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Showing posts from April, 2020

Earth Finally Fixed Largest Ozone Layer Hole Above Arctic, Healing 1 Million Square Km

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Earth has several ways of healing itself from any detrimental change, with or without the current COVID-19 lockdown going around the world.
A new example of this has just been recorded as scientists confirm that the 1 million square kilometre wide hole over the Arctic has now closed.
A rare hole in the ozone layer, spreading over 1 million square kilometre in area, was discovered by scientists earlier this month. The hole was understood to be a result of low temperatures at the north pole. Had the record-breaking hole managed to move south with the air currents, it would have posed a direct threat to humans.
Copernicus' Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented on behalf of the European Commission, have now confirmed that the hole over the north pole has healed itself. A recent tweet by the agency also explains the reasons behind the same.
Note that the healing of the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer has nothing to do with the o…

With humans at home, coral reefs and marine animals in Hawaii are thriving

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There's no denying it: With people stuck at home, wild animals are currently living their best lives. From the wolves, bears and bobcats freely roaming Yosemite National Park to the goats, deer and ducks taking back urban spaces all over the world, animals are having a grand old time while us humans are away.
The most recent example is the marine life in Hawaii. Since the state's residents started staying home and tourism came to a halt, the absence of scuba divers, snorkelers and beach bums is bringing new life to the coral reefs around Oahu.
It's not uncommon for hundreds of people to visit areas like Hanauma Bay and Shark’s Cove on a daily basis during a normal spring, but with the crowds gone, scientists are seeing more fish closer to the shoreline, better water clarity and an abundance of algae.
More reading here 

With Zoo Closed Due To Coronavirus Pandas Finally Bang For The First Time In 10 Years

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Ocean Park Zoo in Hong Kong has been closed due to the COVID-19coronavirus pandemic, but two pandas in the zoo have made the most of the recent privacy and have mated for the first time in captivity, after a decade of encouragement from their handlers.
More reading here 

COVID-19 DROP IN POLLUTION TO BE SHORT-LIVED

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Air pollution around the world is dropping as countries scale back economic activity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As far as the environment and our health is concerned, this is a good thing, but only in the very short term. A subsequent emissions surge as economies recover is likely to leave the environment worse off.
An important and encouraging lesson here is that many air pollutants disappear quickly. When we remove the sources of pollution, unhealthy air clears up almost overnight. This immediate feedback on the air we breathe highlights a major benefit of switching to clean energy sources.
Big events like the COVID-19 pandemic provide important scientific information on the impacts of air pollution.
As global economic activity slows we can also expect a drop in CO₂ emissions. The problem is that unlike many other air pollutants, CO₂ exists in the atmosphere for a long time – around a hundred years. That means a short-term drop in emissions won’t cause a decrease in its atmos…

COVID-19 IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESET OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE

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Local air and water quality have dramatically improved in several areas that have implemented shutdowns.
Emissions have dropped, and worldwide, the demand for coal and oil is lower than it has been in a long time ­– due in large part to the decline in demand from transport and slowdown in manufacturing.
Reports of animals coming out to breed and play while humans are locked inside are being celebrated, and the profile of the illegal wildlife trade issue has been raised.
But we need to be careful about extrapolating these benefits or claiming an environmental win. The unprecedented situation we are facing at the moment is still unfolding, and much will depend on what happens next.
We can’t tackle climate change the same way that we are approaching coronavirus. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 crisis offers a critical opportunity for the environment in two key respects.
First, the response to COVID-19 has demonstrated what can be done differently. It’s forced us to alter our behaviour in sign…

Discarded coronavirus face masks and gloves rising threat to ocean life, conservationists warn

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The rise in disposable face masks and gloves being used to prevent the spread of coronavirus is adding to the glut of plastic pollution threatening the health of oceans and marine life, environmentalists warn.
The Ocean Conservancy discovered that many fish species consume plastics debris, confusing it for real food and estimated that at least 600 different wildlife species are threatened by the pollution.
There is also a human health risk from plastic entering the food chain with nearly a billion people around the world consuming seafood as their primary source of protein.
Not only is there a potential health risk of dropping used masks and gloves during the pandemic but many contain materials that do not recycle and are not biodegradable. Surgical masks are made using non-woven fabrics including plastics like polypropylene.
Used masks and gloves add to an already significant problem: At least 8m tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, making up 80 per cent of all marine de…

COVID-19 FUELING AN UPTICK IN POACHING: Three Critically Endangered Giant Ibis – Cambodia’s National Bird

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COVID-19 is giving poachers free reign – hurting species and hurting local economiesLess than 300 ibises now remain in the wild
The incident was detected on 9 April 2020 in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary, Preah Vihear Province. The birds were killed illegally for their meat, which would have been consumed locally or sold on the market. In addition to the Ibis poisoning, more than 100 Painted Stork chicks were poached in late March at Cambodia’s Prek Toal Ramsar Site, the largest waterbird colony in Southeast Asia. In the last two weeks as economies have closed down and incomes have dried up, conservationists have seen an increasing turn to natural resource exploitation – including poaching of protected wildlife.

The Pandemic Is Not a Natural Disaster

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Zoonotic diseases can seem like earthquakes; they appear to be random acts of nature. In fact, they are more like hurricanes—they can occur more frequently, and become more powerful, if human beings alter the environment in the wrong ways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that three-quarters of the “new or emerging” diseases that infect human beings have originated in wild or domesticated animals.⁠ In addition to the familiar pathogens—Ebola, Zika, avian flu, swine flu—researchers have counted around two hundred other infectious diseases that have broken out more than twelve thousand times over the past three decades.⁠ It’s no small feat to cross the species barrier; these numbers speak to the scale of our agricultural system.
Infectious diseases are only one aspect of a larger, ongoing health emergency. Two-thirds of cancers have their origins in environmental toxins, accounting for millions of annual fatalities; each year, 4.2 million people die from complic…

Nature’s comeback? No, the coronavirus pandemic threatens the world’s wildlife

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There have not been many bright spots in the coronavirus pandemic, but one has been the apparent return of nature as the frantic pace of modern life has slowed. We’ve seen fish-eating birds return to the clear waters of Venice, wild boar roaming the streets of Bergamo, and of course the feral mountain goats of Llandudno.
In Britain, wildlife seems set for a bountiful spring and summer. Fewer cars on the road means less roadkill, and many birds and voles will be spared as owners decide to keep their cats indoors. In towns and cities, wildflowers will surely flourish as councils realise that mowing their parks and verges is somewhat less than essential. Nature, it seems, is making a comeback.
Unfortunately, this is but a partial picture, and one that is limited to the minority world of industrialised nations. Most of the world’s biodiversity is found in the low-income countries and emerging economies of the Global South, and in such places the economic impacts of the pandemic are likel…

80 percent of conservation careers negatively affected by COVID pandemic

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A survey of 330 conservationists and 67 conservation employers in March/April 2020 shows that nearly 80% of conservationists have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, while about nine in ten employers have been impacted.Despite these challenges, COVID-19 could create new opportunities to re-write our planet’s future if we heed warnings, remain optimistic, and focus our efforts as a conservation community.COVID-19 also shows the speed and scale of changes governments around the globe can take to tackle threats. Conservation Careers argues issues such as biodiversity loss and climate change should be taken as seriously.As of April 2020, conservation job and internship opportunities worldwide have dropped by an estimated 50% compared to their normal levels.
Read more here

Does COVID 19 can be transferred via water/wastewater?

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To prevent an infection of the Coronavirus, one of the primary advice is to wash hands regularly. However, numerous questions about whether COVID-19 can be transferred via water and wastewater are being asked during periods crisis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the COVID-19 virus was not observed in drinking water because COVID-19 is "not robust," less environmentally stable, and is more sensitive to oxidants, such as chlorine.
On wastewater treatment, WHO noted that "is no evidence to date that the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems with or without wastewater treatment". 
Read more here

Don't blame the pangolin or bat ( or an other animal) for COVID-19

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A new analysis of 139 instances where an animal virus has spread to humans shows these outbreaks are a human problem with a human cause. Don't blam the pangolin. Don't blame the bats. Don't blame the animals. COVID_19 is all on us.

Up to 75% of human infectious diseases that have recently emerged are known or are suspected to have originated from animals . This includes the coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID-19), which is caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus ( SARS-Cov-2) and is now pandemic.

From looking at the factors that lead to a virus jumping from a non-human animal population to us , one thing became clear: though animals may be the original natural host for these viruses, the divers of a spillover are all too human.


Resilience to habitat changes brought on by humans isn’t the only factor that increases zoonotic virus spillover. Certain causes of decline in wildlife populations have also facilitated spillover of animal viruses to humans.
Importantly, among threatened w…

There are three type of novel coronavirus; type A is closest to the one found in bats and pangolins

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There are THREE distinct strains of the novel coronavirus in the world and while china's epidemic was driven by an early mutation that quickly spread in the UK, the US is suffering from an original variation.

Type A is closes to the one fond in bats and pangolins and has two sub-clusters.
One sub-cluster linked to Wuhan and the other is common in US and Australia .
Type B is derived from type A and has become the most prevalent in Wuhan.
Type C is the 'daughter' of type B and was spread to Europe via Singapore.

Three types of the deadly coronavirus are spreading around the world - and the US is being rocked by the original strain from China.
Cambridge University researchers mapped the genetic history of the infection from December to March and found three distinct, but closely related, variants.
Analysis of the strains showed type A - the original virus that jumped to humans from bats via pangolins - was not China's most common. Instead, the pandemic's ground-zero w…

Want to Stop the Next Pandemic? Start Protecting Wildlife Habitats

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When animals have room to roam, they don't pass infections to humans.

The assault on ecosystem that allowed Covid-19 to jump from animals to humans went far beyond merchants hunting and selling rare wildlife. Biodiversity- that is, the health of the entire ecosystem-can restrain pathogens before they ever leave the wild.

"Virus spillover risk" from wildlife to people rises as contact increases between them, according to  recent research published by a team of researchers led by Christine Kreuder Johnson of the One Health Institute at University of California , Davis. Almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to humans ( called zoonotic pathogens) after 1940 can be traced to changes in land use, agriculture , or wildlife hunting. SARS , Ebola, West  Nile, Lyme, MERS, and others all fit the profile. There may be 10,000 mammalian viruses potentially dangerous to people.

Recent research has given more support to the idea that biodiversity protection in one pa…

Impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on biodiversity conservation

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It is too early to evaluate the overall impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on biodiversity and our ability to protect it, but some preliminary conclusions are possible. At this point, protected areas appear to be safe and, in many places, biodiversity is benefitting from reduced human activities. However, this may not be true everywhere, especially where enforcement has weakened but threats have not.

Impacts on research and conservation. What kinds of consequences will disruptions to field and lab work during the pandemic have for the species and ecosystems we are studying, monitoring, and protecting? What effects will reduced human impacts on wildlife and ecosystems during the pandemic have on wild species (e.g. ranging behavior, breeding) and ecosystems, and will any of these effects persist into subsequent years? Will conservation budgets be reduced because of the economic fallout from the pandemic, and how will this impact both staffing levels, and conservation science and practic…

SARS and Forest Clearing

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According to Wikipedia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin that surfaced in the early 2000s caused by the first-identified strain of the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1). Published in 2010, scientists believe that forest clearing and the destruction of bird habits resulted in the outbreak of SARS in 2002, which caused 77 deaths.

Read more study findings here.

Scientists found strong relationship of Ebola with Forest Clearing

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Scientists found a strong correlation of the outbreak of Ebola or Ebola virus disease (EVD) in December 2013 with forest clearing. The largest outbreak to date was the epidemic in West Africa, which occurred from December 2013 to January 2016, with 28,646 cases and 11,323 deaths (Wikipedia).

Read more research findings here.

Chinese city of Shenzhen to ban eating cats and dogs as part of moves to stop spread of coronavirus

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Draft regulations put nine permitted meats on a “white list” such as pork , beef , chicken, rabbits, fish and seafood-but eating anything else, such as cats, dogs, snakes, turtles and frogs, risks a US$2800 fine. The new regulations still allow for the use of wild animals for scientific and medical purposes but stressed that management of such facilities will need to be strengthened. 

Read more here 

Ozone Layer is recovering

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Lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has limited movement and economic activity around the world. It results in a decline in CO2 emissions and Ozone repairing and covering itself.

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Sharply Decline in Global Emissions

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has favorable effect on global environment. Global CO2 emissions sharply decline in early 2020.

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Deforestation and Cononavirus

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Published in 2018, scientists were suspecting that deforestation drives the emergence of Novel Coronaviruses because it creates "path" for disease transmission from animals to humans. COVID-19 seem to be the result of deforestation.

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COVID-19 and Deforestation

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Deforestation, urbanisation and road building are major factors in the spread of infectious diseases across Asia. COVID-19 is one of them.

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COVID-19 and Deforestation 2

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Scientists have been warning that deforestation may be creating an accidental laboratory for the emergence of new viruses in environments that have been disturbed by humans.

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China's air pollution dropped dramatically after coronavirus lockdown

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China’s lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus has had one unexpected side-effect , a sustained drop in air pollution. NASA published satellite imagery , which is shown about nitrogen dioxide levels in China before and after the country began imposing lockdowns on 23 January 2020.

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Coronavirus UK Lockdown Causes Big Drop in Air Pollution

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The nationwide shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak has led to big drops in air pollution across the UK’s major cities.

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China Permanently Bans Consumption of Wild Animals

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As the Coronavirus, which was linked to the consumption of wild animals, continues to spread, Chinese legislative body The National People’s Congress Standing Committee approved a permanent nationwide ban to stop the trade and consumption of wild animals, a $74 billion industry in China.

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Coronavirus a Warning Message from Nature to Humanity

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It was human behavior that caused diseases to spill over into humans; therefore, to prevent further outbreaks, the experts said, both global heating and the destruction of the natural world for farming, mining and housing have to end.

Read more : Coronavirus: 'Nature is sending us a message’, says UN environment chief
 Coronavirus a 'Clear Warning Shot' From Nature to Humanity, Top Scientists Say

'Put Earth first': can a greener, fairer fashion industry emerge from crisis?

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The global fashion business was producing 150bn items of clothing each year, far in excess of the needs of a global population of 7.9billion. Therefore, after Covid-19, the best we can hope for the fashion industry is a rebirth that put people and planet ahead of profits.

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Coronavirus pandemic leading to huge drop in air pollution

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The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world.

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'Nature is taking back Venice': wildlife returns to tourist-free city

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With the cruise ships gone and the souvenir stalls closed, the coronavirus lockdown has transformed La Serenissima’s waterways

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Impacts of Biodiversity on the Emergence and Transmission of Infectious Diseases

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The study evidence indicates that biodiversity loss frequently increases disease transmission; meanwhile, preserving intact ecosystems and their endemic biodiversity should generally reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases.

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Bushmeat Hunting, Deforestation, and Prediction of Zoonotic Disease

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According to the study, there is the closed link between deforestation and associated hunting leads to the emergence of novel zoonotic pathogens.

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