Tag Archives: Ecosystem Destruction

Antarctica Warmer Than Tel Aviv

The Antarctic. Photo courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac


Temperature in the northern Antarctic peninsula hit an all-time high of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 degrees Fahrenheit) on February 6, says an Argentine research station there. In February, the daytime temperature in Tel Aviv averages 64.5 degrees…

Read Full Article; Haaretz (02-17-2020)

Antarctic temperature rises above 20C for first time on record; Guardian UK (02-13-2020)
Scientists describe 20.75C logged at Seymour Island as ‘incredible and abnormal’.

Temperature in Antarctica soars to near 70 degrees, appearing to top record; The Washington Post (02-13-2020)
The temperature beats a milestone set days earlier by nearly 5 degrees…

Antarctica logs highest temperature on record of 18.3C; BBC News (02-07-2020)
A record high temperature of 18.3C (64.9F) has been logged on the continent of Antarctica. The temperature was recorded in the Antarctic Peninsula, on the continent’s north-west tip – one of the fastest-warming regions on earth…

The danger of creating a designer planet

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


It is natural in the face of an impending emergency to look for something—anything—that will avert the crisis. So it is understandable that in the absence of a meaningful action plan emerging from last December’s UN climate meeting in Madrid people are grasping at almost any idea that might offer a solution to climate change. But pursuing an idea without a firm understanding of the inner workings of our planet is folly at best and just plain dangerous at worst, even if it is done with the best of intentions…

Read Full Article; WHOI (02-15-2020)

Why Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfire season was not normal

Photo source: ©© Zootedrop


Data from satellite sources assembled by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Environment Situation Room confirms that the wildfires in Australia in the last two months of 2019 and the first six weeks of 2020 were far from normal.

2019 was the second hottest year on record since 1880, and Australia recorded its warmest temperatures ever in December 2019.

“Rising temperatures continue to melt records. The past decade was the hottest on record. Scientists tell us that ocean temperatures are now rising at the equivalent of five Hiroshima bombs a second.
One million species are in near-term danger of extinction. Our planet is burning,” says United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“The trend is very clear: 37 of the last 40 years were the warmest recorded since 1880, and the six warmest years recorded were the last six years,” says Pascal Peduzzi, Director of UNEP’s Global Resource Information Database in Geneva. “For those who think Australia is always burning, the following graphs clearly show that these fires were exceptional…”

Read Full Article; UNEP (02-14-2020)

Salvation or pipe dream? A movement grows to protect up to half the planet

Photo source: ©© Miramar2009


Leading scientists and conservationists are proposing that up to 50 percent of the earth’s land and oceans be protected in the coming decades.

While some view the goal as unrealistic, proponents say it is essential for preserving the natural systems on which life itself depends…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (02-13-2020)

The toxic reach of Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill was much larger — and deadlier — than previous estimates

Oil Dispersant
An aircraft releases chemical dispersant over an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Captions and Photo source: NOAA /US Coast Guards


The spread of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was far worse than previously believed, new research has found.

As the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history approaches its 10th anniversary in April, a study by two University of Miami researchers shows that a significant amount of oil and its toxic footprint moved beyond fishery closures where it was thought to be contained and escaped detection by satellites as it flowed near the Texas shore, west Florida shore and within a loop current that carries Gulf water around Florida’s southern tip up toward Miami.

Read Full Article; The Washington Post (02-12-2020)

Scientists listen to whales, walruses and seals in a changing Arctic seascape

Beluga whales’ incredibly sophisticated series of vocal repertoires and acoustic systems suggest that they are capable of forming very complex relationships and groups. Credit: Lisa Barry, NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/MML.


A year-round acoustic study of marine mammals in the northern Bering Sea is providing scientists with a valuable snapshot of an Arctic world already under drastic pressure from climate change…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (02-03-2020)

STOP Disney – Last Chance for Lighthouse Point

Lighthouse Point, South Eleuthera, Bahamas.


“There are plenty of places in the Bahamas where Disney can dock its cruise ships. There is only one Lighthouse Point.

We are deeply concerned about Disney’s plans that threaten this unique natural place treasured by generations of Bahamians and visitors from around the world. The seas surrounding the point are so biologically rich that they have been formally proposed as a Marine Protected Area.

This is NOT the place where an environmentally responsible corporation would choose to construct a massive private cruise ship port – the centerpiece of which is a half-mile-long pier cutting across coral reefs including endangered staghorn coral. The port’s construction and operation would seriously harm the environment, while the economic benefits to communities in South Eleuthera are still unclear and very questionable…” – Change.org

TAKE ACTION: Save Lighthouse Point and Sign this petition to call upon Disney to secure a different, more suitable site for their cruise ship port and instead work with Bahamian citizen groups on a sustainable development alternative for Lighthouse Point. – Change.org

Read Full Article, CHANGE.Org (01-29-2020)

Save Lighthouse Point, a true Bahamian treasure!; Save Lighthouse Point (2018)

For now, river deltas gain land worldwide

Nile Delta Desert Islands
Nile Delta Desert Islands, batik on silk by © Mary Edna Fraser
52” x 36”, 1999


Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and colleagues found that delta areas worldwide have actually gained land in the past 30 years, despite river damming. However, recent land gains are unlikely to last throughout the 21st century due to expected, accelerated sea level rise. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature.

River deltas rank among the most economically and ecologically valuable environments on Earth. People living on deltas are increasingly vulnerable to sea-level rise and coastal hazards such as major storms, extremely high tides, and tsunamis. Many deltas experience a decline in sediment supply due to upstream damming, making them even more vulnerable. However, the new study found that long-term, large-scale, upstream deforestation has resulted in soil erosion that increased the amount of sediment transported to many deltas…

Read Full Article, WHOI (01-23-2020)

World Consumes 100 Billion Tons of Materials Every Year, Report Finds

Illegal beach dunes sand mining, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource…”— Denis Delestrac, “Sand Wars” Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker (©-2013).


The amount of material consumed by humanity has passed 100 billion tons every year, a report has revealed, but the proportion being recycled is falling.

The materials used by the global economy have quadrupled since 1970, far faster than the population, which has doubled. In the last two years, consumption has jumped by more than 8 percent, but the reuse of resources has fallen from 9.1 percent to 8.6 percent…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (01-24-2020)

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about Sand Mining: “Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about; Inhabitat (05-23-2019)
The world’s largest and perhaps most destructive mining industry is rarely discussed. Approximately 85 percent of all material mined from the earth is a simple and widely available resource: sand. Because it is so cheap and readily available, it is mined by everyone from guy with a shovel, to multi-million dollar machine operations.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigative documentary takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun…

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care