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sabato 29 aprile 2017
 
 
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Environmental Issues and Protection
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  • Skating on thin ice: The thawing Arctic threatens an environmental catastrophe
    Print section Print Rubric:  Efforts to limit global warming will not stop the Arctic melting Print Headline:  Skating on thin ice Print Fly Title:  The Arctic UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to have a better death Fly Title:  Skating on thin ice Location:  KIRKENES, TROMSO and WASHINGTON, DC Main image:  20170429_FBP001_0.jpg “DUE to the global warming, please keep the Snowhotel door closed” reads a sign at the entrance to what appears to be a giant white mound near Kirkenes, close to Norway’s Arctic border with Russia. The owners want to preserve the frozen friezes of unicorns, reindeer and butterflies that adorn its walls. Patches of translucence in the ceilings of the hotel’s 25 icy rooms suggest the warmth outside is winning. Artificial snow helps build the structure anew each ...

  • A thaw point: As the Arctic melts the world’s weather suffers
    Print section Print Rubric:  As the Arctic melts the rest of the world suffers Print Headline:  A thaw point Print Fly Title:  Sea levels and storms UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to have a better death Fly Title:  A thaw point Main image:  20170429_blp527.jpg SHRINKING Arctic ice is sure to have unwelcome effects elsewhere on the planet. But what, precisely? Glaciologists and meteorologists are working furiously to understand two particularly complex issues that may cause huge upheavals: the stability of the Greenland ice sheet and its potential contribution to rising sea levels; and extreme weather elsewhere in the world that might result from the demise of the Arctic’s white wastes. Since the 1970s the Arctic has been the main cause of rising sea levels around the world. Over two-thirds of the Arctic’s contribution derives from ice loss from ...

  • Climate change: The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone
    Print section Print Rubric:  The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone Print Headline:  Polar bare Print Fly Title:  The Arctic UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to have a better death Fly Title:  Climate change Main image:  20170429_blp520.jpg THOSE who doubt the power of human beings to change Earth’s climate should look to the Arctic, and shiver. There is no need to pore over records of temperatures and atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations. The process is starkly visible in the shrinkage of the ice that covers the Arctic ocean. In the past 30 years, the minimum coverage of summer ice has fallen by half; its volume has fallen by three-quarters. On current trends, the Arctic ocean will be largely ice-free in summer by 2040. Climate-change sceptics will shrug. Some may even celebrate: an ice-free Arctic ocean promises a ...

  • No cooling: Trump’s indifference to climate change has not changed China’s view
    Print section Print Rubric:  Donald Trump’s indifference to climate change has not changed China’s view Print Headline:  No cooling Print Fly Title:  Climate change UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Why an election offers the chance of a better Brexit Fly Title:  No cooling Location:  BEIJING Main image:  20170422_CNP001_0.jpg RESIDENTS have found something else to blame for the toxic smog that envelops many Chinese cities for much of the year. Until recently the culprits that were usually fingered were the obvious ones: emissions from coal-fired power plants, exhaust fumes from cars and dust from building sites. This year, however, reports began to appear in state-run media that climate change is now reckoned to be a factor, too. Chinese scientists say that in eastern China global ...

  • Writing the end of the world: Charting trends in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction
    Main image:  THE apocalypse has proved fertile ground for writers of popular fiction. In “The Day of the Triffids” (1951), John Wyndham saw mankind’s end hastened by perambulating carnivorous plants; Stephen King made a case for murderous mobile phones in “Cell” (2006). Readers are invited time and again to imagine a world devastated by natural disaster, destroyed by radiation or wracked by plague. The Doomsday Clock is another touchstone of the geopolitical mood. A countdown to global catastrophe devised by scientists in 1947 in the wake of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was conceived as an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war. The clock started at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight symbolising the end of life as we know it. The hands have been adjusted 22 times, fluctuating between two and 17 minutes to midnight. Since 2007, it has reflected global challenges more generally, encompassing climate change and artificial intelligence as well as nuclear war.Over the course of the clock’s 70-year history, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic literature has seen waves of popularity; the chart below* maps them against each other. Each time the hands edge closer to midnight—that is, when a threat is most tangible—writers seem to start scribbling about the near annihilation ...

  • Climate refugees: How Alaska is coping with global warming
    Print section Print Rubric:  Move species to protect them from climate change, argues one scientist Print Headline:  Climate refugees Print Fly Title:  Biology in Alaska UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to manage the computer-security threat Fly Title:  Climate refugees Location:  SOLDOTNA Main image:  Development opportunity for bison, deer and lodgepole pine Development opportunity for bison, deer and lodgepole pine JOHN MORTON, head biologist at the enormous Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, recently drove a mechanical auger through two feet of lake ice, looking for an aquatic invader called elodea. To his dismay, he found it. Elodea is a popular aquarium plant that probably escaped into the wild when people dumped their fish tanks into lakes. It seems to spread on the ...

  • Tortoise v hare: Is China challenging the United States for global leadership?
    Print section Print Rubric:  Is China challenging the United States for global leadership? Print Headline:  Tortoise v hare Print Fly Title:  China and America UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain’s brutal encounter with reality Fly Title:  Tortoise v hare Location:  BEIJING Main image:  20170401_CND001_0.jpg AS DONALD TRUMP prepares to welcome Xi Jinping next week for the two men’s first face-to-face encounter, both countries are reassessing their place in the world. They are looking in opposite directions: America away from shouldering global responsibilities, China towards it. And they are reappraising their positions in very different ways. Hare-like, the Trump administration is dashing from one policy to the next, sometimes contradicting itself and willing to box any rival it ...

  • Coal and carbon: The president’s executive orders won’t do much for coalminers
    Print section Print Rubric:  The president’s executive orders on climate change will not do much for coalminers, but they could harm the planet anyway Print Headline:  Down and dirty Print Fly Title:  Environmental policy UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain’s brutal encounter with reality Fly Title:  Coal and carbon Main image:  Unaccompanied miner Unaccompanied miner “YOU’RE going back to work,” Donald Trump told miners on March 28th. Gathered in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they saw him sign an executive order to review and revise Barack Obama’s flagship energy policy, the Clean Power Plan. Among other measures, the order also requests the reversal of a moratorium on coal-leasing on federal lands and dispenses with rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas sites. It rolls back internal rules for government agencies on how to ...

  • Canary in the coal mine: Lacklustre power demand in Asia throws a cloud over coal
    Print section Print Rubric:  Weak electricity demand in China and India is clouding the outlook for coal Print Headline:  Canary in the coal mine Print Fly Title:  Energy in Asia UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain’s brutal encounter with reality Fly Title:  Canary in the coal mine Main image:  20170401_FNP001_0.jpg THE Hazelwood power station in Australia’s state of Victoria started generating electricity 52 years ago. The stark symbol of an era when coal was king, Hazelwood was one of Australia’s dirtiest: its fuel was the Latrobe valley’s brown coal, a bigger polluter than the black sort. The station was due finally to close on March 31st. Days earlier, chimney stacks were demolished at Munmorah, a black-coal station north of Sydney, already closed. Australia has shut ten coal-fired power stations over the past seven years, yet coal still ...

  • Global air pollution: Airborne particles cause more than 3m early deaths a year
    Print section Print Rubric:  By importing goods, rich countries export air pollution—and with it, deaths Print Headline:  Trading in mortality Print Fly Title:  Global air pollution UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain’s brutal encounter with reality Fly Title:  Global air pollution Main image:  20170401_stc934.png GOVERNMENTS fret over traffic and other local nuisances that create filthy air. But research just published in Nature by Zhang Qiang, of Tsinghua University in Beijing, and an international team including environmental economists, physicists and disease experts, suggests the problem has a global dimension, too. Dr Zhang’s analysis estimates that in 2007—the first year for which complete industrial, epidemiological and trade data were available when the team started work—more than 3m premature deaths around the world were caused by ...


 
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