Indonesian women take on plastic waste brick by brick

by Agnes ANYA JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Alarmed by the mountains of plastic waste leaching into Indonesia’s waters, two best friends are taking on the environmental menace by turning crisp bags and shampoo packets into paving bricks. Ovy Sabrina and Novita Tan launched Rebricks after their country drew headlines as the second-biggest producer of marine waste in the world, behind China. Indonesia has pledged to reduce plastic waste by some 75 percent over the next […]

Drought-hit California scales up plan to truck salmon to ocean

by Laurent BANGUET OROVILLE, United States (AFP) — With chronic drought drying up rivers earlier than usual this year, California is scaling up a drastic operation to help its famous Chinook salmon reach the Pacific — transporting the fry by road in dozens of large tanker trucks. The tasty migratory fish are typically born in rivers, swim to the ocean where they reach maturity and can remain for several years, before returning to their native […]

Insect pest eats into Lebanon’s ‘white gold’ pine nut trade

by Layal Abou Rahal QSAYBEH, Lebanon (AFP) — The scenic region of Mount Lebanon has long produced pine seed, a regional delicacy, but harvests have collapsed amid an exotic insect infestation experts say is accelerated by climate change. Lebanon, wedged between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, is best known for the iconic cedar tree depicted on its national flag — but it also has pine trees that make up nearly 10 percent of total […]

Arctic sea ice thinning faster than expected, new study shows

by Joe JACKSON LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Sea ice in the Arctic’s coastal regions may be thinning up to twice as fast as previously thought, according to a new study, with worrying implications for climate change. The analysis, led by researchers at Britain’s University College London (UCL), concluded the ice in the coastal regions was thinning at a rate 70 to 100 percent faster than the established consensus. The dramatic reassessment comes after the […]

Global warming blamed for 1 in 3 heat-related deaths

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — More than a third of summer heat-related fatalities are due to climate change, researchers said Monday, warning of even higher death tolls as global temperatures climb. Previous research on how climate change affects human health has mostly projected future risks from heatwaves, droughts, wild fires and other extreme events made worse by global warming. How much worse depends on how quickly humanity curbs carbon emissions, which hit record […]

New Yorkers enjoy new park floating on Hudson River

by Laura BONILLA NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A new public park skimming the surface of the Hudson River atop 132 concrete “tulips” opened Friday for New Yorkers eager to emerge from a year of onerous pandemic restrictions. Little Island, which can be accessed free-of-charge by two pedestrian bridges, offers lush green spaces and scenic views into southern Manhattan and New Jersey for those who want to get away without getting away. Its opening […]

99 of 100 cities most at risk environmentally in Asia

  by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse Of the 100 cities worldwide most vulnerable to environmental hazards all but one are in Asia, and four-fifths are in India or China, according to a risk assessment published Friday. Across the globe, more than 400 large cities with a total population of 1.5 billion are at “high” or “extreme” risk due to some mixture of life-shortening pollution, dwindling water supplies, deadly heat waves, natural disasters and climate […]

Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon hits record in April

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon hit a record last month, the government reported Friday with figures that belie President Jair Bolsonaro’s pledge to crack down on such destruction. The area of the rainforest that was destroyed — 580 square kilometers (225 square miles) — marked a new high for the month of April and a 42.5 percent on-year rise, according to satellite monitoring by the Brazilian space agency INPE. […]

1.5C warming cap could ‘halve’ sea level rise from melting ice

by Patrick GALEY PARIS, France (AFP) — Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could halve how much sea levels rise due to melting ice sheets this century, according to a major new study modelling how Earth’s frozen spaces will respond to ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Since 1993, melting land ice has contributed to at least half of global sea level rise and scientists have previously warned that the vast ice sheets of Antarctica were […]

S. Africa to ban breeding lions in captivity for hunting

by Susan NJANJI PRETORIA, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa on Sunday revealed plans to ban the breeding of lions in captivity for trophy hunting or for tourists to pet, advocating a more “authentic” experience for visitors. The decision was in response to recommendations contained in a government study into the controversial practice. The panel studied the rules governing the hunting, trade and keeping in captivity of lions, elephants, rhino and leopards. Environment Minister Barbara […]

Glacier melt is speeding up, raising seas: global study

by Patrick GALEY PARIS, France (AFP) — Nearly all of the world’s glaciers are losing mass at an ever increasing pace, contributing to more than a fifth of global sea level rise this century, according to unprecedented research released Wednesday. Glaciers — vast bodies of frozen water that sit above ground — have been melting fast since the middle of the 20th century, but until now the full extent of ice loss had only been […]

Wall of sand engulfs Chinese town

BEIJING, China (AFP) — A towering wall of sand rushed over factories and apartment blocks in northwestern China’s Gansu province as seasonal sandstorms barrelled across the country, causing air pollution and traffic accidents. Aerial images as it struck showed an apocalyptic scene as a billowing cloud of yellow dust smothered Gansu’s Linze county on Sunday. State media CCTV reported multiple car accidents in the province caused by low visibility, while meteorologists have warned people to […]