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NEWS: Primates Stressed By Ancient Climate Change

[caption id="attachment_4533" align="alignleft" width="193"] Photo Credit: Science Daily New research to be published in the journal Science  links climate change during the Eocene-Oligocene period to mass migration of anthropoid primates. An article on the topic posted by Science Daily quotes K. Christopher Beard, a co-author of the report, as saying: "At some point, the geographic focal point of anthropoid evolution -- monkeys, apes and humans -- shifted from Asia to Africa. But we never understood when and why. Now, we know. The Eocene-Oligocene climate crisis virtually wiped out Asian anthropoids, so the only place they could evolve to become later monkeys, apes and humans was Africa".  Beard also states that although anthropoid primates, the precursos to modern-day monkeys, apes and humans originated in Asian, it was in Africa where their diversification truly bloomed. The primates were forced to migrate after a drastic drop in temperatures product of shifting tectonic plates made the Asian continent, as well as North America, inhospitable to them. The paper is the result of a 10-year research in southern China, which lead to the discovery of six new fossil species. Read the full article from Science Daily below: SIX NEW FOSSIL SPECIES FORM "SNAPSHOT" OF PRIMATES STRESSED BY ANCIENT CLIMATE CHANGE In a study to be published this week in the journal Science , researchers describe unearthing a "mother lode" of a...
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NEWS: Climate Change Skeptics, Worried About Economy?

A new study conducted by the American Association of Psychology found a link between American climate change skeptics and the situation of the national economy. The paper, posted on Science Daily , states that American skeptics may be more open to accepting the evidence of human-induced climate change and its effects if they believe the economy is "strong and stable" . [caption id="attachment_4523" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr The findings of the study may be useful in explaining why only half of Americans believe that human-induced climate change is a fact. Only 10% of conservative Republicans and 78% of liberal Democrats acknowledge climate change, despite it being acknowledged by the vast majority of the scientifi To full length of the article can be found below: SKEPTICISM ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE MAY BE LINKED TO CONCERNS ABOUT ECONOMY Americans may be more likely to accept the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change and its potentially devastating effects if they believe the economy is strong and stable, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. The findings may help explain why many Americans haven't been swayed by public education and advocacy efforts indicating that climate change is being caused by humans. People who are concerned about the economy and who are strong supporters of the free market system may be more skeptical about climate change and downplay its potential...
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NEWS: Human Activity is a Major Factor in Wildfires

A new study on the wildfires in California found that humans are currently responsible for igniting over 90% of them. The findings suggest that current predictive models for wildfires in the area overstate the influence of climate change and that introducing anthropogenic factors as key drivers of wildfires allow for more accurate predictions on the amount of land at risk of burning in California through 2050. The estimated amount provided by the report is 7 million accress. Read the full article from the George Washington University here: [caption id="attachment_4412" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia IT'S NOT JUST CLIMATE CHANGE: STUDY FINDS HUMAN ACTIVITY IS A MAJOR FACTOR DRIVING WILDFIRES WASHINGTON (April 28, 2016) —A new study examining wildfires in California found that human activity explains as much about their frequency and location as climate influences.  The researchers systematically looked at human behaviors and climate change together, which is unique and rarely attempted on an area of land this large. The findings suggest many models of wildfire predictions do not accurately account for human factors and may therefore be misleading when identifying the main causes or drivers of wildfires. The newest model proportionately accounts for climate change and human behavioral threats and allows experts to more accurately predict how much land is at risk of burning in California through 2050, which is estimated at more than 7...
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NEWS: Denmark mulls taxing beef to fight climate change

[caption id="attachment_4408" align="alignleft" width="345"] Denmark is considering taxing beef and other red meats in an effort to fight climate change - Photo Credit: Flickr The Danish Council of Ethics, an independent advisor to the Danish government, annouced that Danes could fulfill their duty on battling climate change by reducing their meat consumption. This action would be encouraged by a new tax on beef and other red meats that is currently being mulled by the country. The tax, which is supported by the majority of the members of the Council would start on beef before moving onto other red meats and foods deemed harmful to the environment. Animal agriculture —or farming—, makes up for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with cattle releasing 10% of all emissions. Moreover, 43,000 liters of freshwater are necessary to produce just 1kg of beef. It is safe to say that to truly make an impact and move closer to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, current practices in food production need to be tackled and the Danish Council of Ethics deems this new tax an effective way to send a clear signal on climate-change awareness. Read the full article from the Tech Times below: DENMARK MULLS TAXING BEEF, OTHER RED MEATS TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE The price of steaks might increase in Denmark because the country mulls about taxing beef and other...
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NEWS: Climate Change Linked To Heat-induced Injuries

[caption id="attachment_4383" align="alignleft" width="164"] Death Valley, USA - Photo Credit: Pixabay A new report  by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Climate Vulnerable Forum, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), cites excessive workplace heat as  an " occupational health and productivity danger behind growing risks of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and, 'in extreme cases', death".  Rising temperatures product of climate change are jeopardizing the GDP of emerging economies such as India, Indonesia and Nigeria, as employers have been forced to reduce their working hours to prevent injuries and fatalities. In some cases, the reduction of total working time is of up to 10 hours thus taking an immense toll in the national economy. In one of the studied countires, the reduction amounted to 4% in comparison to the 1990s. This issue and its effects call for immediate attention and action. The solution offered by the ILO and the Climate Vulnerable Forum, as well as other contributing institutions, is for countries to strengthen current plans to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement, in order to prevent further warming and the health and economic impact it carries. For the full article, read below: MAJOR NEW CLIMATE THREAT: RISING HEAT IN THE WORKPLACE GENEVA – 28 April 2016: Emerging economies face as much as 10 per cent losses in working hours because of deteriorating thermal conditions in the...
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NEWS: Climate Change Threatens Urmia Lake

[caption id="attachment_4270" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Urmia Lake, 2014 - Photo Credit: Wikipedia As published by the Science of Total Environment journal on April 15, "Climate change is likely to worsen the situation of the largely drought-stricken Urmia Lake in Iran. Even in the most optimistic climate change scenario and without any further human impact".  Urmia Lake used to be the second largest hypersaline lake in the world, but several factors including a high-irrigation demand from the arable land around it, as well as a decrease in precipitations and an increment in temperatures in the area have shrunk its surface area by 80%. This reduction has spiked the salinity of the lake's water, leading to potentially-catastrophic socio-environmental consequences in the area. The news about Urmia Lake came a few days before a post by The Guardian titled "Why the Paris climate change goals may already be slipping out of reach" . With a self-explanatory title, the author goes on to say that the goal of keeping global warming between 1.5 and 2ºC might be unrealistic. In fact, the UN's estimates have widened this threshold up to 2.7ºC, with severe consequences regarding sea level surface and natural disasters. Meanwhile, the lack of concrete plans —or any plans at all, in some countries— make near and long-term goals regarding global warming and climate change nearly unreachable. The Guardian goes on to say...
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NEWS: Earthquake Hits Ecuador After Weekend's Catastrophe

[caption id="attachment_4267" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Photo Credit: Youtube A magnitude 6 earthquake hit Ecuador on Thursday , April 21st, after a magnitude 7.8 one last saturday. The latest quake hit 100 km north-northwest of Portoviejo and at a depth of 10 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Portoviejo is a coastal town, very near to the most affected areas by saturday's seismic activity. These areas will be exempt of the tax hikes, among other drastic measures that Ecuador's president —Rafael Correa— announced as compulsory to start repairing damages estimated in 1 to 3 billion dollars. Correa also affirmed that the death toll would have been lower, had citizens abided by the construction regulations put in place after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, which killed 300,000. These regulations might be even more necessary in the future, as new research by volcanologist and professor of geophysical hazards at University of College London, Bill McGuire indicates that ongoing global warming and climate change have an impact on geological disasters, such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Keep reading for more information on the 7.8 earthquake that hit Ecuador on saturday, as reported by Xinhuanet.com : ECUADOR CAMPAIGNS FOR REBUILDING FUNDS, AS QUAKE TOLL RISES TO 587 QUITO, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador is launching a campaign to gather relief funds urgently needed for its quake-devastated areas, as the official death toll has now reached 587....
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NEWS: Houston Flooding Linked To Climate Change

[caption id="attachment_4251" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Bellaire, Texas. April 18th, 2016 - Photo Credit: Youtube Jake Crouch, a scientist at the U.S. government's National Centers for Environmental Information, said on an interview with Houston Public Media that " April 2016 will go down as the wettest April on record for the City of Houston" . This affirmation comes after this week's downpours in Houston, TX where 17 inches of rain fell between April 17th and April 18th, flooding several neighbors in Houston's Metropolitan Area and 21,000 square miles of Southeast Texas. Scientists are linking the downpours to climate change, as climate patterns in Houston mimick those in other parts of the world, where the rainfall total in 24 hours has exceeded the prospected rainfall for several weeks due to a warmer lower atmosphere caused by global warming. Read below for the full article from Slate.com: HISTORIC FLOODING ONGOING AS HOUSTON RECORDS ITS RAINIEST DAYS EVER Update, April 19:  The National Weather Service now reports that Monday's rainfall total at George Bush Airport was 9.92 inches, Houston's second rainiest day on record, next to 10.34 inches on June 26, 1989 during Tropical Storm Allison. Data from the NWS previously indicated a higher total, which would have been Houston's rainiest day on record. The discrepancy was due to an equipment malfunction at the airport where the measurements were taken, the NWS...
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