More trees near the home was associated with a reduced risk in antidepressant use, information that can help urban planners
I hope they don’t contaminate all the amaranth with their relentless war on weeds! -tr. As a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids, amaranth is a highly nutritious source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and antioxidants that may improve brain function and reduce inflammation.“This is a plant that could feed the world,” said Tsosie-Peña.
The oil industry knew at least 50 years ago that air pollution from burning fossil fuels posed serious risks to human health, only to spend decades aggressively lobbying against clean air regulations, a trove of internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal.
On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast we discuss what seashells can tell us about the state of the world’s oceans, and we hear about the challenges facing the Philippines’ marine protected area system. Environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett joins us to discuss her newly released book, The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans. She tells us about the many ways humans have prized seashells for years, using them as money, jewelry, and art, and how seashells can help us examine the challenges marine environments are facing today. We’re also joined by Mongabay staff writer Leilani Chavez, who tells us about the incredible marine biodiversity found in Philippines waters and why there’s a movement amongst scientists and conservationists to expand marine conservation efforts beyond the Philippines’ extensive coral reef systems.
"The evidence of positive effects from nature includes studies on specific psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and mood disorder. Access to nature has also been found to improve sleep and reduce stress, increase happiness and reduce negative emotions, promote positive social interactions and even help generate a sense of meaning to life. Being in green environments boosts various aspects of thinking, including attention, memory and creativity, in people both with and without depression. “The evidence is very solid,” says psychologist Marc Berman at the University of Chicago."
But just as we humans have littered the Earth with our rubbish and the seas with our runoff, we've also poisoned the planet with our ruckus. And while noise is often treated more as a fist-shaking nuisance than a global health risk, it turns it isn't just annoying, it's actually killing us. "When we look at the healthiest ecosystems that exist today on our planet, we're finding they're also the quietest places," Hempton said. "They are the places taking carbon out of the environment, producing oxygen for us to breathe and where endangered species aren't endangered." When Hempton says that by saving quiet, you wind up saving everything else, this is exactly what he means – healthy soundscapes sustain healthy environments, and if we were to start treating noise as the soundtrack of climate change and noise pollution as pollution, it would have resounding effects on every living thing, including ourselves.
The contamination presents an “extremely troubling” health threat in the nation’s largest estuary, said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs.
Chemicals are essential for the well-being, high living standards and comfort of modern society. They are used in many sectors, including health, energy, mobility and housing.
The chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, decreased immunity, hormone disruption, and a range of other serious health problems.
They are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, plummeting sperm counts and a range of other serious health problems.
The River Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Fresno is pumping out a plume of smoke that’s visible from satellites in orbit around the Earth – and creating concerns over the effects of residents breathing in the gunk.
“We know what the issue is, we know what the health effects are, we know how to deal with it,” he added. “It really comes down to political will."
Kalpataru: (A wish-fulfilling, divine tree in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.) The story highlights the importance of environment conservation. An ordinary laborer loses his young adult son. Doctors attribute his son's untimely death to medical conditions exacerbated by pollution. The man connects the importance of good health to clean, pure air and takes it upon himself to plant trees in hopes of saving others from the same fate his son suffered. Witness a determined man's decades-long journey, fraught with obstacles, drama, and hope for a better future.
Population growth has been left out of the climate debate because it is considered controversial, yet it is one of the most important factors. The global population has passed the 7 billion mark and India will soon overtake China as the most populous nation in the world, but one state in southern India has found the solution: Kerala educates its women. The unique history of Kerala and ‘the Kerala Model’ is outlined, using it as an example of achieving population control in developing countries without coercion. Links are highlighted within the documentary between issues such as women’s education, women’s rights and status in society, women’s health, population growth, global poverty and global food shortage, economic growth and environmental stability.
Waters of the U.S. (United States, 21 min). Directed by Remi Escudié. The current administration is rolling back crucial protections for streams and wetlands across the country in a direct assault on the Clean Water Act. This incredibly beautiful film tells the story of the rivers, streams, and wetlands of Alabama to illustrate the dangers of the proposed regulation. By doing so, it shows the economic benefits, ecological health, and cultural way of life that hang in the balance. The director hails from Miami, Florida, with a strong passion for environmental advocacy. With a degree in Editing, Writing & Media from Florida State University and a background in environmental journalism, he intends to make documentaries to inspire protection wildlife and our natural resources.
“One of the biggest ways climate change is affecting us is by loading the weather dice against us. Extreme weather events occur naturally; but on a warmer planet many of these events are getting bigger, stronger, and more damaging,” Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and the Nature Conservancy, said in an emailed statement. “They’re affecting our health, the safety of our homes, the economy, and more.”
Millions of people in the US are drinking water that fails to meet federal health standards, including by violating limits for dangerous contaminants. Latinos are disproportionately exposed, according to the Guardian’s review of more than 140,000 public water systems across the US and county-level demographic data.
Carrying out a new assessment, they said, would “ensure a full and significant environmental review that includes assessing the project’s real costs on environment, public health, and climate change and ensuring the public is aware of those costs.” The Army Corps conducted “almost no independent evaluation of the risk of oil spills at the crossings it authorized, despite the fact that the route for Line 3 crosses 227 lakes and rivers, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River and rivers that feed directly into Lake Superior,” the letter said.
California denied 21 oil drilling permits this week in the latest move toward ending fracking in a state that makes millions from the petroleum industry but is seeing widespread drought and more dangerous fire seasons linked to climate change. State Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk sent letters Thursday to Aera Energy denying permits to drill using hydraulic fracturing in two Kern County oil fields to “protect “public health and safety and environmental quality, including (the) reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions."
“Sea lions, they’re coming up on the beach, using the same waters that we swim and surf in, eating a lot of the same seafood that we eat,” said Gulland. To protect both wildlife and human health, the study concluded, efforts to prevent ecosystem contamination with persistent organic pollutants have to be improved.
Starting in December 2018, this magnificent migration took a fatal turn. The bodies of California gray whales began washing up along the protected inlets of Baja, where gray whales come every spring to nurse their young and mate. Researchers, however, agree on one key point: It is essential that science identify the key cause. Gray whales are a conservation success story — having survived commercial whaling and rebounded from near extinction with the help of wildlife protection laws. Their ups and downs are important indicators for the health of the oceans.
Microplastics are found in our clothes, cosmetics and cleaning products. One load of laundry can release an average of 700,000 microplastic fibres. Less than a millimetre in length, these fibres make their way into rivers and oceans, where they are eaten by fish and even corals. Because of their tiny size, microplastics are able to pass through filtration systems, making it very difficult to avoid them.
“Ending the use of chlorpyrifos on food will help to ensure children, farmworkers, and all people are protected from the potentially dangerous consequences of this pesticide,” he said in a statement. “After the delays and denials of the prior administration, EPA will follow the science and put health and safety first.” That science indicates the chemical can cause irreversible harm. Children exposed to organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, have an increased risk for abnormal neurodevelopment, including persistent loss of intelligence and behavior problems, studies have shown. Even low-dose exposure, particularly in the womb, has been found to harm brain development, leading to higher risk of disorders such as autism.
"The bill is light on specifics but sets out a general framework for directing at least $1 trillion per year over the next decade to rapidly weaning the United States off fossil fuels and replacing corroded water systems, increasing benefits for home care workers, remediating toxic industrial sites, and propping up new, localized food producers, among other things. The bill lays out an expansive vision of how to slash the nation’s planet-heating emissions in half and balance the racial and regional gaps in wealth and health, issues that have animated the party’s base and inflected once-sleepy debates over roads and rail funding with the energy of a new-wave civil rights movement."
Decades of mismanagement, environmental changes and a burgeoning population have created tensions for the 40 million people living on the shores of the world's second largest freshwater lake, Lake Victoria. Desperate fishermen use illegal nets and overfish the East African lake's dwindling stocks, while many fishermen have had to turn to other forms of work - much of which has a detrimental impact on the health of the lake and its residents. Lake Victoria: An Ecosystem in Turmoil follows some of those trying to eek out a living on the lake: a Kenyan fisherman who illegally crosses the border into Uganda in the search for fish; a Ugandan who gave up fishing to become a palm oil farmer; and a Tanzanian gold miner using mercury with his bare hands to extract the precious mineral from unregulated mines on the lake's shores. But how well do they comprehend the pressure that they’re putting on the lake, and can the regional governments and communities take action before irreversible damage happens?
We are excited to present selections from the 2021 VIRTUAL CINEMA VERDE
At a time when climate change is making heat waves more frequent and more severe, trees are stationary superheroes. Research shows that heat already kills more people in the United States than hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather-events, perhaps contributing to 12,000 deaths per year.
A massive ‘heat dome’ of excessive heat will settle across the heart of the contiguous US from Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast, bringing elevated temperatures to the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, the northern reaches of the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific northwest and California.
More than 100 constitutions across the world have adopted a human right to a healthy environment, often serving as a powerful tool to protect the natural world.
The International Energy Agency reports that over the next 30 years, air conditioning may be one of the top drivers of electricity demand. “Without action to address energy efficiency, energy demand for space cooling will more than triple by 2050 — consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today,” the agency reports.That makes the need for high-efficiency cooling extremely vital. Not to mention more widespread use of renewable energy and, of course, drastically curbing climate emissions.
The most severe heat wave that the Pacific Northwest has ever endured is underway. Predicted to be “historic, dangerous, prolonged and unprecedented,” according to the National Weather Service, it’s already rewriting the record books. Portland and Seattle shatter records amid historic heat wave
We are learning more about how to avoid overheating. A 2019 study by University of Sydney researcher Ollie Jay found that electric fans cooled body temperatures and reduced cardiovascular strain in hot, humid weather. But, in dry heat, fans actually increase body temperature, meaning access to air conditioning is crucial. But the best assurance against dying of extreme heat is likely averting the rise of global temperatures. Last year tied 2016 for the hottest ever recorded worldwide. Despite a brief drop in planet-heating emissions as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered factories and idled cars, we’re on track to see global temperatures increase this century by roughly 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial averages.
With a worsening drought gripping the West and wildfire season looming, California is bracing for the most severe heat wave of the year — one that promises to tax the state’s power supplies while also offering a grim preview of challenging months to come. The heat wave will bring triple-digit temperatures to the valleys and inland regions of Southern California as well as many parts of the rest of the state, heightening fire risks. It comes as parts of Northern and Central California are turning to water restrictions as the drought rapidly alters the landscape.
The heat wave, like most, is the result of a sprawling zone of high pressure popularly known as a heat dome. Common in summer, heat domes are often found over the Four Corners region of the Southwest United States, where intense heating occurs over deserts. However, the heat dome wreaking havoc across the western United States this week is striking for its incredible strength, geographic scope and persistence. Evidence suggestshuman-caused climate change is making these heat domes more intense over time.
Temperature records are shattering across a region that rarely deals with intense heat
“Oftentimes, we see the most intense heat waves occurring over dry soils,” he said. “This year the summer soil moistures are dismally low. The dice are loaded for extremely intense heat waves.”
Unprecedented temperatures baked the region three weeks ago, part of a procession of heatwaves that have hit the parched US west, from Montana to southern California, over the past month. A “heat dome” that settled over the area saw Seattle reach 108F (42.2C), smashing the previous record by 3F (1.7C), while Portland, Oregon, soared to its own record of 116F (46.7C). Some inland areas managed to get up to 118F (47.8C). “There are a lot of people moving up from California with the idea there’s a lot of natural amenities and a lot of cheap space but all of these factors are changing,” said Jesse Keenan, an expert in climate adaptation at Tulane University. “It’s becoming less affordable and is increasingly burdened by forest fires, terrible smoke, flash floods and these heatwaves that suddenly make things a matter of life or death.”
“We cannot just turn up the AC,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wrote in an op-ed Tuesday in the Seattle Times. “We have to turn up our level of efforts fighting the underlying cause of our changing world — climate change.”
The combination of extraordinary heat and drought that hit the Western United States and Canada over the past two weeks has killed hundreds of millions of marine animals and continues to threaten untold species in freshwater, according to a preliminary estimate and interviews with scientists.
Globally, more than a million plants and animals face extinction due to habitat loss, climate change and other factors related to human activity, and this alarming loss of biodiversity is only accelerating. In California, conservationists and biologists have identified scores of species in potential peril, including many icons of the state’s beloved wildlands — chinook salmon, giant sequoias, Joshua trees, desert tortoises, California red-legged frogs, gray whales. Now, a hellish summer of extreme fire activity, drought and heat are again pushing some species to the brink of oblivion. Seized by a newfound urgency, state and federal biologists, research institutions, conservation organizations and zoos have been racing to save the most threatened species with a bold campaign of emergency translocations, captive breeding programs and seed banks. Some have likened the effort to a modern-day Noah’s Ark.
Rodney Stotts is one of the few Black falconers in the US. He works with raptors such as red-tailed hawks and Harris hawks, as well as with an owl named Mr Hoots. He is now the subject of a new documentary directed by Annie Kaempfer, The Falconer, that screened at the Atlanta film festival ahead of the second annual Black Birders Week (an event created after a white woman called the police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park in New York last year, prompting a national outcry).
Around the West, young birds of prey have been jumping out of their nests before they can fly to escape historic heat, landing helpless on the ground and in some cases sustaining injuries so serious they are euthanized. With more scorching temperatures coming for the northwestern United States and Canada starting this weekend, experts worry extreme weather fueled by climate change is set to take a growing toll on wildlife.The creatures picked up by humans and delivered to rehabilitation centers are just “the tip of the iceberg,” said Bob Sallinger, director of conservation at Portland Audubon. He said the long-term effects are hard to predict but sees the recent spate of bird intakes as “data points” in a vast, still-unfolding and alarming story.
Heat is the deadliest of all the maladies spurred by the climate crisis, with more than 700 people on average now dying each year from its effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An independent study last year estimated this death toll is actually much higher, at about 5,600 fatalities a year.
Rising heat and humidity threatening to plunge much of the world’s population into potentially lethal conditions, study finds
… the heat softened power lines, causing them to droop and increasing the risk of fire or outages. That heat wasn’t simply one of the random weather events that can happen in any given place in any given year. It was, instead, almost certainly a function of global warming.
We speak with leading climate scientist Michael Mann about the catastrophic impact of the climate crisis around the world. He says he and other scientists predicted the extreme weather events now wreaking havoc. “We said that if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels and elevating the levels of carbon pollution in the atmosphere and we continue to warm up the planet, we will see unprecedented heat waves and wildfires and floods and droughts and superstorms,” says Mann.
But on Thursday, as the temperature rose to 110 degrees, her head started to pound. She tried to focus on picking the 30 boxes of grapes she needed to earn her daily bonus, but soon she felt so tired that it was hard to stand. By the time Cruz, 18, sat down, the temperature had reached 115 degrees and she was struggling to breathe. Farmworkers and construction crews face special danger as an extreme heat wave continues to bake the West
The report is the first to combine high-resolution maps of climate and environmental impacts with maps of child vulnerability, such as poverty and access to clean water, healthcare and education. “It essentially [shows] the likelihood of a child’s ability to survive climate change,” said Nick Rees, one of the report’s authors.
Firefighters battling the many wildfires in the region say the air is so dry that much of the water dropped by aircraft to quell the flames evaporates before it reaches the ground. It comes just weeks after another dangerous heatwave hit North America, in which hundreds of sudden deaths were recorded, many of them suspected of being heat-related.
“There have been total losses of a lot of baby birds this year. You see these ospreys and eagles sitting on top of the trees in their nests and those young, they just can’t take the heat. Year after year of that and you lose your birds.
Arsenic is a carcinogen and that it can impair neurodevelopment in children even at low levels. Arsenic is also associated with lung disease, heart attacks and kidney failure. Similarly, lead is known to alter brain development in children, reducing attention span and intelligence and increasing the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Cadmium is linked to kidney and gastrointestinal diseases, DNA impairment, cancer, osteoporosis and immune system deficiencies.
Catastrophic floods in Germany last week killed over 140 people, hundreds died after a heat wave blanketed the Pacific Northwest earlier this month, and the Bootleg wildfire currently burning in Oregon is so large it is creating its own dramatic weather patterns.
It’s an unprecedented siege that has upended life in the remote desert communities and vast tract developments that overlook Joshua trees and scrub. Authorities say the boom has led to forced labor, violence, water theft and the destruction of fragile desert habitat and wildlife. The presence of desert pot farms appears to have become even more entrenched since last year, when record lightning fires burned through the heart of Northern California’s pot-growing region, destroying farms and tainting surviving plants with wildfire smoke.
“There’s a natural tendency to find the single silver bullet to a problem, but with climate change it’s more like silver buckshot,” he said. “We need to deploy the heck out of renewables and electric cars and heat pumps and everything else today, like crazy. We don’t have time to only develop longer-term options.”
The pattern identified in the study is a positive feedback loop with negative implications. Increasing heat in the spring dries the soil, which, in turn, raises summer temperatures due to the lack of soil moisture, which helps cool the landscape when it evaporates. But Williams, part of a research team behind a paper last year showing that the man-made share of climate change can be blamed for about half of the historic Southwest drought, also thinks about how the extra warmth from the heat waves might promote enough convection to result in precipitation. He is also considering whether the hot, dry trend might lead to something as dramatic as a “sliding out of control, a tipping point.” “The ocean is giving the atmosphere more water molecules,” he said. “So for this region to have less—something profound is happening at the earth surface.”
Billions of dollars have been spent over the last four decades to save Snake River salmon by restoring streams, relocating sea lions and other predators, building hatcheries and helping fish get past dams. But those efforts increasingly look futile. As heat waves become more common and river temperatures rise, few fish complete the treacherous journey from the Pacific Ocean through eight dams to their spawning grounds in southern Idaho — a 900-mile trip up the Columbia and Snake rivers and their tributaries.
It has already been a year of unprecedented weather events. Two record-breaking and deadly heat waves in the Western U.S.; record rainfall in Michigan, which overwhelmed Detroit’s aging storm water system; a record-breaking winter storm in Texas, which disabled the state’s power grid; the historic drought gripping nearly the entire western part of the country; and an unusually early start to so-called wildfire season in California — all of these events have been linked to climate change.
Shells of houses and cars left gutted by flames. Stretches of forest reduced to ash. Tourists evacuated by boat from once idyllic beaches where the skies are thick with smoke. As southern Europe grapples with one of its worst heat waves in decades, deadly forest fires have engulfed stretches of the region, bringing a newly reopened tourism industry to a halt and forcing mass evacuations.
“The Southwest is getting hammered by climate change harder than almost any other part of the country, apart from perhaps coastal cities,” said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan. “And as bad as it might seem today, this is about as good as it’s going to get if we don’t get global warming under control.” With temperatures expected to keep rising as nations struggle to rein in their planet-warming emissions, the Western United States will need to take difficult and costly measures to adapt. That includes redesigning cities to endure punishing heat, conserving water, and engineering grids that don’t fail during extreme weather.
It finds that virtually every child on the planet is exposed to at least one climate or environmental hazard right now. A staggering 850 million, about a third of all the world’s children, are exposed to four or more climate or environmental hazards, including heat waves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding or water scarcity. A billion children, nearly half the children in the world, live in “extremely high risk” countries, the UNICEF researchers report.This is the world being left to us. But there is still time to change our climate future.