15 dead in Rohingya boat sinking, UN chief tells Myanmar to end ‘nightmare’

rohingya muslim refugees
DEAD. People come to see the boat where Rohingya Muslim refugees were found dead on the shore of Inani beach, near Cox’s Bazar on September 28, 2017. Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP

‘The situation has spiraled into the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency, a humanitarian and human rights nightmare,’ says UN chief Antonio Guterres

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Sept. 29, 2017) — At least 15 people drowned and scores are feared missing after a boat carrying Rohingya families capsized off Bangladesh Thursday, September 28, as UN chief Antonio Guterres exhorted Myanmar’s leaders to end the refugees’ “nightmare.” Continue reading 15 dead in Rohingya boat sinking, UN chief tells Myanmar to end ‘nightmare’

Air pollution: Sadiq Khan calls for ban on wood-burning stoves

domestic wood burning
In January, domestic wood burning contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the capital, according to research. Photograph: Rolf Bruderer/Getty Images/Blend Images

London mayor cites figures showing that the home stoves, used in 16% of households, produce up to a third of all the capital’s fine-particle pollution

September 29, 2017 — Wood-burning stoves could be banned in some areas to combat air pollution under proposals by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan. Continue reading Air pollution: Sadiq Khan calls for ban on wood-burning stoves

US exports of tar sands waste are fuelling Delhi’s air pollution crisis

air pollution in delhi
Last winter, Delhi was placed under a state of emergency as smog settled over the city (Photo: Jama Masjit)

India has emerged as the world’s largest importer of petroleum coke, an oil byproduct that is now a major cause of pollution in the capital

September 28, 2017 — Come winter and the Indian capital, New Delhi, is preparing to once again struggle beneath the noxious fumes that have become a perennial crisis. Continue reading US exports of tar sands waste are fuelling Delhi’s air pollution crisis

At least 14 dead as Rohingya boat capsizes off Bangladesh

bangladesh
Image by Rappler.com

The latest disaster comes as a UN visit to Myanmar’s conflict-battered Rakhine state is postponed

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Sept. 28, 2017) — At least 10 children and 4 women were killed when a boat carrying Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar capsized off Bangladesh on Thursday, September 28 as the number of new arrivals topped 500,000. Continue reading At least 14 dead as Rohingya boat capsizes off Bangladesh

Playing with Water: Humans Are Altering Risk of Nuisance Floods

flooding along parts of the U.S. east coast
High tides can flood streets and homes, like this 2015 incident in Charleston, S.C., even on perfectly sunny days. A new study suggests that human groundwater management strategies are increasing this kind of troublesome, but not fatal, nuisance flooding along parts of the U.S. East Coast. Credit: Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier via Associated Press

New research suggests that excessive groundwater usage and damming have changed the natural risk of nuisance floods, for better or worse, in eastern U.S. coastal cities

September 28, 2017 — Nuisance flooding—the kind of sunny-day, nonfatal flooding that closes roads, seeps into basements, and generally causes, well, a nuisance—is on the rise along southern stretches of the U.S. eastern coast and on the decline farther north. The ways that humans are altering the natural flow of water in and on the Earth are partly responsible for these changes, according to an international team of researchers. Continue reading Playing with Water: Humans Are Altering Risk of Nuisance Floods

Global carbon emissions stood still in 2016, offering climate hope

world's biggest emitting nations
All of the world’s biggest emitting nations, except for India, saw falling or static carbon emissions last year. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

The new data is a welcome sign of progress in the battle against global warming but many challenges remain, including methane from cattle

September 28, 2017 — Global emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide remained static in 2016, a welcome sign that the world is making at least some progress in the battle against global warming by halting the long-term rising trend. Continue reading Global carbon emissions stood still in 2016, offering climate hope

Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source

forest disturbance and degradation
The study measured the impact of disturbance and degradation – the thinning of tree density and the culling of biodiversity below an apparently protected canopy. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Forests globally are so degraded that instead of absorbing emissions they now release more carbon annually than all the traffic in the US, say researchers

September 28, 2017 — The world’s tropical forests are so degraded they have become a source rather than a sink of carbon emissions, according to a new study that highlights the urgent need to protect and restore the Amazon and similar regions. Continue reading Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source

EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form

typhoon haiyan
DEADLY BEAUTY. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, at peak intensity and approaching the Philippines on November 7, 2013. Image courtesy NASA

A tropical cyclone is one of the Earth’s strongest forces, a combination of strong, howling winds and heavy precipitation. How do these forces of nature form?

MANILA, Philippines (Sept. 28, 2017) — A tropical cyclone – whether called a typhoon, a cyclone, or a hurricane – is one of the most destructive disasters known to man. Continue reading EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form

UN aid chiefs to access Myanmar’s Rakhine

rakhine state burned village
RAZED. A burned village is seen from the air near Maungdaw, north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on September 27, 2017. Stringer/AFP

The United Nations had been demanding access since its humanitarian organizations were forced to pull out of Rakhine when Myanmar’s military launched operations against Rohingya rebels in late August

UNITED NATIONS (Sept. 27, 2017) — Representatives of UN agencies will be permitted to visit Rakhine state in Myanmar on Thursday, September 28, for the first time since the start of a massive exodus of minority Rohingya Muslims. Continue reading UN aid chiefs to access Myanmar’s Rakhine

Thousands participate in the 3rd nationwide earthquake drill

earthquake drill
EARTHQUAKE DRILL. More than 1,000 grade schoolers of Mabini Elementary school in Baguio City join the 3rd national Earth Quake Drill September 27, 2017. Photos by Mau Victa

The #BidaAngHanda, the official hashtag for the nationwide earthquake drill organized by the NDRRMC, trends nationwide

MANILA, Philippines – How ready is Southern Luzon in case of a strong earthquake? Continue reading Thousands participate in the 3rd nationwide earthquake drill