Environment

Canada experiencing warming at twice global level: report

  MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canada is experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with the effects most pronounced in the country’s north, according to a new government report cited by local media Monday. Average temperatures have risen by 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.1 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1948, or about double the global average of 0.8 degrees Celsius, and “will warm further in the future, driven by human influence,” according to […]

Many sharks closer to extinction than feared: Red List

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse Human appetites are pushing makos and other iconic sharks to the brink of extinction, scientists warned in a new assessment of the apex predator’s conservation status. Seventeen of 58 species evaluated were classified as facing extinction, the Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation (IUCN) said late Thursday in an update of the Red List of threatened animals and plants. “Our results are alarming,” said Nicholas […]

Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A boulder-sized fish of a kind known to “sink yachts” has washed up on an Australian beach. The 1.8 metre (six feet) specimen — believed to be a Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish — came ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia at the weekend. The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape featuring a flattened body and fins. The fish can […]

Canned air and water-spraying drones: Smog remedies

by Catherine LAI HONG KONG, China (AFP) — As millions of people in Asia choke under polluted skies, authorities have turned to water-dispersing drones and outdoor air purifiers to improve air quality, while companies have tried to cash in by selling everything from canned air to lung-purifying teas. According to the World Health Organisation, 92 percent of the population in the Asia Pacific region are exposed to levels of air pollution that pose a significant […]

Glyphosate under fire from San Francisco to Sri Lanka

Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, is the subject of fierce controversy across the globe and is classified by the World Health Organization as “probably” being carcinogenic. After the second US cancer victim in a year won a surprise court victory against Monsanto over the weedkiller on Tuesday, here is the state of play regarding lawsuits and restrictions on the use of glyphosate around the world: […]

Dead whale in Philippines had 40 kg of plastic in stomach

MANILA, Philippines (AFP) — A starving whale with 40 kilos (88 pounds) of plastic trash in its stomach has died after being washed ashore in the Philippines, activists said Monday, calling it one of the worst cases of poisoning they have seen. Environmental groups have tagged the Philippines as one of the world’s biggest ocean polluters due to its reliance on single-use plastic. That sort of pollution, which is also widespread in other southeast Asian […]

Remote Cape with ‘world’s cleanest air’ offers smog respite

by Andrew BEATTY CAPE GRIM, Australia (AFP) — As much of Asia wheezes, coughs and sniffles its way through another smog season, one isolated and windswept corner of Australia is serving as the global standard for clean air. With panoramic views of swaying tussock grass and the vast crystalline expanse of the Southern Ocean, Tasmania’s beautiful Cape Grim peninsula is an unlikely reference point for the scientific world. But since 1976, this wild and blustery […]

Toxic air tears apart families in Mongolia

by Khaliun Bayartsogt BOMUUR, Mongolia (AFP) — In the world’s coldest capital, many burn coal and plastic just to survive temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees — but warmth comes at a price: deadly pollution makes Ulaanbataar’s air too toxic for children to breathe, leaving parents little choice but to evacuate them to the countryside. This exodus is a stark warning of the future for urban areas in much of Asia, where scenes of […]

The Atlantic Ocean is rising and 11-year-old Levi is worried

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Levi Draheim is an 11-year-old kid who lives on a barrier island separating the coast of Florida from the Atlantic Ocean. He is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the US government over climate change. “I don’t even know if the Earth is going to be around when I’m older at the rate that we’re going,” Levi told AFP in a phone interview before his swim […]

Air pollution deaths are double earlier estimates: study

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — Air pollution causes 790,000 premature deaths every year in Europe and 8.8 million worldwide, doubling recent assessments, according to a study released Monday. Between 40 and 80 percent of those excess deaths are caused by heart attacks, strokes and other types of cardiovascular disease underestimated up to now as a driver of smog-related mortality, researchers reported. On average, a toxic cocktail of pollutants from vehicles, industry and agriculture […]

11 PHL cities among those with cleanest air in Southeast Asia — report

Two PHL cities among those with most polluted air in Asian region (Eagle News) — Eleven cities in the Philippines were among the cities with the cleanest air in Southeast Asia, a Greenpeace report said. The 2018 World Air Quality Report, which based its ranking from cleanest to dirtiest city on air quality data derived from “public monitoring sources” that include government monitoring networks and private individuals and organizations, listed Calamba, Laguna as the cleanest city in the […]

India dominates list of world’s most polluted cities

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — India dominated a list of the world’s most polluted cities in 2018, taking 22 of the top 30 spots, according to a Greenpeace report. Air pollution is estimated to contribute to 7 million premature deaths every year and is considered by the United Nations to be the single biggest environmental health risk. While Delhi was again named the capital with the dirtiest air, in tenth place, neighbouring business city Gurugram, […]