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Monarch butterflies, sharks, oh my!

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

The Clim8


Photo Credit: Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via Getty Images

United Nations states that the planet has only 10 months to act on climate goals or it will reach an irreversible point of damage (TIME)

Each of the 197 nations included in the Paris Agreement to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions has an individual national climate action plan (NDC). The NDCs each include plants that were due by the end of 2020, but so far many have yet to be submitted. According to Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change Patricia Espinosa the current climate actions are distant from a trajectory that will lead the nations to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Photo Credit: Polly Alderton via BBC

Naturalist speaks with UN Security Council, declares climate change to be the greatest threat to security (CNN)

In a virtual meeting, Sir David Attenborough spoke to world leaders of the UN Security Council and expressed his fear that climate change poses the worst dangers to global security. He firmly believes that populations that are currently living with the lowest levels of security are now bound to suffer the consequences of climate change.

Photo Credit: Pierre Dutrieux via BAS

As marine seawater temperatures rise, West Antarctica's Getz glaciers melt faster (BBC)

Since 1994, the 14 glaciers, which contribute 10% of Antarctica's contribution to global sea level rise, have lost 315 gigatons of ice. Researchers have labeled the cause of the melting “ocean forcing”, which is the act of warm deep ocean water sinking below the glacier’s surface, and then melting the ice from below. As global temperatures rise, so will those of the oceans, and in turn more ice will melt, leading to flooding and other hazardous effects.

Photo Credit: Angelos Tzortzinis via AFP/Getty

Climate change-induced weak Atlantic Ocean circulation potentially dangerous (The Guardian)

This decreased circulation is part of a phenomenon known as “climate breakdown” and partially due to increased arctic ice melt. Furthermore, this circulation is what fuels the Gulf Stream, the weather system that controls European weather. Thus, changes to the Gulf Stream could also lead to extreme weather events in Europe, as well as rising sea levels on the eastern coast of the United States. Although the Gulf Stream has not yet reached its “tipping point,” if climate change remains unchecked, scientists predict this will happen by the end of the century, when we will experience disastrous consequences.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Blackwell via AP

Less monarch butterflies are hibernating in Mexico each year (CBS News)

As monarch butterflies are on the verge of being classified as an “endangered” species under the Endangered Species Act, they are also facing ramped up deforestation in the groves they go to annually to hibernate. This deforestation, mainly impacting the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, is caused by “clandestine” logging, pest control methods, and extreme wind and rainfall patterns. Climate change is also impacting monarch habits in the US, where milkweed, a plant necessary for monarch reproduction, is dying out due to changing environmental conditions.

Photo Credit: Greg Skomal via AP

Sharks have been found to counteract marine climate change effects (Bangor Daily News)

The study conducted by the Florida International University found that sharks, being top predators, are vital to maintaining the delicate marine ecosystem balance. Sharks are crucial in that they feed on the “grazer” animals, such as turtles and dugongs, that eat away at seagrass, an important canopy organism. This balance applies to all ecosystems: it is important to protect the seemingly harmful predators, as their relationship with other organisms helps to preserve the ecosystem itself, establishing climate “resilience.”

Photo Credit: Takaaki Iwabu via Bloomberg

Bill Gates expresses interest in working with Jeff Bezos to combat climate change (Bloomberg)

Following the Texas freeze, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, hopes to work on combating climate change by funding and supporting a switch to greener products and technologies. Gates believes that partnering with billionaire Jeff Bezos in funding these technologies will make new greener technologies more accessible to the public.

Photo Credit: Altaf Qadri via AP

UN report finds that pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions from varying countries isn’t enough to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord (

Missing pledges from some of the world’s top polluting nations, such as India, China, and the US alarms the UN and gives the public an inaccurate view of the global effort to combat climate change. From the pledges and plans currently received, the world is on track to reduce emissions by less than 1% below 2010’s CO2 levels; to reach the numbers from the Paris agreement, we need to increase that percentage by 4500%.



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