Categories
climate change Environment News Pollution World

Global ocean plastic pollution: how it affects all life.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Article from Thomas Collins, Active Scuba on plastic pollution in our oceans. We love these types of articles written by businesses who are worried about the environment they work in, in this case, the ocean. It is inspiring to read their articles and see businesses, large & small, bringing about awareness and change.

Introduction

Our oceans are polluted and full of plastic. Regardless of its source, plastic pollution has a devastating impact on marine life. Our very life source, that holds so much wonder. So much yet to be explored and so much opportunity for our future. Along with our day to day activities whether that is for work or for fun. The ocean has such a deep impact on all our lives. Yet we are the ones responsible for damaging so much of this precious ecosystem that we rely on. I want to take you through the damage that has been caused. The impact on humans and what we can all do to improve this serious problem.

Ocean In Distress

When we think of public health risks, we may not consider the ocean as a factor. But the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health. One sign of an ocean in distress is an increase in beach or shellfish harvesting.  Intensive use of our ocean and runoff from land-based pollution sources. Are just two of many factors that stress our fragile ecosystems. These increasingly lead to human health concerns. Waterborne infectious diseases, harmful algal bloom toxins & contaminated seafood. Along with chemical pollutants are other signals. As we can threaten our ocean’s health, so, too, can our ocean threaten our health. And it is not public health alone that may be threatened. Our coastal economies, too, could be at significant risk.

Plastic Pollution Has Put Our Oceans At The Brink Of Disaster

Every year more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans. But how does this pollution affect humans and what can we and should we do to stop this?

Plastic and other forms of pollution are ending up in our marine life, and it’s making its way into our food chain. The ocean is full of an endless array of potential food sources for ocean creatures. Everything from microscopic plankton all the way up to giant squid and whales. Are used as potential food for a hungry member of the food chain.

Source: activescuba.com

Click here to read the rest of the article

Categories
climate change Environment News timeline

Climate emergency declared for New Zealand by Jacinda Ardern

The New Zealand Government, led by Jacinda Ardern, announced that she has proposed New Zealand declare “A climate emergency for New Zealand.” While this is only a motion to parliament at present, it is a step in the right direction for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2025.

“We’ve always considered climate change to be a huge threat to our region, and it is something we must take immediate action on,”

Jacinda Ardern

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern to move, that this house, declare a climate emergency, following the finding of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change that, to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming, global emissions would need to fall by around 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net-zero by around 2050;

The motion below was lodged with Parliament on 1 December 2020 and is proposed it would:

Recognise the advocacy of New Zealanders in calling for action to protect the environment and reduce the impact of human activity on the climate;

Join the over 1,800 jurisdictions in 32 countries to declare a climate emergency and commit to reducing emissions to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming;

Recognise the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health, through flooding, sea-level rise, and wildfire damage;

Note that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, that the Government has made significant progress on meeting that challenge through the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Response (Zero-Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, and that New Zealand has committed to taking urgent action on greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation;

Acknowledge the core tenets of New Zealand’s response by establishing emissions budgets that set us on a path to net-zero by 2050, setting a price on emissions through the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and planning for climate adaption;

Implement the policies required to meet the targets in the Climate Change Response (Zero-Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, and to increase support for striving towards 100 percent renewable electricity generation, low carbon energy, and transport systems;

Seize the economic opportunities that a clean, green reputation provides;

Create green jobs in the low-carbon economy while managing risks for workers and communities currently reliant on carbon-intensive sectors;

Recognise the alarming trend in species decline and global biodiversity crisis, including the decline in Aotearoa’s indigenous biodiversity, and acknowledge New Zealand’s strategic framework for the protection and restoration of biodiversity Te Mana o te Taiao;

Note that the Government will take further steps towards reducing and eliminating waste; and

Show leadership and demonstrate what is possible to other sectors of the New Zealand economy by reducing the Government’s own emissions and becoming a carbon-neutral Government by 2025.

Source: New Zealand Parliament

Categories
Environment News

NIWA forecasts a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand.

NIWA forecasters say a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand after sea surface temperatures (SSTs) warmed considerably last month.

NIWA Meteorologist says the warmest region in the north of the North Island, where ocean temperatures are 1.6ᵒC above the November monthly average.

In this region, marine heatwave conditions affect Northland and northern Auckland’s coastal waters and extend west into the Tasman Sea. In other areas around the country, sea surface temperatures are between 0.7 to 1.1ᵒC above average.

“High-pressure systems in October brought more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and less wind than normal. This pattern led to the warming of the sea surface and prevented cooler water underneath from mixing to the top.

“While the weather has been a bit more unsettled during early November, ocean temperatures have remained warmer than average due to prevailing northeasterly and northwesterly air flows,” Mr. Noll said.

The east and west of the South Island is 1.1˚C above average as is the east of the North Island.   West of the North Island is +0.8˚C above average, and north of the South Island +0.7˚C.

New Zealand is now in a La Niña climate regime which tends to bring more northerly winds and has historically been associated with warm Tasman Sea temperatures.

NIWA subscribes to a marine heatwave definition as an extended period of hot ocean temperatures that can extend up to thousands of kilometres. These temperatures must be above the 90th percentile – or the value above which 90 percent of historical observations occur. “In other words, nine times out of 10, Northland’s sea temperatures are cooler than what they are right now for the time of year. This makes what we see now quite unusual.”

The actual SSTs are between 18 to 21ᵒC. “We’re not even at the peak of our sea surface temperatures which typically occur over January and February.”

However, a marine heatwave this summer would mark the third in four years. The most severe was in 2017/18 when the sea was at times 6-7ᵒC above average.

Image Source NIWA.

A key climate driver and contributor to New Zealand’s hot start in 2019 was also the presence of above-average ocean temperatures. Marine heatwave conditions persisted in the Tasman until March. Warmer than average seas can also provide extra energy for passing storms.

Source NIWA

Categories
Environment News Pollution stopping pollution

Our goal is to collect one piece of litter every day for one year.

We are collecting one piece of litter every day for 365 days around our local area of Cambridge, New Zealand.

This is our small way of doing what we believe is right in helping clean up litter and helping the environment. Inspired by @onepieceoflitteraday

We all must play our part. If each person collected one piece of rubbish every day for a year across the world, we would be having a different conversation about climate change and pollution.

Why should we all be collecting litter?

I’m sure you would agree, there is no need for littering in today’s world with the resources that local councils and governments provide – is it as simple as laziness?

Possibly. We believe it has become part of today’s culture, around the world where people of all ages think they have the right to do as they please with no repercussions for their behaviour or the environment.

In some cases we have seen first-hand, people walking over litter and even kicking it out of the way without registering that it is rubbish. How did we become like this?

In New Zealand, there are many bins for all our rubbish, however, for some inexplicable reason, people do not dispose of their litter in a bin or take it home. This is not a new message, why do people ignore it?

Stop Litter in New Zealand

Litter, although it seems harmless enough, is just a piece of paper or plastic lying around. It can’t do too much harm, right?

Firstly, litter looks ugly and then over time it breaks down to smaller micro pieces, which have been entering waterways and affecting local wildlife.

Over the last three decades, we have seen a major increase in sea pollution from land-based rubbish flowing into our seas and rivers – this is not a new problem but needs action now to stop it.

It’s time for everyone to say enough is enough. It’s time to do the right thing.

Visit Keep New Zealand Beautiful to find more information, people doing great things, how you can help to keep New Zealand, our country green.

We also will have other resources available on our resources page.

Categories
climate change Environment News World

The Earthshot Prize – 5 Challenges for the next decade

It’s official. The Earthshot prize has announced its 5 challenges for everyone to focus on for the Decade. If they can inspire businesses and individuals to look and enact change by providing prizes as incentives, it serves its purpose. They have our support.

At present, action for climate change and pollution needs to be addressed, we cannot wait for others to provide solutions for this problem. We need to take ownership ourselves.

We are slowly polluting our planet – all in the name of profit – this needs to change.

The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around an organising goal to put a man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s,

The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come.

Protect & Restore Nature

By 2030 we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing not shrinking – on our planet.

Clean our Air

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean healthy air – at the World Organisation Standard or better.

Revive our Oceans

By 2030 we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations.

Build A Waste Free World

By 2030 we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature.

Fix our Climate

By 2030, the Earthshot Prize chooses to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon-neutral economy that lets every culture, community, and country thrive.

Carbon in the atmosphere is making our planet warmer, to levels that threaten all life on Earth. But it is not too late; if we act now, we can make the world a better, more sustainable home for everyone.

We will combat climate change by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we put into it and ensuring all countries reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We will build defences to protect innocent people from climate driven disasters and crises.

Categories
Environment News timeline

Warmest winter on record for New Zealand 2020 winter

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

NIWA’s Seven Station Temperature Series, which began in 1909, shows the 2020 winter was 1.14°C above average, just nudging out winter 2013 from the top spot, which was 1.08°C above average.

This year’s result also means seven of the 10 warmest winters on record in New Zealand have occurred since the year 2000.

Seventeen locations observed record breaking mean winter temperatures, with an additional 53 locations ranking within their top four warmest winters.

NIWA forecaster Ben Noll says the winter warmth can be attributed to several factors:

  • More sub-tropical northeasterly winds than normal, particularly in the North Island. This brought warmer air toward New Zealand from the north
  •  Sea surface temperatures above average during winter, especially August. As an island nation, New Zealand’s air temperatures are strongly influenced by the seas surrounding it
  • Air pressure was higher than normal, particularly to the east. This contributed to a sunnier than normal winter in much of the South Island and lower North Island
  • Climate change – the warmth over winter is consistent with New Zealand’s long-term trend of increasing air temperatures.
New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

Other Records

The highest recorded winter 2020 temperature was 25.1°C on August 30 in Timaru. This was the highest temperature recorded there during winter since records began in 1885 and the equal-4th warmest winter temperature on record for New Zealand as a whole.

The lowest temperature was  -12.3°C, observed at Middlemarch on 14 June.

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

Of these locations the most anomalously warm (i.e. largest deviation from average) was Farewell Spit, where mean daily temperatures of 13.0°C were experienced. This is 2.8°C more than the winter average and the warmest on record since records began there in 1971.

Furthermore, mean maximum (i.e. daytime) temperatures at this location were 3.1°C warmer than average, while mean minimum (i.e. night-time) temperatures were 2.3°C warmer than average (these are also the largest anomalies in their respective categories).

Kaikohe had its second wettest winter on record, with 935mm of rain recorded for the season, which was 187% of normal. Records began in 1956.

At the opposite end of the scale, Reefton had its second driest winter on record with just 291 mm of rain recorded over three months – or 54% of normal. Records began in 1960. Much of the middle and upper South Island observed below or well below normal rainfall totals.

It will be no surprise that the highest one-day rainfall occurred in Northland in mid-July. Kaikohe and Whangarei received 262 and 251 mm respectively on July 17.

This is the highest one-day rainfall amount observed for both locations during winter. Kaikohe records began in 1956 and Whangarei in 1943.

Source: NIWA

Categories
climate change Environment News Science World

Microplastics – New study estimates there is at least 10x more in Atlantic ocean

Why are these types of studies important?

Microplastics, along with other pollutants, are dramatically affecting our wildlife on the land and in the sea. Without these studies, we would not know the damage that has been done to the oceans by pollution over time – the disturbing issue is that the damage we are seeing today is not from yesterday but decades ago. The Editor

The mass of ‘invisible’ microplastics found in the upper waters of the Atlantic Ocean is approximately 12- 21 million tonnes, according to research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Significantly, this figure is only for three of the most common types of plastic litter in a limited size range. Yet, it is comparable in magnitude to estimates of all plastic waste that has entered the Atlantic Ocean over the past 65 years: 17 million tonnes.

This suggests that the supply of plastic to the ocean has been substantially underestimated.

The lead author of the paper, Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), said “Previously, we couldn’t balance the mass of floating plastic we observed with the mass we thought had entered the ocean since 1950.

This is because earlier studies hadn’t been measuring the concentrations of ‘invisible’ microplastic particles beneath the ocean surface. Our research is the first to have done this across the entire Atlantic, from the UK to the Falklands.

The Atlantic Ocean might hold about 200 million tonnes of Microplastics

Co-author, Professor Richard Lampitt, also from the NOC, added “if we assume that the concentration of microplastics we measured at around 200 metres deep is representative of that in the water mass to the seafloor below with an average depth of about 3000 metres, then the Atlantic Ocean might hold about 200 million tonnes of plastic litter in this limited polymer type and size category.

This is much more than is thought to have been supplied. “

 “In order to determine the dangers of plastic contamination to the environment and to humans, we need good estimates of the amount and characteristics of this material, how it enters the ocean, how it degrades, and then how toxic it is at these concentrations.

This paper demonstrates that scientists have had a totally inadequate understanding of even the simplest of these factors, how much is there, and it would seem our estimates of how much is dumped into the ocean has been massively underestimated”.

Pabortsava and Lampitt collected their seawater samples during the 26th Atlantic Meridional Transect expedition in September to November 2016.

They filtered large volumes of seawater at three selected depths in the top 200 metres and detected and identified plastic contaminants using state-of-the-art spectroscopic imaging technique. Their study focussed on polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, which are commercially most prominent and also most littered plastic types.   

This study builds on the NOC’s cutting-edge research into marine plastic contamination, which aims to better understand the magnitude and persistence of exposure to plastics and the potential harms it can cause.

We must act now to stop plastics from getting into our oceans – otherwise, this cycle will continue to grow.

This work was supported by the EU H2020 AtlantOS programme and the NOC.

The AMT programme was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council National Capability as funding to Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the NOC.

Categories
climate change Environment News

4Ocean Initiative: Why has the ocean plastic initiative seen so much success?

Questions are being asked about 4ocean’s validity and success, We personally believe 4ocean plays an important part in protecting and promoting the issue of plastics pollution in our oceans. We have supported and bought bracelets from 4ocean and will continue to do so. Read this article from IDiveBlue by Zoe Dagan a product expert, a degreed scientist, and a nature nerd originally from coastal California.

Meet the ocean’s newest superstars: recently, they’ve made the news, boasting about their unprecedented, newly christened, state-of-the-art Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel.

Advertising campaigns featuring eco-friendly bracelets for worthy causes have gone viral, appearing relentlessly in social media feeds worldwide. Bracelet-driven eco-campaigns scale quickly and manage to achieve extraordinary notoriety outside of conventional environmental groups and activist circles. 4ocean LLC is not just another player in the field, they were the fledgling ocean activism company, and they are taking the world by storm.

It is no surprise to ocean-minded folks that these big salty water bodies are vital for purposes beyond just recreation. Global prosperity and food production are dependent on healthy oceans. Billions of people worldwide rely on healthy oceans to provide reliable employment food security. Healthy oceans trap excess carbon and are vital to mitigating global climate change.

Do you appreciate inhaling fresh air? Well, guess what, some of the smallest ocean inhabitants provide most of the world’s oxygen.

Ecological Plastic Footprint

We intuitively know that we vote with our dollars, and each dollar we spend has an impact on the world. A 2015 Nielsen report in consumer spending showed the sustainability of a brand is a significant force driving the spending habits for more than 66% of global consumers.

It has become clear that a majority of consumers from all backgrounds and representing all income brackets are willing to pay a premium for sustainable brands. Determined to put an end to the international crisis of plastic pollution, 4ocean LLC is fast becoming the world’s largest and most successful ocean cleanup company. The 4ocean business model is brilliantly simple. Buy an eco-friendly beach bracelet, reusable water bottle, or ocean cleanup kit from their online store, and your hard-earned dollars directly fund the 4ocean cleanup operation that has already removed more than 2.2 million pounds of trash from the ocean. The entire 4ocean operation, including boats, cleanup crews, warehouse operations, and paychecks for more than 150 employees, is funded solely by product sales from the 4ocean online store. By supporting 4ocean, your dollar really does make a difference.

4oceans is helping save our oceans now

Read the full article at Idiveblue, click here to read.

Categories
Environment Science

(CO2) an important heat-trapping greenhouse gas.

What is Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Carbon Dioxide is 1 Carbon atom with 2 Oxygen atoms. C (Carbon) 02 (Oxygen x2)

di-1 a prefix occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “two,” “twice,” “double” (diphthong); on this model, freely used in the formation of compound words (dicotyledon; dipolar) and in chemical terms (diatomic; disulfide).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions, as well as human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels,

Carbon dioxide (chemical formula (CO2) is a colorless gas with a density about 60% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide consists of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas. The current concentration is about 0.04% (412 ppm) by volume, having risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm.[8] Natural sources include volcanoeshot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwaterrivers and lakesice capsglaciers and seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is odorless at normally encountered concentrations, but at high concentrations, it has a sharp and acidic odor.[1]

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s Atmosphere

Atmospheric composition (by volume, dry air):

Major: 78.08% Nitrogen (N2), 20.95% Oxygen (O2),
Minor (ppm): Argon (Ar) – 9340; Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – 410, Neon (Ne) – 18.18; Helium (He) – 5.24; CH4 – 1.7 Krypton (Kr) – 1.14; Hydrogen (H2) – 0.55

Numbers do not add up to exactly 100% due to roundoff and uncertainty Water is highly variable, typically makes up about 1%

Source: NASA Earth Fact Sheet

What is Carbon Dioxide?

Carbon Dioxide is 1 Carbon atom with 2 Oxygen atoms. C (Carbon) 02 (Oxygen x2)

Categories
Environment News

Earthday 2020

Earthday 2020 – April 22, 2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day. The first Earth Day sparked the passage in the U.S. of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The urgency has never been greater, and the stakes have never been higher – we are now in an environmental emergency and a climate breakdown. We have two crises: One is the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The other is a slowly building disaster for our climate.

To meet this moment, we must build the largest, most diverse online mobilization in history in defense of the environment. Our world needs a united response for bold action.

  • On Earthday 2020, we say enough is enough.
  • We say we believe in science. We say that everyone can make a difference.
  • We say that the protection of our planet and the wellbeing of the people who live upon it are the top priorities.
  • On Earth Day 2020, we say that we’re committing to vote, we’re registering to vote and we’re showing up to vote.
  • Human health and planetary health are inextricably linked.

Will you join this global movement as we build toward the next half-century of action for our planet?

Over the 24 hours of Earth Day (12:01 am ET – 11:59 pm ET on April 22), Earth Day Network will flood the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. That’s where you come in.

On April 22, join us for 24 hours of action on earthday.org as we issue a new call to action every hour for 24 hours. Through 24 hours of action, Earthday 2020 will drive actions big and small, give diverse voices a platform and demand bold action for people and the planet.

Over the 24 hours of Earth Day (12:01 am ET – 11:59 pm ET on April 22), Earth Day Network will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. And tune into Earth Day Live on April 22 -24 as millions of people around the world go online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. 

Tune in to Earthday Live April 22-24 to watch, discuss and participate in a Livestream featuring stories, performances, and opportunities for digital collective action.

While Earthday may be going digital, our goal remains the same: to mobilize the world to take the most meaningful actions possible to change the world.

Categories
climate change Environment News

Our youth – our hope and joy.

Talk to our youth, explain to them why our climate change message is important, show them that pollution is now not tolerated and allow them to take steps to protect our planet. We all have a role to play in preventing the polluting of our planet – whether it be in educating, protesting or inspiring.

Climate Impact, since it’s inception has for several months been promoting the message “Stop Polluting our World”, both digitally and also in the physical world. Our aim has been to help to spread the message to all about climate change and the impacts it will have on our daily lives today and tomorrow.

One thing we have been focusing on is litter, as are many others, especially around our home base of Cambridge, New Zealand, where we have been surprised by the constant litter we have seen on or around the roadways. Every time we see rubbish and plastic, we stop and we pick it up.

We have been doing this for months now with my daughter, a young teenager, who has been either with us or overheard our conversations about the climate crisis and the need to take action to protect our towns, country, and the planet.

The other day she returned from walking the dog and to my surprise, she had collected a bag of rubbish from around the local park and brought it home to be put into the bins. I was so proud of her because she had made this decision and taken action by herself. This is what we hope for with our youth – they follow our example, learn and then put it into action.

We must have faith in our youth, they are alot smarter than we give them credit for – they know we have a crisis and must act.

The lesson from this is we need to include our younger generation in this conversation, show them why we need to protect our planet, after all, they are the future of this world. Allow them to listen, understand and then empower them to make their own decisions of what needs to be done.

Take the time to talk to your children and teach them that the planet is important. Pollution is not okay, explain to them we all have a role to play and we must do the best that we can each day.

One day they will surprise you, just as my daughter has!

Categories
climate change Environment News stopping pollution

PLASTIC POLLUTION – 5 Ways you can help tackle it.

A great article from Earthday Blog on plastic pollution. We are going to implement as many of these into our 2020 goals.

The use of plastic in our world is staggering — we as humans have created some 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, the equivalent 800,000 Eiffel Towers. 

Plastic pollution is a problem because of its long-lasting effects — this petroleum-based, man-made material never fully degrades. According to estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one plastic bottle takes at least 450 years to break down. Recent research suggests that worldwide, only 9 percent of plastics ever made have been recycled.  

With numbers like this, it can be discouraging to try to tackle the problem. We find plastics littered from rivers to streets, ingested by land animals and aquatic species alike. But small lifestyle changes, education and outreach efforts can add up to make a big difference. Here are five individual actions you can take today to cut plastic pollution.

1. Plastic pollution – Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse

Tossing your plastic package into the recycling bin used to feel like a win, but after China and other Asian countries stopped taking our plastic waste in 2018, these packages have been piling up overseas. The bottom line: Recycling is not as straightforward as many of us once thought

Recycling is tough, but to ensure your recyclable waste gets where it needs to go, check out our 7 common recycling mistakes and tips. Of course, refusing plastics in the first place or opting for alternative products is a surefire way to reduce your impacts.

2. Become a citizen scientist for Earth Day with Earth Challenge 2020 

If you’re itching to become even more active in the fight against plastic pollution, look no further than Earth Challenge 2020, the largest ever citizen science initiative. Earth Challenge 2020 is a mobile app that empowers everyone to be a citizen scientist. Citizen scientists who use the app can enter data and answer a handful of research questions, one of which explores the extent of plastic pollution in their area. 

3. Participate in The Great Global Cleanup

Another exciting opportunity to spearhead the end of plastic pollution is Earth Day Network’s campaign The Great Global Cleanup. This event aims to be “The Largest Environmental Volunteer Event in History” as a celebration of citizen science and the strength of community. There are many existing cleanup events events already in the works. If there is no cleanup already organized in your area, you can register a cleanup of your own. 

4. Support policy change 

While there are many lifestyle shifts and actions that each of us can take as individuals, ending plastic pollution requires a two-pronged approach. This includes innovations in technology and policy changes. The list of cities, states, businesses and entire countries that are placing bans on plastics continues to grow, providing a reason for hope. 

California has become a leader in the United States, becoming the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. Canada also recently pledged to ban single use plasticscompletely by 2021. You can support these global efforts by signing petitions, communicating with your local representatives and supporting coalitions dedicated to stopping plastic pollution.  

5. Take the pledge to End Plastic Pollution

There’s no need to sit idly by while plastic piles up. Knowledge is power, so get educated and spread the word. Take advantage of Earth Day Network’s many resources, such as the Pledge to End Plastic Pollution and plastic calculator. If you enjoy a good read, check out the Plastic Pollution Primer and toolkit

More than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic are not just going to disappear — steer progress the way you want to see it. Between making your weekly grocery lists, volunteering in your community and spreading the word, bringing down plastic pollution is something we can all tackle together. 

Read our other articles on pollution and what you can do about it.

https://www.climateimpact.co.nz/plastics-will-outweigh-fish-in-the-ocean-how-does-it-affect-you-and-what-should-you-do/
https://www.climateimpact.co.nz/wave-goodbye-to-more-single-use-plastics/
Categories
climate change Environment News World

The Earthshot prize – Decade of Action to Repair the Earth

You know things are starting to hot-up about Climate Change with the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — headed by Prince William and Kate Middleton launch “The Earthshot Prize”

“The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.” — The Duke of Cambridge @EarthshotPrize

The Earthshot Prize is a multi-million pound prize for “visionaries” working to solve “Earth’s greatest environmental problems,” from climate change to air pollution. It will be awarded to five winners, every year, for the next 10 years. The goal is to provide “at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.”

Below is information from their website: https://earthshotprize.org

Over the last ten years, the evidence that we face urgent challenges to protect the environment has become indisputable, and it’s clear that the time to act is now. Drawing inspiration from the concept of moonshots, which since the moon landing in 1969 has become shorthand to talk about the most ambitious and ground-breaking goals, Prince William announces the Earthshot Prize: an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet.

THE EARTHSHOT PRIZE

A set of unique challenges, rooted in science, will aim to generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions.

Just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s catalysed new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, we want our Earthshot challenges to create a new wave of ambition and innovation around finding ways to help save the planet.

The challenges will be a chance for everyone’s voice to be heard, we want to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers .

Our prizes will reward progress across all sectors of industry and society, not just technology.

The prizes could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams or collaborations – scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries – anyone who is making a substantial development or outstanding contribution to solving our environmental challenges.

So this is a message to all of us – time to take this issue seriously.

Categories
Environment Videos

Join The Resolution

People around the world have united to sing Resolution Song. Their goal is to inspire everyone around the world to make New Year’s resolutions to protect our planet from the climate and environmental emergency.

We think this is fantastic, anyway you can get the message out – it can only be a good thing

Here’s how you can join the #Resolution2020 movement and inspire the world to set ambitious New Year’s resolutions to save our planet:

Categories
climate change Environment News

Single use plastics – Say goodbye to more

Everyone is focused on climate change & global warming, the big issue we face today is man-made pollution and single use plastics need to be addressed.

The more we see governments addressing the problem of pollution the better. Ignoring the problem of plastics pollution is no longer an option.

We are heartened to see that the world is starting to see the impact we have had on the planet over the last 50years.

The New Zealand Government is looking to phase out more single-use plastics, following the success of the single use bag ban earlier this year. 1newsnow reports.

A report titled ‘Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand’ has also been released which outlines how the Government intends on dealing with waste.

The single-use plastics ban is targeted at containers made of hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene like meat trays, cups and takeaway food containers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the ban on plastic bags has already made a difference. 

Many New Zealanders, including many children, write to me about plastic – concerned with its proliferation over the past decade and the mounting waste ending up in our oceans,”

says Ms Ardern.

Roadside collection of recyclables will also be improved for more consistent collections. 

The move mirrors requests from respondents in a 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll in which eighty-two per cent thought the single-use plastic bag ban that came into force in July, should extend to other single-use plastics.

Click here to read the full article

Categories
climate change Environment News

Is climate change real? Should you be concerned about it?

Is climate change something we have created as the “human race,” or is it a natural phenomenon getting blown out of all proportion?

Personally, I am not sure – so join us as we look to investigate the science (and myths) about climate change 2019 and onwards. It is tough to believe what you read, hear or see with much of the science being skewed to benefit certain causes or create certain messages. We are not saying they are incorrect – but let’s examine the issues and make our own conclusions.

So where to begin on Climate change?

We will go back to the basics of climate change by looking at CO2 emissions. What are they? (we’ll look at the breakdown of our atmosphere and what part CO2 plays), How are they building up? What effects do they have now and then in the future? And finally, the most important question: Are CO2 emissions causing global warming?

Another important question that we will really try to answer is in regards to the relationship between CO2 and temperature, is there a direct correlation between the “greenhouse effect” and the rising temperatures of the planet, or is the scientific community making assumptions that rising CO2 is driving the temperature up? Could it be that our planet is going through a cyclic temperature change, therefore creating more CO2 along the way? We can look back to historical data and trends to see any emerging patterns.

Then we will look at the world’s population growth. How do more people in the world change the dynamics of climate change? What is the formula for population vs. CO2 emissions, and how can we change this equation?

Pollution

Then we will look at pollution, which we think is our biggest problem facing the human race today. How has pollution changed our planet and the way we live? How can we fix the issue of pollution?

Finally, we will ask the big questions: Is climate change preventable, or has it already passed the “tipping point”? How can we help change things, or are the problems bigger than us and need to be fixed by governments?. What should we do to stop climate change?

So visit us every so often or join our mailing list, and we will try to provide discussion points and hopefully some answers along the way.

Categories
Environment

New Zealand Government announces New plan for agriculture emissions pricing scheme.

This is great to see that the New Zealand government is looking at reducing carbon emissions with the agricultural sector. Surely the” urban sector” carbon emissions are being produced at an alarming rate as well – where is the Urban Emissions scheme?

This type of policy does seem to be a bit of “kick the can down the road” until 2025 when we need to be taking action now if climate change is happening as fast as everyone is predicting.

The New Zealand Government has moved away from radically reforming the way the farming sector could pay for emissions – but is celebrating what it calls a “world-first” partnership with farming leaders in its attempt to reduce agricultural greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide 

The primary sector is still set to pay for emissions, but not until 2025 – with farmers getting off seemingly lightly in the interim.

The sector would work with Government to come up with its own on-farm pricing scheme, aiming to reduce emissions in the meantime. 

A review in 2022 would develop the alternative pricing scheme, access the sector’s progress in reducing emissions and barriers it faces. 

“If the review finds there isn’t enough progress the Government can put the agriculture sector into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at processor level earlier than 2025,” a statement by the Government said. 

The proposed Emissions Trading Reform Bill also includes pulling agriculture into the ETS in 2025 for livestock emissions and some fertiliser emissions – if the alternative emissions pricing scheme is not developed. In line with the NZ First-Labour coalition agreement, farmers would only pay for five per cent of livestock emissions. 

Farmers have continuously pushed back from being included in the ETS, with Federated Farmers previously saying it “failed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transport… Universal pricing of methane will be similarly unsuccessful”.

The current ETS puts price on greenhouse gas emissions, intended to create a financial incentive for businesses that emit greenhouse gases, to invest in technologies and practices that reduce emissions, according to the Ministry for the Environment. 

The Government’s announcement today acknowledged the ETS “was originally developed for a small number of big companies, not tens of thousands of individuals”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was “proud that we have a world-first agreement as part of our plan to tackle the long-term challenge of climate change and we’ve done that by reaching an historic consensus with our primary sector”. 

“For too long politicians have passed the buck and caused uncertainty for everyone while the need for climate action was clear.”

It was a key climate change policy by the Labour Party in 2017 to “restore the ETS, including bringing agriculture into the ETS by the end of our first term, with 90 per cent of emissions free”. 

Article by 1 NEWS NOW, click here to read article

Categories
Environment

Plastics Will Outweigh Fish in The Ocean: How Does It Affect You and What Should You Do?

I was sent this article by Snorkel & Fin based in Sydney, have a read of this article as it is important to see how plastics and other pollutants are slowly creeping up on us and destroying the ocean. I never thought I would be discussing this issue in my lifetime.

Make sure you read how you can help stop this!

Today, plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile, and at the current accumulation rate, plastics are expected to outweigh fish by 2050.

Did you know that the ocean produces up to 85% of the oxygen we breathe? Indeed, in every breath you take, there is a bit of the ocean. But plastic pollution threatens to destroy this life-sustaining balance.

The future of this planet, the wellbeing of our wildlife, and ultimately our wellbeing as a species is in our hands. Now is the time to act!

According to the Ocean Conservancy, about 150 million metric tons of plastic already circulate in our marine environment, and an estimated 12.7 million metric tons add up to that number each year.

These synthetic molecules have already invaded our oceans, just like the everyday chemicals harming coral reefs, that’s a fact. What is more shrouded in mystery is the way this plastic invasion is affecting our daily lives. 

According to the University of British Columbia, the world’s oceans are now home to about 437 million tons of fish; however, this number is decreasing at an alarming rate due to multiple factors including global warming and destructive fishing operations. 

At the current accumulation rate, plastics are expected to outweigh fish by 2050.

Click here to view full article

Article by: Snorkels and Fins

Categories
Environment

4Ocean in partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium to raise awareness sea otters

“​Sea otters are a sentinel species, which means they act as indicators of the ocean’s overall health and can alert scientists to harmful events in the marine environment.​”

This is wonderful that companies/charities are now taking much more interest in protecting threatened species.

I have bought the bracelet – you should too.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is Protecting Sea Otters from 4Ocean on Vimeo.

Sea otters are perhaps one of the ocean’s most adorable inhabitants, but these iconic creatures are more than a cute face. They’re a keystone species that plays a critical role in maintaining healthy nearshore marine ecosystems in the Pacific.

Despite their importance to coastal kelp forests and seagrass beds, sea otters have been listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List since 2015. However, the IUCN doesn’t differentiate between specific sea otter populations, some of which are considered endangered while others are considered threatened.

It’s estimated that California’s southern sea otter population numbers just over 3,000 individuals. While this threatened population of sea otters has been growing slowly, decades of protection haven’t helped it bounce back as dramatically as researchers had hoped. Elevated mortality is largely due to non-consumptive predation by sharks, disease and contaminants, limited food availability, oil spills, and human disturbances.

While we do understand some of the threats southern sea otters face, more research is needed to understand what’s been hindering their recovery. With better insight into the complex and intertwined challenges they face, it’s possible to develop and implement more effective, long-term management that could help southern sea otters move back into more of their historical range along the California coast.

Categories
Environment News World

Can science and tourism save the reef?

The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risk Report was dominated by climate change and environmental disasters, and the world has recently watched this play out across the globe, from cyclones battering Mozambique to extreme flooding in the US Midwest. Heat waves have been hotter, droughts have been dryer and storm surges have been higher. Temperature records have been repeatedly smashed across the planet.

Queensland, home to the Great Barrier Reef, has seen bushfires, extreme heatwaves, a tropical cyclone, record rainfall and extreme flooding in the last nine months alone.

Yet climate experts believe that all this is just the precursor to something far worse. According to a 2018 study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human activities have currently caused around 1°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. At this level, coral reefs have been hit hard by heat stress and have experienced large-scale mortalities.

“In the last three years alone (2016–2018), large coral reef systems such as the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) have lost as much as 50% of their shallow water corals,” the IPCC study reports.

But if global warming rises by an additional degree (to 2°C above pre-industrial levels), the study says, there will be unprecedented consequences: 99% of coral reefs across the world’s tropical and sub-tropical oceans will disappear. And even if countries around the world adhere to the Paris Agreement (to pursue efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels), the world will still lose 70–90% of reef-building corals compared to today.

These are sobering statistics, which hit home even harder when you see the evidence for yourself.

Dive in the northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef, north of Townsville, and you may be greeted by ghostly swathes of pure white staghorn coral, likely bleached in one of the back-to-back bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures in 2016 and 2017.

Elsewhere you might see thick clusters of purplish-blue or reddish-grey crown-of-thorns starfish, covered in venomous barbs. These starfish occur naturally in low numbers on the Great Barrier and other coral reefs, and play a part in the reef ecosystem by helping to maintain coral species diversity. However, recent years have seen an explosion in their numbers, likely caused by overfishing of their natural predators or increased nutrients in the water due to agricultural runoff into the ocean.

When outbreaks occur, crown-of-thorns starfish are no longer just feeding on the coral, but stripping entire reefs bare.

Read more of this article, it again shows how the environment is changing, whether it be through our intervention or not, the facts are the planet is warming and we need to start to think of creative ways to protect the wonders of our planet. Click here to read more from BBC Travel 

Categories
Environment News

A simple thing we can do to make a difference

Here in New Zealand litter is becoming a big problem. But it’s a big problem with a small, simple solution. Let’s all take some responsibility for putting rubbish in its place.

When you are about to drop a piece of litter – don’t even think about it. Even if you are alone – you’re not – we’re all in this together. If you see someone else about to litter – just let them know – litter goes in the right place because it’s just how we do things around here.

This is the message from Band Together – Be a tidy Kiwi.

This is the message from Band Together

Be A tidy Kiwi
Categories
Environment News

How to erase 100 years of carbon emissions? Plant trees – lots of them.

BY STEPHEN LEAHY – National Geographic. PUBLISHED JULY 4, 2019


An area the size of the United States could be restored as forests with the potential of erasing nearly 100 years of carbon emissions, according to the first ever study to determine how many trees the Earth could support.

Published today in Science, “The global tree restoration potential” report found that there is enough suitable land to increase the world’s forest cover by one-third without affecting existing cities or agriculture. However, the amount of suitable land area diminishes as global temperatures rise. Even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the area available for forest restoration could be reduced by a fifth by 2050 because it would be too warm for some tropical forests.

“Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today,” said Tom Crowther, a researcher at ETH Zürich, and senior author of the study.

That does not alter the vital importance of protecting existing forests and phasing out fossil fuels since new forests would take decades to mature, Crowther said in a statement.Get more of the inspiring photos and stories we’re known for, plus special offers. 

If we don’t make fundamental changes, conditions for humanity will only get worse.

ROBIN CHAZDON, ECOLOGIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

“If we act now, this could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 25 percent, to levels last seen almost a century ago,” he says.

It could take more than a hundred years to add enough mature forest to get sufficient levels of carbon reduction. Meanwhile 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels are being added to the atmosphere every year, said Glen Peters, research director at Norway’s Center for International Climate Research.

Click here to read the full article.