Catastrophe Chronicle – Updated Regularly

Catastrophe Chronicle – Updated Regularly
71 min read

Read 2021 Edition HERE

December 31, 2020
Land subsidence “will affect almost fifth of global population”
Subsidence, or the gradual sinking of land, could affect 19% of the world’s population by 2040…. Unesco warns of urban centres sinking because of unsustainable farming and groundwater extraction…. If no action is taken, human activity, combined with drought and rising sea levels exacerbated by global heating, could put many of the world’s coastal cities at risk of severe flooding.” – The Guardian

December 31, 2020
Exxon Knows Its Carbon Future and Keeps the Data from View
“Major shareholders are starting to notice the huge gap between the oil industry’s internal data and the level of its disclosures… Exxon’s new climate goal is ‘an intensity target on a portion of a portion of the company’s emissions,’ Ceres’s Logan said. They really seem to think this is a big deal. This tells you how removed Exxon is from the broader conversation around climate change.” – Bloomberg Green

December 31, 2020
We Need a Paris Agreement for Plastics
Every day plastic is flowing into our natural environment at an unprecedented rate—a dump truck’s worth every minute into our oceans alone… The pandemic has made it worse. Enough masks are being made per year to cover the entire country of Switzerland.” – Scientific American

December 30, 2020
Floods, storms and searing heat: 2020 in extreme weather
“This year has broken a series of unwelcome weather records. Last month was the warmest November in history. This followed the hottest January, May and September. All-time temperature peaks were registered from the Antarctic to the Arctic.” – The Guardian

December 28, 2020
The 1.5-degree challenge
“Holding warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels could limit the most dangerous and irreversible effects of climate change…. At our current pace, we won’t make it.” – McKinsey & Company

December 26, 2020
Mass die-off of birds in south-western US ’caused by starvation’
“The mass die-off of thousands of songbirds in south-western US was caused by long-term starvation, made worse by unseasonably cold weather probably linked to the climate crisis, scientists have said.” – The Guardian

December 22, 2020
Pollution in India killed 1.67 million people last year, The Lancet finds
‘The medical journal said toxic air accounted for 18 per cent of all India’s deaths in 2019, and this led to a total loss of US$36.8 billion.” – Bloomberg

December 22, 2020
Microplastics revealed in the placentas of unborn babies
“Microplastic particles have been revealed in the placentas of unborn babies for the first time, which the researchers said was ‘a matter of great concern’… A separate recent study showed that nanoparticles of plastic inhaled by pregnant laboratory rats were detected in the liver, lungs, heart, kidney, and brain of their foetuses.” –The Guardian

December 21, 2020
Climate change: Threshold for dangerous warming will likely be crossed between 2027-2042
“A much narrower window than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s estimate of between now and 2052. Researchers introduce a new and more precise way to project the Earth’s temperature. Based on historical data, it considerably reduces uncertainties compared to previous approaches.” – ScienceDaily

December 21, 2020
Global food industry on course to drive rapid habitat loss – research
The study’s lead author, David Williams from Leeds University, said without fundamental changes, millions of square kilometres of natural habitats could be lost by 2050. He said: ‘Ultimately, we need to change what we eat and how it is produced if we are going to save wildlife on a global scale.’” – The Guardian

December 17, 2020
The Year in Climate
“2020 was a crisis year: a pandemic, economic turmoil, social upheaval. And running through it all, climate change. Here’s some of the best reporting from The Times’s Climate Desk.” – New York Times

December 16, 2020
How Russia Wins the Climate Crisis
“Climate change and its enormous human migrations will transform agriculture and remake the world order — and no country stands to gain more than Russia.” – New York Times

December 15, 2020
Landmark ruling links death of UK schoolgirl to pollution
About 40,000 deaths in Britain are linked to air pollution, according to a 2016 study by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health…. Even with the measures in place, the capital is only expected to reach legal pollution limits by 2025, according to a study by King’s College London.” – Reuters

December 11, 2020
UN Emissions Gap Report 2020: World on track for 3C temperature rise by 2100 – despite Covid emissions dip
“The emissions of the world’s richest 1 per cent account for more than twice the combined share of the poorest 50 per cent. The world is barrelling towards a temperature rise in excess of 3C this century, despite a pandemic-related dip in emissions which ultimately will have negligible impact in the long run.” – Independent

December 10, 2020
Bacteria release climate-damaging carbon from thawing permafrost. Rising temperatures lead to collapse of intact permafrost soils
‘Around a quarter of the ground in the northern hemisphere is permanently frozen. These areas are estimated to contain about twice as much carbon as the world’s current atmosphere. New research says that these permafrost soils are not only increasingly thawing out as the Earth becomes warmer, but also releasing that carbon, which accelerates the thawing.’ – ScienceDaily

December 9, 2020
They’re Among the World’s Oldest Living Things. The Climate Crisis Is Killing Them.
“California’s redwoods, sequoias and Joshua trees define the American West and nature’s resilience through the ages. Wildfires this year were their deadliest test.” – The New York Times

December 8, 2020
Greenhouse gas emissions transforming the Arctic into ‘an entirely different climate’
“The Arctic’s rapid transformation into a less frozen, hotter and biologically altered place has been further exacerbated by a year of wildfires, soaring temperatures and loss of ice, US scientists have reported…. ‘It has been yet another year of breathtaking changes in the Arctic,’ said Jennifer Francis, the senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center. ‘Temperatures in Siberia have been off the charts most of the year, and the Arctic passages have been open for shipping much longer than any previous year.’” – The Guardian

December 7, 2020
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé named top plastic polluters for third year in a row
“Companies accused of ‘zero progress’ on reducing plastic waste, with Coca-Cola ranked No 1 for most littered products….
‘The world’s top polluting corporations claim to be working hard to solve plastic pollution, but instead they are continuing to pump out harmful single-use plastic packaging,’ said Emma Priestland, Break Free From Plastic’s global campaign coordinator.” – The Guardian

December 6, 2020
California Water Futures Begin Trading Amid Fear of Scarcity
“Water joined gold, oil and other commodities traded on Wall Street, highlighting worries that the life-sustaining natural resource may become scarce across more of the world.” – Bloomberg

December 4, 2020
Global soils underpin life but future looks ‘bleak’, warns UN report
“The report was compiled by 300 scientists, who describe the worsening state of soils as at least as important as the climate crisis and destruction of the natural world above ground. Crucially, it takes thousands of years for soils to form, meaning urgent protection and restoration of the soils that remain is needed. “The scientists describe soils as like the skin of the living world, vital but thin and fragile, and easily damaged by intensive farming, forest destruction, pollution and global heating.” – The Guardian

December 2, 2020
Greenland ice sheet faces irreversible melting
“Under scenarios in which global warming goes beyond 2°C, the Paris Agreement target, we should expect significant ice loss and several metres of global sea level rise to persist for tens of thousands of years, according to the new research. The warmer the climate, the greater the sea-level rise.”  – ScienceDaily

December 2, 2020
Humanity is waging war on nature, says UN secretary general
“Guterres said: ‘Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes … Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos.'” – The Guardian

November 20, 2020
Every New Hurricane Creates a Fresh Water Crisis|
Climate change is making hurricanes and typhoons stronger, which is resulting in more catastrophic flooding events that disable water treatment systems and threaten access to clean water in their wake. One in nine people worldwide already lack access to clean water under normal circumstances; more than 2 million people in the U.S. alone currently live under these conditions. – Future Human

November 15, 2020
Scientists link record-breaking hurricane season to climate crisis
“The evidence of the influence of the climate crisis is not so much in the record-breaking 30 tropical storms in the Atlantic so far this year, but the strength, rapid intensification and total rainfall of these weather systems.” – The Guardian

November 10, 2020
Fears for a million livelihoods in Kenya and Tanzania as Mara River fish die out
“A report by the wildlife NGO details how farming, deforestation, mining, illegal fishing and invasive species could sound a death knell for the transboundary river.” – The Guardian

November 5, 2020
Global food production emissions ‘would put Paris agreement out of reach’
Farming and food account for about a third of global greenhouse gas production at present. The world’s food systems produced about 16bn tonnes a year of CO2 from 2012 to 2017…. Michael Clark, researcher at the Oxford Martin school and the lead author of the study, said: ‘There needs to be more focus and more effort to reduce emissions from the food system. Greenhouse gas emissions from food systems have increased due to a combination of dietary changes – more food in general, with a larger proportion of food coming from animal source foods – population size, and how food is produced.’” The Guardian

November 2, 2020
Warming of 2°C would release billions of tons of soil carbon
“The estimated 230 billion tonnes of carbon released at 2°C warming (above pre-industrial levels) is more than four times the total emissions from China, and more than double the emissions from the USA, over the last 100 years.” – ScienceDaily

October 27, 2020
Saving the climate from the ground up
“Every year the amount of carbon in the atmosphere increases by more than four billion tons due to the human-made greenhouse gas CO2. If these four billion tons were instead sequestered in the earth’s soils (thus completely halting the greenhouse effect)…. Soils are already a gigantic carbon store. So why not simply dump the excess CO2 in it as an additional minuscule amount? Explains Prof. Wulf Amelung, who heads the Division of Soil Science at the University of Bonn, “Our strategy therefore ultimately addresses two important goals: climate protection and food security.” ScienceDaily

October 27, 2020
Ice loss due to warming leads to warming due to ice loss: a vicious circle
“‘Decreasing ice cover in the Arctic exposes more of the darker ocean water that absorbs more energy,’ says Nico Wunderling, lead author of the study.’Preventing Earth system feedback loops, or vicious circles, is thus more urgent than ever.'” – ScienceDaily

October 27, 2020
Arctic methane deposits ‘starting to release’, scientists say
“Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change…. The Arctic is considered ground zero in the debate about the vulnerability of frozen methane deposits – which have been called the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – in the ocean, and if releases were to exceed a tipping point it could increase the speed of global heating. – The Guardian 

October 23, 2020
Floods, Drought Are Destroying Crops and Sparking Food Inflation
“Climate scientists have long warned that an increase in unpredictable and extreme weather patterns would be a growing threat to crop production and food security. Now, we are experiencing what it means to be living in a climate-disrupted world as wildfires blaze across the U.S. West, hurricane season grows more ferocious and forecasters say that 2020 could be the world’s hottest year on record.” – Bloomberg

October 22, 2020
Covid Marks the Dawn of the Age of Collapse
“Life Isn’t Going Back to Normal — Ever. The Choices are Change, Or Collapse.”– Eudaimonia and Co

October 19, 2020

Factory farming seen to trigger next global pandemic: choose plant-based meat alternatives to reduce the threat
“Experts say the next pandemic will be a bird flu, H7N9, which so far has killed 40 per cent of people infected, making it 100 times deadlier than Covid-19 virus.” – South China Morning Post

October 16, 2020
Unprecedented energy use since 1950 has transformed humanity’s geologic footprint
“In the past 70 years, humans have exceeded the energy consumption of the entire preceding 11,700 years — largely through combustion of fossil fuels. This huge increase in energy consumption has then allowed for a dramatic increase in human population, industrial activity, pollution, environmental degradation and climate change.” – ScienceDaily

October 13, 2020
The World’s Largest Tropical Wetland Has Become an Inferno
“This year, roughly a quarter of the vast Pantanal wetland in Brazil, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, has burned in wildfires worsened by climate change…. The wetland, which is larger than Greece and stretches over parts of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, also offers unseen gifts to a vast swath of South America by regulating the water cycle upon which life depends.” – New York Times

October 12, 2020
This is my message to the western world – your civilisation is killing life on Earth
“Dear presidents of the nine Amazonian countries and to all world leaders that share responsibility for the plundering of our rainforest. My name is Nemonte Nenquimo. I am a Waorani woman, a mother, and a leader of my people….” – The Guardian

October 12, 2020
Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds
“‘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.” – The Guardian

October 9, 2020
‘Total destruction’: why fires are tearing across South America
“Wildfires, mostly caused by land clearing for cattle grazing and soya production, have set four nations ablaze…. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia this year have seen a raging tsunami of fires, in what may become the longest and most destructive environmental crisis faced by the four neighbouring countries.” – The Guardian

October 1, 2020
Brazil’s Amazon rainforest suffers worst fires in a decade
“Satellites in September recorded 32,017 hotspots in the world’s largest rainforest, a 61% rise from the same month in 2019.” – The Guardian

September 30, 2020
Biodiversity crisis: 40% of world’s plants now at risk of extinction, major report finds
“‘Scientists are now in a race against time to discover, assess and potentially attempt to save unknown species before they vanish,’ the report from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said.” – Independent

Sept 30, 2020,
Greenland is on track to lose ice faster than in any century over 12,000 years
“We’ll blow that out of the water if we don’t make severe reductions to greenhouse gas emissions,” says Jason Briner, PhD, professor of geology in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.” – ScienceDaily

September 28, 2020
The Arctic is burning in a whole new way
‘Widespread wildfires in the far north aren’t just bigger; they’re different. ‘Zombie fires’ and burning of fire-resistant vegetation are new features driving Arctic fires — with strong consequences for the global climate — warn international fire scientists.” – ScienceDaily

September 24, 2020
Mapped: The Countries With the Most Military Spending
“The world’s military spending grew by 3.6%year-over-year (YoY)—currently the highest rate this decade—to surpass $1.9 trillion in 2019. While just 10 countries are responsible for nearly 75% of this amount, the U.S. alone made up the lion’s share with 38% of the global total. In fact, its YoY rise in spending alone of $49.2 billion rivals Germany’s entire spending for the same year…. Here’s how world’s top 10 military spenders compare against each other…. – Visual Capitalist

September 23, 2020
Melting Antarctic ice will raise sea level by 2.5 metres – even if Paris climate goals are met, study finds
“We will be renowned in future as the people who flooded New York City,” said Anders Levermann, co-author of the paper from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. – The Guardian

September 23, 2020
Amazonia racing toward tipping point, fueled by unregulated fires
“Amazonia is closer to a catastrophic ecological tipping point than any time in the last 100,000 years, and human activity is the cause.” ScienceDaily

September 22, 2020
Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial.
“‘What we’re seeing today, this year, is just a small harbinger of what we are likely to get,’ said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan. Things are on track to get ‘twice as bad’ as they are now, he said, ‘if not worse.’ Cristian Proistosescu, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, noted, ‘Don’t think of it as the warmest month of August in California in the last century,’ he wrote. ‘Think of it as one of the coolest months of August in California in the next century.’” – The New York Times

September 18, 2020
Wall Street is set to start trading in a new commodity: Water
Almost two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to face water shortages by 2025….  ‘Water scarcity is certainly one of the biggest challenges facing communities and individuals today across the globe, where currently about 2 billion people are already living in countries experiencing high water stress,’ said Tim McCourt, the global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME Inc.” – Mint

September 17, 2020
0.5°C of additional warming has a huge effect on global aridity
“The University of Tokyo have revealed major implications for global drought and aridity when limiting warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.” ScienceDaily

September 16, 2020
Siberia’s permafrost erosion has been worsening for years

As measurements gathered on the Lena River by AWI experts show, the scale of erosion is alarming: every year, roughly 15 metres of the riverbanks crumble away. In addition, the carbon stored in the permafrost could worsen the greenhouse effect. ScienceDaily

September 14, 2020
Two major Antarctic glaciers are tearing loose from their restraints, scientists say
“Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers already contribute 5 percent of sea-level rise. Two Antarctic glaciers that have long kept scientists awake at night are breaking free from the restraints that have hemmed them in, increasing the threat of large-scale sea-level rise.” – The Washington Post

September 11, 2020
The Genetic Engineering Genie Is Out of the Bottle
“The next pandemic could be bioengineered in someone’s garage using cheap and widely available technology. Thanks to a technological revolution in genetic engineering, all the tools needed to create a virus have become so cheap, simple, and readily available that any rogue scientist or college-age biohacker can use them, creating an even greater threat.” – Foreign Policy

September 10, 2020
‘Superbugs’ a far greater risk than Covid in Pacific, scientist warns
“Three hundred and fifty million deaths could be caused by AMR [Antimicrobial Resistance] by 2050, the WHO has estimated, while the economic cost is predicted to reach US$1.35tr over the next 10 years in the western Pacific region alone. Dr Paul De Barro, biosecurity research director at Australia’s national science agency explains, ‘Covid is not anywhere near the potential impact of AMR. We would go back into the dark ages of health.’” – The Guardian

September 9, 2020
‘Doomsday glacier’ in Antarctica melting due to warm water channels under surface, scientists discover
“The runaway collapse of Thwaites – which is around the size of Great Britain – could lead to an increase in sea levels of around 65cm… In the 1990s the glacier had been losing around 10 billion tonnes of ice each year, but is now losing around 80 billion tonnes annually.” – Independent 

September 9, 2020
Climate change: Global water and food shortages ‘to cause new European migrant crisis
“More than 1.2 billion people could be driven from homes by extreme weather, drought and food shortages by 2050.” – Independent

September 7, 2020
100 COMPANIES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR 71% OF GHG EMISSIONS

“Just 100 of all the hundreds of thousands of companies in the world have been responsible for 71% of the global GHG emissions that cause global warming since 1998, according to The Carbon Majors Database, a report recently published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), throwing light on the role companies and investors play in tackling climate change.” – Acciona

September 4, 2020
Brazil Fires Burn World’s Largest Tropical Wetlands at ‘Unprecedented Scale’
“The fires in the Pantanal, in southwest Brazil, raged across an estimated 7,861 square miles between January and August, according to an analysis conducted by NASA for The New York Times, based on a new system to track fires in real time using satellite data. That’s an area slightly larger than New Jersey.” – The New York Times

September 1, 2020
Coronavirus Updates: Trump won’t join global vaccine effort
Despite coronavirus cases in the U.S. topping 6 million, with more than 180,000 people dead, Wall Street just wrapped up its best August in more than 30 years. – Washington Post

August 31st, 2020
Arctic wildfires emit 35% more CO2 so far in 2020 than for whole of 2019
“The latest data, provided by the EU’s Copernicus atmosphere monitoring service, shows that up to 24 August 245 megatonnes of CO2 had been released from wildfires this year. The figure for the whole of last year was 181 megatonnes.” – The Guardian

August 31, 2020
A Tenth of the World Could Go Hungry While Crops Rot in Fields
The world is hurtling toward an unprecedented hunger crisis. As many as 132 million more people than previously projected could go hungry in 2020, and this year’s gain may be more than triple any increase this century. The pandemic is upending food supply chains, crippling economies and eroding consumer purchasing power. Some projections show that by the end of the year, Covid-19 will cause more people to die each day from hunger than from virus infections. – Bloomberg

August 28, 2020
New study warns: We have underestimated the pace at which the Arctic is melting
“The abrupt rise in temperature now being experienced in the Arctic has only been observed during the last ice age,” explains Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institutet (NBI) and one of the study’s researchers. ScienceDaily

August 26, 2020
Antarctic ice shelves vulnerable to sudden meltwater-driven fracturing, says study
“A new study says that many of the ice shelves ringing Antarctica could be vulnerable to quick destruction if rising temperatures drive meltwater into the numerous fractures that currently penetrate their surfaces. The shelves help slow interior glaciers’ slide toward the ocean, so if they were to fail, sea levels around the world could surge rapidly as a result.” ScienceDaily

August 23, 2020
Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years
“Stunned’ scientists say there is little doubt global heating is to blame for the loss.” – The Guardian

August 17, 2020
Death Valley temperature rises to 129.9F – possibly the hottest ever reliably recorded
“Some extreme weather watchers believe the most recent Death valley reading could – in time – be verified as the hottest ever reliably recorded on the planet.” – The Guardian

August 16, 2020
Oil Companies Wonder If It’s Worth Looking for Oil Anymore
“More European producers are saying energy resources worth billions of dollars now might never be pumped out of the ground.” – Bloomberg

August 6, 2020
Canada’s Last Fully Intact Arctic Ice Shelf Collapses
“The Arctic has been warming at twice the global rate for the past 30 years. [The ice shelf lost] more than 40% of its area in just two days at the end of July…. The shelf’s area shrank by about 80 square kilometers. By comparison, the island of Manhattan in New York covers roughly 60 square kilometers. – Huffington Post

August 4, 2020
Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study
“Poorer, hotter parts of the world will struggle to adapt to unbearable conditions, research finds…. Huge heatwaves have roiled the US, Europe, Australia, India, the Arctic and elsewhere in recent years, while 2020 is set to be hottest or second hottest on record, in line with the longer-term trend of rising temperatures… fueling increasingly severe heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods. – The Guardian

July 28, 2020
We are entering an era of pandemics – it will end only when we protect the rainforest
“Reducing deforestation and the exploitation of wildlife are the first steps in breaking the chain of disease emergence.” – The Guardian

July 27, 2020
Scientists record rapid carbon loss from warming peatlands
“Peatlands currently cover around 3% of Earth’s landmass and hold at least a third of global soil carbon – more carbon than is stored in the world’s forests. ScienceDaily

July 24, 2020
How Earth’s plastic pollution problem could look by 2040

“Our research published in Science involved a herculean effort to spot, track and model the current and future flows of plastics into the world’s land and waterbodies. We found that plastic entering the marine environment is set to double by 2040 and, unless the world acts, more than 1.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste will be dumped on land and in waterbodies. – The Conversation

July 22, 2020

First active leak of sea-bed methane discovered in Antarctica
“Vast quantities of methane are thought to be stored under the seafloor around Antarctica. The gas could start to leak as the climate crisis warms the oceans, a prospect the researchers said was “incredibly concerning.” – The Guardian

July 21, 2020
This is now the world’s greatest threat – and it’s not coronavirus
“Tackling overconsumption has to become a priority… true sustainability calls for significant lifestyle changes, rather than hoping that more efficient use of resources will be enough…. There is widespread acceptance that the planet faces an ecological tipping point. Says co-author Julia Steinberger, Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds: ‘To protect ourselves from the worsening climate crisis, we must reduce inequality and challenge the notion that riches, and those who possess them, are inherently good.’” – The World Economic Forum

July 16, 2020
Climate Change Activists Are Lying to You
Personal action definitely has a place in environmental activism…. But it should not take the central stage when fighting to save our planet…. If we want to make swift changes we should be channelling our focus elsewhere.
it’s the world’s richest 10% that produce half of the global carbon emissions, while the poorest 3.5. billion account for just one-tenth…. Just 100 hundred companies are responsible for 71% of all global emissions, most of them operating in the fossil fuel realm. – Climate Conscious

July 14, 2020
Global methane emissions soar to record high
“Global emissions of methane have reached the highest levels on record. Increases are being driven primarily by growth of emissions from coal mining, oil and natural gas production, cattle and sheep ranching, and landfills…. In terms of warming potential, adding this much extra methane to the atmosphere since 2000 is akin to putting 350 million more cars on the world’s roads or doubling the total emissions of Germany or France.” ScienceDaily

July 13, 2020
‘Teetering at the edge’: Scientists warn of rapid melting of Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday glacier’
“Its collapse would raise global sea levels by more than half a metre on its own, and subsequently release other major bodies of ice in West Antarctica, which together could raise sea levels by 2-3 metres.” – Independent 

July 7, 2020
Over 5,600 fossil fuel companies have taken at least $3bn in US Covid-19 aid

“The Small Business Administration (SBA) did not disclose the specific amounts of loans and instead listed ranges. On the high end, fossil fuel companies could have received up to $6.7bn.” – The Guardian

July 6, 2020
Coronavirus: world treating symptoms, not cause of pandemics, says UN
“Ongoing destruction of nature will result in stream of animal diseases jumping to humans, says report.” – The Guardian

July 11, 2020
Global ‘catastrophe’ looms as Covid-19 fuels inequality
“Job losses, homelessness, school closures and acute hunger set to rise dramatically without urgent support, Christian Aid warns.” – The Guardian

July 9, 2020
CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere nearing levels of 15m years ago
“Last time CO2 was at similar level temperatures were 3C to 4C hotter and sea levels were 20 metres higher.” – The Guardian

June 25, 2020
Why 2020 to 2050 Will Be ‘the Most Transformative Decades in Human History’
Climate change will force more people to leave their homes than at any other point in human history. Conflict is inevitable. – OneZero

June 25, 2020
How Humanity Unleashed a Flood of New Disease
“What do Covid-19, Ebola, Lyme and AIDS have in common? They jumped to humans from animals after we started destroying habitats and ruining ecosystems.” – The New York Times

June 23, 2020
The Great Climate Migration Has Begun
Today, 1% of the world is a barely livable hot zone…. The world can now expect that with every degree of temperature increase, roughly a billion people will be pushed outside the zone in which humans have lived for thousands of years. – The New York Times

June 23, 2020
Why the Arctic Is Warming So Fast, and Why That’s So Alarming
“When permafrost thaws, sea ice disappears, and wildfires rage in the north, the consequences extend to the rest of the world.” – Wired

June 19, 2020
Scientists’ warning on affluence
“For over half a century, worldwide growth in affluence has continuously increased resource use and pollutant emissions far more rapidly than these have been reduced through better technology. The affluent citizens of the world are responsible for most environmental impacts and are central to any future prospect of retreating to safer environmental conditions.” – Nature

June 19, 2020
2020 is our last chance to avert climate catastrophe, says energy chief
“The International Energy Agency releases its Sustainable Recovery Plan and says governments have a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to reduce global emissions.” – Independent

June 18, 2020
This Nuclear Arms Race Is Worse Than the Last One
“All nine countries with nukes are modernizing their other warheads and delivery systems…. More worryingly, states are reviewing their strategies for using these weapons…. Meanwhile, all efforts to limit or reduce nuclear weapons have ground to a halt…
“Between naivety in Germany, belligerence in Russia, ambition in China, inanity in Trumpist America and brinkmanship in North Korea, the outlook is grim. Egomaniacs or rogues could be tempted to test the boundaries in their foes’ deterrence plans, and human error could compound the folly…. to use a Cold War metaphor, the nations of the world will find themselves standing in a room awash with gasoline, each counting who has how many matches, until one is lit.” – Bloomberg

June 17, 2020
Pandemics result from destruction of nature, say UN and WHO
“Pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of humanity’s destruction of nature, according to leaders at the UN, WHO and WWF International, and the world has been ignoring this stark reality for decades.” – The Guardian

June 12, 2020
Malaria May Still Be 2020’s Biggest Killer
“The coronavirus has shut down large-scale treatment and prevention programs around the globe, which could send malaria deaths skyrocketing this year.” – Foreign Policy

June 9, 2020
World faces worst food crisis for at least 50 years, UN warns
“About 50 million people risk falling into extreme poverty this year owing to the pandemic, but the long-term effects will be even worse, as poor nutrition in childhood causes lifelong suffering. Already, one in five children around the world are stunted in their growth by the age of five, and millions more are likely to suffer the same fate if poverty rates soar.” – The Guardian

June 3, 2020
Jane Goodall: humanity is finished if it fails to adapt after Covid-19
“We have brought this on ourselves because of our absolute disrespect for animals and the environment,” she said. “Our disrespect for wild animals and our disrespect for farmed animals has created this situation where disease can spill over to infect human beings.” – The Guardian

June 2, 2020
Football pitch-sized area of tropical rainforest lost every six seconds
“The loss of trees in the tropics was the third worst recorded since data was first collected in 2002, trailing behind only 2016 and 2017. The heaviest reduction continues to be in Brazil, which accounted for more than a third of all humid tropical forest loss.” The Guardian

June 1, 2020
Today’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels greater than 23 million-year record
“Because major evolutionary changes over the past 23 million years were not accompanied by large changes in CO2, perhaps ecosystems and temperature might be more sensitive to smaller changes in CO2 than previously thought.” ScienceDaily

May 27, 2020
The human fingerprint is everywhere’: Met Office’s alarming warning on climate
“Exclusively compiled data from the Hadley Centre’s supercomputer shows alarming climate trajectory.” The Guardian

May 25, 2020
How River Yamuna Cleaned Itself In 60 Days Of Coronavirus Lockdown
“Two months of the Coronavirus lockdown have done what successive governments could not do in 25 years with over Rs 5,000 crore [$650 million] at their disposal: clean up the Yamuna river.” – NDTV

May 23, 2020
How Singapore Plans to Survive World’s Impending Food Crisis
“As countries around the world confront the prospect of food demand that’s forecast to rise by more than half by 2050, Singapore finds itself at the vanguard of work to keep a swelling population fed while also addressing land constraints and the threat of climate change.” – Bloomberg

May 23, 2020
Trump administration discussed conducting first U.S. nuclear test in decades
“The United States has not conducted a nuclear test explosion since September 1992, and nuclear nonproliferation advocates warned that doing so now could have destabilizing consequences.” – The Washington Post

May 22, 2020
Mississippi Delta marshes in a state of irreversible collapse
“The loss of 2,000 square miles (5,000 km2) of wetlands in coastal Louisiana over the past century is well documented, but it has been more challenging to predict the fate of the remaining 6,000 square miles (15,000 km2) of marshland… These findings indicate that the loss of remaining marshes in coastal Louisiana is probably inevitable… within a matter of decades.” ScienceDaily

May 21, 2020
China’s Farms Are Petri Dishes of Antibiotic Resistance
“Poorly enforced regulation is causing a slow-moving pandemic.” – Foreign Policy

May 5, 2020
One billion people will live in insufferable heat within 50 years – study
“The human cost of the climate crisis will hit harder, wider and sooner than previously believed, according to a study that shows a billion people will either be displaced or forced to endure insufferable heat for every additional 1C rise in the global temperature.” The Guardian

May 4, 2020
Future of the human climate niche
“We demonstrate that depending on scenarios of population growth and warming, over the coming 50 y, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity well over the past 6,000 y. Absent climate mitigation or migration, a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to mean annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today.” – PNAS

April 27, 2020
Meteorologists say 2020 on course to be hottest year since records began
“Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford, said, ‘The climate crisis continues unabated.'” The Guardian
 

April 27, 2020
Halt destruction of nature or suffer even worse pandemics, say world’s top scientists
“The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be followed by even more deadly and destructive disease outbreaks unless their root cause – the rampant destruction of the natural world – is rapidly halted, the world’s leading biodiversity experts have warned.”– The Guardian

April 27, 2020
Global military expenditure sees largest annual increase in a decade—says SIPRI—reaching $1917 billion in 2019
“The five largest spenders in 2019, which accounted for 62 per cent of expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia…. Military spending by the United States grew by 5.3 per cent to a total of $732 billion in 2019 and accounted for 38 per cent of global military spending.” – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

April 27, 2020
Meteorologists say 2020 on course to be hottest year since records began
“A reliance and trust in science to inform action from governments and society to solve a global emergency are exactly the measures needed to seed in plans to solve the next crisis facing mankind: climate change.” The Guardian

April 23, 2020
Flooding will affect double the number of people worldwide by 2030
New research finds 147 million will be hit by floods by the end of the decade – ‘the numbers will be catastrophic’.
Damages to urban property will soar from $174bn to $712bn per year. The Guardian

April 21, 2020
Coronavirus crisis could double number of people suffering acute hunger – UN
“The coronavirus crisis will push more than a quarter of a billion people to the brink of starvation….” The Guardian

April 17, 2020
Extinction of threatened marine megafauna would lead to huge loss in functional diversity

“This is a warning that we need to act now to reduce growing human pressures on marine megafauna, including climate change, while nurturing population recoveries.” ScienceDaily

April 16, 2020
Climate-driven megadrought is emerging in western US, says study
“A new study says a megadrought worse than anything known from recorded history is very likely in progress in the western United States and northern Mexico, and warming climate is playing a key role.” ScienceDaily

April 15, 2020
Wildlife Collapse From Climate Change Is Predicted to Hit Suddenly and Sooner
“Scientists found a “cliff edge” instead of the slippery slope they expected. Climate change could result in a more abrupt collapse of many animal species than previously thought, starting in the next decade if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a study published this month in Nature.”  The New York Times

China Limited the Mekong’s Flow. Other Countries Suffered a Drought.
“New research shows that Beijing’s engineers appear to have directly caused the record low levels of water in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam…. Beijing’s engineers appear to have directly caused the record low water levels by limiting the river’s flow.” The New York Times

April 8, 2020
Climate change could cause sudden biodiversity losses worldwide
“A warming global climate could cause sudden, potentially catastrophic losses of biodiversity in regions across the globe throughout the 21st century, finds a new study.” – ScienceDaily

April 6, 2020
Coronavirus: One virus caused Covid-19. Scientists say thousands more are in waiting
“Experts say that is a result of massive deforestation and expansion of farmland to supply food and other commodities to a human population that has more than doubled to 7.7 billion from 3 billion in the 1960s.” – South China Morning Post

April 5, 2020
Ban wildlife markets to avert pandemics, says UN biodiversity chief
“Warning comes as destruction of nature increasingly seen as key driver of zoonotic diseases…. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity: ‘If we don’t take care of nature, it will take care of us,’” The Guardian

April 4, 2020
The next pandemic is already coming, unless humans change how we interact with wildlife, scientists say:
“But the problem is not the animals, according to scientists who study the zoonotic diseases that pass between animals and humans. It’s us…. As Earth’s human population hurtles toward 8 billion, no one thinks human-animal interaction is going to decrease….
“’That means leaving ecosystems intact, not destroying them. It means thinking in a more long-term way.’” – The Washington Post

March 28, 2020
Professor Sees Climate Mayhem Lurking Behind Covid-19 Outbreak
“Virus ‘feels like dress rehearsal’ for global warming, [Jem Bendell] says.”– Bloomberg

March 24, 2020
Scientists just discovered a massive new vulnerability in the Antarctic ice sheet
“Scientists have found a new point of major vulnerability in the Antarctic ice sheet, in a region that already appears to be changing as the climate warms and has the potential to raise sea levels by nearly five feet over the long term.” The Washington Post

March 23, 2020
Even a limited India-Pakistan nuclear war would bring global famine, says study
“Even a limited war between India and Pakistan would cause unprecedented planet-wide food shortages and probable starvation lasting more than a decade.” – ScienceDaily

March 18, 2020
‘The Man Who Saw the Pandemic Coming’
“It took us the better part of our total existence of the species, 300,000 years, before we hit the 1 billion mark. But in 100 years we’ve added 6 billion people and we’ll add another 4 to 5 billion before the end of this century.” Nautilus

March 12, 2020 
‘Polar Ice Caps melting Six Times Faster Than in the 1990’s’
“Losses of ice from Greenland and Antarctica are tracking the worst-case climate scenario, scientists warn” The Guardian

March 9, 2020 
‘I’m profoundly sad, I feel guilty’: scientists reveal personal fear about the climate crisis
“Feelings of powerlessness and despair for the future are evident in letters written for a six-year ‘passion project” The Guardian

March 2, 2020 
New Green Technology From UMass Amherst Generates Electricity ‘Out Of Thin Air’
“Renewable devices could help mitigate climate change, power medical devices.” University of Massachusetts

March 1, 2020 
Methane Emitted by Humans Vastly Underestimated 
“Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and large contributor to global warming.” ScienceDaily

March 1, 2020 
Oil and Gas May Be a Far Bigger Climate Threat Than We Knew
“Oil and gas production may be responsible for a far larger share of the soaring levels of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in the earth’s atmosphere than previously thought, new research has found.” The New York Times

February 28, 2020 
Miami Will Be Underwater Soon. Its Drinking Water Could Go First
“The city has another serious water problem.” – Pocket

February 23, 2020 
Lab grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet! 
“Scientists are replacing crops and livestock with food made from microbes and water. It may save humanity’s bacon” Bloomberg Green

February 20, 2020 
Locust swarms Ravaging East Africa Are the Size of Cities 
“A devastating pest outbreak is threatening millions of people  with hunger.” Bloomberg Green

February 14, 2020 
Antarctic Temperatures Rise Above 20C for First Time on Record 
“Scientists describe 20.75C logged at Seymour Island as ‘incredible and abnormal.” Guardian

February 11, 2020 
L’Age Sans Glace – L’OBS
Note: The article is in French but the images are remarkable.

February 11, 2020 
The Coming Collapse of World Water
“Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” – Medium

February 10, 2020 
The myth of green growth
“Can democracy survive without carbon? We are not going to find out” – Financial Times

February 10, 2020 
Bumblebees’ decline points to mass extinction – study
Populations disappearing in areas where temperatures are getting hotter, scientists say – The Guardian

February 6, 2020 
How Capitalism Torched the Planet by Imploding Into Fascism
“Catastrophic Climate Change is Not a Problem for Fascists – It is a Solution.” – Eudaimonia

February 3, 2020 
Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why
“The simulators used to forecast warming have suddenly started giving us less time…. And that could mean the goal envisioned by Paris is already out of reach.” – Bloomberg News

February 1, 2020
Huge cavity in Antarctic glacier signals rapid decay
“A gigantic cavity — two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall — growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new study of the disintegrating glacier.” – ScienceDaily

January 31, 2020 
The Doomsday Glacier (Reprint by Pocket of a 1917 Rolling Stone article.)
“In the farthest reaches of Antarctica, a nightmare scenario of crumbling ice – and rapidly rising seas – could spell disaster for a warming planet.” – Pocket

January 31, 2020
Antarctica melting: Climate change and the journey to the ‘doomsday glacier’
“Glaciologists have described Thwaites as the ‘most important’ glacier in the world, the ‘riskiest’ glacier, even the ‘doomsday’ glacier…. There is enough water locked up in it to raise world sea level by more than half a metre.” – BBC News

January 29, 2020
Scientists find record warm water in Antarctica, pointing to cause behind troubling glacier melt
“‘The fact that such warm water was just now recorded by our team along a section of Thwaites grounding zone where we have known the glacier is melting suggests that it may be undergoing an unstoppable retreat that has huge implications for global sea level rise,’ notes Holland, a professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.” – ScienceDaily

January 23, 2020
U.S. Drinking Water Widely Contaminated With ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Watchdog Says
“Some of the highest levels have been found in Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, according to a new report.” – Huffington Post

January 23, 2020
New Trump Rule Rolls Back Decades Of Clean Water Protections
“The new water rule, finalized Thursday, will be “among this administration’s dirtiest, most dangerous deeds,” an environmental lawyer warned.” – Huffington Post

January 23, 2020
Doomsday clock: Humanity closer to annihilation than ever before, scientists say
“Clock is now set to 100 seconds to midnight, experts announce” – Independent

January 22, 2020
World’s consumption of materials hits record 100bn tonnes a year
“Unsustainable use of resources is wrecking the planet but recycling is falling, report finds.” – The Guardian

January 15, 2020
Climate crisis: Top five global risks all linked to environment, says World Economic Forum
“Extreme weather events, major biodiversity loss and a failure to halt global warming are biggest threats identified by hundreds of experts.” – Independent
“TOP FIVE GLOBAL RISKS
1. Extreme weather events with major damage to property, infrastructure and loss of human life
2. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation by governments and businesses
3. Human-made environmental damage and disasters, including environmental crime, such as oil spills, and radioactive contamination
4. Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse (terrestrial or marine) with irreversible consequences for the environment, resulting in severely depleted resources for humankind as well as industries
5. Major natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and geomagnetic storms”

January 13, 2020
“The world’s oceans are now heating at the same rate as if five Hiroshima atomic bombs were dropped into the water every second, scientists have said.” – CNN

January 13, 2020
The Age of Extinction. ‘Like a bomb going off’: why Brazil’s largest reserve is facing destruction
“Gold prospectors are ravaging the Yanomami indigenous reserve. So why does President Bolsonaro want to make them legal?” – The Guardian

January 11, 2020
Want to Do Something About Climate Change? Follow the Money
Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Bank of America are the worst offenders.
In the last three years, according to data compiled in a recently released “fossil fuel finance report card” by a group of environmental organizations, JPMorgan Chase lent over $195 billion to gas and oil companies… Wells Fargo lent over $151 billion, Citibank lent over $129 billion and Bank of America lent over $106 billion.” – New York Times

January 1, 2020
Climate change in the 2010s: Decade of fires, floods and scorching heatwaves (with very powerful graphics)
Washington Post

January 1, 2020
The 2010s were a lost decade for climate. We can’t afford a repeat, scientists warn. – Washington Post

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