Corporations that flouted environmental regulations and spewed pollutants into the air and dumped them into waterways will not be required to pay the fines they agreed to during the pandemic, according to The Guardian.
- Cost of Polluter Penalties at 20-Year-Low Under Trump's EPA ... ›
- Penalties Against Polluters Drop 60% Under Trump - EcoWatch ›
- Oil Companies Were Not Held Accountable for 10.8 Million Gallons ... ›
During summer in central New York, residents often enjoy a refreshing dip in the region's peaceful lakes.
But sometimes swimming is off-limits because of algae blooms that can make people sick.
- Algal Blooms Can be Deadly to Your Dogs - EcoWatch ›
- Every Mississippi Beach Is Closed Due to Toxic Algae - EcoWatch ›
- Toxic Algal Blooms Connected to Climate Change and Industrial ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Sebastian Leuzinger
Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.
If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to email@example.com
If carbon dioxide levels were to double, how much increase in plant growth would this cause? How much of the world's deserts would disappear due to plants' increased drought tolerance in a high carbon dioxide environment?
Compared to pre-industrial levels, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere will have doubled in about 20 to 30 years, depending on how much CO₂ we emit over the coming years. More CO₂ generally leads to higher rates of photosynthesis and less water consumption in plants.
At first sight, it seems more CO₂ can only be beneficial to plants, but things are a lot more complex than that.
The Global Carbon Budget<p>Of the almost 10 billion tonnes (gigatonnes, or Gt) of carbon we emit every year through the burning of fossil fuels, only about half accumulates in the atmosphere. Around a quarter ends up in the ocean (about 2.4 Gt), and the remainder (about 3 Gt) is thought to be <a href="https://www.earth-syst-sci-data.net/10/2141/2018/" target="_blank">taken up by terrestrial plants</a>.</p><p>While the ocean and the atmospheric sinks are relatively easy to quantify, the terrestrial sink isn't. In fact, the 3 Gt can be thought of more as an unaccounted residual. Ultimately, the emitted carbon needs to go somewhere, and if it isn't the ocean or the atmosphere, it must be the land.</p><p>So yes, the terrestrial system takes up a substantial proportion of the carbon we emit, but the attribution of this sink to elevated levels of CO₂ is difficult. This is because many other factors may contribute to the land carbon sink: rising temperature, increased use of fertilisers and atmospheric nitrogen deposition, changed land management (including land abandonment), and changes in species composition.</p><p><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-03818-2" target="_blank">Current estimates</a> assign about a quarter of this land sink to elevated levels of CO₂, but estimates are very uncertain.</p><p>In summary, rising CO₂ leads to faster plant growth - sometimes. And this increased growth only partly contributes to sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. The important questions are how long this carbon is locked away from the atmosphere, and how much longer the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0274-8" target="_blank">currently observed land sink will continue</a>.</p>
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- 8 Ways to Sequester Carbon to Avoid Climate Catastrophe - EcoWatch ›
New York state has rejected the controversial Williams pipeline that would have carried fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey, running beneath New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean before connecting to an existing pipeline system off Long Island.
- New York Regulators Block Controversial Natural Gas Pipeline ... ›
- People Power Can Stop the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline in Minnesota ... ›
On Wednesday, nine states sued the Trump administration over the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to temporarily relax various environmental regulations during the coronavirus pandemic.
- 'This Will Be the Biggest Loss of Clean Water Protection the Country ... ›
- Trump Dismantles Environmental Protections Under Cover of ... ›
- Trump Named 'Worst President for Our Environment in History' by ... ›
- Trump USDA Resumes Effort to Cut Food Stamp Benefits - EcoWatch ›
For the first decade of the 2000s, the Missouri River, the nation's longest river, was drier than it's been in more than 1,200 years. The culprit is the climate crisis, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS.
- Colorado River Has Lost 1.5 Billion Tons of Water to the Climate ... ›
- Water Conflicts Will Intensify. Can We Predict the Worst Problems ... ›
- What Climate Crisis Will Do to 3 Major American Cities by 2100 ... ›
- Judge Tosses Major Keystone XL Permit - EcoWatch ›
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- Construction Begins on Keystone XL Pipeline in Montana - EcoWatch ›
Not even underground ecosystems are safe from human pollution.
By Jake Johnson
President Donald Trump issued an executive order late Thursday that environmentalists warned will accelerate the corporate exploitation of oceans by relaxing regulations on and streamlining the construction of industrial offshore aquaculture facilities, which critics deride as "floating factory farms" that pump pollution and diseases into public waters.
- The Trump Administration Wants to Set Water Safety Back 50 Years ... ›
- Trump Admin Repeals Obama-Era Clean Water Protections ... ›
- Trump Administration Seeks to Gut Water Pollution Safeguards ... ›
Environment and climate stories made strong showings in this year's Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists, which were announced Monday.
- Solutions Journalism Covers More Than Just the Bad News ... ›
- Has Climate News Coverage Finally Turned a Corner? - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Literature That Made Waves in 2019 - EcoWatch ›
- Media Coverage of Climate Change Increased in 2019 - EcoWatch ›
Beavers often get a bad rap for cutting down trees and building unwanted ponds on private property.