Top climate change and environment news stories this week
Welcome to the top climate change and environment news stories of the week. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most significant environmental news stories that have emerged in the past week, covering topics ranging from climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, and environmental policy.
Stay informed on the latest developments and trends in the environmental sector by reading through these weekly news summaries on Groundreport.in.
Europe experiences its joint second-warmest winter
Europe has just experienced its second-warmest winter on record, amidst the worsening effects of the climate crisis.
According to the data released by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the average temperature in Europe during the Boreal winter season from December to February was 1.4°C higher than the average from 1991 to 2020.
The C3S report states that eastern Europe and some Nordic countries experienced particularly high temperatures, while certain regions such as parts of Russia and Greenland were below average.
Plastic in the oceans could almost triple by 2040
New research has revealed that the amount of plastic entering the world’s oceans has surged to an ‘unprecedented’ level since 2005, and could almost triple by 2040 unless decisive action is taken.
The study, led by the 5 Gyres Institute, estimated that there were around 171 trillion plastic particles floating in the oceans by 2019.
The research also predicted that marine plastic pollution could increase by 2.6 times over the next 20 years, unless legally binding global policies are put in place.
News in brief: Top climate crisis stories this week
United States heatwave
Scientists in the United States have found that heat waves occurring on the ocean floor can be more severe and longer-lasting than those on the sea surface.
This assessment comes as the average temperature of the ocean has risen by roughly 1.5°C over the past century, and marine heatwaves have become around 50% more common in the last decade.
Deforestation in Amazon
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest reached its highest level on record for the month of February, underscoring the challenges faced by the country’s new government in addressing the issue.
According to data from the Brazilian space research agency, Inpe, 322 square kilometers (124 square miles) of forest were cleared in the region last month, a 62% increase from February 2022 and well above the period’s average of 166 square kilometers.
Environmentally conscious funds
In a bid to attract investment from environmentally conscious funds, a group of the world’s leading copper producers has announced its intention to achieve zero direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
To achieve this goal, the companies plan to decarbonize their power supply, improve efficiency, and increase scrap collection.
US announced $6 billion funding to accelerate decarbonization
The US government has announced $6 billion in funding to accelerate decarbonization projects in industries like steel, aluminum, and cement, which are responsible for almost 25% of US greenhouse gas emissions. This program is part of President Joe Biden’s commitment to decarbonize the US economy by 2050.
climate crisis economic impact
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the climate crisis is already having a significant economic and financial impact on the country and could lead to asset value losses that could ripple through the financial system in the coming years.
The past five years have seen a five-fold increase in the number of billion-dollar disasters compared to the 1980s.
During a meeting, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that as the climate crisis worsens, asset values could decline, potentially causing a ripple effect throughout the financial system. She stated that a slow and disorganized transition to a net-zero economy could lead to shocks to the financial system.
Climate change to cost Germany up to 900 billion euros
According to a recent study, the climate crisis could cost Germany up to €900 billion ($965 billion) in cumulative economic damage by mid-century.
A study titled ‘Costs of Climate Change Impacts in Germany‘ by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), the Society for Economic Structures Research (GWS), and Prognos AG explored different scenarios for the years 2022 to 2050, which varied in severity based on the degree of global warming.
The losses include decreased agricultural yields, flood damage or destruction of buildings and infrastructure, transport disruptions, and effects on the health system.
China record-breaking high temperatures
Northern China has experienced record-breaking high temperatures, with Shahe reaching 31.8°C. China’s official weather forecaster warned that the high temperatures are an indication of a rapidly warming earth.
Devastating loss in UK
A 20-year research project in the UK and Ireland has shown a ‘devastating loss’ of native wild plants, with more than half of the country’s native flora in decline due to human impact, including the climate crisis.
Chile launched Huemul program
Chile has launched a program to protect the Huemul, an endangered deer species, by creating a ‘biological corridor’ consisting of approximately 16 connected, state-protected areas and other private conservation initiatives.
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