Global Warming

2023 could mark a turning point for the Amazon rainforest

By |2023-01-01T17:22:05+00:00January 1st, 2023|

New political leaders in Brazil and Colombia have promised to protect the rainforest, raising hopes of saving the ecosystem from becoming savannah

From the New Scientist, 31 December 2022

By Luke Taylor


The Potaro river running through the Amazon rainforest in Guyana

After four years of runaway deforestation in the Amazon under Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who takes office on 1 January, could be a decisive turning point.

Lula has pledged to aim for net-zero deforestation – the first Brazilian president to do so. “A standing tree is worth more than thousands of logs,” he said in his victory speech on 31 October. “That is why we will resume the surveillance of the entire Amazon and any illegal activity.”

As well as the restoration of monitoring and surveillance efforts, Lula is proposing several ambitious projects, such as a national climate authority and a sustainable farming scheme. But without a majority in Brazil’s Congress, it is unclear whether he will be able to deliver on these pledges. It will also take time to dislodge the illegal industries that have taken hold in the Amazon, such as gold mining.

Despite the challenges ahead, Lula’s win has made researchers and conservationists more optimistic that the Amazon could be saved, even as there are signs it is hitting a tipping point that would see it transform into savannah. “The election of Lula is a great reason for hope,” says Mark Plotkin, an ethnobotanist and co-founder of non-profit organisation the Amazon Conservation Team.

The impact of Lula’s environmental policy should be magnified by the recent election of eco-conscious governments elsewhere in South America that have campaigned to protect the rainforest.

In Colombia, which is home to some of the Amazon’s most biodiverse regions, President Gustavo Petro is also positioning himself as a regional steward of the rainforest, after taking office in August 2022. Petro is pushing for high-income countries to support South America’s defence of the rainforest and he is also overseeing a total rethink of Colombia’s conservation strategy.

After decades of criminalising farmers who clear the forest for agriculture, the Colombian government now plans to offer them financial support to transition to more sustainable practices, such as harvesting Amazonian fruits from the trees.

The country’s environment minister also proposes diverting all carbon tax revenue directly to conservation schemes and forging an “Amazon Bloc” with other South American nations, so that they will have more leverage to secure international funds.

With Petro, Lula and US president Joe Biden all having been elected after campaigning to protect the Amazon, researchers say they have the political and public support to move forward with plans to conserve and restore the rainforest.

There may also be more opportunities for collaboration between different countries and groups. Bolsonaro blocked conservation in the wider region, not just Brazil, says Martín von Hildebrand, founder of the non-profit organisation Gaia Amazonas. Alliances between NGOs, scientists and Indigenous peoples can now be strengthened and their plans enacted, he says.

Restoring the forest

This could be the year that decades of damage begin to be reversed, says von Hildebrand. The anthropologist is working with researchers and Indigenous communities to draw up a reforestation project that would create a wildlife corridor stretching from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. “We’ve been waiting for a long time for political will to implement change and I think we are finally going to get it,” he says.

Carlos Nobre at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, believes that conservationists can capitalise on political support and the growing urgency of climate change to spur efforts towards reforestation.

At the COP27 climate summit in November 2022, Nobre presented a project to restore more than 1 million square kilometres of rainforest that would, he says, “store 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year for decades to come and prevent the Amazon from reaching a tipping point”.

Though the Amazon’s future remains uncertain, the importance of its conservation for climate change will only become more obvious in 2023, says von Hildebrand.

“It’s not only a carbon sink and a haven of biodiversity, but with its flying rivers [currents of water vapour], it’s a water pump for the entire Amazon, the Andes and beyond,” he says. “The forest is absolutely necessary. If we lose the forest, we simply won’t have water in this part of the world.”

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Global Climate Change: What you must know Today

By |2021-05-13T15:34:30+01:00February 3rd, 2021|

Climate change links with disturbance in the concentration of greenhouse gases, resulting in the rise of average global temperature. As goes by the studies, the effects of global climate change are impacting every sphere of life today.

While this is very much told about climate change in the current sources of information, some facts still lie unknown. This article presents you with facets that will probably change your perception of this global crisis.

The last 20 years have been recorded in the past 22 years 

As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, 2018 the warmest years on the record have occurred in the last 22 years. The degree of temperature has only directed upward and the extent has been exceptional both on land and water. Records state that since 1880, the years from 2015 to 2020 have been following the pace of the highest temperature trend. And the forthcoming year of 2020 is yet to set a benchmark next! 

Are you still not worried about the future?

The impact of global climate change on humans is terrifying 

The rising earth temperature has facilitated issues like:

  • Poor air quality
  • Adversely affecting the crop production
  • The spread of infectious diseases
  • Coercing the freshwater reservoirs

The impact of the following conditions has severely impacted human health. Meanwhile, lack of adaptive potentials has led to an increase in heat-related deaths. 

And the consequences don’t end here. Global climate change has intensified natural disasters. The rates of wildfires ripping through the forests might have reduced but the intensity of the blazes has increased. Also, the radical hurricanes of the highest frequencies ranked as 4 and 5 have become frequent. And this has not only affected human life but also the wildlife, disturbing their natural habitats and migration patterns.

The effects of climate change can be irreversible by 2030

Heeding the special report of IPCC on Global Warming 1.5° C, we only have ten years to curtail the worst impacts of climate change. Yet not much has been done concerning the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Hereafter, subsequent reports have warned that our planet will undergo catastrophically irreversible damage if global carbon emission isn’t cut half within the next decade. We have already entered this crucial decade and yet are far fetched from the reality of the crisis!

More than 1.5 million species are on the verge of extinction 

Experts estimate that we are on the verge of the sixth mass extinction—one that’s mostly a result of human activities. And analyzing the change we are throwing at the special diversities, nearly 30 to 50 percent of the total species are to disappear soon. 


It’s high time to act upon the inaction towards global climate change and seek a better approach towards the crisis. Know that climate change is real and requires most of our potential to avert its consequences.

The post Global Climate Change: What you must know Today appeared first on Nature Talkies – We Talk about Nature.

Global Warming, Sea-Ice Loss Intensify Polar Bear Decline

By |2021-05-13T15:34:35+01:00January 28th, 2021|

The unabated global warming and the melting Arctic sea ice can result in the extinction of Polar years in the near-century, say the scientists. Meanwhile, studies show that all the 19 subpopulations of polar bears have experienced ice loss over the current times.

If not taken charge, the situation would worsen, forcing the animals to walk towards the lands and away from their food supplies. Whereafter, prolonged fasting and mothers failing to nurse their cubs will result in drastic declines in reproduction and survival of the polar bears.

Impact of global warming on polar bears

Global warming has led to the rise in the Arctic’s temperature, which is twice as fast as the global average. And as a result of this, the sea ice cover is seen diluting by four percent every decade.

Following a 2018 study providing the metabolic analysis of the species, it is found that the animals’ caloric needs are 60 percent greater than the one formerly believed. And they burn out nearly 12,325 calories every day. In order to sustain this need, their diet consists of calorie-rich food as that of ringed and bearded seals, whose population is likewise declining with the loss of sea ice.

When the land-fast sea ice melts, it compels polar bears back to the lands where they don’t get any access to seals. In the seals’ scarcity, the animals are known to hunt for caribou and whale carcasses washed ashore, which does not fulfill their caloric needs. Hereafter the polar bears begin to fast, struggling to maintain a healthy weight for their survival.

The disturbing factors

The consequences of global warming and conditions of sea ice levels are different in different Arctic regions. And not all polar bear populations are to respond the same way. In the Western Hudson Bay and Southern Beaufort Sea, the past or present decline in the Polar bear populations is directly associated with the loss of sea-ice. 

However, moving elsewhere, other factors including shipping, hunting, tourism, oil and gas activities, prey availability tends to determine the lesser or greater extents affecting the subpopulation trends. This further complicates the picture and calls for a matter of concern. 

Ways to reduce the impact of global warming on polar bears

There’s a lot we can contribute to saving polar bears and other endangered species from extinction. One of the significant causes of intense sea-ice loss and polar bear decline is global warming. Hence the solution lies in curtailing the abruptly rising temperature of the earth.

Concerning this, here are a few steps you can take to help reduce global warming:

  • Equip your home with renewable energy resources.
  • Opt for a fuel-efficient vehicle or better encourage carpooling and use of public transports.
  • Recycle waste and adopt responsible consumption practices.
  • Promote better use of natural resources, preventing deforestation, and massive use of fossil fuels.

The most important factor to work upon in order to improve the long-term survival of polar bear populations is reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. This is also to stabilize the Arctic sea ice levels to secure the polar bear habitats.

The post Global Warming, Sea-Ice Loss Intensify Polar Bear Decline appeared first on Nature Talkies – We Talk about Nature.

Climate Change: How Did We End Up Here?

By |2021-05-13T15:34:51+01:00December 15th, 2020|

If we take our eyes off of the money and power for a moment, we are exposed to bigger issues that we have been ignoring for a long while now. Yes, we are talking about climate change. 

It is probably the only matter that humans, as a race, should be really concerned about. After all, it could take our lives much earlier than we thought. 

The primary reason why climate change is an alarming cause is our negligence and exploitative nature. Let’s have a closer look at how we ended up here. 

The emissions of Greenhouse Gases

It is a widely known fact that greenhouse gases are responsible for trapping heat in the environment. Scientists discovered this in the 1800s itself. While there are many greenhouse gases, Carbon Dioxide is single-handedly accountable for shooting up global warming by a disturbing percentage. 

If we look at carbon dioxide emissions because of human activities from all across the world, we will all drop our jaws. They increased by a whopping 400 percent since the 1950s. This is why global warming is not to be taken lightly. 

If you think about some 800,000 years ago, you will see a pattern of Earth’s natural climate cycle. This all happened between warmer interglacial periods and the ice ages. The last ice age ended 20,000 years ago, and the average temperature across the globe increased by 3 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius. This happened during a period of 10,000 years. 

The rises in temperature that occurred during the last 200 years have a direct connection to the increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Everything is interconnected, and human greed is to be blamed. 

Solar influences

When talking about Climate Change, it would be unfair not to include the main source of all heat on our Planet Earth. The closest Star, The center of the Solar System; The Sun. We cannot just rule out the possibility that even the slightest change in its output heat and light can affect the terrestrial ecosystems in significant ways. The light and heat coming from the Sun is called Solar Irradiance and is highly responsible for Climate Change lately. 

The sun goes through 11-year cycles of activity when it goes from stormy to quiet and then back to the solar storms again. When it’s stormy, Scientists like Thomas Woods at NASA have been using SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiments) to measure the most significant storms on the Sun. They have stated, “The fluctuations in the solar cycle impact Earth’s global temperature by about 0.1 degree Celsius, slightly hotter during solar maximum and cooler during solar minimum.”

While we have tried our best to walk you through the main reasons behind climate change, there are always more explanations. The best way to stay informed and safe is by reading about the observations that scientists have made.

The post Climate Change: How Did We End Up Here? appeared first on Nature Talkies – We Talk about Nature.