Climate Change Causes One of The Largest Icebergs to Break off from An Ice Shelf in Western Antarctica

The iceberg about the size of Delaware and weighing an estimated 1.12 trillion tons finally ripped free from an ice shelf in Antartica.

The calving leaves Larsen C — already less than the size of West Virginia — reduced in area by more than 12 percent and the "landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever."

The iceberg itself measures more than 2,300 square miles and is on average more than 600 feet thick.

"The iceberg is one of the largest recorded and its future progress is difficult to predict," Adrian Luckman, a professor and lead investigator with Swansea University, said in a statement. "It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments. Some of the ice may remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg may drift north into warmer waters."

 "In the ensuing months and years, the ice shelf could either gradually regrow, or may suffer further calving events which may eventually lead to collapse — opinions in the scientific community are divided," Luckman said.

 What happens to the Larsen C ice shelf also remains unknown. Two previous ice shelves known as Larsen A and Larsen B — all named after a Norwegian explorer — have broken up in recent decades. Larsen B, which completely collapsed in 2002, could foreshadow what is now happening to Larsen C.

"In the ensuing months and years, the ice shelf could either gradually regrow, or may suffer further calving events which may eventually lead to collapse — opinions in the scientific community are divided," Luckman said. "Our models say it will be less stable, but any future collapse remains years or decades away."

Researchers said they were not immediately aware the calving is linked to human-induced climate change. Since the ice shelf was already in the ocean and held a relatively small amount of land ice, the potential melting of the freed iceberg is not expected to have an immediate effect on the sea level.

The ice itself, however, could be a risk if it floats into in an area where cruise ships might pass from South America. In 2007, a Canadian cruise ship sunk after it struck ice off Antarctica, forcing the rescue of the 154 passengers and crew on board.

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Souce : Erik Ortiz via NBC NEWS



Climate Change Affects A Ten-Year Contract of Fruit Supply.

When a British shop recently proposed signing a 10-year contract with a fruit supplier from South Africa – a move aimed at providing predictability for both partners – company officials got back a completely unexpected response: We’re not interested.

Climate change, the producer said, is making it harder to guarantee a consistent-enough crop to meet such a long-term contract, particularly when Britain has exacting standards for the quality it needs. South Africa’s own growing population needs more food these days, it added – and China is always willing to buy whatever’s on offer, regardless of quality, no questions asked.

As climate change creates new pressures on farmers, markets, trade and supply chains, old ways of doing things are shifting – a reality that might help create the right kind of pressure to drive action to curb global warming, some experts say.

“If we can’t make the business case (for action), we’re going to fail,” noted Will Day, a sustainability adviser for consultancy giant PwC.

Despite having achieved the colossal task of putting in place the Paris Agreement on climate change, the world is still moving far too slowly to deal with a fast-moving problem, experts said at a meeting of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) this week.

Promises made under the Paris deal will get the world 30 percent of the way to achieving its aim to try to hold onto a relatively stable global climate – and “the remaining 70 percent is going to be much harder than the first 30 percent”, warned Simon Maxwell, the executive chair of CDKN.

Right now, the Paris Agreement “does not yet add up to anything close to the emissions reductions needed”, he said.

A big part of the problem, Maxwell said, is that putting plans into action is harder than making them, particularly when that involves tricky issues of regulatory changes, finding the needed cash, making sure things happen in the right order and negotiating ever-complicated politics.

“Every single thing we do in this space is political and if we do not think about politics we will fail – and we cannot afford to fail,” he said.

But there are some hopeful signs emerging – and a clear view of areas where important progress could be made, experts said at the two-day meeting. For example:

--Increasingly it is ministries of finance – not the less-powerful environmental ministries – that are driving action on climate change in many countries, they said.

--Pressure from investors – including investment management group BlackRock – is forcing more big companies to look at and publicly state the risks they face from climate change impacts, a move likely to help create action to deal with those risks. If the trillions of dollars invested by pension funds come under similar scrutiny – or if those trillions can be directed into more climate-friendly investments – then the stage is set for major change, they said.

--The leadership void on climate change created by U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change is creating opportunities to rebuild and reshape climate leadership – including by driving a surge of action by cities, states and businesses. What could happen if people at all levels – from community and citizen action groups to cities and national policymakers – all begin pushing together on climate-related issues people care about, such as air pollution?

--Infrastructure roadblocks in the way of a fast expansion of clean energy – from battery storage to transmission lines – are fast being resolved. If the right incentives can be put in place – such as removing fossil fuel subsidies and putting the money instead to health, education and other social goals that help politicians win elections – progress could be even faster, the experts said.

One of the most effective ways of pushing ahead climate action, they said, may actually be to talk a lot less about the need for it, and instead begin listening to what people do care most about, and finding the links.

Families worried about job losses or air pollution or the rising cost of flood insurance or the lengthening allergy season don’t want to hear that they need to put climate change first. But if clean power can create jobs, and swapping polluting vehicles for clean ones on the streets makes children healthier, many more people will see the point of climate action and potentially throw their support behind it, the experts said.

“The transformation is underway and we now know we can, with that, deliver all sorts of other public goods and reward people for having invested in that change,” said James Cameron, the chairman of the Overseas Development Institute.

“We need an equal dose of fear and excitement about the transition ... so we create demand for the policy changes and other interventions we know we need to do.”

Source : Laurie Goering via zilient.org

Largest Canned Tuna Company Tackles Overfishing And Labour Abuse

The world's largest canned tuna company, Thai Union Group PCL, on Tuesday announced a deal with environmentalists to tackle overfishing and potential labour abuse, in the latest bid to clean up the beleaguered Thai seafood industry.

Thailand's multibillion-dollar seafood sector has come under fire in recent years after investigations showed widespread slavery, trafficking and violence on fishing boats and in onshore food processing factories.

The industry, under pressure from decades of overfishing and demand for cheap seafood, turned to slave labour, according to rights groups.

Under an agreement with environmental group Greenpeace, Thai Union said it would take steps towards sustainably caught tuna in its supply chain while ensuring all workers are "safe".

"Thai Union recognises that as a leader in the seafood sector, the operational changes and policies we introduce have a positive impact across the entire industry," its global director of sustainability Darian McBain told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Among its measures, Thai Union pledged to have human or electronic observers on the vessels it sources from, to allow for inspection and reporting of labour abuse.

Greenpeace said the company also agreed to introduce a code of conduct to ensure workers are treated "humanely and fairly", while reducing the use of the "fish aggregating devices" - floating objects used to increase catch but that also harm ocean life.

Greenpeace and Thai Union will meet every six months to assess progress.

Greenpeace, which had confronted vessels supplying Thai Union in protest previously, said it hoped other industry players will follow suit.

It said conditions for labourers on more than 400 vessels supplying Thai Union will improve if the reforms are implemented.

"This marks huge progress for our oceans and marine life, and for the rights of people working in the seafood industry," Greenpeace international executive director Bunny McDiarmid said.

Thai Union - with brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West and Petit Navire - has invested $90 million in initiatives to ensure 100 percent of its tuna is sustainably sourced, with a commitment to achieving a minimum of 75 percent by 2020.

The company last year said it would eliminate recruitment fees for its workers, a move aimed at preventing labourers from racking up debts to job brokers and from being exploited and abused.

Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience

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Source: Beh Lih Yi via newstrust


Suleja Flood Claims Lives.

The Chairman of Suleja Local Government Area, Abdullahi Maje, explained that a heavy rain started around 12 midnight and went on for hours, leaving more than 100 houses flooded in Suleja Local Government Area of the state.

“There are about 10 missing persons within Suleja. Three bodies have been found, we are still searching for the remaining persons dead or alive. We have made a call to the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); they responded quickly and came to Suleja,” Mr Maje said.

The worst affected areas included Kaduna Road through Bakin-Iku, Checheniya, Yaro College area, Kantoma area, Kuspa, Anguwan Gwari and Anguwan Juma.

Narrating their plights to Channels TV crew who visited the scene, residents said some who had attempted to leave their submerged homes for safety were swept away by the flood.They added that cars and vehicles parked along the roads were also moved from their original positions due to the heavy downpour.

A resident said: “I know of nine persons who were carried away by the flood and likely dead in (my) community alone”.

A Search and Rescue Officer of NEMA, Egrigba Micheal, told Channels Television that the agency was able to rescue a victim who has been rushed to the Suleja General Hospital. The rain caused lots of devastations. Many of the houses were submerged while some were completely rooted out. Many properties worth millions of naira were also destroyed.

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Source : Michael via channelsnews


Global Innovation Challenge Opens For Students to Fight Marine Plastics

Entries open today for the world’s first student competition to find the next generation of solutions to the global problem of marine litter. Organized by UN Environment and Think Beyond Plastic, the Marine Plastics Innovation Challenge invites university students worldwide to submit fresh ideas in the fields of engineering, communications, economics and data modelling.

Each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans: the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute. This pollution threatens the survival of fish and other sea creatures, destroys marine and coastal ecosystems that support over three billion people worldwide, and endangers human health by entering the food chain. If no action is taken, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans.

Deadline for entries is 6 October 2017. To participate, students need to be enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate programme as of June 2017, be supported by a faculty member, and submit an entry in one or more of the following categories:

  1. Engineering and Design:  including innovations in materials, manufacturing processes, packaging design and related fields that result in a measurable reduction in marine plastic.
  2. Communication: including multimedia products, mobile apps, and innovative storytelling that raise awareness and inspire public action against marine plastics.
  3. Economics: including innovative methodologies to assess the economic impact of plastic pollution and/or develop new financial and business models to address market failures.
  4. Prediction and Recovery: including the development of analytical tools (algorithms, models, hotspot identification) to better capture and monitor data about plastic pollution and propose solutions.

One winner in each category will be announced at the Sixth International Marine Debris Conference in San Diego, California, which will run from March 12 to 16, 2018. Winners will have the chance to present their ideas at the conference and gain entry into the Think Beyond Plastic annual acceleration programme, which provides mentoring and support to help make the winning ideas commercially viable.

For detailed instructions on how to enter and judging criteria, click here

Source:  Climate Action