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NEWS UPDATE #142

The Guardian reports: It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside a Norwegian island the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter.

NEWS UPDATE #141

From The Times of India: India’s central biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee on Thursday cleared the genetically modified (GM) Mustard for commercial cultivation and recommended its approval to the environment ministry. The GM mustard, developed by a Delhi University institution, is only the second food crop which got its clearance from the central regulator.

NEWS UPDATE #140

The Independent (UK) reports – Every car sold in India will be powered by electricity by the year 2030, according to plans unveiled by the country’s energy minister. The move is intended to lower the cost of importing fuel and lower costs for running vehicles, coal and mines minister Piyush Goyal said in New Delhi.

NEWS UPDATE #139

Deccan Herald reports: India lost more than 57,000 sq km of jungles – an area larger than Himachal Pradesh- in forest fire in 2014, says India’s first scientific estimation of forest fire losses. The total burnt area under vegetation cover was 57,127.75 sq km, which in 2014 accounts for almost 7% of India’s forest cover.

NEWS UPDATE #138

The Washington Post reports: Scientists have documented what they’re describing as the first case of large-scale river reorganization as a result of human-caused climate change. They found that the retreat of a very large glacier in Canada’s Yukon territory led to the rerouting of its vast stream of meltwater from one river system to another.

NEWS UPDATE #137

BBC News reports: There are 60,065 species of trees in the world, according to a comprehensive study of the world’s plants. Botanical Gardens Conservation International, which compiled the tree list by using data gathered from its network of 500 member organizations, hopes it will be used as a tool to identify rare and threatened species.

NEWS UPDATE #136

Scroll reports: In what might be the first heat casualties of 2017, Maharashtra government has announced the deaths of three people due to sunstroke in the last three days. The Meteorological Department has been issuing heat wave warnings across northern, western and central regions of India, particularly in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and northern Maharashtra.

NEWS UPDATE #135

Carbon Brief reports: The Arctic and Antarctic have experienced record lows in sea ice extent so far in 2017, according to the latest data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre. The new satellite data confirms that there is less sea ice globally than at any time in the entire 38-year satellite record.

NEWS UPDATE #134

The Guardian reports: A new paper uses a new strategy to improve upon our understanding of ocean heating shows we are warming about 13% faster than we previously thought. Not only that but the warming has accelerated. Moreover, it is only since about 1990 that the warming has penetrated to depths below about 700 meters.

NEWS UPDATE #133

iNews reports: The world is facing the “largest humanitarian crisis” since 1945, the United Nations has warned, with over 20 million people facing famine and starvation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Stephen O’Brien, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, has called for international assistance to avoid a “catastrophe” that could see widespread death and devastation.

NEWS UPDATE #132

The Economic Times reports: At least Rs 4 lakh crore of debt held by India’s top borrowers faces the risk of being written off as these companies face an issue with cash flows because of a build-up in non-productive assets during the last five years, credit rating agency Indian Ratings and Research said on Tuesday.

NEWS UPDATE #131

Down to Earth reports: As conflict and instability continue, the food security situation in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin is deteriorating. Some 7.1 million people are now severely food insecure across the four countries. Among them are 515,000 children, who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

NEWS UPDATE #130

The New York Times reports: India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is surpassing China’s as the world’s deadliest, a new study shows. India has registered an alarming increase of nearly 50 percent in premature deaths from particulate matter between 1990 and 2015, it says.

NEWS UPDATE #129

Disclose TV reports: Unimaginable disaster: Japan declares crisis due to unprecedented events at the Fukushima nuclear reactor. Officials have said that the damages at the reactor are “far worse than previously thought”. They have now found that melted fuel has contaminated underground water and melted core appears to have spread out over an “extensive area”.

NEWS UPDATE #128

Common Dreams reports: The symbolic Doomsday Clock inched closer to midnight on Thursda.. For the first time in the 70-year history of the clock, “the BAS board has decided to act, in part, based on the words of a single person: Donald Trump, the new President of the United States,” according to a press statement.

NEWS UPDATE #127

Business Standard reports:  The NDA government changed regulations meant for protection of tribal rights and forests in order to ensure that more than 130 mines do not face fresh auctions and are instead retained by existing miners. Documents show regulations were changed in a coordinated manner by the environment, tribal affairs and the mines ministries.

NEWS UPDATE #126

Common Dreams reports: Global sea ice levels are at their lowest in recorded history, according to the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center. In the Arctic, the loss is due to climate change and extreme weather events likely influenced by global warming, while the changes in the Antarctic may be attributed to natural variability.

NEWS UPDATE #125

The Guardian reports: A breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet-heating CO2 emissions has been made in southern India. A plant at the industrial port of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu is capturing CO2 from its own coal-powered boiler and using it to make baking soda. Crucially, the technology is running without subsidy.

NEWS UPDATE #124

Aesha Dutta reports: The Forest Advisory Committee approved proposals to divert over 4,300 hectares of forest land— mostly for mining. With this the total area of forest land approved for diversion in 2016 is 10,000 hectare. The actual diversion of forests, however, is much larger, as these are the projects involving more than 40 hectares.

NEWS UPDATE #123

Common Dreams reports: For the first time, solar power is becoming the cheapest form of electricity production in the world, according to new statistics from Bloomberg. While unsubsidized solar has occasionally done better than coal and gas in individual projects, 2016 marked the first time solar power has out-performed fossil fuels on a large scale.

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