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.

Environmental Issues, News

BP’s fine for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will be lower than expected

An oiled Brown Pelican near Grande Isle, Louisiana. Image via Wiki Commons.

A federal judge decided this week that British Petroleum will pay a maximum of $13.7 billion for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, saying that the oil spill was not as extensive as United States officials claimed. The sum is several billions lower than all parties involved were expecting – except for BP, of course.

Environment, Environmental Issues, Pollution

Drugs and Environmental Damage: An Often Undiscussed Truth

deforestation-238472398424-2.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scale

When drugs are imported into the United States, the people responsible aren’t just damaging human lives; they may also be wreaking havoc on the environment. The illegal drug industry is harmful to nature in ways the average person may have never realized; let’s take a look at how this happens.

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

2014 was the 18th year straight warmer than the average in US, probably warmest yet worldwide

hottest year ever 2014

Right now the US is struggling with bone numbing chill, so it might be hard to digest this latest news: 2014 was the 18th straight year to have surpassed average 20th-century US temperatures, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Meanwhile, a preliminary report issued by the Japanese meteorological agency claims 2014 was the warmest year yet worldwide. Final and definite figures concerning this are soon expected to be released by NASA as well.

Environmental Issues, News, Physics

Oceans soak less carbon due to global warming

ocean carbon cycle

Since the mid-XIXth century average global temperatures have risen by ~0.8 degrees Centigrade, yet this figure would have been much higher were it not for the world’s oceans ability to soak up most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. The IPCC estimates that some 90% of the heat trapped by CO2 and methane since the 1970s has been absorbed

Climate, Environmental Issues, News

Finland is warming twice as fast than the rest of the planet

The Lampivaara amethyst mine in Finland. Here, the average winter temperature is around minus 4 C and can drop to minus 30 C. Image: Pajaratorio Flickr

Finnish researchers analyzed meteorological data gathered over the past 166 years and found the country’s average monthly temperatures have increased by more than 2 degrees Celsius. Over the same period, the rest of the planet has warmed by only 0.8 degrees C on average. Overall, Finland and other sub-Arctic countries are warming at double the rate of the world’s global

Environment, Environmental Issues, News

Children are cleaning up an oil spill in Bangladesh – with their bare hands

All the locals, men, women and children alike are cleaning the spill with their bare hands.

On 9 December 2014 an oil spill occurred at the Sela river of Sundarbans, Bangladesh, a UNESCO World Heritage site. An oil tanker named Southern Star VII, carrying 350,000 litres of oil was sunk in the river after it had been hit by a cargo vessel. Neither the state owned oil company (Padma Oil Company) nor the government itself has shown any

Environmental Issues, News, Nutrition

84% of American Vegetarians Relapse after one Year

People are starting to understand that you can have a healthy vegetarian diet so many are switching to vegetarianism. However, at least in America, most of them relapse after only one year. Image via Always Foodie.

A study conducted on 11,000 Americans found that the vast majority of vegetarians relapse totally or partially after only one year. A third of them relapse after only three months. Vegetarianism is the practice of intentional abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal), as well as any other byproducts obtained through

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Australia might set the stage for failed climate change talks in Paris next year

Smoke rises from a thermal power station in Sofia, Bulgaria. Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO

Australia’s Abbott government has been accused of intentionally taking measures that might lead to an international greenhouse gas emission target in Paris, next year. Australian leaders are keen on insisting there should be a binding legal agreement between the countries that agree to the action, arguing that in lack of such a internationally enforceable framework the agreement would lack credibility.