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Climate news stories to February 18

    This page will be updated each Saturday with selected items
from around the world covering global environment issues
  
   


Humans causing climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.
For the first time, researchers have developed a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the earth, finding people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces. The paper said “Human activities now rival the great forces of nature in driving changes to the Earth system,” - Guardian

  • Antarctica just shed a Manhattan-sized chunk of ice - ClimateCentral
  • Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record  - Reuters 
  • South African bank becomes major funder for US rooftop solar - Bloomberg
  • Third highest CO2 polluter in US to shut down 20 years early - Inhabitat 

Mexico City, parched and sinking, faces a water crisis. Mexico City is collapsing in on itself, in parts up to 9 inches a year, a cycle made worse by climate change. More heat and drought mean more evaporation and yet more demand for water, adding pressure to tap distant reservoirs at staggering costs or further drain underground aquifers and hasten the city’s collapse - NewYorkTimes

Famine looming in Somalia. In Somalia, water holes have dried up, crops have failed. A two-year drought - the worst since the 1970s in hard-hit northern Somalia - has seen three quarters of the country’s livestock perish. More than half the country’s estimated population of about 12 million needs emergency assistance - LATimes

The world's sea ice is melting at record levels. In what has been a most unusual winter, sea ice in the Antarctic is at its lowest level since records began while the Arctic is on track for another historic new low. The Antarctic sea ice is likely to decrease further as it usually reaches the minimum level during the southern hemisphere’s summer in the last week of February - Independent

European smog could be 27 times more toxic than air pollution in China. In the largest ever study of its kind in the developing world, researchers discovered the effects of air pollution on the health of people in China was much less likely to increase the death rate than PM2.5 in Europe and North America. While China is affected by large amounts of natural dust blown by the wind from arid areas, most pollution in the West comes from industry. Air pollution in Europe is about 27 times more toxic than average air pollution in China due to toxic heavy metals, chemicals and volatile organic compounds – Independent


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