Thirsty Koala Becomes the Face of Australia’s Heat Wave
Chantelle Lowrie was visiting a camp ground near the Murray River in the Australian state of Victoria Saturday when she saw a koala.
"It was 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 F)— very, very hot day," Lowrie told AFP Tuesday. "I stopped because he looked as though he could use a drink of water."
In a video Lowrie posted to Facebook, the koala climbs partway up a tree, pauses to sip from a water bottle extended by Lowrie, then continues to climb.
The video comes as much of Australia suffers through a deadly heat wave that has seen temperatures rise around 16 degrees Celsius (approximately 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above average for this time of year. The heat has led to seven deaths by drowning as people rush to the beach to cool off, Reuters reported Saturday. Five of the deaths took place between Christmas Eve and Saturday in Victoria. In two other incidents, a South Korean man died Christmas Day while snorkeling in a lake in New South Whales, and another man died in the surf on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Temperatures in Australia's south lowered somewhat over New Years', but they are expected to climb again later in the week, with thermometers expected to read 41 C (105.8 F) in Adelaide on Thursday and 42 Celsius (107.6 F) in Melbourne on Friday, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
"We've seen a couple of cooler days for southern Australia, still above average for this time of year but cooler than we've seen," Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Sarah Fitton said. "But we've still just had that heat sitting through central Australia which hasn't gone away. We're going to see north-westerly winds again and that's going to drive that heat that's been sitting in central Australia back across the southern states."
The higher temperatures will put Victoria and South Australia on watch for bushfires.
Heat waves are common in Australia during its summer, but climate change is making them more extreme, AFP reported. The BOM expects that 2018 will be one of the country's five hottest years on record overall, and the third hottest in terms of maximum temperatures, according to The Guardian.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.