Scientists warn of climate ‘time bomb’ for world’s groundwater

by Patrick GALEY Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Future generations face an environmental “time bomb” as the world’s groundwater systems take decades to respond to the present day impact of climate change, scientists warned on Monday. Found underground in cracks in soil, sand and rock, groundwater is the largest usable source of freshwater on the planet and more than two billion people rely on it to drink or irrigate crops. It is slowly replenished […]

World to miss 2020 climate ‘turning point’: analysis

by Patrick GALEY Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — The world is on course to miss its “best chance” of preventing runaway climate change by ensuring global greenhouse gas emissions peak in 2020, researchers warned Tuesday. Even as Earth is buffeted by super-storms, droughts and flooding made worse by rising seas, and as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, an analysis by the World Resources Institute showed that current efforts to limit temperature increases […]

LOOK: Total lunar eclipse as seen from Paris

PARIS, France (AFP) — An unusual set of celestial circumstances came together over Sunday night and the wee hours of Monday for sky watchers in Europe, Africa and the Americas, where the moon was fully obscured before lighting up again with a faint red glow. Footages of the lunar eclipse over Paris.

Hong Kong failing to tackle wildlife smuggling epidemic: study

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Hong Kong must do more to crack down on illegal wildlife smuggling by ending legal loopholes and lenient sentences, conservation groups said Monday, as they detailed the city’s role in the lucrative trade. Despite its comparatively small size, the bustling southern Chinese transport hub plays a “disproportionate” role in wildlife crime, researchers said, accounting for around a fifth of all global ivory seizures and nearly half of all pangolins seized […]

Divers spot giant white shark off Hawaii coast

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — An enormous great white shark — believed to be one of the biggest on record — has been spotted off the coast of Hawaii by divers who took a swim with the predator. The 20-foot (six-meter) female shark — bearing similar markings as “Deep Blue,” the largest great white shark recorded — made its surprise appearance on Tuesday, joining other sharks feasting on a sperm whale carcass off Oahu. […]

China’s moon cotton experiment ends in freezing lunar night

BEIJING, China (AFP) — A cotton seedling that sprouted on the moon has been left to die as China’s historic lunar lander continues a freezing night-time nap that will last as long as two earth weeks, scientists said. The Chinese space agency announced earlier this week that the seed had germinated inside a special canister aboard the Chang’e-4 probe, after the spacecraft on January 3 made the first-ever landing on the far side of the […]

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet: study

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — The way humanity produces and eats food must radically change to avoid millions of deaths and “catastrophic” damage to the planet, according to a landmark study published Thursday. The key to both goals is a dramatic shift in the global diet — roughly half as much sugar and red meat, and twice as many vegetables, fruits and nuts, a consortium of three dozen researchers concluded […]

Bulgaria activists win case to save UNESCO-listed forest

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AFP) — Environmentalists in Bulgaria scored a victory Wednesday in a long-running court battle to prevent enlargement of a ski resort in the Pirin mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In a ruling that cannot be appealed, Bulgaria’s supreme administrative court overturned controversial changes made by the government in December 2017 to the management plan for Pirin National Park. The changes opened up 48 percent of the park’s 40,000 hectares (almost 100,000 acres) […]

WATCH: The artificial rain

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Videographic on artificial rain. Thailand is set to deploy rainmaking planes to seed clouds in an effort to tackle the pall of pollution that has shrouded the capital Bangkok in recent weeks.

Australian towns among hottest spots on Earth as heatwave sizzles

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australian towns were among the hottest places on Earth this week as a severe heat wave hit the continent’s southeast, with forecasters warning of more record-breaking temperatures before the weekend. The past four days were among the country’s top 10 warmest on record, with temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in some spots, the Bureau of Meteorology said Wednesday. “With South Australia breaking some all-time records yesterday, it would […]

Romeo and Juliet: the last hopes to save Bolivian aquatic frog

by José Arturo CÁRDENAS Agence France Presse LA PAZ, Bolivia (AFP) — Almost a year after conservationists sent out a plea to help save a species of Bolivian aquatic frog by finding a mate for the last remaining member, Romeo, his very own Juliet has been tracked down deep inside a cloud forest. Not only did the wildlife conservation team return with a potential mate for Romeo, who had been 10 years a bachelor, but […]