Environment

Two-thirds of wildlife species may become extinct by 2020: report

Two-thirds of wildlife species may become extinct by 2020: report

Global populations of vertebrate species will probably be down by more than two-thirds from 1970 levels by the end of current decade, according to the Living Planet Report 2016’s assessment.

According to the newly published report, global populations of birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals have declined 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012; and the decline rates in the numbers of wildlife species are still accelerating.

Indirect effects of rising CO2 levels on ecosystems more important than previously thought

Indirect effects of rising CO2 levels on ecosystems more important than previously thought

The indirect effects of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, such as changes in soil moisture and plant structure, can have a bigger impact on ecosystems than previously thought.

Understanding the importance of these indirect effects, in comparison to the direct effects, will improve our understanding of how ecosystems respond to climate change.

UK government not on track to meet carbon cutting targets: CCC

UK government not on track to meet carbon cutting targets: CCC

The UK government isn’t on track to meet its pledge of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) cautioned.

Issuing a grave assessment of the government plans to arrest climate change by cutting emissions, CCC warned ministers to park their recent ambition to tighten their carbon reduction targets.

Global warming making rich richer and poor poorer?

Global warming making rich richer and poor poorer?

A new study has warned that global warming will drive vast and unpredictable shift in natural wealth by taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

Many studies have shown that critical natural resources, including fish stocks, are moving poleward as the planet warms. The study from Yale, Rutgers, Princeton, and Arizona State universities suggests that these biophysical changes are also reallocating global wealth in unpredictable, and potentially destabilizing, ways.

NASA, South Korea to develop global air quality observing system

NASA, South Korea to develop global air quality observing system

In an effort to develop a global air quality observing system, NASA has partnered with South Korea to carry out a field study in order to monitor air pollution accurately from space, a NASA statement said on Thursday.

The Korea US-Air Quality study (KORUS-AQ) will assess air quality across urban, rural and coastal areas of South Korea using the combined observations of aircraft, ground sites, ships and satellites.

Organic ag could help offset climate-related food insecurity

Organic ag could help offset climate-related food insecurity

With global warming taking a toll on agriculture, organic farming could be the key to feeding the world sustainably, according to a new study.

Washington State University researchers have concluded that feeding a growing global population with sustainability goals in mind is possible. Their review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers.

Poor air quality kills 1.4 million people in India annually

Poor air quality kills 1.4 million people in India annually

More than 1.4 million people die prematurely every year in India due to household and outdoor air pollution, researchers have estimated

While air pollution kills more than 5.5 million people prematurely every year, India and China together account for 55 percent of these deaths, the research showed.

The international team of researchers from India, China, Canada and the US estimated that despite efforts to limit future emissions, the number of premature deaths linked to air pollution will climb over the next two decades unless more aggressive targets are set.

Air pollution claims 5.5m lives annually, mainly in China, India

Air pollution claims 5.5m lives annually, mainly in China, India

Taking a deadly toll on us, poor air quality claims 5.5 million lives worldwide annually, with more than half of the deaths occurring in two of the world's fastest growing economies, China and India.

Power plants, industrial manufacturing, vehicle exhaust and burning coal and wood all release small particles into the air that are dangerous to a person's health.

100-million-year-old amber preserved oldest animal societies

100-million-year-old amber preserved oldest animal societies

Fighting ants, giant soldier termites, and foraging worker ants recently discovered in 100-million-year-old amber in Myanmar provide direct evidence for advanced social behaviour in ancient ants and termites, scientists say.

This proves that advanced sociality in ants and termites was present tens of millions of years earlier than indicated by the previous fossil record, according to researchers.

Nations with least emissions most vulnerable to climate change

Nations with least emissions most vulnerable to climate change

Countries that emit the least amounts of greenhouse gases are ironically the most vulnerable to climate change effects such as increased frequency of natural disasters, changing habitats and human health impacts, a new study has found.

Those countries emitting the highest amount of greenhouse gases are least vulnerable, researchers said.

The study found that 20 of the 36 highest emitting countries - including US, Canada, Australia, China, and much of Western Europe - were least vulnerable.

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