Author: Stanlee

Research will analyze the impact of anthropogenic noise in three points in Chile

impact of anthropogenic noise in Chile

The idea is to quantify the noise caused by human beings in the underwater ecosystem of three key points in the country, and to evaluate how it could affect the physiology of planktonic organisms.

In recent years, interest in knowing the impact on the underwater soundscape has increased, specifically since it affects the biological activity of living beings and their ecosystem. Due to this, its care has begun to increase, including it as a new axis in the management plans in the marine protected areas. Under this premise, the research entitled “Underwater sound landscape of three locations on the Chilean coast: effect of anthropogenic noise on zooplankton” is carried out. The study is the thesis project of Victor Molina, student of the Master in Marine Ecology of the Faculty of Sciences of the Catholic University of the Santísima Concepción (UCSC). The academic Dr. Iván Hinojosa is his thesis director and also has the participation of Dr. Susana Buchan from COPAS Coastal.

Victor Molina student of the Master in Marine Ecology of UCSC
Victor Molina, student of the Master in Marine Ecology of the Faculty of Sciences of the Catholic University of the Santísima Concepción (UCSC)

Marine bioacoustics is a relatively new area of ​​study, however, more information on soundscapes is lacking. “In the last 20 years, it has been understood that sound does play a fundamental role in the sea, since before the perception of the sea was of a silent environment, and it is quite the opposite. Anthropogenic noise interacts with acoustic signals and one of these effects is that animals cannot perceive them and affect their communication, for example”, commented Víctor Molina regarding the context of the investigation.

Reality in Chile

The objective of the study is to know how this noise would affect the physiological activities of organisms. Through hydrophones, three strategic points will be considered: Chañaral Island, Puñihuil (north of Chiloé) and the Gulf of Corcovado. “These are very productive areas, there is a lot of zooplankton. When there is abundance, there is a greater presence of all the individuals that feed on it. In addition, in these places there are anthropogenic activities that are contrasted,” he explained. In this way, there is a presence of artisanal fishing, tourism, outboard motors, maritime traffic or merchant vessels in these three points. Thus, a representative sample will be obtained and the impact of the different sound sources can be compared.

Regarding the study methodology, the noises were studied through hydrophones, during the year 2018. Through passive acoustic monitoring, these hydrophones are installed and configured to record the sound, in this case, 10 minutes every hour. “In this way, we have a representative sample of each hour and of the whole day and finally, of the whole year. We want to see what activity patterns there are in whales, shrimp clicks and anthropogenic noise. Find out if they are more abundant at night or during the day, for example. The same if it changes during the seasons of the year”, complemented the student of the Master in Marine Ecology UCSC.

Another of the expected results is to find out how long the landscape is free of anthropogenic sound. Also, know the impact of this noise on the physiology of the zooplankton. In addition, emphasize the relevance of establishing public policies for the care of the acoustic landscape, in terms of protected marine areas.

It would be the first work to describe the soundscape on continental coasts and the potential effect of anthropogenic noise on planktonic organisms.

The Great Salt Lake is drying up

Great Salt Lake

In the midst of a severe drought, water levels at Utah’s famous Great Salt Lake have dropped to their lowest level on record. This fell below the previous lowest level of October 2021.

The lake is in a difficult state, says rancher Joel Ferry. It’s the worst drought in 1,200 years. The water level is historically low. It’s likely to hit a new all-time low this summer. “We’re on the Titanic, sailing and trying to avoid the iceberg.”

Since the 1980s, the Great Salt Lake has shrunk by more than two-thirds to just under 1,600 square kilometers today. Where there used to be water, there is now a grey-brown hard-packed surface. Scientist Kevin Perry warns that the drained lake bed is tough. “The lake could become one of the largest sources of dust in North America. The ecosystem is on the brink of collapse.”

Heavy metals washed into the lake

For many years, the mountains of Utah were mined for metals and minerals. The Jordan, Weber and Bear rivers have carried vast amounts of toxic substances such as antimony, copper, zirconium and other heavy metals into the Great Salt Lake. Scientists warn that a time bomb is ticking in the Great Salt Lake. John Perry of Utah State University warns that the crust of the former lake bed, which has dried out, will gradually erode and release dangerous substances. “We’re concerned that particles from the bottom of the lake are getting into people’s lungs. That’s even more of our concern because it contains potentially dangerous arsenic.”

A lot of water goes to the agricultural sector

In planted regions, arid Utah resembles a Garden of Eden with Gardening and farming. The precious water for this comes mainly from the three rivers that feed the lake. Almost 80 percent of the water is used in agriculture.

In summer it gets hot in the bone-dry state of Utah, often quite hot. The humidity is low. Without artificial irrigation, in many places little or nothing would grow.

Salt Lake City likes it green

Planted areas, parks and front gardens in the city: Salt Lake City and its citizens love it green. That has consequences.

Utah’s city dwellers use the highest per capita water in the United States, complains Zachary Frankel. He is a director of the Utah Rivers Council. On average, people in Utah use over 300 liters more water per capita and day than, for example, residents of Denver (US state of Colorado), says Frankel. Water consumption is growing rapidly because Salt Lake City, with around 2.5 million inhabitants today, is too continues to grow rapidly. According to Frankel, saving water is not an option for many. “You’ll see water-filled gutters, people using a hose instead of a broom to clean their driveways. They water while it’s raining. It’s all because we have the lowest water prices in the United States.

“Water prices are highly subsidized. Higher water prices in one of the driest states in the United States are no excuse for conserving water.

Reduced precipitation

Water use plays a major role in the drying up of the Great Salt Lake. Even more important are declining and absent precipitation. Depending on the region, the annual average is 20 to 120 cm a year.

Most of the water comes as meltwater from the Wasatch mountain range, which is more than 3000 meters high. But the snowfall is noticeably decreasing, says climatologist Robert Gillies from Utah State University. “Due to the warmer climate, rain falls instead of snow. And due to higher temperatures, the snow melts two to three weeks earlier in spring.”

In the past four years, the amount of snow has fallen to about 80 percent of the average of previous years, says climate researcher Gillies. The reason for this: Less water evaporates from the shrinking lake to form clouds. In the mountains, the moisture then falls as snow.

In addition, due to the higher temperatures in spring, more water evaporates when the snow melts than before. As a result, less meltwater gets into the rivers and ultimately into the lake. The water cycle is like a downward spiral.

What will become of the migratory birds

Less water in the salty lake also means that the salinity increases. Robert Gillies warns that this will have a significant impact on flora and fauna. Because the lake serves as a resting place for around 10 million migratory birds because there is water and food there – especially brine shrimp.

“These shrimp depend on algae. As the sea decreases, the salinity increases. If the salinity exceeds 17 percent, the algae cannot survive, and with it, the brine shrimp will decrease as well.”

Pessimists fear that the critical 17 percent salinity mark could be reached as early as this summer. When the algae die, the shrimp die. The many birds will no longer find enough food. You won’t find anything better or different than the Great Salt Lake within hundreds of miles.

Iceland aims to end whaling by 2024

Iceland aims to end whaling by 2024

Iceland’s government has announced that it will no longer permit whaling by 2024. The reason is the lack of demand from the main customer Japan: The country had allowed the controversial practice again in 2019.

The Icelandic government wants to end the controversial whaling in 2024. This was announced by Fisheries Minister Svandis Svavarsdottir. The catch quotas that apply until 2023 should not be extended. The politician from the left-green movement referred to falling demand.

“Unless there are developments to the contrary, there will be little reason to authorize whaling after 2024,” wrote Svavarsdottir in an article for the Morgunbladid newspaper. “There is little evidence that there is any economic benefit to practicing this activity.” Therefore, the quotas should not be extended.

Iceland, Norway and Japan currently allow whaling

Iceland is one of three whaling countries, the other two being Norway and Japan. The hunt for marine mammals has long been criticized by animal rights activists.

Iceland currently has a quota that runs until 2023, according to which 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales can be killed per summer. However, there has been virtually no commercial hunting in Iceland in the past three years, with just one whale taken.

The reason is massive sales difficulties on the Japanese market, the main buyer of whale meat. This allowed hunting whales again in 2019. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) welcomed the news. “It’s a fantastic announcement,” said Andreas Dinkelmeyer, campaign manager at IFAW.

Net zero delivery by 2050 could be on the agenda pretty soon

Despite pressure from nongovernmental organizations and governments, shipping could get closer to zero emissions by 2050 instead of the original goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent. In its latest weekly report, Ship Broker Gibson reported that “Last Friday’s long-awaited Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78) meeting at the IMO concluded. The focus was on advancing IMO policy to develop an effective greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction strategy to be approved at the 80th MEPC in 2023. There is support among most member states for the IMO to begin setting more ambitious goals and policies that will be the focus of upcoming IMO meetings. However, environmental and industry groups have criticized the CPMS for failing to gain unanimous support among all members. They emphasize the relative decarbonization rates proposed by the IMO and the ability of shipping to stay in line with the 1.5°C target agreed to in the Paris Climate Agreement. This will only add to the pressure of subsequent IMO meetings to develop a plan to achieve adequate decarbonization while ensuring a fair transition that can garner broad support from member states.”

According to Gibson, “In terms of what has been achieved, two things stand out. First, there seems to be support for the goal of zero carbon by 2050, not just a 50% reduction in emissions. The technical guidelines for the EEXI, CII and SEEMP rules have been finalized and adopted for future implementation. These will be critical in determining the trajectory of industry emissions through 2050. Several environmental groups are advocating for changing the trajectory to zero emissions by 2040 and halving emissions by 2030; although this does not seem to be on the IMO agenda at this time, given the challenges of achieving such reductions and the lack of support from some member states. Thus, it seems likely that these measures will be approved at the 80th session of the CPMC, where life-cycle emissions guidelines are also likely to be agreed.”

The shipbroker added that “secondly, the proposal for a Sulfur Emission Control Area (SECA) in the Mediterranean has been approved for adoption at the 79th session of the CPMS in December 2022. This would require the use of bunker fuels with no more than 0.1% sulfur content, such as a low-sulfur MGO or scrubber system for ships trading or passing through the Mediterranean Sea. If there are no delays, the Mediterranean SECA could be implemented as early as 2025. It is also worth noting that the likely inclusion of shipping in the EU ETS beginning in 2023 will add an additional level of complexity and cost in addition to the already high rise bunker. Prices.”

Gibson also noted that “another notable aspect of MEPC 78 was the rejection of the International Chamber of Shipping’s (ICS) proposal for a $5 billion decarbonization research and development fund that would have provided a market-based approach to reducing shipping’s carbon emissions. The plan focused on a mandatory fee of $2 per ton of bunker fuel that would have funded zero-emission technology and received support from most major shipping organizations. That would have helped facilitate widespread adoption of the new technology, though its rejection demonstrates IMO’s reluctance to be responsible for the management and oversight of such a scheme.

“As the market awaits the adoption of MEPC 79-80, many will now refine their plans to achieve compliance with the proposed IMO rules, especially with respect to CII and EEXI. MEPC 78 gives owners an indication that IMO is now more committed to reducing the industry’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and is unlikely to be relaxed by some member states given the broad support for specific actions both inside and outside the shipping industry. “, summarized the shipowner.

Earth’s Future: Climatologists in three countries find out why round cities are worse for living than square and triangular ones

Climate scientists from Hong Kong, China and the United States have found out in cities of what shape, square, round or triangular, have more precipitation. Earth’s Future reports on the findings of a team led by Jiachuan Yang of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The scientists used a model of weather research and forecasting developed at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. The area of imaginary cities was the same – on 400 square kilometers.

As a result, it turned out that in round cities precipitation falls more often and their intensity is higher. This effect was more pronounced for coastal cities, which averaged 22% more precipitation than cities that were farther from the seashore. In addition, the morning peak rainfall intensity is 78% higher in circular cities than in triangular cities.

Studies like these are not just mind games. Their results will come in handy in the future, when already built and newly designed cities may be at risk of flooding due to global warming.

Experts warn that urgent action is needed to protect the world’s coral reefs from extinction within three decades.

An international group of environmental scientists has published a series of important recommendations to protect, conserve and study the world’s coral reefs, the “canaries in the coal mine” of climate change.

An international group of environmental scientists has published a series of important recommendations to protect, conserve and study the world’s coral reefs – the “canaries in the coal mine” of climate change.

The Living Oceans Initiative presented its white paper on the future of vulnerable and important habitats at Thursday’s “Our Oceans” conference in Palau.

Drawing on the expertise of universities and wildlife conservation groups from around the world, including the University of Leicester, the group offers six key recommendations aimed at promoting the “sustainability and survival” of coral reefs.

Projections show that coral reef ecosystems around the world–the key to a vast array of marine species and a source of food, livelihood and cultural heritage for half a billion people–could functionally degrade by 2050 if the goals of the Paris Agreement are not met.

Even with drastic reductions in emissions to keep global warming from exceeding pre-industrial levels by 1.5°C, up to 90 percent of the world’s corals could disappear in the next three decades, leaving behind a reef structure that will lose many of its functions. .

Jens Zinke is a professor of paleobiology at the University of Leicester, whose research examines large coral habitats to track environmental and climate changes over the past three centuries to the present. Speaking about the report he co-authored, Professor Zinke said:

“Coral reefs are the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ when it comes to detecting ecosystems under stress from warming oceans due to climate change. Corals can sense when ocean temperatures exceed a dangerous threshold and warn us when we need to take action.

“Our research has shown that coral reefs have been hit hard by ocean warming over the past three to four decades, but in some reef locations the rate of warming is lower or they are benefiting from mitigating circumstances because of local oceanography.

“Some reefs have the ability to resist or recover from heat stress faster than others, and these reefs may serve as refuges for future warming. It’s an important new line of research to find these places and protect them before they disappear.”

In 2018, the Vibrant Oceans group identified 50 reefs that are most likely to withstand and survive climate change. The habitats are mostly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with additional reefs in the Caribbean and eastern Africa.

Previously, the 50 reefs were mostly selected in areas that avoided climate change. Now scientists are calling for an expanded reef portfolio to include sustainable and rapidly recovering reefs.

The group’s latest recommendations, presented in a white paper, “Predicting Climate Reserves for the Future of Coral Reefs,” include:

Continuing the “50 Reefs” approach as “climate change mitigation refuges” as a priority for investments in coral reef conservation.
Expansion of the 50 Reefs Climate Conservation portfolio for coral and coral protection.
Increased support for regional 50 Reefs portfolio condition assessments and sustainable finance initiatives to support regional portfolio implementation.
Increased large-scale, data-driven coral reef monitoring efforts to test and develop new climate reserve models and projections.
Using the latest climate coral reef science to guide investments, especially as climate change impacts accelerate and trigger new ecological stresses and responses among reefs.
Using a far-reaching approach to managing 50 reef sites, including linkages to broader seascapes, managing fisheries and water quality, mitigating other stressors (e.g., industrial development) so that effective and equitable management has measurable benefits for coral reefs. and coastal communities.
” Predicting Climate Reserves for the Future of Coral Reefs ” is available in full from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Funding partners for the initial Vibrant Oceans study are Bloomberg Philanthropies , and partners for ongoing conservation work are Oceans 5, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

Conservation partners are WCS, Rare, The Nature Conservancy, Blue Ventures, and the Ecosystem Conservation Partnership Fund.

Glacier melting has slowed in the Arctic

Climatologists have found that Arctic sea ice has shrunk to a mark of 4.81 million square kilometres over the summer of this year. This is significantly less than typical reductions in their size over the past decade.

“The slow melting of the ice is due to the long existence of a low atmospheric pressure zone in the Central Arctic. This has prevented warm air currents from entering the region in June and July. In turn, in August, a high-pressure zone emerged over the European part of the Arctic, causing temperatures in the neighbouring Beaufort Sea to drop two to three degrees below normal,” says Alfred Wegener Institute researcher Monika Ionita-Sztoltz.

Due to global warming, the size of the Arctic ice cap has been gradually shrinking over the past two or three decades. With a combination of certain weather and climatic factors, these processes are accelerating, resulting in new winter and summer records for ice area reduction.

Especially often in the last 10-15 years, such events have been recorded by NASA satellites and other leading space agencies of the world. For example, the area of Arctic glaciation sharply decreased in the summers of 2007, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. On the other hand, these warming episodes are often accompanied by colder seasons, with the result that average Arctic sea ice extent sometimes increases rather than decreases.

Something similar, as Scholz and her colleagues point out, occurred this year as a result of a dramatic slowdown in ice melt during the Arctic summer, which was particularly characteristic of the polar ice cap around the coasts of Russia’s Taimyr, Novaya Zemlya, the Novosibirsk Islands, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

In many of these regions, summer started unexpectedly late and lasted 20-30 days less than usual due to a change in the pattern of movement of Arctic air masses in June-August this year. As a result, the area of ice in September this year shrank to 4.81 million square kilometres, a third more than in 2012, when the ice cap shrank to its minimum size.

That increase, researchers say, does not mean the Arctic ice cap has begun to recover. Its current extent is about half that of typical values for 1980 and 1990, with the increase in size falling within the typical fluctuations in summer ice cap extent typical of the past 40 years.

In addition, scientists have recorded significant reductions in the thickness and extent of multiyear sea ice, which is less vulnerable to the effects of high summer temperatures than its annual counterparts. Climatologists suggest that the unique features of this past Arctic summer will not be repeated during the next season, causing the area of the northern ice cap to continue to shrink rapidly.

Killer Heat: Global Warming Victims Count in the Tens of Thousands

Hundreds of people killed by Canada’s record-breaking heat wave have added to the list of victims of global warming, which claims tens and, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of lives every year. The heat kills even more people indirectly: drought in poor agrarian countries prevents a good harvest, leading to food shortages, rising prices and generally intensifying the struggle for resources, which often turns into armed confrontation. Scientists warn that extreme weather events caused by climate change could turn much of the land into scorched desert or even make the planet uninhabitable in decades to come.

The heat, the heat.

The first summer month of 2021 set new temperature records, not only in heat-weary Canada, but also in Northern and Eastern Europe (including central Russia), as well as in northeastern Siberia and some Asian countries.

June was the hottest June on record in North America, according to Copernicus, a European program that tracks long-term climate change. In Europe, it ranked “honorably” second.

In Canada alone, extreme weather has caused at least several hundred deaths. More accurately, the number of victims can only be calculated retrospectively, since many heat-related deaths add to the sad statistics belatedly, when the total excess mortality is calculated.

For example, the fact that about 70,000 people in Europe died from the extreme heat in the summer of 2003 became known only five years later. The initial estimates were much more modest: about 30 thousand deaths.

One of the main reasons of unprecedented hot summer of 2021, according to unanimous opinion of experts, was a global warming, i.e. heating of atmosphere as a result of greenhouse effect.

“There is absolutely no doubt that climate change played a key role here,” Frederike Otto, a professor at Oxford University’s Institute of Environmental Change, said at a press conference.

Heat doesn’t kill as visibly as other natural disasters – like hurricanes or tsunamis – but is often just as effective, she said.

“People rarely drop dead in the middle of the street,” she notes. – They die quietly in their homes, from poor insulation and lack of air conditioning.

Tens of thousands of victims

There are a number of studies that directly link heat-related deaths to climate change and estimate the magnitude of the catastrophe. According to recent estimates, had it not been for global warming, there would have been more than half as many victims of extreme heat.

At the end of May, the journal Nature published an article devoted to the influence of high temperatures on the death rate from any causes in different regions of the world. The authors of the large-scale study – 70 climatologists and epidemiologists from 43 countries – concluded that human-caused global warming was responsible for 37 percent of all heat-related deaths. And in some countries, like Colombia and Ecuador, the proportion exceeds three-quarters.

When we consider that more than 160,000 people died from heat waves between 1998 and 2017, according to the WHO, we are talking about tens of thousands of people who could have survived if not for the increasing climate change.

Other studies cite even more impressive figures. For example, the Lancet report states that during roughly the same period of time, extreme heat took about 300,000 lives only in the older age group (over 65). If all temperature cataclysms caused by climate change are taken into account, then, according to some estimates, over 5 million people become their victims every year.

The map drawn up by scientists clearly shows that regions closer to the equator, such as Thailand, Brazil, or Peru, are particularly hard hit by the unbearable heat.

According to Tip Palmer, professor of atmospheric physics at Oxford University, this is not surprising at all. The dreaded June heat wave in Canada and eastern Europe pales in comparison to the hellish heat waves that are increasingly common as summer temperatures rise in tropical and subtropical countries.

“Not only the heat, but also the humidity reaches such levels that the human body is simply not able to sustain life under such conditions,” he warns. – We have to admit that in the developing world the hot periods will not even compare to what we have seen in Canada. Extreme weather will manifest itself there much more intensely and will claim many more lives.”

Research done at Oxford University, Professor Palmer continues, clearly demonstrates that in high atmospheric pressure conditions, even a relatively small natural increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can lead to a temperature increase of several degrees in just a couple of weeks. And in extremely hot weather, this could well prove critical.

Tired of the Sun

Heat not only kills directly, but also indirectly – and much more effectively, since humans are actively helping it to do so.

In poor agrarian countries, the slow but steady rise in average temperatures increasingly leads to drought, drought to crop failure, and crop failure to famine. Under such conditions, the struggle for resources intensifies, which sooner or later inevitably leads to conflicts.

Research conducted in 2018 provides compelling evidence of a causal link between climate change and the rise of conflicts, as well as mass migration from regions affected by natural disasters caused by rising temperatures. In particular, drought was at least one of the main causes of the Arab Spring, the mass protests that took place in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and other countries in 2010-2012. In many of these countries, popular uprisings resulted in the overthrow of the incumbent authorities.

In particular, the study looks in detail at the situation in Syria, where a prolonged drought and shortage of fresh water led to several consecutive years of very poor harvests in the country. The rural population, impoverished as a result, began to leave in increasing numbers to work in the cities, which were not prepared for such a massive influx of migrants.

Soon unemployment and housing shortages rose as expected. Against the backdrop of continuing inflation (largely caused by the drought and food shortages), dissatisfaction with the policies of the authorities, who were unable to resolve the crisis, began to grow in the country. As a result, mass demonstrations turned into a revolution, which, in turn, escalated into a full-scale civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

According to the latest data (as of December 2020), in less than 10 years of fighting in Syria, almost half a million people have died (almost a third of them civilians), more than 200,000 more are missing.

According to the same study, the mass exodus of refugees from conflict-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East is also at least partly due to long-term climate change.

Planet Sahara

Yet current models of climate change for the coming decades make bleak predictions.

According to one such study, if now the average annual temperature that most people of the world are accustomed to varies from 11 to 15° Celsius, in 50 years almost a third of the world’s population will live in regions where this figure will exceed 29° Celsius.

Today, less than 1% of the land is under such climatic conditions – mostly the hottest spots of the Sahara Desert. However, if scientists’ forecasts are correct, by 2070 this temperature regime will prevail in almost a fifth of the land.

Whether humanity will be able to survive in such conditions in principle is a big question, say the authors of the article “The Future of the human climate niche” – an international team of researchers working in Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, USA, China, Japan and Uruguay.

The fact is that our ancestors for thousands of years lived in a relatively narrow “temperature niche” where the average annual temperature does not exceed 15 degrees, the authors explain. Under such climatic conditions, the physiology of modern man has formed at least the last 6000 thousand years, and it is to them that our bodies are best adapted.

The steady rise in temperature threatens to destroy this temperature niche. And this, according to scientists, will inevitably lead to disaster.

“Global warming will have a significant impact on entire ecosystems,” the paper’s authors warn, “and will also seriously affect human health, life support systems, food security, water supplies, and economic growth in general.

Simply put, in such a climate mankind will not be able to feed itself and provide sufficient water. To say nothing of the fact that heat contributes to the widespread spread of infections, which will become much more difficult to treat.

In general, scientists summarize, if the planet continues to heat up at the same rate as now, in a few decades we risk finding ourselves in conditions that are simply uninhabitable.

“If We’re Lucky.”

Sir Brian Hoskins, professor at University College London and founder of the Institute of Climate Change and the Environment, is seriously concerned that in some regions reality may be far worse than any forecast.

“Climate models describe the future we will find ourselves in if we are lucky. And the estimates they make may be too conservative,” he warns.

Adopted five years ago, the Paris climate agreement tries to keep the increase in average annual global temperatures within 1.5-2° compared to the pre-industrial period. However, experts say that these figures should be interpreted very carefully.

The fact is that the aforementioned 1.5-2° is, as they say, the average hospital temperature. In reality, however, the heating of the planet is extremely uneven, and the land areas heat up much faster than the surface of the ocean.

In England, for example, the average temperature of the calendar summer (from June to August) for the last 100 years has already increased by 2-3°. And several cities in Canada and the northwestern United States recorded temperatures in June that exceeded last years’ records by 5° at once.

If the calculations of British scientists are correct and by 2070 the planet will warm up by “only” 3° on average, then on land our usual average annual temperatures will increase by about 7.5°.

For today a lot of lives are saved by air conditioners, providing inhabitants of hot countries with life-giving coolness. But in the long term we should not hope for this option.

Firstly, air conditioners rather strongly pollute the atmosphere – the same carbon dioxide, the greenhouse effect of which warms up the planet even more. And secondly, their work requires a lot of electricity, and in hot weather, power grids often fail and burn down – and as average temperatures rise, this will happen more and more often.

Meanwhile, the planet is getting hotter and hotter. According to recent studies, the snow and ice cover of the Earth is reduced by almost 90 thousand square kilometers annually, which is twice the area of the whole of Estonia and comparable to the territory of Azerbaijan.

Where the water is still frozen in winter, this is happening every year later – and the ice is melting earlier in the spring. Because of this, from 1979 to 2016, the world has already lost an average of about ten days of “winter:

Not surprisingly, one of the authors of the Climate Change Act 2008 in Britain, Baroness Worthington, does not rule out that the point of no return is about to be passed and it will not be possible to find a way out of the current climate crisis.

“If we used to say that scientists were worried about the situation, they’re not anymore,” she says. – Now they’re scared as hell in earnest.”

MHI Explores Zero Carbon Marine Fuel Conversion

A project led by the McKinney Möller Marine Center for Carbon-Free Transportation

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has launched a project to assess the viability of converting existing vessels to be carbon-free.

The technical, financial and environmental assessments will be carried out mainly by the two companies of the Group – Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment Co., Ltd. – as part of a project led by the Mrsk Mc-Kinney Møller for Zero Carbon Shipping Center. , a research institute established to promote the decarbonization of the maritime industry, in which MHI is a founding partner.

The MHI Group, as part of its energy transition growth strategy, is partnering with other strategic partners at the center to create a global zero-carbon vehicle fleet. The company said that by refining a roadmap for converting existing fossil-fueled ships to zero-carbon ships and identifying emerging issues, the project aims to reduce investment risks associated with ships.

The project will conduct technical safety assessments for future solutions, including retrofitting existing container ships, tankers and other existing vessels to ships fueled by ammonia, methanol and other decarbonated fuels. In addition, a financial assessment will be made of fuel conversion costs, technology investments, fuel costs and associated shipping costs, etc .; and the environmental assessment will be based on the estimated cost-effectiveness of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the life of the vessel.

Besides MHI, other strategic partners of the project include: AP Møller – Mærsk A / S, one of the leading international shipping companies in the world; American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); MAN Energy Solutions, a longtime manufacturer of large diesel engines; Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line); Seaspan Corp., the world’s leading independent owner and operator of container ships; and Total SA, a group of oil, gas and other energy companies.

The new project, which follows an earlier project to develop guidelines for the safe use of ammonia as a marine fuel, will pave different paths towards decarbonising the maritime shipping industry, the company said.

Shipping currently accounts for about 3% of the world’s carbon emissions, and as other industries take steps to decarbonize, this percentage is likely to increase over the next few decades. Going forward, the MHI Group will apply the accumulated technology and expertise in the field of ships and marine engines and, working with its project partners to address the identified problems, will focus on achieving decarbonization of maritime logistics to help reduce environmental impact on a global scale.

Flatulence in cows has a detrimental effect on climate change

Flatulence in cows has a detrimental effect on climate change

Livestock produces significant greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for up to 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the respiration of animals, carbon dioxide is produced, and the intense flatulence accompanying digestion leads to a significant release of methane, which is much more dangerous than CO2. Methane emissions can vary depending on the breed of the cow and environmental conditions. On average, one cow produces 250 to 500 liters of methane daily.

It was suggested to solve the problem of climate change by combating flatulence in cows. Mootral, from Switzerland and the UK, offered their solution to the problem of climate change. The startup has developed a special food for cows with garlic and citrus fruits, which is designed to fight flatulence. As a consequence, this will lead to a decrease in emissions of methane, which is harmful to the atmosphere.
Mootral hopes this will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent. The company has launched a compensation program: a certified farmer using feed can sell greenhouse gas quotas to customers who want to offset their emissions.

The program was named CowCredits, and so far only 300 have been sold. The buyers were mainly American manufacturers of food additives and coffee shop chains. Mootral is currently testing its products on farms in the US and Europe and wants to create organic beef.