News: 92% of glaciers in the Alps could be lost by 2100

In recent news, the University of Aberystwyth have conducted research funded by their Change project, reporting predictions based on the early signs of climate change. Using prediction models and climate data from 1901 to 2100, Aberystwyth University has found that eco-systems and water run off may be gone in the near future, as well as contributing to sea levels rising.

This will not only affect the eco-systems amongst the mountains themselves but also negatively impact people and other areas nearby. Negative implications for drinking water, crops, irrigation, sanitation and hydro power will start degrading, making life surrounding the vast regions encompassing the Alps more inhospitable.

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Not only has the university reported that looking at the Alpine mountain range is one of the most visible and early warning signs of climate change; they also concluded that by 2050, the majority of glaciers below 3.500 meters in this region are likely to be gone by this point.

In summary, this highlights the early warning signs researchers are starting to recognise in relation to climate change and the negative impacts for life on our planet which will follow if we do not change in the coming decades.

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News: Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral since 1995

In a previous post I mentioned the continuing degradation of coral reefs and coral bleaching due to climate change which destroys marine habitats and the ecosystems which depend on them.

In recent news, Marine scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland, Australia have discovered that from 1995 to 2017 an array of different coral has declined in the largest reef worldwide.

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This demonstrates the impact global warming can have on marine life. With coral reefs disappearing, the natural cycles which are unseen for many of us are disrupted leading to more species decay and instability.

Coral bleaching does not only impact coral communities but human communities that depend on coral reefs as well. Therefore, the increased decline of biodiversity in our oceans as well as in our rainforests does not serve well against the mountain of issues climate change presents us with.

However, there are ways we can help coral reefs recover from extensive bleaching. Recognising the solutions to these problems help bring awareness to the fact that we can tackle these negative changes but only with enough care and attention to the important world around us which all life ultimately depends on.

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News: UN report claims exported cars to developing nations harm the environment

A report published by the UN environmental programme has stated that millions of used cars from developed nations are exported to developing nations and greatly impact the planet’s health.

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The report expressed the key concerns being the emissions produced by used vehicles, the quality and safety of these cars and the costs to keep them operational.

An image taken from the report demonstrates the areas used cars are exported to and from:

Source: UNEP, based
on data collected from
major exporters, 2017

The report also states that this is a growing issue as most developing countries have little to no regulation regarding the safety and quality of imported used vehicles. This is a problem as many old and highly polluting vehicles can be exported and used in developing countries without recognising their impact on the environment.

This issue is said to worsen as well, as the report highlights by 2050 this problem will double in size, creating more of an issue surrounding pollution and unsafe cars being used in developing nations.

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News: Jamaican beaches are degrading from climate change

It is now well known that global warming as a result of climate change is leading to the loss of many coastal regions on our planet. Often, the people least involved with causing climate change are also the ones impacted by it the most.

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This has become apparent in places such as Jamaica, where beaches are starting to minimise and degrade due to rising tides. As a result, many of their Caribbean beaches are starting to lose its tourist attractions which they rely on as a source of income.

A recent news report stated that:


The beachfront has been swallowed by the surging tides, a result of decades of climate change and mismanagement

Coasts play a critical role in the economies of many Caribbean nations, whose population centers are close to the shore and who rely heavily on their ports and on tourists attracted to their picturesque waters. But beaches throughout the Caribbean are eroding as a result of rising sea levels and dangerous storms resulting from climate change‘.

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This is especially worrying as places like Jamaica are starting to see the results of climate change whilst the US, which has a big impact on the climate and a lot of resources for potential solutions, are set to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on November 4th. Therefore, if international unity toward climate change is not guaranteed, which the Paris Agreement set out to do, then the problems will only continue to worsen and certain countries will be left to fend for themselves over issues which they did not entirely cause.

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News: Leather material made using fungi

Recent researchers have invented a way to make leather out of fungi. As we know, many consumer products are made using leather which has a big impact on the way we treat certain animals and the environment. However, this biofabricated material using fungi can help reduce our impact on certain animals and also supplement a huge variety of consumer products.

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A quote taken from the research article states:
While traditional leather and its alternatives are sourced from animals and synthetic polymers, these renewable sustainable leather substitutes are obtained through the upcycling of low-cost agricultural and forestry by-products into chitinous polymers and other polysaccharides using a natural and carbon-neutral biological fungal growth process‘.

Just as I have talked about certain items made from algae in a previous post, this fungi material may help solve some of the leading issues in fashion and consumerism. Helping to provide an alternative solution with less of an impact on the environment which in turn creates a healthier planet.

Of course, to get the most positive outcome everyone would need to stop buying products which harm the animals and environment as well as adopting more vegetarian diets. Unfortunately, due to climate denial and a lack of education provided on the subject, this is not a feasible solution even though it would yield the more efficient outcome.

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Although change can be arduous, research breakthroughs such as these are a step in the right direction in terms of how we need to think but also how we make lifestyle choices. As we continue to learn how to live with nature and not have it exist for our benefit alone, we will begin to witness some of the transformations toward a more sustainable future.

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