Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Biodiversity (164)

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 ]

Ontario hiking ethanol content in gasoline

Driving / Jonathan Juha / 27 November 2020

Ontario plans to raise by half the ethanol content required in gasoline in a move to fight climate change that could also benefit Southwestern Ontario’s vast corn belt.

The province says it will gradually increase the required ethanol content in gasoline to 15 per cent from 10 per cent by 2030.

Made from corn, most of which in Ontario is grown in Southwestern Ontario, ethanol is also produced in the region, home to major refiners in Sarnia, Chatham, and Aylmer.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

[TB: Corn and soy are being monocropped increasingly across the province, reducing biodiversity, destroying soils and polluting lands with chemical additives … and with virtually zero EROEI.]

Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 October 2020

One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re.

Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity.

More than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing.

Countries including Australia, Israel and South Africa rank near the top of Swiss Re’s index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services, with India, Spain and Belgium also highlighted. Countries with fragile ecosystems and large farming sectors, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are also flagged up.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Our Planet: Too Big To Fail

WWF / 18 September 2020

How can the finance sector help save the planet? The sector’s leading voices explore the crucial role of finance in turning the tide on climate change and nature loss.

Involve local groups in protecting biodiversity

The Guardian / Severin Carrell / 31 August 2020

The “Edinburgh declaration”, published on Monday, urges leaders to work more closely with sub-national governments, indigenous peoples, national parks, local councils and wider society in meeting 20 biodiversity goals set out in the Aichi accord, signed in Nagoya, Japan, 10 years ago.

Those targets were due to have been met by 2020. None of them were, leaving global biodiversity in a parlous state, the statement says.

“The current approach is bust,” said Prof Des Thompson, principal science adviser at NatureScot, Scotland’s conservation agency, which oversaw the declaration process. “What we need to do is work with local communities, local governments and local communities – that’s how we’re going to meet those targets.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Loss of bees causes shortage of key food crops, study finds

The Guardian / Oliver Milman / 29 July 2020

A lack of bees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, a new US-based study has found, suggesting that declines in the pollinators may have serious ramifications for global food security.

Species of wild bees, such as bumblebees, are suffering from a loss of flowering habitat, the use of toxic pesticides and, increasingly, the climate crisis. Managed honeybees, meanwhile, are tended to by beekeepers, but have still been assailed by disease, leading to concerns that the three-quarters of the world’s food crops dependent upon pollinators could falter due to a lack of bees.

The new research appears to confirm some of these fears.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Transition Towns are in the forefront of those preparing for the changes ahead. Transitioners understand that the climate-changed future is hugely unpredictable and unstable. They feel keenly the dilemma of our daily life dependence on a dominant economic system that is threatening that very life with its insistence on unending material consumption and use of fossil fuels.

— Transition Town Peterborough
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