Environment Agency reports that deadly flooding could impact the UK (BBC)
Reflecting on the flooding that occurred in Germany earlier this year, the Environment Agency says that the same will happen to the UK unless they find a way to adapt to volatile weather. The agency reports that even a 2 degree Celsius rise in temperature would have grave consequences for the climate and London’s sea levels. The agency recommends investing in collaborative government-business flood protection, and restoring rainwater retention areas.
Analysts debate the sustainability of plant-based meat (The New York Times)
Plant-based meat companies like Beyond Meat have grown in popularity due to their advertised sustainability and environmental-friendliness. Recently, analysts say that there isn’t enough information to say that Beyond Meat is more sustainable than any major meat processing plants. Major slaughterhouses and meat packing plants are criticized for their significant contributions to methane emissions, but Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods both don’t disclose their water usage or contributions to greenhouse gas emissions at the consumer or operational levels. But, Impossible Foods has defended their environmental impact as beneficial and “massive;” founder Patrick Brown argued that failing to report emission standards doesn’t detract from their other sustainability efforts.
Key aspect of Biden’s climate change agenda may be cut due to opposition (The New York Times)
Democratic senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia has voiced outright opposition to Biden’s clean electricity program. The $150 billion program calls for the urgent replacement of power plants driven by fossil fuels to those fueled by clean energy sources such as wind, solar, and nuclear energy. Senator Manchin is concerned over using taxpayer dollars to fund private companies. West Virginia’s other senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, also vehemently opposes the program, citing the damage that a switch to renewable energy power sources could cause.
American teens fighting climate change (CNBC)
According to a recent survey conducted by Junior Achievement, almost 70% of U.S. teens believe that it is the responsibility of combating climate change falls on individuals, not just world leaders and governments. “We as ... human beings really need to do something about the problem,” said one concerned teen, Haaziq Kazi. It is up to everyone — whether we inherited this Earth or are leaving it to others — even the youth, to do their part in the fight against climate change.
Methane: the overlooked greenhouse gas contributor to climate change (The Guardian)
As climate change continues to impact our environment, focus continues to be placed on the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the climate crisis, there are other factors that have garnered less attention. Methane, another greenhouse gas, is “up to 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, though it breaks down faster,” but hasn’t attracted nearly as much attention as carbon dioxide. Methane has long been an overlooked factor of climate change, even as it’s the primary source of emissions.
Carbon emissions of the world’s 20 richest countries have increased significantly (BBC)
According to a new study, the world’s 20 richest countries have shown a significant increase in carbon emissions during the year 2021. In order to limit such increases in the future, the countries emitting the most carbon dioxide will need to “put ambitious policies into place.” Expectations to implement new policies before the meeting in Glasgow lie on countries like China and India because these policies could significantly contribute to staying below the 1.5 ºC threshold.
Campaign to Clean: EU initiative to clear beaches of trash sees great progress in Portugal (UN News)
Launched in 2017, the UN and European Union’s #EUBeachCleanUp campaign encourages people all over the globe to help keep the planet clean. Throughout the past year, a majority of initiatives under this campaign were held on the beaches of Portugal, which will host the UN Ocean Conference in 2022. 175 Portuguese beaches were cleaned, making up 70% of the total climate action taken by campaigners. Across the planet, campaigners undertook 260 different clean-up initiatives with a focus on protecting sea life. Campaigners removed around 50 tons of trash from EU shorelines.
Slowing the Antarctic ice-shelves’ destruction with ‘glue’ (NASA)
With natural properties that make it stick like glue, mélange, an ice-and-snow rubble mixture, fills cracks between the ice shelves and sticks to the surrounding ice and rock. While it is beneficial in holding together the shelves, the finding that mélange is crucial in preventing ice shelf breakage also implies that the shelves may be splitting at a faster rate than scientists previously believed. Rising air temperatures due to climate warming is causing this ice-shelf behavior, since the air above and the below the glaciers is heating. Scientists are focusing on mélange to help develop their understanding of ice shelf behavior in response to warming, as well as to assist in controlling the pace of the Antarctic ice-shelf breakup.