“Future of Climate Change” is a monthly series: we choose 5 beautiful things that shaped the future of climate action and ecosystem protection in the past month.
If it makes the world a better place, we want to talk about it.
News on halting biodiversity loss, reducing carbon footprints, becoming carbon neutral, cleantech innovations, climate change solutions, and everything in between. 🌿
Plus, there’s SO MUCH GOOD happening (you just have to notice it!), we just had to include a Biodiversity & Sustainability Bonus at the end.
June came with lots of good news, so… Shall we?
The time of people considering climate change a hoax is pretty much over.
Now, what people need is more tangible evidence on what exactly the changes brought on by the climate crisis are.
The ‘warming stripe’ graphics are circling the internet. They visually represent the change of temperature in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents an annual average temperature of that country.
This offers an accessible understanding of the reality of global temperature changes, which will hopefully guide people towards becoming carbon neutral.
For virtually every country, the stripes turn from mainly blue to mainly red in more recent years, illustrating a rise in average temperatures.
You can even buy a #ShowYourStripes face mask that has the stripes of how the temperature has risen globally. This can spark conversations on the importance of understanding global warming.
Talk about an easily understandable way to showcase climate change, right?
A large facility capable of removing huge amounts of carbon from the air is planned for Scotland. The DAC (Direct Air Capture) plan is a joint project between British and Canadian firms. This will massively cut air pollution while reducing the country’s carbon footprint.
It’s early days, but already the plans are to fly high (= reduce CO2 levels significantly).
The facility is thought to remove up to one million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, equivalent to 40 million trees. The extracted gas would be stored permanently deep under the Scottish sea.
If everything goes to plan, the facility could be operational by 2026.
Apparently, Scotland has significant advantages for this carbon removal technology:
When asked about whether the fossil fuel companies are involved one of the developers answered: "I came out of the oil industry in 2007, largely because I was getting concerned about what the impact was. None of the emissions that we take out here will be used for extracting more hydrocarbons. That's not what our business now is about. We have nothing to do with producing hydrocarbons, period."
We sure hope it’s true - here’s to a carbon neutral future! 🌱
A new study paves way for a greater understanding of the impact climate change has on all life forms. This reveals how important it is to protect endangered marine animals.
Scientists analyzed tiny organisms (the size of a sand grain!) from the mass extinction that took place 66 million years ago. They found plankton could recover and resume their core function of offsetting carbon footprints more than twice as fast as they regained full biodiversity.
“These findings are hugely significant, given growing concern around the extinctions of species in response to dramatic environmental shifts,” commented the senior author.
This research shows marine ecosystems can start working again and endangered sea animals can continue to provide important functions for humans.
However: “Our research shows how long -- approximately 4 million years -- it can take for an ecosystem to fully recover after an extinction event. Given the human impact on current ecosystems, this should make us mindful.” said the lead author.
We agree, even though the ecosystems may start functioning again after extinction, it’s after a long time. Let’s be mindful of it. 💚
Researchers have long known about the connection between high temperatures and the urban island effect. However, a new study is the first to calculate exactly how much the shaded areas from trees and buildings lower temperatures and reduce the “urban heat island” effect.
Heat islands are urbanized areas with hotter temperatures than outlying areas. Infrastructure absorbs and re-emits the sun’s heat more than forests and water bodies, causing temperatures to rise.
Trees are a carbon sink so they capture greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, thereby slowing a global temperature rise. But they also keep the Earth cool by providing shade.
Researchers created a complex 3D digital model to see just how much trees and buildings in cities affect the temperature. From the data, they used statistical analysis to determine precisely how the shade cast by buildings and trees affected surface temperatures.
The results showed:
"We've long known that the shade of trees and buildings can provide cooling, but now we can more precisely measure exactly what that effect will be in specific instances, which can help us make better design choices and greening strategies to mitigate the urban heat island effect," said the co-author of the study.
The Keystone XL project was halted after facing opposition from environmentalists, landowners, and Indigenous communities for years.
The Keystone XL Project would’ve been a 1947 km pipeline that stretched from Alberta in Canada to Nebraska in the USA. It would’ve shipped 830 000 barrels of oil every single day.
Just hours after President Biden was inaugurated, he revoked the permit issued by Trump. Talk about taking action!
Just some of the happy comments on the decision:
“We’re hopeful that the Biden administration will continue to shift this country in the right direction by opposing fossil fuel projects that threaten our climate, our waters, and imperiled wildlife. Good riddance to Keystone XL!”
“From the Tar Sands to the Gulf — we stood hand-in-hand to protect the next seven generations of life, the water, and our communities. This is not the end – but merely the beginning of further victories. We know this in our hearts.”
Indigenous peoples and the nature around them can now breathe for a moment as their lands are safe. Combined with cleantech, this land can then act as a carbon offset to reverse warming trends.
PS: Biden also suspended Trump’s Arctic drilling leases, protecting nature and wildlife there (and really everywhere - all nature is connected).
On ending single-use plastic:
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