Environment

Least forested country in Europe – Iceland tries to bring back trees razed by the Vikings

  by Jeremie RICHARD Agence France Presse REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AFP) — Before being colonized by the Vikings, Iceland was lush with forests but the fearsome warriors razed everything to the ground and the nation is now struggling to reforest the island. The country is considered the least forested in Europe; indeed, forests in Iceland are so rare, or their trees so young, that people often joke that those lost in the woods only need to […]

Climate change threatens Greenland’s archeological sites: study

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AFP) — In Greenland, climate change isn’t just a danger to ecosystems but also a threat to history, as global warming is affecting archeological remains, according to a study published Thursday. There are more than 180,000 archaeological sites across the Arctic, some dating back thousands of years, and previously these were protected by the characteristics of the soil. “Because the degradation rate is directly controlled by the soil temperature and moisture content, rising […]

Nine deer dead in Japan after eating plastic: wildlife group

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Nine deer have died after swallowing plastic bags in Japan’s Nara Park, a wildlife group said on Wednesday, warning that a surge in tourism may be to blame. The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation said that masses of plastic bags and snack packets were found in the stomachs of the deer which died between March and June this year. “The biggest litter found in one of the nine amounted to 4.3 […]

Deforestation + climate change = dead end for wildlife

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — Climate change combined with galloping tropical deforestation is cutting off wildlife from life-saving cooler climes, heightening the risk of extinction, researchers said Monday. Less than two-fifths of forests across Latin America, Asia and Africa currently allow for animals and plants to avoid potentially intolerable increases in temperature, they reported in the journal Nature Climate Change. “The loss of tropical forests between 2000 and 2012 led to an area […]

Electric scooters: not so eco-friendly after all?

by Catherine HOURS PARIS, France (AFP) — E-scooters touted as zero-carbon urban transport are flooding city streets worldwide, but just how green they remain an open question. The companies — from multinationals to local start-ups — distributing them insist the omnipresent two-wheel vehicles are a boon for the environment and a curb on global warming. “Bird was founded to help create a cleaner and the more hospitable world that prioritizes people over cars,” the American […]

Almost 1,000 tree seedlings planted in La Mesa Dam watershed during “EBC Cares” activity

  Almost a thousand tree seedlings were planted during the latest activity of Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, entitled EBC Cares: “Planting Trees for Life.” The event which happened on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the La Mesa Dam watershed, were participated in by various employees of EBC and members of their families. It is part of the EBC’s advocacy “Enabling a Better Community.” (Eagle News Service)  

Antarctic sea ice in dizzying decline since 2014: study

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — After mysteriously expanding for decades, Antarctica’s sea ice cover melted by an area four times greater than France in just a few years and now stands at a record low, according to a study published Monday. Scientists already knew Antarctica was thawing at an increasing rate, like the Arctic, because of accelerating discharge from glaciers, the rivers of ice that push up slowly against the shore. But […]

France prepares for new heat record, as Spain battles wildfire

PARIS, France (AFP) — Temperatures in France are expected to reach a record-breaking high on Friday, as Europe continues to endure a sweltering heatwave which sparked an out-of-control wildfire in Spain. Governments warned citizens to take extra precautions, with the week-long heatwave causing a build-up of pollution and fears of an increase in emergency calls across Europe. French meteorologists have forecast temperatures that may exceed 45 degrees Celsius on Friday, a high never seen in […]

Searing heat across Europe sparks scramble for shade

by Joseph Schmid PARIS, France (AFP) — Fans flew off store shelves and water fountains offered relief from the heat as temperatures soared in Europe on Monday, with officials urging vigilance ahead of even hotter conditions forecast later in the week. Meteorologists blamed a blast of torrid air from the Sahara for the unusually early summer heatwave, which could send thermometers up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) across large swathes of the continent with […]

With plastic straw ban, Washington turns its back on its own invention

by S├ębastien DUVAL WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — “How do you drink a milkshake without a straw?” It is a question the city of Washington will soon face after deciding, in the interest of the environment, to ban plastic drinking straws — an almost sacrilegious act in the birthplace of this simple object, a seemingly indispensable part of daily American life. In the last century, millions of straws were produced in the Stone Straw Building, […]

Himalayan glaciers melting twice as fast: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Himalayan glaciers are melting twice as fast now as they were before the turn of the century, according to a new study that relied on recently declassified Cold War-era satellite imagery. The study, which appeared in Science Advances on Wednesday, is the latest indication that climate change is eating the Himalayan glaciers, threatening water supplies for hundreds of millions of people downstream across South Asia. “This is the clearest picture […]

Greenland ice sheet melting faster than thought: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Greenland’s ice sheet may have completely melted within the next millennium if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, according to a new study with implications for sea-level rise around the world. The Greenland ice sheet holds the equivalent of seven meters (yards) of sea level. “If we continue, as usual, Greenland will melt,” said lead author Andy Aschwanden, a research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ […]