Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Terrible damage to aquatic ecosystems

The situation is worse than we thought – not only in the case of coral reefs, but also in freshwater fish populations.

A new study has shown that in contrast with earlier beliefs, the microorganisms that build coral reefs can die out in a matter of days rather than months due to the warming of the seas.

In a joint study by the University of Newcastle in Britain, Australia’s James Cook University, The University of Technology Sydney and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists used CT scans of coral reefs to analyse the impact of heat waves on the coral, and they were surprised to see extremely rapid dissolution of coral skeletons.

The situation is tragic not only for coral reefs: a study by the Leibniz Institute in Berlin has shown that since 1977, freshwater megafauna has declined by 88 percent. The highest declines were observed in the Indomalaya (South and Southeast Asia, the southern part of China) and the Palearctic (Europe, North Africa and most of Asia) realms, and the larger fish species are particularly affected: the populations of sturgeons and salmon have dropped by 94 percent. Overfishing and the radical reduction in the number of free-flowing rivers are the two main threats.

The latest studies show that aquatic wildlife is declining much faster than previously thought
Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: AFP

Declining polar sea ice due to record heat

The extent of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice hit a record low in July 2019. This occurred in the month that was also the hottest ever July on record since meteorological records were begun in 1880, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced.

Icelandic glacier to be remembered by monument

A monument is to be erected to honour the glacier that was first lost to global warming in Iceland. The plaque will feature a note to future generations, as well.

The brutal price of air conditioning

According to the 2018 global report of the International Energy Agency, demand for air conditioning will triple by 2050, which will increase electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and thereby accelerate the rate of global warming.

Warming will claim many lives

Scientists have studied mortality data in 27 Chinese cities with high population densities to get an accurate estimate of the effect that global warming of 2 instead of 1.5 degrees Celsius would have on the mortality rate.

Climate change is destroying hundreds of reindeer

Scientists at the Norwegian Polar Institute have found an unprecedented reduction in Svalbard’s population of reindeer in 2019.

Want to find out how much your city will heat up?

An amazing interactive map produced by the BBC allows us to check temperatures projected for 2100 around the globe.

Lake found at 3400 metres in the Alps

Alpinist Bryan Mestre took an astonishing photo at the end of June, showing a lake in the French Alps that was probably created due to the heat wave that swept Europe.

Over 28 thousand species threatened with extinction

28,338 species on the planet are threatened with extinction according to the latest red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Astonishing record from beyond the Arctic Circle

The absolute temperature record was broken at one of Canada’s northernmost weather stations: 21 degrees Celsius was measured in Nunavut District beyond the Arctic Circle.

July set to be the hottest month ever recorded

According to data from NASA, this year’s was the hottest ever month of June, and July is well on the way to setting the record for the hottest month ever.