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Tag: change

Climate change: 'Future proofing' forests to protect orangutans

Climate change: 'Future proofing' forests to protect orangutans

Science
A study has identified key tree species that are resilient to climate change and support critically endangered apes.Planting them could help future proof rainforests, which are a key habitat for orangutans, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN.Researchers surveyed 250 plants in Indonesia's Kutai National Park.Over 1,000 orangutans are thought to inhabit the park, as well as other rare animals such as the Malayan sun bear."Selecting which species to plant is a significant contribution to restoring the health of this ecosystem," said study co-author Douglas Sheil."Of course, the reasons why forest cover was lost in the first place must also be addressed for reforestation efforts to succeed." ...
Climate change: UK carbon capture project begins

Climate change: UK carbon capture project begins

Science
The giant Drax power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, has become the first in Europe to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from wood-burning.Drax burns seven million tonnes of wood chips each year to drive generators to make electricity. The firm has now begun a pilot project to capture one tonne a day of CO2 from its wood combustion.The technology effectively turns climate change into reverse on a tiny scale, but it’s controversial.How does it reverse climate change?When a forest grows, the trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to make their wood.If you burn that wood, the process doesn’t emit any extra CO2 into the atmosphere - because the trees removed it from the air in the first place. It&rs...
Climate change: World heading for warmest decade, says Met Office

Climate change: World heading for warmest decade, says Met Office

Science
The world is in the middle of what is likely to be the warmest 10 years since records began in 1850, say scientists.The Met Office is forecasting that temperatures for each of the next five years are likely to be 1C or more above pre-industrial levels. In the next five years there's also a chance we'll see a year in which the average global temperature rise could be greater than 1.5C.That's seen as a critical threshold for climate change. If the data matches the forecast, then the decade from 2014-2023 will be the warmest in more than 150 years of record keeping.Will the forecast temperature rises bust the Paris climate agreement?The Met Office says that 2015 was the first year in which the global annual average surface temperatu...
Climate change: Warming threatens Himalayan glaciers

Climate change: Warming threatens Himalayan glaciers

Science
Climate change poses a growing threat to the glaciers found in the Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountain ranges, according to a new report. The study found that if CO2 emissions are not cut rapidly, two thirds of these giant ice fields could disappear. Even if the world limits the temperature rise to 1.5C this century, at least one third of the ice would go. The glaciers are a critical water source for 250 million people living across eight different countries. The towering peaks of K2 and Mount Everest are part of the frozen Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges that contain more ice that anywhere else on Earth, apart from the polar regions. But these ice fields could turn to bare rocks in less than a century because of rising temperatures, say scientists. Over th...
Climate change: Is nuclear power the answer?

Climate change: Is nuclear power the answer?

Science
Nuclear is good for the environment. Nuclear is bad for the environment. Both statements are true.Why is it good? Nuclear power is planned to be a key part of the UK's energy mix.The key benefit is that it helps keep the lights on while producing hardly any of the CO2 emissions that are heating the climate.CO2 emissions come from traditional ways of creating electricity such as burning gas and coal. And the government is expected to have halted emissions almost completely by 2050, to help curb damage to the climate.Why is it bad for the environment?Because major nuclear accidents are few and far between, but when they happen they create panic. Take the Fukushima explosions in 2011, which released radioactive material into the surrounding air in Japan. Or ...