A new study warns that coral reefs are in danger of disappearing forever. According to U.N. research, the world’s coral reefs could die out completely by mid-century unless carbon emissions are reduced enough to slow ocean warming.
Global consumption of coal dropped by 1.7% last year. This is a major change considering that it had increased by an average of 1.9% per year from 2005 to 2015. China, which accounts for about half of the coal burned in the world, used 1.6% less in 2016, as compared to an increase of 3.7% per year over the previous 11 years.
According to a new study by the non-profit group Carbon Brief, carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom are at their lowest levels since the 1920s. Four factors are responsible: a record drop in coal use, the rapid growth of renewable energy, the expansion of energy efficiency programs, and the increased use of natural gas for electricity power plants.
From melting Arctic ice to dying coral reefs to rising sea levels, there was no shortage of grim environmental news in 2016. But the news wasn’t all bad. There were several bright spots for the environment last year as well.
Last year was a big year for progress in the U.S. power sector. Renewable energy provided nearly 17% of the country’s electricity, up from 13.7% in 2015. The first offshore wind farm in the U.S. opened off the coast of Rhode Island. And most significantly, carbon emissions from the power sector continued to decline and reached the lowest levels in nearly 25 years.
With the forthcoming administration change, it appears that the federal government is likely to start backing away from tackling climate change and may even be obstructive towards efforts to mitigate the growing problem of greenhouse gas emissions.
In late September, the world’s largest solar power plant went online in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a 648 MW array of solar panels that is spread across 2,500 acres in the town of Kamuthi and will supply enough energy to power 300,000 homes.
Industries around the world are working to reduce their carbon emissions. One very carbon-intensive industry is the airline industry and it is struggling to find ways to reduce its emissions even while air travel continues to be on the rise worldwide.
Electric cars are gradually becoming more popular, but there are still real concerns about their driving range, the availability of charging infrastructure, and their price. Adoption of the technology is still rather slow.
The global efforts to reduce carbon emissions are marked by a conspicuous omission: the aviation and shipping industries. These two industries contribute 6% of all man-made CO2 emissions, but have so far managed to avoid international control. And not only are they major sources of carbon emissions, their contributions are growing three times faster than overall global CO2 emissions.
Apparel giant Nike recently announced that 71% of its footwear now contains materials made from waste products from its own manufacturing processes. They call the waste material “Nike Grind,” and it is made from recycled sneakers, plastic bottles, and manufacturing scraps from Nike’s factories.
In a recent article in Science entitled “Waste not, want not, emit less,” Danish researchers looked at the problem of food waste in both developed and developing countries. Overall, about a third of the world’s food is lost or wasted, but the reasons for this vary in different parts of the world.
The Scottish government has an ambitious plan to meet 100 percent of its demand for electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Like much of the world, Scotland has produced significant amounts of its electricity by burning coal for more than 100 years. But no longer.
The Paris climate agreement last December resulted in commitments by 195 countries to reduce their carbon emissions. The countries around the world made specific pledges to reduce emissions in the form of “intended nationally determined contributions” or INDCs.
The recent Paris summit on climate change produced a global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are multiple strategies to reduce emissions including both technological and economic ones.
The world is increasingly united in the desire to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. There is much emphasis on reducing and someday eliminating our use of fossil fuels, which is the main culprit in the situation we find ourselves in today. More and more we are embracing the use of renewable energy sources to produce electricity and we are starting to slowly move away from internal combustion engines to power our cars.
Many of us have a soft spot for primates and toucans. These charismatic creatures are prized for their intellect and beauty. But did you know they also play a vital role in combating climate change?