Eat more fish: when switching to seafood helps — and when it doesn’t

Survey identifies several species that are more nutritious and better for the planet than beef, pork or chicken.

Jude Coleman

Nature | September 13, 2022

Small fish, such as mackerel, have a high nutritional value and a low carbon footprint.Credit: Getty

Replacing meat with certain types of sustainably sourced seafood could help people to reduce their carbon footprints without compromising on nutrition, finds an analysis of dozens of marine species that are consumed worldwide.

The study, published on 8 September in Communications Earth & Environment1, suggests that farmed bivalves — shellfish such as mussels, clams and oysters — and wild-caught, small, surface-dwelling (pelagic) fish, which include anchovies, mackerel and herring, generate fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and are more nutrient dense than beef, pork or chicken.

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World on brink of five disastrous climate tipping points, study finds

Matt Trinder

Morning Star | September 09, 2022

Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland Photo: Tina Rolf / Unsplash

HUMAN-INDUCED climate change is driving the world to the brink of five “disastrous” tipping points, warns a major study published today.

Some of the critical thresholds that, when crossed, lead to large and often irreversible changes in the climate system, may have already been passed due to 1.1°C of global heating since the Industrial Revolution, researchers said.

These could include the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap and a key current in the north Atlantic, the disruption of rain patterns upon which billions of people depend for food and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost.

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CO2 Levels Are the Highest in a Million Years as Extreme Weather and Flooding Rage Across the Globe

Juan Cole

Countercurrents | September 01, 2022

Girls use a temporary raft across a flooded street in a residential area after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26, 2022. A weather emergency was declared in Karachi as heavier-than-usual monsoon rains continue to lash Pakistan’s biggest city, flooding homes and making streets impassable. (Photo: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP via Getty Images)

CNN reports that satellite photos show that the overflowing Indus has created a new body of water in southern Pakistan some 62 miles (100km) wide. It will take days or weeks for the water to recede, and in the meantime millions are left homeless and over all, 33 million people have been affected by the worst monsoon floods in recorded history. CNN quotes Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rahman as saying “That parts of the country ‘resemble a small ocean,’ and that ‘by the time this is over, we could well have one-quarter or one-third of Pakistan under water.’”

Because of our burning of fossil fuels to drive cars and heat and cool buildings, the world is heating up. But the Indian Ocean is heating up a third faster than the rest of the world. Very warm waters in the Bay of Bengal are helping create more destructive cyclones and flooding. The air over warming waters contains more moisture than the 20th century average. Warming waters also make the winds that blow over them more erratic, and wayward winds from the Arabian Sea helped push the heavy monsoon rains farther north than they usually extend.

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GHG Concentrations, Sea levels And Ocean Heat Hit Record Highs In 2021

Countercurrents | September 01, 2022

The annual State of the Climate report ( https://ametsoc.net/sotc2021/StateoftheClimate2021_lowres.pdf)  report published Wednesday in the U.S. shows that in 2021, greenhouse gas (GHG) levels, global sea levels, and ocean heat reached record highs.

The international report was led by scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.

“The data presented in this report are clear — we continue to see more compelling scientific evidence that climate change has global impacts and shows no sign of slowing,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “With many communities hit with 1,000-year floods, exceptional drought, and historic heat this year, it shows that the climate crisis is not a future threat but something we must address today as we work to build a climate-ready nation — and world — that is resilient to climate-driven extremes.”

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Heatwaves Rated ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Could Triple This Century, Warns New Climate Study

Brett Wilkins

Countercurrents | August 26, 2022

As record-breaking high temperatures and historic droughts afflict millions of people around the world, a study published Thursday warned that by the end of the century, dangerous heat driven by the worsening climate emergency will hit much of the Earth at least three times more often than today.

The study—conducted by climate researchers at Harvard University and the University of Washington and published in the journal Nature Climate Change—shows how changes in the heat index driven by human carbon dioxide emissions will dramatically increase exposure to “dangerous” and “extremely dangerous” temperatures. The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels, based on temperature and relative humidity.

The U.S. National Weather Service defines heat index temperatures over 103°F as “dangerous” and over 124°F as “extremely dangerous.”

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Climate expropriation: US caused nearly $2 trillion damages to other countries from 1990 to 2014

Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | 13 July, 2022

U.S.-attributable climate damages. (a) Ensemble mean GDPpc changes in each country attributable to U.S. emissions, over 1990–2014 with territorial emissions accounting and a short-run (contemporaneous) damage function. Missing data (white countries) denotes countries without continuous GDPpc data from 1990 to 2014. bc U.S.-attributable damages in the five countries with the greatest GDPpc percent decreases (b) and percent increases (c). The black lines show the mean, the boxes denote the 95% ensemble range, and the colored portions denote the additive fraction of each 95% range due to each.

With its carbon footprint from 1990 to 2014, the US caused nearly $2 trillion in damages to other countries, finds a new analysis.

How much “aid”, in all forms, the country has provided to other countries? The motive, character, use, implication, beneficiary of the so-called aid are not questioned/discussed here.

This is the face of carbon footprint, actually, climate-plunder/expropriation, which is global and impacting the entire humanity, and all lives. This is expropriation of climate from the entire humanity; and the humanity is paying with life.

The colossal amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) released by the US over the period cited above has led to natural disasters, and economic damages including crop failures in countries, resulting in $1.9 trillion in lost income globally, the report found.

The study by scientists from Dartmouth College and published in the journal Climatic Change on July 12, 2022 (Callahan, C.W., Mankin, J.S. “National attribution of historical climate damages”, Climatic Change 172, 40 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-022-03387-y).

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Wildfires Ravage Spain, France, Portugal As Heatwave Kills Hundreds In West Europe

Countercurrents | July 17, 2022

Wildfires ravaged parts of Spain, France and Portugal Friday in the blistering heat, burning forests and prompting widespread evacuations. The ongoing heatwave has already claimed hundreds of lives in the west European countries. There is a spike in heat wave-related casualties in Western Europe.

On Saturday, La Vanguardia reported that there were more than 360 deaths in Spain caused by the unbelievable heatwaves, and in Portugal, 238 deaths were recorded between July 7 and July 13.

France is currently on high alert for severe weather this weekend into next week.

Italy, Greece, Morocco and the UK are also bracing for extreme weather — including fire warnings — attributed to this week’s heatwaves.

About 14,000 people have been forced to flee France’s south-western Gironde region due to dozens of wildfires that have spread across Portugal and Spain. The fires have been attributed to soaring temperatures not seen since 1757 across Europe.

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Transporting food generates whopping amounts of carbon dioxide

Moving fruit and vegetables in refrigerated vehicles is particularly emissions-intensive.

Freda Kreier

Nature | July 01, 2022

Domestic and international transport of food accounts for a large proportion of food-system emissions.Credit: Camilo Freedman/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty

Transporting ingredients and food products accounts for nearly one-fifth of all carbon emissions in the food system — a much bigger slice of the emissions pie than previously thought, according to the first comprehensive estimate of the industry’s global carbon footprint1.

Clearing land for farming, raising livestock and moving food to and from shops adds a large amount of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. The United Nations estimates that growing, processing and packaging food accounts for one-third of all greenhouse-gas emissions. This has led to an explosion of studies looking into how food systems impact the climate, from causing damaging land-use changes to releasing greenhouse gases, says Jason Hill, an environmental scientist at the University of Minnesota in St Paul.

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Climate change is turning more of Central Asia into desert

The rapid expansion will have significant impacts on ecosystems and the people and animals who rely on them.

Giorgia Guglielmi

Nature | June 16, 2022

The spread of deserts in Uzbekistan and neighbouring countries will alter the composition of ecosystems.Credit: Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

As global temperatures rise, desert climates have spread north by up to 100 kilometres in parts of Central Asia since the 1980s, a climate assessment reveals1.

The study, published on 27 May in Geophysical Research Letters, also found that over the past 35 years, temperatures have increased across all of Central Asia, which includes parts of China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In the same period, mountain regions have become hotter and wetter — which might have accelerated the retreat of some major glaciers.

Such changes threaten ecosystems and those who rely on them, says Jeffrey Dukes, an ecologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, California. The findings are a “great first step” towards informing mitigation and adaptation policies, he says.

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Climate change will force new animal encounters — and boost viral outbreaks

Modelling study is first to project how global warming will increase virus swapping between species.

Natasha Gilbert

Nature | April 28, 2022

Bats will have a large contribution to virus transmission between species in the future, a modelling study finds.Credit: Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty

Over the next 50 years, climate change could drive more than 15,000 new cases of mammals transmitting viruses to other mammals, according to a study published in Nature1. It’s one of the first to predict how global warming will shift wildlife habitats and increase encounters between species capable of swapping pathogens, and to quantify how many times viruses are expected to jump between species.

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