1- The first days of June bring record heat
Global surface air temperatures surpassed the critical 1.5°C warming threshold in June, while ocean temperatures also reached record highs. The trend indicates worsening climate change, raising concerns and highlighting the need for urgent action. Unusual ocean warming presents challenges for weather forecasting. The persistence of these warming trends and the potential for even hotter conditions in the near future raise worries about unprecedented heat and its impacts, such as droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather events.
Source: Financial Times
2- The power of AI in wildfire prediction and prevention
The FireAId initiative, launched in Turkey in collaboration with global organizations and tech companies, employs AI to improve wildfire prediction and prevention. It has created an interactive risk map using AI algorithms and diverse data sources. The pilot program in Turkey successfully predicted wildfires with an 80% accuracy rate, allowing authorities to take proactive measures. The initiative strives to enhance global knowledge, expedite technological advancements, and explore additional areas like drone integration for managing wildfires.
Source: World Economic Forum
3- The world’s most sustainable beer
Packaging and transportation contribute to 70% of the environmental impact of a litre of beer. To address this issue, Neuzelle brewery in Germany has developed a revolutionary powdered beer that only requires mixing with water. The powder format reduces transportation costs by 90% compared to traditional beer, making it more sustainable and affordable. The non-alcoholic powdered beer aims to cater to the market of alcohol-free drinks, which has a significant consumer base. Neuzelle plans to launch the product commercially, targeting African and Asian countries where the powder is easier to transport. While the powdered beer may not fit Germany’s strict beer purity law, the innovation offers a sustainable solution in a world seeking eco-friendly alternatives.
4- The sound of soil: Measuring soil biodiversity with eco-acoustics
New research highlights the potential of listening to the soil to assess biodiversity below ground. Studies reveal that restored forest soils exhibit more diverse sounds and species compared to degraded areas. Similarly, intensively managed agricultural soils tend to be quieter, suggesting that soil acoustics could serve as an indicator of soil health. Acoustic monitoring, already used in forests and oceans, could now be applied to soil to identify various underground sounds, including water movement and animal communication.
5- Edible insects as a game-changer in fighting climate change
The CBS Saturday Morning segment discussed the potential of incorporating insects into diets as a way to address the global food crisis and combat climate change. Scientists are exploring insect farming as an alternative to high-carbon foods and animal feed. Insects are valued for their protein content and ability to thrive with fewer resources than traditional livestock. The focus is on using insects as a sustainable tool for protein production rather than forcing them onto menus. However, the idea of consuming bugs has faced resistance in the United States, despite their environmental benefits.
Source: Fox News
6- Computational advances can help researchers model climate with higher fidelity
Recent algorithmic improvements have addressed the challenges of cloud modeling in climate simulations. Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology proposed a solution that balances computational resources with precise cloud modeling. Clouds play a complex role in the Earth’s energy balance, and accurately capturing their behavior is crucial. The new approach allows for dynamic grid points, enabling high-resolution modeling when necessary and lower-resolution refinement when appropriate without compromising overall fidelity. This advancement has the potential to enhance climate models and improve long-term climate forecasts.
7- As Africa Loses Forest, Its Small Farmers Are Bringing Back Trees
Recent satellite data and field studies challenge the narrative of deforestation in Africa, indicating that trees are thriving outside forests. Smallholder farmers in Africa are allowing trees to regenerate on their agricultural land, contrary to government advice. This practice, known as farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR), has led to improved soil quality, increased crop yields, and enhanced livelihoods for farmers. The AI-based analysis of satellite images, along with visual examination, has revealed a significant number of trees outside forests that were previously invisible to remote sensing. This phenomenon counters the belief that population growth leads to deforestation, as farmers recognize the value of trees in their agricultural systems and actively nurture them. These findings highlight the potential for regrening Africa by harnessing the efforts of smallholders to restore trees on their lands.
Source: Yale Environment
8- Istanbul water sources in danger as drought hits three crucial dams
Three vital dams supplying water to Istanbul, Turkey, have drastically declined water levels due to an ongoing drought. The Kazandere Dam has been particularly affected, with its surface drying up and becoming grass-covered. Factors such as reduced rainfall, climate change, and global warming are attributed to the severe drought. Experts emphasize the urgent need to adapt to climate change and promote water-efficient practices in daily life, industry, and agriculture. Immediate action is required to address the water management challenges and ensure sustainable water consumption in the region.
Source: Daily Sabah
9- Brazil is building carbon dioxide ‘rings’ in the Amazon rainforest to simulate climate change
Scientists are conducting the AmazonFACE project, which involves spraying carbon dioxide into the Amazon rainforest to study its response to climate change. The project aims to understand the forest’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide and determine if it has a tipping point that could lead to irreversible decline, transforming the biodiverse forest into a drier savannah-like landscape. The Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology is used to replicate future atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and observe the impact on plant behavior. The project challenges the belief that deforestation is the primary threat to the Amazon, suggesting that climate change is also a significant factor. The construction of the project is underway, and it is expected to be fully operational by mid-2024.
Source: Euro News
10- As plastics keep piling up, can ‘Advanced’ Recycling cut the waste?
Companies, ranging from start-ups to major players in the petroleum industry, are investing in pyrolysis plants to address plastic pollution. Pyrolysis is a process that converts plastic into oil or fuel through intense heat and the absence of oxygen. Supporters believe pyrolysis can reduce landfill waste, prevent pollution, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. However, critics argue that there is a lack of transparency in the recycling process, with a significant portion of the output being used as fuel rather than being recycled back into plastic products. They emphasize the importance of true recycling, which involves reintroducing materials into the production cycle to reduce reliance on new resources. Concerns also exist regarding the environmental impact of pyrolysis and the toxic emissions associated with refining the oil. Some critics view pyrolysis as a distraction from the fundamental need to reduce plastic consumption and advocate for measures aimed at limiting plastic production.
Source: Yale Environment