Environmental Impact

Electric car boom fuels interest in Bolivia’s fragile salt flats

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www.theguardian.com - Max Opray
Bolivia’s lithium carbonate contains high levels of magnesium, making the extraction process difficult and costly. Photograph: Alamy
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Demand for the metal used in electric car batteries has surged. But extraction could threaten the fragile ecosystem of the world’s largest salt flat.

Demand for lithium – which is used in pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, and smartphone and electric car batteries – has surged in the past year, ahead of an anticipated boom in electric cars, and is projected to outstrip supply by 20 ... Read more about Electric car boom fuels interest in Bolivia’s fragile salt flats

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Epic Middle East Heat Wave Is Being Compared to Weapon of Mass Destruction

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http://www.ecowatch.com - Climate Nexus
Temperatures simulated by the GFS model in the Middle East reached 129 F on Friday, July 22. WeatherBell.com
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Recent extreme heat events in the Middle East have climate scientists worried about future climate-related catastrophes. Temperatures have climbed above 115 F across the region this summer and Kuwait and Iraq recently recorded most likely the hottest temperatures ever in the Eastern Hemisphere.
 
Record-breaking extreme heat—estimated to have claimed more lives than wars—has worsened over the years and recent studies have suggested future climate change will make parts of the region uninhabitable.

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Global extraction of primary materials to triple by 2050 - UNEP

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http://in.reuters.com - Nina Chestney
Atlas Iron Limited managing director David Flanagan holds a piece of ore found on the ground at one of his company's prospective iron ore mines near Port Hedland about 1,600 km (960 miles) north of Perth May 26, 2008. REUTERS/TIM WIMBORNE/FILES
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The amount of primary materials extracted from the earth will almost triple by the middle of this century if action is not taken, as emerging economies develop and consume more, a U.N.-backed report said on Wednesday.  The use of fossil fuels, metal ores and non-metallic minerals has accelerated rapidly since 2000 as emerging economies such as China transform their industries and cities, requiring unprecedented amounts of iron, steel, cement, energy and construction materials.
... Read more about Global extraction of primary materials to triple by 2050 - UNEP

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Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn

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https://www.theguardian.com - Damian Carrington
Flooding in Straiton, Scotland, in December. Scientists say it will increase in future. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
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Unprecedented temperature levels mean more heatwaves, flooding, wildfires and hurricanes as experts say global warming is here and affecting us now.

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Value of eco crimes soars by 26% with devastating impacts on natural world

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http://www.theguardian.com - Arthur Neslen
Indians take pictures of contaminated water at the Vijyaipura landfill near Bangalore. According to reports tonnes of solid and electronic e-waste are dumped there every day. Photograph: Jagadeesg Nv/EPA
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Environmental crime is now the world’s fourth biggest crime and is a growing threat to security and natural resources, say UN and Interpol.

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Chaotic urbanization puts cities in harm's way: UN

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http://www.reuters.com - Megan Rowling
Buildings under construction are seen during a hazy day in Rizhao, Shandong Province, China, March 15, 2016. REUTERS
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ISTANBUL (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The risk of man-made and natural disasters hitting fast-growing cities is rising, and national governments must do more to help municipal authorities protect residents through better planning, the head of the U.N. agency for human settlements said.
... Read more about Chaotic urbanization puts cities in harm's way: UN

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Climate change means more fear, less fun for global middle class - UBS

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http://news.trust.org/ - Megan Rowling
A family wades through a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, due to typhoon Etau, in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, Sept. 10, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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BARCELONA, Jan 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The erosion of wealth among the world's middle class due to climate change is a threat to economic and social stability which could spur its 1 billion members to push for action on global warming, Swiss bank UBS Group AG said. ... Read more about Climate change means more fear, less fun for global middle class - UBS

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Large Wildfires Are Now More Common and Destructive

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climatecentral.org - by Brian Kahn
A 2013 photo of the Alder Fire in Yellowstone National Park. Credit: National Park Service Climate Change Research/flickr
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The West continues to be a fiery inferno as August fades into September. Wildfires have exploded across the region this month.
 
There have been 117 large wildfires to date including 70 large fires that are still burning.

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