Top climate stories of this week: Floods in Melbourne, rain warning in Mexico, and more

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Top climate stories of this week: Floods in Melbourne, rain warning in Mexico, and more
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The World Wide Fund’s annual Living Planet Report has found that wildlife populations monitored across the globe have declined by a massive 69 per cent between 1970 and 2018. The population of wildlife has decreased by over 55% in Asia Pacific, driven by habitat degradation and loss, exploitation, the introduction of invasive species, pollution, climate change and disease, said the report.

Meanwhile, Australia is again suffering from the ill effects of climate change, with people in the southeastern part of the country, including Melbourne, being asked to evacuate as heavy rains triggered flash floods.

Here are the top 5 climate-related stories of this week:

Australia suffers weather emergency, Melbourne swamped as deluge hits 3 states

Thousands of people across Australia’s southeast were asked to evacuate their homes on Friday, including some in a western suburb of Melbourne, after two days of incessant rains triggered flash flooding and fast-moving waters burst river banks.

Large parts of Victoria state, southern New South Wales and the northern regions of the island state of Tasmania were pounded by an intense weather system with some taking more than a month’s worth of rain since late Wednesday, officials said.

“Our river systems… are reaching major flood levels at various times over today, through the weekend and through next week,” Victoria emergency services chief operations officer Tim Wiebusch told reporters. (Read more)

Rain warning for Mexico’s south Gulf coast as TS Karl nears 

Tropical Storm Karl moved slowly toward Mexico’s southern Gulf coast, and while it was not expected to grow into a hurricane, forecasters warned of the danger of flash floods from heavy rains in the region. The storm was expected to weaken somewhat Friday before making landfall in Veracruz state or Tabasco state by late Friday or early Saturday.

Karl had maximum sustained winds of 75 kph late Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said. The storm was centered about 245 km north-northeast of the resort town of Ciudad del Carmen and headed southeast at 11 kph. (AP)

Nigerian company turns e-waste into solar-powered lanterns

Quadloop, a Nigerian-based company, has found a way to turn electronic waste into solar lanterns and other products which will have a lower impact on the environment.

An employee dismantles an old monitor for electronic waste processing, at Quadloop recycling facility in Lagos, Nigeria. (Reuters)

Dozie Igweilo, the founder of Quadloop, told Reuters he came up with the idea after discovering a market for affordable, locally produced electrical goods, for which components were not available in the country.

An employee works on the production of a solar lantern from electronic waste recycling, at Quadloop recycling facility in Lagos, Nigeria. (Reuters)

“At that point, we noticed that… if we leverage on electronic waste, we are going to cut down the cost of production as well as the cost of sales, and that is what brought us to where we are today,” Igweilo said. The company aims to source 70% of its materials from electronic waste. Quadloop recycles lithium batteries from dumped old laptops for its solar lanterns. (Reuters)

69% decline in wildlife populations worldwide since 1970: WWF report 

Wildlife populations monitored across the globe have declined by a massive 69 per cent between 1970 and 2018, according to the WWF’s Living Planet Report (LPR) 2022.

Featuring almost 32,000 populations of 5,230 species, the Living Planet Index (LPI) provided in the report shows it is within tropical regions that monitored vertebrate wildlife populations are plummeting at a staggering rate.

“Latin America and the Caribbean regions have seen the largest decline of monitored wildlife populations globally — an average decline of 94 per cent during the period,” the report said.

Wildlife populations have dipped by 66 per cent in Africa and 55 per cent in Asia Pacific. Freshwater populations have declined by 83 per cent on average compared to other species groups, according to the report. (PTI)

Bhutan holds high-altitude race to highlight climate dangers

Twenty-nine runners set off on a rare high-altitude race in Bhutan on Thursday to highlight the dangers of climate change to the Himalayan kingdom sandwiched between China and India, two of the world’s biggest polluters.

Bhutan, roughly the size of Switzerland, has forests covering 70% of its land, which absorb nearly three times more climate-changing emissions than the country produces a year.

“The race is designed to raise awareness about climate change and its risks to our economy and the livelihood of the people,” Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji told Reuters by telephone after flagging off the race in the northwestern town of Gasa. (Reuters)





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