Environmental Impact

World Can Achieve Climate Goals, With All 10 Billion People Prospering

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Rona Fried
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It can feel overwhelming and even futile when we hear targets like zero emissions by 2050, while population reaches 10 billion and the world’s economy triples in size – how can we possibly stay below 2°C temperature rise?
 
A new tool shows it is possible to meet this goal while ensuring everyone has a good standard of living. People can have the food they need, live in comfortable homes, and even travel.

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Nowhere To Hide From Global Forest Watch

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Rona Fried
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There’s nowhere to hide now that Global Forest Watch has launched – citizens around the world now have all the information they need to monitor the state of the world’s forests.
 
Global Forest Watch combines the latest satellite technology, open data and social media crowdsourcing to produce "near-real time, reliable, and actionable data" about what’s happening to forests worldwide.
 
High resolution data from half a billion NASA Landsat satellite images measures whether tree cover is growing or lessening.

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Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources | Vital Signs Online

Author: 

Michael Renner
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Global meat production rose to an estimated 308.5 million tons in 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent over 2012.1 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts additional growth of 1.1 percent in 2014 to 311.8 million tons.2 Production is thus reaching new peaks, despite drought conditions in Australia and New Zealand and disease outbreaks in the United States and Eastern Europe.3 However, the annual rate of growth has slowed from 2.6 percent in 2010.4 ... Read more about Peak Meat Production Strains Land and Water Resources | Vital Signs Online

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UN: Developing countries face higher risks from mercury

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A marble of mercury is seen after an illegal gold-washer found gold in the river in Ouanary, French Guiana on April 18, 2010. Communities in developing countries are facing increased health and environmental risks linked to mercury exposure, the United Nations Environment Programme said.

Communities in developing countries are facing increased health and environmental risks linked to mercury exposure, the United Nations Environment Programme said Thursday. ... Read more about UN: Developing countries face higher risks from mercury

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U.N. Disaster Chief Warns of More Natural Catastrophes to Come

Author: 

NICK CUMMING-BRUCE
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GENEVA — Thailand’s Khao Lak coast 10 years ago was a wasteland of palm beaches littered with the detritus of destroyed hotels and corpses blackened by the tropical sun.

Margareta Wahlstrom, the United Nations’ top official on natural disasters, will be in Khao Lak on Friday for the anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami with a message: “Expect events to happen that you have never seen before. There will be no letup in the coming decades.” ... Read more about U.N. Disaster Chief Warns of More Natural Catastrophes to Come

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UN: Up to $300 billion lost annually in natural disasters

 natural disaster
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UNITED NATIONS — The global economic losses from natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones and have continued rising to reach an average of $250 billion to $300 billion annually, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday.

The report, produced by the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, estimates that an investment of $6 billion annually in measures to reduce the risk of disasters would save the world from losses of $360 billion over the next 15 years. ... Read more about UN: Up to $300 billion lost annually in natural disasters

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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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