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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

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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