Catastrophic Peruvian oil spill harms seals, birds, fish, livelihoods (Reuters)
A major oil spill clean-up near Lima, Peru will take until the end of February, after a deemed environmental ‘catastrophe’ by the government. A large number of dead animals, across different species, have washed up drenched in oil. Fishing activity in the area has been suspended, and Repsol has brought fishermen to assist in the oil clean-up.
"I used to collect crustaceans, but now, when I walk to the shore, they are dead," fisherman Walter de la Cruz said. "Fishermen used to go sell the seafood that we collect. But now everything smells like death."
Fake banana appears in Ethiopia, sparking hope for the future (BBC)
A plant virtually unknown outside of Ethiopia, the enset, has the potential to feed more than 100 million people in the years to come. This banana-like superfood, used to make bread and porridges in Ethiopia, could be used to address issues such as food insecurity and sustainable development in our warming world. Although current wild relatives of the enset are not considered edible, these relatives have been found growing as far south as South Africa, indicating that the enset can be cultivated in regions much beyond Ethiopia. “[The enset has] got some really unusual traits that make it absolutely unique as a crop,” he said. “You plant it at any time, you harvest it at any time and it’s perennial. That’s why they call it the tree against hunger,” Dr. James Borrell, study researcher of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said.
Moroccans across the globe stand up in the fight against climate change (UN News)
The United Nations team has launched a new campaign in Morocco called “From Milan to Glasgow: Moroccan Youth Leaders in the Spotlight,” empowering youth to stand up in the fight against climate change. The activists featured in this campaign are entrepreneurs, coordinators, businesspeople, and students. Morocco itself is currently one of the few countries poised to meet the global goal of keeping warming to a maximum of 1.5 ℃. According to Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, theUnited Nations Resident Coordinator in Morocco, the new campaign is a “bet on the importance of partnering with Moroccan youth invested in climate issues.”
Winter Olympic Games threatened by warming temperatures due to climate change (NPR)
Until global greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced, climate change threatens the future of the Winter Olympic Games, as their locations might be too warm to host the events. With less snow due to warmer weather, there has been more reliance on man-made snow, but as this snow tends to act as a “faster surface,” it has also caused lots of injuries to athletes. With temperatures only growing warmer, “there may come a point when outdoor games may have to move indoors or be held at a different time of year altogether in order to accommodate higher temperatures.”
West Coast at risk of worse blackouts as weather events become more extreme (Yahoo News)
As climate change continues to cause more extreme weather events, the West Coast is expected to experience more frequent blackouts. Researchers found that these blackouts are more likely to occur during the summer or early fall due to California’s extreme heat and demand for air conditioning. With West Coast states having interconnected power grids, Washington and Oregon can also expect to be affected by these blackouts.
Michigan’s governor announces goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 (The Hill)
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a drafted plan to make the state of Michigan carbon neutral by 2050. Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy set two smaller goals, 28 percent reduction by 2025 and 52 percent reduction by 2030, to reduce greenhouse gas emission. The plan intends to follow Biden's Justice 40 executive order, phase out coal-powered electricity by 2035, invest in renewable energy, and create green public transport systems.
Fossil fuel subsidies: bad for the climate, but it’s complicated (CNN)
While reducing or eliminating fossil fuel subsidies would lower greenhouse gas emission and discourage energy overconsumption, it would also cause political unrest and put more economic pressure on the most disadvantaged groups. In countries where the public holds deep distrust in their government, protest and violence may also ensue. India, Indonesia, Yemen, Jordan, Ecuador, and Kazakhstan have all had waves of protests after cutting fuel subsidies and many governments felt pressured to reverse the cuts. If countries want to start cutting fuel subsidies, careful and early planning is required.
An Icy Snowscape Turned Grassy Plain: As the Arctic melts, its color is changing (The Guardian)
In northern Norway, whose entire land mass makes up almost half of the Arctic territory, trees are quickly dominating the tundra and creating danger for the life system that requires snow and ice. The white landscape of the Arctic is turning green, as the region’s treeline is advancing towards the North Pole due to global warming. Previously, the trees would move forward a few centimeters each year, but now they are moving northwards roughly 40 to 50 meters a year.