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The world watched in horror last week, as Russian forces invaded Ukraine in an unprovoked act of aggression. The toll and trauma of the war may not be known for some time. Also, to be assessed, will be the impact on the environment.
One concern is damage from nuclear material and other toxic chemicals stored throughout the country. It’s been reported that Russian forces have occupied the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which lies along the invasion route being used from Belarus. In 1986, when under the control of the Soviet Union, Chernobyl was the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The meltdown sent radioactive clouds over parts of Europe and left a dangerous 1,000-square-mile fallout zone of contaminated soils and waste that remain dangerous to this day.
The safe confinement in final position over reactor 4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant | Credit: Tim Porter
A first-ever report from the UN Environment Program says that wildfires are becoming more intense, frequent, and ravaging communities and ecosystems in their path. According to the study done by more than 50 scientists from around the world, climate change will increase the risk of devastating fires by almost 14 percent in just eight years and nearly 60 percent by the end of this century over what occurred from 2000 to 2020.
The Bobcat Fire started in and around Angeles National Forest in California on September 6, 2020. As of October 5, 2020, the fire had burned through more than 115,000 acres. | Credit: NOAA
A report last week from the International Energy Agency said that methane leaks from oil and gas pipelines, wells, and coal operations are 70 percent higher than what nations are claiming. The director of the agency said that the gap between what countries report and the reality is massive and alarming.
Credit: IEA (2022), Global Methane Tracker 2022, IEA, Paris
Eating fruits and vegetables are good for your health, of course, but can the manner in which they’re grown make them more nutritious? A new study says, yes.
The study looked at farms across the U.S. doing regenerative agriculture, which uses soil-boosting practices. In eight of the farms (farms 2-9) the farmers planted the same crop as their neighbor to allow a direct comparison of the soil and resulting food. | Credit: Montgomery et al./PeerJ