Category: Environment

World’s deepest lake in peril, scientists warn

by Maria Antonova Agence France-Presse MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Lake Baikal is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, experts say, as the government bans the catching of a signature fish that has lived in the world’s deepest lake for centuries but is now under threat. Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia’s Siberia is a natural wonder of “exceptional value to evolutionary science” meriting its listing as a World Heritage […]

Thousands of endangered river turtles released into Amazon wild

RIO PACAYA, Peru (Reuters) — Thousands of endangered Taricaya turtles have been released in Peru’s Amazon region as part of efforts to conserve the majestic species on the verge of extinction. On Tuesday (October 17), staff from Peru’s National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) released some 5,000 baby turtles as part of an ongoing program. The taricaya eggs were collected from the beaches and incubated until they hatched. The Taricaya were […]

More trees, better farming could slash carbon emissions: study

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Planting more trees, farming more sustainably and conserving wetlands could significantly slash the amount of carbon emissions that humanity spews into the atmosphere through fossil fuel use, researchers said Monday. Better land use could reduce carbon dioxide 37 percent, enough to hold global warming below two degrees Celsius by 2030, as called for by the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to a report in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy […]

Thousands of penguin chicks starve in Antarctica

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Mass starvation has wiped out thousands of penguin chicks in Antarctica, with unusually thick sea ice forcing their parents to forage further for food in what conservationists Friday called a “catastrophic breeding failure”. French scientists, supported by WWF, have been studying a colony of 18,000 pairs of Adelie penguins in East Antarctica since 2010 and discovered only two chicks survived the most recent breeding season in early 2017. They attributed […]

Epic world solar car race begins in Australia

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — An epic 3,000-kilometer (1,860-mile) solar car race across the desert heart of Australia designed to showcase new technology that could one day help develop commercial vehicles got underway Sunday. The World Solar Challenge, first run in 1987 and last held in 2015, began in a high-tech, futuristic flurry from Darwin’s State Square. Dutch team Nuon is aiming to defend its title but Belgium’s Punch Powertrain led the 41 cars — powered […]

Iraqi animal lovers go online to help save Baghdad’s strays

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AFP) – The welfare of stray cats and dogs roaming Iraq’s capital Baghdad is far from a priority for most residents after years of bloodshed and insecurity. Homeless animals typically face cruelty or even extermination on the streets of the city, but now some pet lovers are looking to use social media to change attitudes and find loving owners for the four-legged friends. Agricultural college student Assan Attallah, 22, has just helped get […]

Italy’s high-rise forests take root around the world

by Céline CORNU Agence France Presse ROME, Italy (AFP) — As balconies bristle with tree branches and sunshine dapples the leaves of thousands of plants, two apartment buildings in the heart of Milan have almost disappeared under lush forest. The brainchild of Milanese architect Stefano Boeri, the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) uses more than 20,000 trees and plants to adorn the high-rise buildings from top to bottom – a project now being exported all over […]

Game of Thrones star visits Maldives on climate change impact

LAAMU ATOLL & MALE, Maldives (Reuters) — Game of Thrones star and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau visited the Maldives earlier this week to highlight climate change issues. Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, one of the main characters in the popular television show ‘Game of Thrones’, visited climate change mitigation initiatives in Laamu Atoll and Male and had a first-hand glimpse of the negative impact of climate change on the island nation […]

Sydney, Melbourne warned to prepare for 50-degree days

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Sydney and Melbourne could regularly face 50-degree Celsius (122F) days within 25 years even if Australia meets its Paris global warming targets, a new study warned Wednesday. Other areas across the country should also prepare for extreme heat, said the research led by the Australian National University (ANU) and supported by the Center of Excellence for Climate System Science, an international consortium. The study assessed the potential magnitude of future extreme […]

Bed bugs are trying to get into your dirty laundry

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Like a pining lover, bed bugs will seek out your smell and snuggle up to your worn clothes when you are not around, researchers said Thursday. This explains how these tiny, flightless, reclusive creatures have managed their meteoric spread around the world — by catching a free ride in our dirty laundry, a team wrote in the journal Scientific Reports. “A mechanism for this […]

After tsunami, ocean plastic acted as rafts for small sea life

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — After a tsunami hit Japan in 2011, hundreds of aquatic species migrated across the ocean to the US by hitching rides on debris that acted as rafts, researchers said Thursday. A total of 289 living species were found in the US on tsunami debris originating from Japan between 2012 and 2017, said the report in the journal Science. “This has turned out to be one of the biggest, unplanned, natural […]

Forest loss means tropics emit more carbon than they trap: study

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — The widespread loss of forests in the tropics means the region emits more carbon than it captures, reversing its longtime role as a safeguard against climate change, researchers said Thursday. The analysis in the journal Science relies on 12 years (2003-2014) of satellite imagery, laser remote sensing technology and field measurements. This approach allowed scientists to focus on aspects of forest loss that were previously hard to measure, such as […]