Across rural Iraq and Syria, farmers, officials, and village elders tell similar stories of desperate farmhands swapping backhoes for assault rifles. Already battered by decades of shoddy environmental policies, which had hobbled agriculture and impoverished its dependents, these men were in no state to navigate the extra challenges of climate change. And so when ISIS came along, propelled in large part by sectarian grievances and religious fanaticism, many of the most environmentally damaged Sunni Arab villages quickly emerged as some of the deep-pocketed jihadists’ foremost recruiting grounds.
As global warming yields warmer, more acidic ocean waters, scientists worry interactions between common ocean bacteria could be altered, disrupting entire food chains and ecosystems.
The atmosphere gets all the attention in climate change, mostly because that’s where the warming happens. Even the oceans draw more concern than soil, especially when their warming temperatures help fuel massive storms and floods that kill humans and destroy communities. The seas hold 60 times more carbon than the atmosphere and absorb more than 90 percent of the heat that industrial pollution generates.
The soil, meanwhile, has been mostly ignored until lately. It’s both hugely influential on global warming and something humanity has a good deal of control over. The top 3 meters or so of earth store more carbon than the entire atmosphere and all plants combined. Taking care of the planet’s soil is “critical for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations,” according to a synthesis by Stanford University’s Robert Jackson and five colleagues, published Thursday in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics.
Global emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide remained static in 2016, a welcome sign that the world is making at least some progress in the battle against global warming by halting the long-term rising trend.
Apparel companies are the latest in a growing list of high-profile brands making pledges to support Paris climate agreement goals, sustainability leaders said.
Squid and anchovies, more commonly eaten by Britons holidaying abroad, are being drawn into UK waters in large numbers by climate change, according to major new report that suggests the nation’s long-lost bluefin tuna is also returning.
Changing weather patterns caused by increasing global temperatures means meteorologists can no longer rely on historical rainfall records to predict future weather events. Instead, a new supercomputer at the Met Office simulated thousands of possible scenarios using current climate patterns.
As the ice-free areas expand, the distances between them will decrease, giving plants and animals more opportunity to spread through the landscape. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which has already warmed more than anywhere else in Antarctica, many of the ice-free patches will expand so much that they will start joining together.
Will this increase in habitat availability benefit the plants and animals that live there? It will definitely provide new opportunities for some native plants and animals to expand their range and colonise new areas. The warming climate may also give a boost to species that are currently hampered by the lack of warmth, nutrients and water.
However, the potential benefits seem likely to be outweighed by the negatives. The joining-up of habitat patches could allow species that have been isolated for much of their evolutionary past to meet suddenly. If the newcomers to a particular area outcompete the native species, then it may lead to localised extinctions. Over the coming centuries this could lead to the loss of many plants and animals, and the homogenisation of Antarctica’s ecosystems.
In the waterlogged Netherlands, climate change is considered neither a hypothetical nor a drag on the economy. Instead, it’s an opportunity.
Less than three weeks after President Donald Trump pulled the United States from the 195-nation Paris Agreement on climate change, there’s a new ragtag group of underdogs supporting carbon-cutting.