Tag Archives: global warming
At 8:30 p.m. today, people around the world will celebrate Earth Hour by turning off their lights for one hour in a symbolic show of support for the planet. Earth Hour brings awareness to climate change and symbolizes a commitment and concern for managing climate change. Started nine years ago, the movement now spans thousands of cities in countries around the globe.
Earth Hour raises awareness and provides a unique opportunity for collective action aimed at doing something positive for the environment. It is not just about saving energy for that one hour, but it symbolizes a concern for managing climate change and commitment to adopting environment-friendly practices and habits in everyday life.
So let us participate in the Earth Hour, not only to conserve energy but to raise awareness on the need to protect the environment.
Sharing some of the shots taken in year 2012. May all beings bEE happy.
Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour.
More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.
On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. Earth Hour symbolizes that by working together, each of us can have a positive impact in the fight against climate change, protecting our future and that of future generations.
Set Your Clock
On March 31st at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will cascade around the globe—from time zone to time zone—uniting the planet under a single, simple, call to action.
How does climate change occur?
A continuous flow of energy from the sun heats the Earth. Naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases, trap this heat like a blanket, keeping the Earth at an average of 15 degrees Celsius – warm enough to sustain life. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant of these gases. The amount of naturally produced CO2 is almost perfectly balanced by the amount naturally removed through photosynthesis and its dissolution in oceans. However, the overuse of fossil fuels is leading to increased CO2 in the atmosphere, trapping more and more heat and warming the Earth.
As a result, we’re seeing more dramatic weather patterns across the globe. The effects of Earth’s changing weather not only causes devastating natural disasters but shrinking of the world’s ice shelves and glaciers due to warming sea water. Because ice acts as a solar reflector, the less ice there is, the less heat the Earth reflects.
Did you know? A bicycle is a marvel of engineering efficiency, one where an investment in 22 pounds of metal and rubber boosts the efficiency of an individual mobility by a factor of three (Lester Brown, EPI)
Did you know? It takes 200 litres of water to produce one latte.
Did you know? 78% of agricultural land is used for livestock production.
- Previously undocumented scene stunned tourists as they watched bear scramble and slip down Russian precipice
- It is believed hungry bears are being attracted to more dangerous terrain because usual icy hunting spots are melting
For birds nesting on a precarious cliff, the last visitor they might expect to see would be a hulking polar bear clambering down to join them.
Yet this bulky beast somehow managed to descend a craggy precipice in Russia’s remote Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya.
The young male risked life and limb scavenging for eggs along the 300ft-high rock face thronged with hundreds of squawking Brunnich’s Guillemots.
Stunned tourists onboard a chartered ice-breaker boat were left in awe as the watched the previously undocumented spectacle.
American photographer Dylan Coker, who captured the incredible scene, said: ‘The height that the bear was at and the sheerness of the cliff face were absolutely amazing,’ said the 40-year-old.
‘Everyone was terrified it was going to fall.
‘Every so often there would be a gasp from someone on the boat when the bear slipped.
‘It was slipping quite a bit and one point it was stretched right out to reach for eggs in a nest.’
Describing the moment the passengers relealised they were seeing a bear on the cliff on one of the Ostrova Oranskie islands, Californian Mr Coker, who now lives in Australia, said: ‘It was a really beautiful place; very foggy, cool, and serene with a sky full of squawking birds.
‘We rounded a corner and suddenly we could see this white blob at the top of some cliffs.
‘The cliffs were at least as high as a five-storey building. At first we thought it might be a large bird or a snow patch but as we got nearer we realised it was a polar bear.
‘Everyone on the boat was quiet, we just sat there in awe.’
Despite its bravado, the bear returned to the top of the cliff without enjoying a full meal after losing its footing several times.
Previously the group of group had encountered polar bears hunting on ice floes in Bukhta Maka, after journeying for two days without seeing land.
But it is believed that a scarcity of ice has led to bears seeking out food in more dangerous locations.
Mr Coker said: ‘There’s a real problem with the ice disappearing due to climate change.
‘Traditionally the bears sit by an air hole in the ice waiting for a seal to poke its head out so they can grab it.
‘But because there’s less and less ice, the bears are looking for alternative sources of food and have discovered the birds’ eggs.’
During the expedition the tourists also witnessed bears swimming hundreds of miles out to sea.
Mr Coker added: ‘They’re used to resting on and hunting from ice floes but now the bears swim around until they are exhausted, then they drown.’
This was the first time a civilian boat has been granted permission to sail in these waters, which also forms part of a large military zone.
Mountainous and shrouded in mystery, the Novaya Zemlya archipelago stretches 1000 km in an elongated crescent between the Barents and Kara seas.
Today it remains one of Russia’s most restricted and isolated regions.
Aurora Expeditions secured the first permit on condition that two government representatives act as chaperones.
Mr Coker, who recently won an Archbishops Award for his photography, added: ‘We were really lucky to have witnessed it.
‘We could have easily been there on a different day and who knows how often this kind of thing occurs.
‘I will never forget the day I watched a polar bear hunt for eggs on a cliff-edge.
‘I couldn’t have imagined a better or more unique adventure.’
Kuala Lumpur, 21st February 2011 – Earth Hour 2011 on 26th March prepares to showcase a growing global community committed to taking environmental actions that go beyond the hour. From now until Earth Hour 2012, WWF-Malaysia is urging everyone across the nation to take Earth Hour beyond the hour by signing up at wwf.org.my and pledging to “Live Green: One switch at a time.”
Each month, a simple action towards a more sustainable lifestyle will be highlighted at wwf.org.my. For example, individuals can pledge to switch off their TV and computer, instead of leaving these in standby mode.
“WWF-Malaysia hopes that Malaysians will join the global community this Earth Hour to take action that goes beyond the hour. It is easy to “Live Green: One switch at a time”, and the more people who make this pledge, the more powerful our efforts to protect our living planet become,” said WWF-Malaysia Executive Director/CEO Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
From its inception as a single-city initiative in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a global movement where hundreds of millions of people from every continent join together to acknowledge the importance of protecting our planet.
Earth Hour 2011 will ask Malaysians to:
• Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world
• Sign up at wwf.org.my and pledge to “Live Green: One switch at a time.”
• Sustain your actions beyond the hour
Earth Hour 2010 was the largest voluntary action for the environment in history with lights going out across 128 countries and over 4,500 cities worldwide. Earth Hour 2011 will again see hundreds of millions of people across all continents come together to celebrate an unambiguous commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one designated hour.
The countdown to Earth Hour 2011 has begun, the iconic “lights out” event that has seen some of the world’s most recognized landmarks, including the KLCC Twin Towers, KL Tower, Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney Opera House switch off in a global celebration of the one thing that unites us all – the planet.
Mass coral bleaching caused by global warming is threatening the health of the Coral Triangle, a vast marine region that is home to 76% of all known corals in the world.
The Malaysian government recently closed portions of world-renowned dive sites on the tropical islands of Tioman and Redang, saying they would be off limits until October to give the fragile coral reef ecosystems time to heal.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, bleaching has been reported in Anilao and Nasugbu, as well as off the cost of the western municipality of Taytay, Palawan. The latter saw corals, which usually exhibit a green and brown hue, temporarily turn unusual shades of pink, orange and yellow—a precursor to complete bleaching.
Numerous other Philippine reefs are likely to have been affected as well, exacerbated by localized outbreaks of Crown-of-Thorns Seastars.
Widespread bleaching has also been recorded in Indonesia, with areas near Sabang, Aceh, Padang, Thousand Island Jakarta, Bali, and other locations showing telltale signs.
“This widespread bleaching is alarming because it directly affects the health of our oceans and their ability to nurture fish stocks and other marine resources on which millions of people depend for food and income” says Richard Leck, Climate Change Strategy Leader of the WWF Coral Triangle Programme.
Coral bleaching is a phenomenon caused by global warming. Increased seawater temperatures, which in some regions have grown as much as 2°C above the long-term average maximum, can push the algae living inside corals beyond the brink, causing reefs to eventually turn white and die.
Aside from increased sea temperatures, other causes of stress include disease, pollution, sedimentation, cyanide fishing, changes in salinity, and storms.
The Coral Triangle region covers the seas of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. This nursery of the seas contains more than 600 species of reef-building coral.
Since March this year, about 50 different organizations and individuals have reported signs of coral bleaching in the Coral Triangle region. Up to 100% bleaching on susceptible coral species have been reported, and in some areas, severe bleaching has also affected the more resistant species.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch stated that the current incident is the worst of it kind since 1997-1998, which decimated 16% of the world’s coral reefs.
With many areas showing signs of mass bleaching, it has become apparent that more weight needs to be put behind long-term conservation strategies, such as marine protected area management, preventing coastal and marine pollution, as well as promoting sustainable fisheries.
“Well-designed and appropriately-managed networks of marine protected areas and locally managed marine areas are essential to enhance resilience against climate change, and prevent further loss of biodiversity, including fisheries collapse” Leck also added.
Through new sustainable finance mechanisms and investments in climate adaptation, WWF plans to support networks of marine sanctuaries and locally managed conservation areas across the Coral Triangle.
Improving fisheries management also an important step
Better fisheries management is also key to alleviating the impacts of coral bleaching, ensuring that only viable sites are given access to fishing and that the more sensitive ones are given time to recuperate via strong regulations, enforcement and awareness.
In Malaysia, for instance, WWF is promoting the conservation of herbivorous reef fish, which plays a critical role of keeping algae populations lower, allowing room for coral recruits to settle on the potentially newly-dead coral skeletons..
Only a year ago, WWF launched The Coral Triangle and Climate Change: Ecosystems, People and Societies at Risk, a report based on a thorough consideration of the climate biology, economics and social characteristics of the region, showing how unchecked climate change will ultimately undermine and destroy ecosystems and livelihoods in the Coral Triangle.
Posted on 29 July 2010
“Phytoplankton… produce half of the oxygen we breathe, draw down surface CO2, and ultimately support all of our fisheries”
Professor Boris Worm
The amount of phytoplankton – tiny marine plants – in the top layers of the oceans has declined markedly over the last century, research suggests.
Writing in the journal Nature, scientists say the decline appears to be linked to rising water temperatures.
They made their finding by looking at records of the transparency of sea water, which is affected by the plants.
The decline – about 1% per year – could be ecologically significant as plankton sit at the base of marine food chains.
This is the first study to attempt a comprehensive global look at plankton changes over such a long time scale.
“What we think is happening is that the oceans are becoming more stratified as the water warms,” said research leader Daniel Boyce from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
“The plants need sunlight from above and nutrients from below; and as it becomes more stratified, that limits the availability of nutrients,” he told BBC News.
Phytoplankton are typically eaten by zooplankton – tiny marine animals – which themselves are prey for small fish and other animals.