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.”
Scientists have said the Doomsday Clock – a metaphor for a global apocalypse – has moved closer to midnight than ever before. It’s now just 100 seconds away. President and chief executive of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Rachel Bronson, said the world has entered into the realm of a two-minute warning – with high danger and little room for error.
The 10 years to the end of 2019 have been confirmed as the warmest decade on record by three global agencies. According to Nasa, Noaa and the UK Met Office, last year was the second warmest in a record dating back to 1850. The past five years were the hottest in the 170-year series, with the average of each one more than 1C warmer than pre-industrial.
The world’s oceans hit their warmest level in recorded history in 2019, according to a study published Monday that provides more evidence that Earth is warming at an accelerated pace. The analysis, which also found that ocean temperatures in the last decade have been the warmest on record, shows the impact of human-caused warming on the planet’s oceans and suggests extreme weather events could worsen as the oceans continue to absorb so much heat.
A global shipping industry organization is proposing a research and development program to help cut carbon dioxide emissions, funded by about $5 billion from shipping companies over a decade. Environmental activists say that while shipping contributes only about 2% of global greenhouse gases, the industry’s efforts are essential to combating climate change. The strategy envisions cutting total annual emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 2008.
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who has led worldwide protests demanding global action on the issue, is Time magazine’s Person Of The Year. Thunberg, 16, has been calling the world’s attention to what she describes as a “climate emergency”. In the announcement, the magazine said: “For decades, researchers and activists have struggled to get world leaders to take the climate threat seriously. But this year, an unlikely teenager somehow got the world’s attention.”