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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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