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Environment

Arctic Climate Change Could Have Knock-on Effect

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Greenpeace has published research that finds climate change impacts in the Arctic could change the weather in the northern hemisphere. The study found that melting ice and sea level rise in the Arctic may alter weather patterns, causing for example, hotter, drier summers for some areas and wetter summers in other areas. The Greenpeace Research Laboratories report What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic was published yesterday.

Sara del Río, Arctic Campaigner for Greenpeace Spain, said: “There seems no doubt that warming of the Arctic region is a major contributory factor to mid-latitude weather patterns. Although scientists are trying now to understand better the influence of the complex atmospheric processes of the poles, under a precautionary approach, it is extremely urgent to take action to combat climate change and to protect the Arctic.” 

The Arctic ecosystem is warming more than twice as fast as any other region in the world, the total area of summer sea ice in the Arctic has decreased substantially over the last 30 years while sea ice volume has reduced even more substantially. This means that more heat is being exchanged between the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding atmosphere and the reflective ability of the ice (surface albedo) is reduced. Furthermore, the release of harmful greenhouse gases from their long-term storage in the Arctic permafrost will further add to global climate change.

As the Arctic environment is integral to global climate systems, there have been notable alterations in storm tracks, the jet-stream, as well as northern oceanic circulations. Blocked atmospheric planetary waves are leading to ‘stuck’ weather patterns that cause more persistent weather at a given location. These changes appear to be influencing the weather across mid-latitudes, with profound effects on our daily lives.

Sara del Río added: “A series of unprecedented weather extremes have been recorded throughout the last decade – ‘Super-storms’, droughts, heat waves, floods and record breaking snowy winters. Climate modelling suggests that these extreme weather events will become even more common in the future, causing heavy human and economic losses.”

As the sea ice recedes in the Arctic Ocean, fishing, maritime transport and hydrocarbon exploration will encroach further on the northern waters, including those beyond national controls, increasing the threats that this currently still relatively pristine region is already facing.

Despite these threats and likely increasing pressures in the future, this fragile and critically important ocean is still the least protected worldwide. Greenpeace advocates the establishment of an Arctic Sanctuary (a highly protected area prohibiting all extractive industries in the international waters around the North Pole). The designation of the “Arctic Ice High Seas Marine Protected Area” by the OSPAR Commission would be a step towards this goal and would provide some protection for the Arctic’s vulnerable species and habitats during a time of global change. It will also allow a precautionary and adaptive management of any future human activities across the region.

Along with the report, Greenpeace has produced a pack of photo-shopped artistic images that are designed to illustrate the impact of future climate impact around the world, inspired on the report evidences. The organisation is aiming for people around the word to send their reasons to save the Arctic using the Voices for the Arctic website.

Greenpeace has already gathered almost 8 million signatures demanding Arctic protection and will deliver peoples statements for protection of the Arctic during a grand piano performance played by Ludovico Einaudi.

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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