Harmful fishing practices found to emit as much carbon dioxide as all air travel worldwide (The New York Times)
Bottom trawling, a practice used to catch large amounts of fish near the ocean floor, could be a detrimental practice in the global fight against climate change, says a study published last Wednesday. Overfishing not only endangers species but also releases large amounts of carbon that is stored on the seafloor. Conserving larger parts of the ocean floor from fishing may be a solution to increasing carbon storage and fostering marine biodiversity.
Internal documents reveal fossil fuel companies knew about air pollution’s effect on health approximately 50 years ago (The Guardian)
The Guardian gained access to documents and internal memos from the oil industry indicating that oil companies were aware that the air pollution they create could have adverse effects on human health. Companies in the fossil fuel industry such as Shell, Imperial Oil, and Exxon allegedly warned in early reports that air pollution caused by cars could cause lung damage and a difficulty in breathing. In addition, the excerpts from public documents tend to show fossil fuel companies undermining the science behind air pollution, brushing off environmental effects in order to conduct business as usual.
Agricultural systems are facing natural disasters three times more often than in the 70’s (UN News)
The intensity, complexity and frequency of natural disasters and biological threats to agriculture and food systems in the past year are unprecedented. These extreme weather events have the most detrimental and lasting impacts on the agricultural sectors of developing countries and their economies. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization also found that the pandemic, droughts, fires, and locust swarms threaten food security, hugely impacting the nutritional wellbeing of entire regions.
Coral reefs face extinction as effect of global warming amplify (UN News)
The reefs, which sustain over a quarter of all marine life, are at critical risk of disappearing as global ocean temperatures rise and bleach the coral. A predicted 90 percent of all coral reefs will be destroyed by 2050, devastating ecosystems that depend on their support. UN agencies are currently assisting the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) hopes to establish stronger conservation efforts and aims to endorse companies that will advance the economy without damaging coral reefs.
Developers are building zero net energy 3-D printed homes (CNN)
The first 3-D printed neighborhood in the U.S. is being developed in Southern California by the Palari Group. The eco-friendly housing community will contain 15 homes on a five-acre plot of land near Palm Springs. Between the 3D printing, which produces less waste than wood frame construction, solar power and sustainably sourced materials that are non-printable, the homes conserve a large amount of energy and material. The homes, which feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a swimming pool, will have a starting price of $595,000.
How our oceans are being affected by climate change (NPR)
As the earth’s oceans grow warmer, their shifting temperatures affect animal migration patterns, such as those of the great white shark, lobster, and fish. The water itself is also getting more acidic due to increased carbon dioxide absorption. Many are hopeful the Biden administration will work with urgency towards protecting the ocean, so that it might eventually protect us against climate change.
The environmental benefits of feeding cows seaweed (Koin News)
Scientists have found that feeding cows seaweed drastically reduces their methane emissions (from burps and flatulence). This is due to the fact that seaweed contains Asparagopsis taxiformis, which can hinder the methane naturally produced by the bacterium in cows’ stomachs. Furthermore, studies have found the efficiency of the Asparagopsis taxiformis does not wane over time, nor does the seaweed affect the quality, taste, or rate of output of their milk.
US and China vow to work together to combat climate change (VOA News)
Top officials from these two countries met this past week in Alaska to discuss global issues and what their relationship will look like going forward (considering the recent change of American presidency). Although US-China relations arguably worsened over the past 4 years of the Trump administration, both US and China reporting agencies seem hopeful that there were amicable negotiations at the recent meetings. Although the US and China differ when it comes to several key issues, such as the status of Taiwan and Hong Kong, they have agreed to put aside these differences and work together towards a cleaner Earth.