As Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupted, spewing ash into the air, the legislature passed an ambitious law that will reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent below usual levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2050, according to Nature. Mexico ranks 11th in the world for both its economy and level of carbon emissions. The law also stipulates that 35 percent of Mexico’s electricity should come from renewable sources by the year 2024, and requires mandatory emissions reporting by the country's largest polluters.
Credit: Hector Aiza Rameriz/Corbis
Emperor penguins living in Antarctica are the first creatures to be counted from space. Since the penguins live in very remote areas, the satellite images are a successful way to count the populations. Research suggests that emperor penguin colonies will be dramatically effected by climate change, according to British Antarctic Survey biologist Phil Trathan. The images showed that the number of emperor penguins almost doubled since 1992. However, scientists are worried that in the early spring warming in some regions is leading to a loss of sea ice habitat for the penguins.The research garnered by the satellite space images was published in the journal PloS ONE.
Credit: British Antarctic Survey
The Belo Monte dam is being constructed on the Xingu River, one of the largest in the Amazon basin. Government officials say the dam is necessary if Brazil’s energy production is going to keep pace with its economy. And while supporters say hydropower is the country’s best clean-energy option, the reservoirs have high CO2 and methane emissions. Methane emissions have a warming effect that is 25 times stronger than CO2. The survival of the Amazon rainforest is threatened by deforestation and climate change, which could kill trees and then created feedback loops that will increase global warming.
Credit: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace
Bees and plants are in step with climate change, according to new research from Cornell University. The study is based on bee collection data that goes back 130 years. The biggest change in the onset time for bees and flowers took place after 1970, which is the period that has had the greatest increase in mean annual temperature. While researchers don’t know the exact trigger for the bees emergence, Bryan Danforth, Cornell professor of entomology fears, “if climate change accelerates the way it is expected to, we don't know if bees will continue to keep up.”
Credit: Luong Thai Lihn/European Pressphoto Agency
The severe drought suffered in most of England is sparking widespread fears of disaster to farming and wildlife. "A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely, and we are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought," said Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency. The drought is so extensive that other parts of England could impose restrictions on water for homes and businesses that already exist in some parts of the country.
Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA