Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Would you like to see inside the Global Seed Vault in the Norwegian Arctic?

March 8th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“Jutting out of the permafrost on a mountainside on Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago, the entrance to the world’s “doomsday” seed vault is worthy of any James Bond movie. Surrounded by snow, ice and the occasional polar bear, the facility houses 1.2m seed samples from every corner of the planet as an insurance policy against […]

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The man in charge of how the United States is spending $400 billion to shift away from fossil fuels

February 3rd, 2023 by Roger Darlington

This is the kind of news that gives me hope that we can combat the climate emergency. “Deep in the confines of the hulking, brutalist headquarters of the US Department of Energy, down one of its long, starkly lit corridors, sits a small, unheralded office that is poised to play a pivotal role in America’s […]

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New Zealand is losing its glaciers

April 5th, 2022 by Roger Darlington

A recent article in the “Guardian” news paper noted: “New Zealand’s glaciers are becoming “smaller and more skeletal” due to the effects of climate change and scientists predict many could disappear within a decade. An annual end-of-summer survey that records the snowline of more than 50 South Island glaciers has revealed continued loss of snow […]

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Word of the day: ruminant

October 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I’d never come across this word until recently when I was reading an article about the climate crisis. I checked it out and found that a ruminant is an even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprise the cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives. Ruminants produce a huge […]

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Does anyone still seriously doubt that the climate is changing?

July 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is the latest Weatherwatch from the “Guardian” newspaper: A deluge of rain has inundated parts of western Germany and Belgium over the past week, caused by a slow-moving low pressure system that led to catastrophic flooding. Several rainfall records were smashed, including Mannheim in south-west Germany, which usually receives 70mm (2.7in) in an average […]

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Word of the day: ecocide

April 16th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

International lawyers are drafting plans for a legally enforceable crime of ecocide – criminalising destruction of the world’s ecosystems – that is already attracting support from European countries and island nations at risk from rising sea levels. The panel coordinating the initiative is chaired by Professor Philippe Sands QC, of University College London, and Florence […]

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Word of the day: Anthropocene

April 15th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The ‘Anthropocene’ is a term increasingly used to define a new planetary era: one in which humans have become the dominant force shaping Earth’s bio-geophysical composition and processes. Initially emerging in the earth sciences as the name for a proposed new geological epoch, the Anthropocene has been widely adopted across academia as a catch-all description […]

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Word of the day: biome

March 13th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

A biome is a collection of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. Biome is a broader term than habitat; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats. I confess that I had never heard this word […]

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What happens when the world’s population stops growing?

July 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Most adults around the globe – me included – have contributed to the relentless rise in the world’s population which has devastated the planet. Today the world population stands at 7.8 billion and it is still growing – but this will not always be the case with huge consequences. You can find a good estimate […]

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Think coronavirus is the worst thing that could happen to the world? Think again. It could be worse, much much worse. Feeling better now?

April 26th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Things are tough just now, right? You want to be cheered up, don’t you? Well, consider this: things could be much worse. The existence of humankind is not a given. There are a variety of existential threats out there and, put is this way, the odds could be better. I was reminded of this by […]

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