Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

As Arctic ice goes, so do the polar bears. Study finds land food is inadequate to keep them fed

Ringed seals are the polar bear's primary food source--but a beached whale means a feast! © Daniel J. Cox/Natural Exposures

After carefully calculating the net nutritional gain polar bears have from land-based food like caribou, berries or bird eggs, researchers found this is far from enough to compensate their typical fat-rich diet based on marine mammals. In consequence, as ice retreats and spring hunting season shortens polar bear populations are expected to fall dramatically. According to the study, two-third of the world’s polar bears will disappear by mid-century and by the end of the century the could follow, if the issue is not addressed.

Environmental Issues, Great Pics, World Problems

Syngenta Photography Award: Scarcity and Waste

ma-water-001

  Syngenta Photography Award aims to draw attention on pressing social and environmental issues, stimulating dialogue around a number of global challenges. The competition invited both professional and amateur photographers, under two separate categories, to share their views on the theme of Scarcity–Waste and examine one of the greatest challenges facing a world with increasingly limited resources. The curatorial rationale for

Environmental Issues, News, Oceanography

NOAA to double size of California’s bay area marine sanctuary

noaa map

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Obama administration and California lawmakers have announced a doubling of the size of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries off Northern California.   “NOAA is expanding the boundaries of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) to an area north and west

Environment, Environmental Issues, World Problems

Half of the world’s feed crops will soon be eaten by Chinese pigs

A food wholesale center near Shanghai.Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News

The pace and scale of China’s economic transformation have no historical precedent. In 1979, China initiated a series of reforms which set the country in economic high gear producing some of the most fundamental changes ever to occur in any country. China’s annual average GDP per capita growth in the last ten year period was 9.9 percent, compounding to a total

Environmental Issues, Technology

Company to Start Building Transoceanic Canal in Nicaragua

nicaragua-transoceanic-canal

A private company in Hong Kong known as the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND) has been given the green light to start the $50 billion work on a canal that will connect the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean through Nicaragua. The project, which will be significantly longer than the Panama canal could bring huge economic benefits, saving a lot of time and resources, but it also raises major environmental concerns.

Environment, Environmental Issues, News

UK government is killing its solar industry by cutting subsidies

solar

The UK boasts 650,000 solar installations across homes, offices, schools, churches, warehouses, farms, police stations, train stations and even a bridge. It’s been one of the fastest growing solar markets in Europe. At the end of 2013, there were 2.8GW of solar power arrays installed, but by the end of 2014 this figure climbed to 5GW or nearly double in only 12 months. However, drastic and discriminatory changes in renewable subsidies to come in effect in May of this year are expected to collapse solar development to 1% of its current level.

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

How climate change will shape New York City in the next 100 years

statue of libery

The most populated city in the United States is already experiencing its fair share of floods, hurricanes and heat waves, but these will only intensify in years to come. According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change by the 2080s there could be an 8.8-degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature from 1980s levels and as many as six heat waves a year or three times as many as in the 1980s. Sea levels could also rise by as much as six feet, pressing the municipality for swift adaptive measures.

Environmental Issues, News

Termites can hold back deserts by creating oases of plant life

Image via Wiki Commons.

We tend to think of termites as pests, but the tiny insects actually play a crucial environmental role, at least in some areas. New research suggests that termite mounds are crucial to stopping the spread of deserts and preserving the vegetation and climate. The results indicate that termite mounds can not only to stop desertification, but also encourage vegetation to expand

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

California lost half its large trees since 1930, steep decline continues

large tree

California’s large trees or those larger than two feet in diameter have declined in numbers to half that recorded in a 1930 census, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The leading cause of the demise is thought to be rising surface temperatures which but high stress on large trees, along with water shortages.

Climate, Environmental Issues, News

Pope Francis to release Climate Change Encyclical urging action against climate change

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, well on his way on becoming the most popular and moderate pope in recent history, is preparing to publish an encyclical on ecology and climate change, urging the world to stop turning their backs on nature. The document is expected to be released in time to be read before the next round of U.N. climate treaty talks in Paris at the end of the year. Of course, Pope Francis’ rather frequent commentaries concerning climate change, toppled by his much anticipated encyclical, has angered climate change skeptics. Critics have been quick to voice that the pope is using religion to front a radical environmental agenda.