can impact the state of their immune system. An “enriched” environment significantly bolsters their infection-fighting abilities. Without the immune system, animals would be open to a myriad of microbial invaders. As such, research into the vast, interconnected pathways of the immune system is vital. Over recent years, researchers have deepened our understanding of the factors that influence the strength of our immune response. For instance, factors such as environmental pollution, location, social status, and psychological state have all been found to play a part in autoimmune disorders – conditions where the body attacks its own healthy cells. New lines of scientific inquiry are beginning to unlock the effects of our mental state on our immune system. More at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

 

TOURIST SWIMS ON AUSTRALIAS GREAT BARRIER REEF.China forms nine more marine parks to protect environment; 42 in all

China has announced the formation of nine new state-level marine parks to protect the marine environment, bringing the total number to 42. The new parks are located in the provinces of Liaoning, Shandong, Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan, China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) circular said. The SOA has ordered local marine authorities in these provinces to start demarcating the parks, and not to arbitrarily adjust or change the parks’ boundaries and zoning. The SOA has stressed the need to improve protection of the marine environment when tourism and aquaculture activities are conducted in certain zones of the parks, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. China’s state-level marine parks, first introduced in 2011, offer public space for coastal recreation, enhance protection of marine ecosystems and boost sustainable development of coastal tourism, the SOA official said. More at: http://indianexpress.com/

India accounts for 75% of air pollution casualties: WHO

Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air while nearly 90 per cent of air pollution related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Air pollution is killing nearly eight lakh people annually in the South East Asian Region with India alone accounting for over 75 per cent of the casualties caused by cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer, according to a new WHO report released today. The report said nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air while nearly 90 per cent of air pollution related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with nearly two out of three occurring in WHO’s South-East Asia including India and Western Pacific regions. “It is a public health emergency,” said Maria Neira, the head of the WHO’s department of public health and environment. The report also called for strengthening measures against inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants and industrial activities – some of the major sources of air pollution. It said that 94 per cent casualties are due to noncommunicable diseases – notably cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, and air pollution also increases the risks for acute respiratory infections. More at: http://www.thehindu.com/

10-20% rise in ozone levels in India, harmful for lungs and crops: Report says

NEW DELHI: While Indian cities are still grappling with the impacts of severe particulate matter (PM) pollution, a new report has raised the flag on ozone levels (O3) too. ‘The Cost of Air Pollution’, a report by the World Bank and Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) released on Thursday, estimates that the concentrations of O3 has increased by 10 to 20% in India between 1990 and 2013. The trend is similar in neighboring countries and in Brazil, while a declining course was seen in the US and Indonesia, among others. More at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

Whole Foods Gets Hit With a $3.5M Environmental Waste Fine

Health food grocery Whole Foods  WFM 0.38% has just reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency over hazardous waste law violations. The EPA announced on Tuesday that the retailer has agreed to pay a $3.5 million fine for improperly identifying or mishandling hazardous waste at its stores, CBS reports. Additionally, the company will provide more thorough training for its employees as well as fund a program to educate retailers in Texas about hazardous waste laws. More at: http://fortune.com/

Is this behind the rising rates of Alzheimer’s? Scientists link disease to tiny particles absorbed by the brain from POLLUTION

Alzheimer’s disease could be caused by tiny magnetic particles absorbed by the brain from air pollution, scientists warn. Tiny metal magnetic particles found embedded in the brain are likely to come from outside sources – rather than from within the body as previously thought, a scientific study suggests. The microscopic metal nanoparticles are found within ‘plaques’ – lumps of protein that clog the brain in dementia sufferers. Now researchers who have studied the brains of people in Manchester and Mexico City believe the particles are more likely to have come from an outside source, possibly air pollution. More at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Pollution particles can ‘get stuck to brain tissue’, cause severe damage: new study

A study of brain tissue samples has found small pollution particles stuck to the tissues, a BBC report said, quoting a study. These particles could be toxic since they are iron oxide and could also give rise to diseases like Alzheimer’s, a fact yet to be proved. These findings, led by scientists at Lancaster university and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have brought forward graver effects of pollution in the cities. While earlier studies focused on the harmful effects of polluted air in respiratory systems, this study brings to the fore the existence of magnetite, a minute particle found in air pollution that can get attached to brain tissue. More at:http://indianexpress.com/

Cloth masks offer poor protection against air pollution

Results of a new study by environmental health scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that inexpensive cloth masks worn by people who hope to reduce their exposure to air pollution vary widely in effectiveness and could be giving users a false sense of security, especially in highly polluted areas. Researchers Richard Peltier, Kabindra Shakya and colleagues believe theirs is the first study to rigorously test disposable surgical masks and washable cloth masks, which are widely used in Asia and Southeast Asia for personal protection against airborne particulate matter. Their study shows that “wearing cloth masks reduced the exposure to some extent,” but “the most commonly used cloth mask products perform poorly when compared to alternative options available on the market.”More at: http://phys.org/

Climate Pollution Can Complicate Fishes’ Sex Lives

The mating rituals of male ocellated wrasses are as intricate as their shimmering scales, and new research showing that carbon dioxide pollution can affect those rituals has some scientists fretting for the future of fish. Elevated levels of carbon dioxide — which dissolves from the atmosphere into oceans, where it changes acidity levels — can affect fishes’ brains and how they behave. Sometimes they swim toward predators instead of fleeing, for example. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a journal focusing on biological discoveries, on Tuesday published findings from the floor of Mediterranean Sea near Sicily that revealed these behavioral changes can include the reshaping of the colorful sex lives of one kind of fish. Changes to fish mating behaviors could exacerbate stresses on entire ocean ecosystems, which are already being pummeled by overfishing, warming waters and plastic and oil pollution. About a quarter of industrial carbon dioxide pollution is entering the seas, and scientists have warned that could cause pH levels to decline by 2100 to levels not experienced for more than 50 millions years.More at: http://www.climatecentral.org/

This shirt changes color based on pollution levels

Industrial designer Nikolas Bentel has designed a line of shirts called “Aerochromics” that appear light black in clean environments, but show their true colors whenever you enter an area with heavy pollution. There are three shirts in the line, and each one reacts to different types of pollution.

One shirt reacts to particulate matter, more commonly known as air pollution. Another reacts to carbon monoxide. And the last shirt, which isn’t available for sale yet, reacts to concentrated radioactivity, like a fashionable Geiger counter. The carbon monoxide and air pollution reactive shirts retail for $500 on Aerochromics. A line of non-reactive clothing with the same patterns are also available for $90 a pop. More at: http://www.techinsider.io/

Antarctic Carbon Dioxide Concentration Hits 440PPM for First Time in Four Million Years

Due to the ever-increasing industrialisation of the world, the amount of carbon in our atmosphere has been steadily accumulating over the last couple of centuries. Indeed, in 2013 the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, USA, observed the first time that a region of the Earth reached above 400 parts per million (PPM) of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the history of the human race. In the intervening three years, the rest of the world has slowly caught up to that northern hemispherical spike, and last year, the average global CO2 concentration crept above 400PPM for one month. However, the further and more remote reaches of the planet had escaped such contamination – until now. More at: https://www.envirotech-online.com

River pollution kills 100 fish at Llangefni, Anglesey

North West Wales: An investigation has begun after pollution killed more than 100 fish in the River Cefni on Anglesey.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said it was taking water samples to find out the source of the pollution. Officers are also taking the dead fish away for tests to find out what has killed them. Other wildlife has not been affected and the water “seems clear”, the environment body said. Leon Williams, north Wales environment officer for NRW, added: “We will continue to keep an eye on the situation to make sure that there will not be any further incidents.” More at: http://www.bbc.com/news

Environmental pollution reducing dogs fertility

While scientists continue to debate reported decline in human semen quality, a new study has now found that the fertility of “man’s best friend” may have suffered a sharp decline over the past three decades primarily due to environmental contaminants. “This is the first time that such a decline in male fertility has been reported in the dog and we believe this is due to environmental contaminants, some of which we have detected in dog food and in the sperm and testes of the animals themselves,” said lead researcher Richard Lea from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham in Britain. “While further research is needed to conclusively demonstrate a link, the dog may indeed be a sentinel for humans — it shares the same environment, exhibits the same range of diseases, many with the same frequency and responds in a similar way to therapies,” Lea noted. More at: http://www.tribuneindia.com/

‘1.6 million Deaths caused due to pollution-related health issues’ 

NEW DELHI: Health issues caused by air pollution led to approximately 16 lakh premature deaths in the country, the Lok Sabha was today informed. “As per Global Burden of Diseases Study in 2010, approximately 1.6 million premature deaths (under 70 years of age) are attributable to household and ambient air pollution in India,” Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel said in a written reply. Diseases that are attributed to air pollution include chronic respiratory disease and pneumonia in children and asthma, which are treated at various public health facilities in the country, she said. More at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

Burning coal for gas in UK seabeds would flame pollution, says report

Plans to set fire to coal under the seabed at up to 19 sites around the UK would cause significant climate pollution, groundwater contamination and toxic waste, according to a report by environmentalists. The UK government’s Coal Authority has granted licences for underground coal gasification (UCG) covering more than 1,500 sq km of seabed off north-east and north-west England, Wales and east central Scotland. The Scottish and Welsh governments have put temporary moratoriums on the technology because of concerns about the dangers. Scottish ministers are awaiting an independent review in September, which is likely to be critical of UCG. More at: https://www.theguardian.com

India has 22 of the 50 Most Polluted Urban Cities in the World, according to WHO data

Recent WHO statistics revealed a devastating fact that many are already aware of and suffering from: India is home to the most polluted cities in the world. WHO says that out of the 50 urban areas with the worst ambient air pollution, 22 of those cities are in India. The cities are ranked by the daily average concentration of PM2.5 particles in the air less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (which are seen to be the greatest health risks that lodge deeply in lungs). In order to compile this data, the WHO used statistics that were reported by governments and local agencies that included cities that which had regular air quality readings available. New Delhi is the most polluted followed by Gwalior and Allahabad, Patna, Raipur, and Ludhiana have average readings of around 122 or higher which isn’t that far behind. Beijing, China and California were also among the list of top 100 most polluted cities. More at: http://www.india.com/lifestyle

Environment

Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

Researchers are fanning out across the Greenland ice sheet this month to explore a crucial, but overlooked, influence on its future: red, green and brown-colored algal blooms. These darken the snow and ice, causing it to absorb more sunlight and melt faster. The £3-million (US$4-million) Black and Bloom project aims to measure how algae are changing how much sunlight Greenland’s ice sheet bounces back into space. “We want to get a handle on just how much of the darkness is due to microbes and how much to other physical factors”, such as soot or mineral dust, says Martyn Tranter, a biogeochemist at the University of Bristol, UK, and the project’s principal investigator. More at: http://www.nature.com/news