Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Biodiversity (163)

Conservation authorities group has too many developers, no local reps: mayor

CBC News / Bobby Hristova / 1 February 2021

Hamilton city councillors and the executive director of Environment Hamilton think recent changes by the province to conservation authorities will “decapitate” them and erode years of work to curb global warming and other environmental issues.

The most recent issue raised was how no one from Hamilton or Niagara are included in a provincial working group made following controversial legislation that governs conservation authorities.

Conservation authorities oversee regional environmental and watershed protection.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Nature should be at the heart of economic planning: U.K. report

CBC News / The Associated Press / 2 February 2021

A report commissioned by the British government is urging a radical transformation in the way that countries around the world assess the state of their economies by elevating the natural world as a key element in their economic planning.

The review of the economics of biodiversity by Professor Partha Dasgupta concludes that nature needs to become as valued as traditional gauges of economic wealth such as profits in the future.

In the 600-page review that was commissioned in 2019 by Britain’s Treasury, the University of Cambridge economist warned that current economic growth and prosperity have “come at a devastating cost to nature.” He said declines in biodiversity and the environment’s ability to provide food, clean water and air are “fuelling extreme risk and uncertainty for our economies and well-being.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Top scientists warn of a ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’

The Guardian / Phoebe Weston / 13 January 2021

The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood.

“The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,” they write in a report in Frontiers in Conservation Science which references more than 150 studies detailing the world’s major environmental challenges.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Clothes washing linked to ‘pervasive’ plastic pollution in Arctic

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 January 2021

The Arctic is “pervasively” polluted by microplastic fibres that most likely come from the washing of synthetic clothes by people in Europe and North America, research has found.

The most comprehensive study to date found the microplastics in 96 of 97 sea water samples taken from across the polar region. More than 92% of the microplastics were fibres, and 73% of these were made of polyester and were the same width and colours as those used in clothes. Most of the samples were taken from 3-8 metres below the surface, where much marine life feeds.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Could COVID lockdown have helped save the planet?

The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 29 December 2020

When lockdown began, climate scientists were horrified at the unfolding tragedy, but also intrigued to observe what they called an “inadvertent experiment” on a global scale. To what extent, they asked, would the Earth system respond to the steepest slowdown in human activity since the second world war?

Environmental activists put the question more succinctly: how much would it help to save the planet?

Almost one year on from the first reported Covid case, the short answer is: not enough. In fact, experts say the pandemic may have made some environmental problems worse, though there is still a narrow window of opportunity for something good to come from something bad if governments use their economic stimulus packages to promote a green recovery.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Warmer winters causing more ice-free lakes in N. Hemisphere

CBC News / Nicole Mortillaro / 23 December 2020

Climate change is having a widespread effect on lakes across the Northern Hemisphere, a new study has found.

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined 122 lakes from 1939 to 2016 in North America, Europe and Asia, and found that ice-free years have become more than three times more frequent since 1978.

These ice-free years not only threaten the livelihoods of people who depend on them, but they also have the potential to cause deep ecological impacts.

“Ecologically, ice acts as a reset button,” said Sapna Sharma, co-author of the study and an associate professor in the biology department at York University in Toronto.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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