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A new report shows that we’re getting much closer to living in a world we’re not accustomed to. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) predicts that there is almost a 100-percent chance—98 percent to be exact—that at least one of the next five years will be the warmest ever recorded, hotter than it was in 2016 when the average global temperature rise was 1.28C, according to the news site Space.com.
Credit: Sven Lachmann/Pixabay
More than half of all the world’s largest lakes, from the Caspian Sea situated between Europe and Asia to Lake Titicaca in South America, have been shrinking. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, which showed that 5.7 trillion gallons were lost in the period from 1992 to 2020. That amount of loss is the equivalent to water held by 17 Lake Meads, America’s largest reservoir, or in other terms, it’s about how much the U.S. used in all of 2015. The authors said the results were staggering. About one-quarter of the world’s population lives in a water basin with a drying lake.
Pink depicts drying reservoirs; dark red, drying natural lakes. Dark blue marks natural lakes increasing in water storage; and light blue for existing reservoirs doing the same. Purple dots indicate new, filling reservoirs. | Credit: Yao et al., Science (2023)
In recent decades, scientists who wanted to monitor wildlife but didn’t have the time to observe behavior or didn’t want to trap animals as too intrusive, have turned to collecting their DNA. Critters passing through an environment shed a treasure trove of information though pieces of skin, hair, or scales that can be genetically sequenced to reveal more about their health and identity.
Liam Whitmore, University of Limerick/Creative Commons| Credit:
There’s good news about diapers—specifically the disposable ones piling up in landfills. A team of researchers in Japan has found a way to turn the nappy waste into housing—and help combat global warming in the process.
Diapers were mixed into concrete to replace sand in a prototype house in Indonesia. | Credit Anjar Primasetra