Climate Change ☀️
Study Finds Wildfire Smoke More Harmful To Humans Than Pollution From Cars
Tens of millions of Americans experienced at least a day last year shrouded in wildfire smoke. Entire cities were blanketed, in some cases for weeks, as unprecedented wildfires tore across the Western U.S., causing increases in hospitalizations for respiratory emergencies and concerns about people's longer-term health.

A new study finds those concerns are well founded.

Researchers with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego say that the tiny particles released in wildfire smoke are up to 10 times more harmful to humans than particles released from other sources, such as car exhaust.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications Friday, paints a worrisome picture for Americans living on a fire-prone continent, especially as climate change amplifies fire risk worldwide.

"[Air pollution] has been decreasing in some regions of the U.S.," says Rosana Aguilera, a postdoctoral scholar and one of the study's co-authors. "This is not the case in wildfire-prone areas."

... The findings are particularly concerning, he says, given the increase in wildfire activity that California and other states have experienced in recent years, and the expectation that wildfires will become more intense and frequent as the climate warms.
Read the full article: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/03/05/973848360/study-finds-wildfire-smoke-more-harmful-to-humans-than-pollution-from-cars

More than 50 companies have vowed to be carbon-neutral by 2040
Just Wednesday, FedEx promised to be carbon-neutral by 2040, 10 years faster than the timeline laid out by the Paris climate accord. The company pledged an initial investment of $2 billion to start electrifying its massive fleet of more than 180,000 vehicles and $100 million for a new Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture.

The giant delivery company joins more than 50 other major corporations that also aim to be carbon-neutral by 2040 in an effort to curb climate change by tackling their own contributions to it. Some of the companies promising to meet that goal have signed on to an initiative called the Climate Pledge, co-founded by Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post.

Those companies include IBM, Microsoft, Unilever, Johnson Controls, Coca-Cola, Uber and Best Buy. Acciona, a Spanish energy and infrastructure company, went carbon-neutral in 2016.

Carbon neutrality means companies must rely entirely on renewable fuels or offset the burning of fossil fuels with the capture and storage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/03/05/more-than-50-companies-have-vowed-be-carbon-neutral-by-2040/

Antarctic seals reveal worrying threats to disappearing glaciers
More Antarctic meltwater is surfacing than was previously known, modifying the climate, preventing sea ice from forming and boosting marine productivity- according to new research. For the first time, researchers have been able to obtain full-depth glacial meltwater observations in winter, using instruments attached to the heads of seals living near the Pine Island Glacier, in the remote Amundsen Sea in the west of Antarctica.

For the first time, researchers have been able to obtain full-depth glacial meltwater observations in winter, using instruments attached to the heads of seals living near the Pine Island Glacier, in the remote Amundsen Sea in the west of Antarctica.

The harsh environmental conditions in the Antarctic limit the use of most traditional observation systems, such as ships and airplanes, especially in winter. But oceanographers working with biologists used data collected by tagged seals to measure water temperature and salinity.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210305080129.htm

'Falling insect' season length impacts river ecosystems
Insects that fall from the surrounding forest provide seasonal food for fish in streams. Researchers have shown that the lengthening of this period has a profound effect on stream food webs and ecosystem functions. These research results provide proof that changes in forest seasonality also affect the ecosystems of nearby rivers. This finding also highlights the importance of predicting the effects of climate change.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210305092414.htm

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations