Robert Vinet

VOYAGER​

Category: Environment & Nature (page 1 of 3)

Amsterdam to ban all petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030

Diesel cars older than 15 years will be barred from the Dutch capital next year.

Daniel Boffey writing for The Guardian:

“Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” said the councillor responsible for the city’s traffic, Sharon Dijksma, announcing the municipality’s decision.

From next year, diesel cars that are 15 years or older will be banned from going within the A10 ring road around the Dutch capital.

Read More…

A Brief History of Dogs

David Howe tells us how wolves became domesticated dogs.

From TED:

Since their emergence over 200,000 years ago, modern humans have established communities all over the planet. But they didn’t do it alone. Whatever corner of the globe you find humans in today, you’re likely to find another species as well: dogs. So how did one of our oldest rivals, the wolf, evolve into man’s best friend? David Ian Howe traces the history of humanity’s first domesticated animal. [Directed by Cabong Studios, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Vadeco Schettini].

Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record

The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.

This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.

One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest.

More at The Guardian

Recycling is ineffective, inefficient, expensive, and legitimizes single-use items

The Walrus:

Of the three Rs drilled into our heads in school—reduce, reuse, recycle—recycling is the only one that most of us regularly practise. In 2011, according to a survey by Stewardship Ontario, three-quarters of Ontarians considered the weekly act of sorting and disposing as their “primary environmental effort.”

But as much as Canadians love the blue box, “its role in [our] hearts and minds…is much larger than its actual environmental impact,” wrote Dianne Saxe, Ontario’s environmental commissioner, in a report last October. In fact, recycling is one of the least environmentally friendly “environmental” things one can do.

Devastating toxic red tide algae bloom plagues Florida’s Gulf Coast

Associated Press:

The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have been horrified to find turtles, large fish like goliath grouper and even manatees wash up dead. In late July, a 26-foot long (8-meter-long) whale shark washed ashore on Sanibel Island, which is known for its pristine beaches. In places like Longboat Key, more than 5 tons of dead fish have been removed from beaches. This week, nine dead dolphins were found in Sarasota County, and marine biologists are investigating whether the deaths are related to red tide.

The Florida Wildlife Research Institute says the number of dead and stranded sea turtles is nearly three times higher than average. More than 450 stranded and dead sea turtles have been recovered in four affected counties this year, and the institute estimates that 250 to 300 died from red tide poisoning.

More:

How climate change is making ‘red tide’ algal blooms even worse – Washington Post (paywall)

Florida Declares State Of Emergency As Red Tide Spreads – Huffington Post via Yahoo

Florida’s Gulf Coast Battles Deadly And Smelly Red Tide – NPR

Is Germany running out of beer bottles because of climate change?

NPR:

In Germany, beer consumption is up as temperatures remain unusually high. This is good and bad news for the beer industry.

While the breweries have more than enough beer to go around, they’re running out of bottles because customers are not returning their empties quickly enough.

Germans care about the environment about as much as their beer; that’s why the glass bottles are recycled. Customers pay a small deposit on each one, which they get back when they return it to a store.

New Zealand is banning plastic bags

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said retailers have six months to phase out the single-use plastic bags, or face fines of up to NZ$100,000.

“We’re phasing out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” said Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister.

“Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags. A mountain of bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life, and all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business.

More than 40 countries worldwide have now imposed bans on plastic bags.

It’s worst than expected: Half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is already dead due to climate change

National Geographic:

Half of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached to death since 2016. Mass coral bleaching, a global problem triggered by climate change, occurs when unnaturally hot ocean water destroys a reef’s colorful algae, leaving the coral to starve. The Great Barrier Reef illustrates how extensive the damage can be: Thirty percent of the coral perished in 2016, another 20 percent in 2017. The effect is akin to a forest after a devastating fire. Much of the marine ecosystem along the reef’s north coast has become barren and skeletal with little hope of recovery.

Nova Scotia teen wins international award for river cleanup

Fourteen-year-old Stella Bowles is being awarded the International Young Eco-Hero Award. Her science project at age 11 convinced three levels of government to pledge over $15 million to help clean up the LaHave River on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

More: CBC

All-time heat records have been set all over the world

Washington Post (paywall):

Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports the heat is to blame for at least 54 deaths in southern Quebec, mostly in and near Montreal, which endured record high temperatures.

In Northern Siberia, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean – where weather observations are scarce – model analyses showed temperatures soaring 40 degrees above normal on July 5, to over 90 degrees. “It is absolutely incredible and really one of the most intense heat events I’ve ever seen for so far north,” wrote meteorologist Nick Humphrey, who offers more detail on this extraordinary high-latitude hot spell on his blog.

On Thursday, Africa likely witnessed its hottest temperature ever reliably measured. Ouargla, Algeria soared to 124.3 degrees (51.3 Celsius). If verified, it would surpass Africa’s previous highest reliable temperature measurement of 123.3 degrees (50.7 Celsius) set July 13, 1961, in Morocco.

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