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Humpback Whales Return From The Brink of Extinction.

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Humpback Whales Return From The Brink of Extinction: After their population was almost wiped out, a significant amount of Western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whales appeared out of nowhere off the coast of South America.

Around the world, there are 16 populations of humpbacks, of which four are considered endangered and one is threatened. Over hundreds of years, hunters killed around 300,000 humpback whales worldwide. In the 1900s, the WSA humpbacks were quickly depleted, with about 25,000 whales hunted in just 22 years. By the mid-1950s, only 450 humpbacks remained.

In the 1960s, protections were put into place to help prevent the species from dying out. For almost five decades, the whales didn’t seem to be rebounding until recently. A new study finds that the population is now up to around 25,000 whales, which is about 93% of their population size before hunting began in the 1700s.

[blockquote align=”none” author=”Alexandre Zerbini(a whale expert) “]The recovery of humpback whales in the western South Atlantic has the potential to modify the structure of the ecosystem in their feeding habitats around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. For this reason, it is important to continue monitoring the abundance and potential shifts in distribution to understand how krill and their predators, including whales, will respond to effects from climate change and whether these effects will impact their populations.[/blockquote]

Zerbini and his colleagues collected their data from aerial counting missions, which potentially could have missed some whales because planes move very quickly. Additionally, they also gathered data from boat surveys, which run at a slower pace. They published the study in the journal Royal Society Open Science. The team believes that by 2030, there is a “high probability” the WSA humpbacks population will recover to 99% of its pre-exploitation numbers.

The concern now is that global warming could affect their future. “It appears that the krill are moving southwards with global warming, and that could force the whales to compete with penguins and fur seals for food,” Zerbini said.

Source: IntelligentLiving

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Science

Chinese Rocket Segment Plunges Back To Earth, Crashes Near Maldives

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Beijing:

A large segment of a Chinese rocket re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean on Sunday, the Chinese space agency said, following fevered speculation over where the 18-tonne object would come down.

Officials in Beijing had said there was little risk from the free falling segment of the Long March-5B rocket, which had launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth orbit on April 29.

But the US space agency NASA and some experts said China had behaved irresponsibly, as an uncontrolled re-entry of such a large object risked damage and casualties.

“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement, providing coordinates for a point in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

It added that most of the segment disintegrated and was destroyed during descent.

The US military’s Space Command said the rocket “re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 pm EDT on May 8 (0215 GMT Sunday)”.

“It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.”

Monitoring service Space-Track, which uses US military data, said that the location in Saudi Arabia was where American systems last recorded it.

“Operators confirm that the rocket actually went into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives,” it tweeted.

The segment’s descent matched expert predictions that any debris would have splashed down into the ocean, given that 70 percent of the planet is covered by water.

Because it was an uncontrolled descent, there was widespread public interest and speculation about where the debris would land.

American and European space authorities were among those tracking the rocket and trying to predict its re-entry.

Accusations of negligence

Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate. But larger ones such as the Long March-5B may not be destroyed entirely.

Their wreckage can land on the surface of the planet and may cause damage and casualties, though that risk is low.

Last year, debris from another Chinese Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

That, and the one that came down Sunday, are tied for the fourth-biggest objects in history to undergo an uncontrolled re-entry, according to data from Harvard-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell.

The uncertainty and risks of such a re-entry sparked accusations that Beijing had behaved irresponsibly.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested last week that China had been negligent, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson echoed that after the re-entry on Sunday.

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” Nelson said in a statement.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

China’s space ambitions

To avoid such scenarios, some experts have recommended a redesign of the Long March-5B rocket — which is not equipped for a controlled descent.

“An ocean reentry was always statistically the most likely,” McDowell tweeted.

“It appears China won its gamble (unless we get news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless.”

Chinese authorities had downplayed the risk, however.

“The probability of causing harm to aviation activities or (on people and activities) on the ground is extremely low,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into space exploration to boost its global stature and technological might.

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Environment

EU Plans to Raise €20bn a Year to Protect Biodiversity

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New procedure to ensure nature incorporates extensive living space assurances, and limitations on pesticide use – however campaigners caution requirement is critical

Credit:GettyImages

The European Commission has focused on securing 30% of the EU’s property and seas by 2030 as a feature of the European Green Deal, in an arrangement probably invited by environment groups who cautioned sweeping aspirations must not just exist “on paper”.

The EU believes that recovery from COVID-19 with biodiversity in mind will be key to restoring the health of both the environment and the economy.

The proposed methodology focuses around setting up restricting focuses to re-establish harmed environments and waterways and bringing back pollinators to agraricultural land, while diminishing contamination, greening its urban communities, improving natural and biodiverse cultivating.

In its push to improve forests wellbeing, some portion of the arrangement is to actualize stricter assurances and rebuilding projectss for the staying essential and old development backwoods of Europe as ahead of schedule as one year from now.

This is especially important when researchers suggest that 60% of species assessed on the continent are in decline.

For The Future

Biodiversity will receive another head start as the EU proposes changes to the agricultural landscape of Europe in a way that supports wildlife and pollinators. Such changes would include creating “high-diversity landscapes” in 10% of Europe’s farming acreage by hosting features like ponds, hedgerows, buffer strips between fields, and fallow land.

Some experts are skeptical, but hopeful, the changes are implemented.

“It’s a big if, but then you are starting to look at healthy agriculture that can provide habitats for farmland birds and butterflies but also agriculture that can actually provide food at the end of the century,” Ariel Brunner, senior head of policy at Brussel’s BirdLife International said to the Guardian.

Wildlife in France, by Martina Misar-Tummeltshammer

The 2030 strategy would reinforce Europe’s natural plasticity by dealing with agriculture and fisheries using the Farm to Fork strategy.

“The strategy sets concrete targets to transform the EUs food system, including a reduction by 50% of the use and risk of pesticides, a reduction by at least 20% of the use of fertilizers, a reduction by 50% in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture, and reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming,” reads the report.

The European Commission, which has position to authorize European law, closes wraps up by approaching the European Parliament and Council to embrace the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity gauges by 2021.

Credits:TheGuardian

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Environment

Carbon Emission Dropped 17-Percentage Globally

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Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

The coronavirus pandemic has constrained nations around the globe to authorize strict lockdowns, seal boarders and scale back economic activities. Presently, an analysis published on Tuesday shows that these measures added to an estimated 17 percent decrease in day by day worldwide carbon dioxide discharges contrasted with day by day worldwide averages from 2019.

It’s a worldwide drop that scientists say could be the largest in recorded history.

At the height of coronavirus confinements in early April, daily carbon dioxide emissions around the world decreased by roughly 18.7 million tons compared to average daily emissions last year, falling to levels that were last observed in 2006, according to the new study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Changes in transportation, industrial activities and air travel in nations under lockdown could also support a decrease in this year’s annual carbon emissions of up to 7 percent, the study found. Though significant, scientists say these declines are unlikely to have a long-term impact once countries return to normal unless governments prioritize investments and infrastructure to reduce harmful emissions.

“Globally, we haven’t seen a drop this big ever, and at the yearly level, you would have to go back to World War II to see such a big drop in emissions,” said Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change science at the University of East Anglia in the U.K., and the study’s lead author. “But this is not the way to tackle climate change — it’s not going to happen by forcing behavior changes on people. We need to tackle it by helping people move to more sustainable ways of living.”

The study found that the most sharpest decrease in carbon discharges — making up 43 percent of the all out diminishing — originated from diminished traffic from vehicles, transports and trucks. Discharges from modern exercises, which were inclined down generously in the hardest-hit countries, fell by 19 percent.

Discharges from air travel, which encountered an amazing 75 percent drop in every day action toward the beginning of April, fell by 60 percent. That decline, nonetheless, made up a little segment of the general decline since air travel normally represents just 2.8 percent of yearly worldwide carbon discharges.

In early April, the deepest decreases in daily global carbon emissions — 17 percent declines compared to daily averages last year — lasted for about two weeks, according to Jackson. Individual countries saw an average drop in emissions of 26 percent at the peak of their lockdowns, which occurred earlier for several countries in Asia, where the coronavirus emerged in late December, and more recently for parts of Europe and North America.

The study didn’t represent how worldwide discharges could be influenced by new outbreaks and resulting wave of diseases, yet almost certainly, such occasions could prompt more extreme decreases in emanations this year and perhaps into 2021.

Although its good to know that the skies are getting clearer than before.

Credits:NBCNews

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