Arctic sea ice has melted to its second lowest level on record as a result of heat waves and forest fires, scientists have said. On 15 September, ice in the Arctic Ocean measured 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometres), the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) said. This is the second lowest summer melt since satellite records began in 1979.
After multiple California officials confronted President Donald Trump Monday about ignoring climate change’s role in the raging west coast wildfires, the president dismissed their concerns and raised skepticism about the “science” that has concluded the Earth is warming. “It’ll start getting cooler,” Trump said in response to California Natural Resource Secretary Wade Crawfoot, who pressed the president to acknowledge the fact untamed vegetation is not solely responsible for the wildfires in the Golden State.
The rate at which humanity is consuming the Earth’s resources declined sharply this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to researchers. Consequently, Earth Overshoot Day, the point at which human consumption exceeds the amount nature can regenerate in a year, has moved back by over three weeks from 29 July in 2019 to 22 August this year.
Most of the Arctic’s polar bear population will struggle to survive by 2100 due to melting sea ice, a new study claims. A loss of the ice caused by global warming will force the animals on to land, where they must rely on fat reserves due to a lack of food, researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada said.
The prolonged heatwave in Siberia from January to June, which pushed overall temperatures 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than normal, would have been “almost impossible” if not for human-caused climate change, a new study has found. Temperatures in Siberia have been above average since the beginning of the year, with the Russian town of Verkhoyansk recording a temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in June — a record temperature for the Arctic.
A third of the global population — 3.5 billion people — could be living in temperatures inhospitable to human life in the next 50 years because of climate change, a study released Monday found. By 2070, billions could be living in a climate currently found only in a select few places, like Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where the average temperature is 86 F (30 C).
Radiation levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone spiked 17 times over the normal background reading Sunday, the head of Ukraine’s ecological watchdog said Sunday, as forest fires blazed about 12 miles into the Chernobyl disaster area. Ukraine sees spikes in human-sparked forest fires annually, typically in the spring and the fall, according to the Emergency Services Ministry. Such fires are more dangerous around Chernobyl.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Monday he is committing $10 billion to fight climate change, which he calls “the biggest threat to our planet.” Bezos says the funds will go toward the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund. “This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world,” he writes in an Instagram post.
Last month was the hottest January on record over the world’s land and ocean surfaces, with average temperatures exceeding anything in the 141 years of data held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The past five years and the past decade are the hottest in 150 years of record-keeping, an indication of the gathering pace of the climate crisis.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg said Wednesday she’s applied to trademark her name and that of the international school strike movement she inspired, a move meant to protect the movement from misuse for commercial purposes. In an Instagram post, the 17-year-old Swede said that she and fellow activists have “absolutely no interests” in trademarks “but unfortunately it needs to be done.”