Poor air quality is a problem all around the world. Exposure to air pollution is linked to the premature deaths of an estimated 6.5 million people every year, making it the fourth largest threat to human health, trailing only high blood pressure, dietary risks, and smoking.
There has been much news recently about the growing bleaching events going on in the world’s coral reefs associated with ocean warming and acidification. The massive damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is an ongoing tragedy.
According to a new paper published in the journal Nature, global warming has damaged huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The authors of the paper warn that the resilience of the reef – which is the world’s largest living structure – is waning rapidly.
China has worked to reduce its coal consumption in recent years but the air quality in cities like Beijing is still notoriously poor and a major health hazard.
Hundreds of thousands of reindeer roam Russia’s Yamal Peninsula, which is located in northwestern Siberia, and are herded by the indigenous Nenets people, reportedly among the Arctic’s last truly nomadic reindeer herders. Reindeer provide these indigenous people with transportation, food, clothes, and even tools made from their bones. Reindeer are well suited for the freezing temperatures and thick snow of this climate. But they are not well suited for climate change.
Poor air quality is a serious problem. Exposure to air pollution is linked to the premature deaths of an estimated 6.5 million people every year. This makes air pollution the fourth largest threat to human health. Only high blood pressure, dietary risks, and smoking are a bigger danger.
From time to time, we encounter wild animals in distress. A baby robin falls out of its nest. A fawn is orphaned when its mother is hit by a car. A bald eagle staggers on the ground, unable to fly.
Pakistan has a terrible history of environmental degradation. Since it became an independent country in 1947, almost all of its primary forests have been cut down while its population has grown by an unbelievable 600 percent.
Nobody really knows how many alligators live in Florida. It’s estimated that there are anywhere from 1.3 million to 2 million alligators in the Sunshine State, which means there’s one gator for every 10-15 Floridians. It’s this ratio that makes it just about impossible for someone living in Florida not to encounter an alligator at some point. And if you have seen one recently and thought it looked a little bigger, you may be onto something.
When we think of vultures, we picture big, ugly birds circling over a carcass in the desert. They are a stereotypical harbinger of death. But in many parts of the world, vultures are in danger of disappearing. Our knee-jerk reaction might well be “good riddance”, but as is the case for pretty much all participants in ecosystems, vultures have an important role to play. And when they aren’t around to play that role, bad things can happen.
Most people listening to this have seen a saltwater aquarium before, and many of those likely owned one at some point. Maybe you still do. The bright coral and even brighter fish can be found in offices, restaurants, hotels, and homes all over the world.