📰 EwA News Digest: Planting Trees, Mitigating Disease, and Saving Species

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Jun 8, 2021, 12:15:28 PM6/8/21
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Hi everyone! 

This is Kate, one of the EwA summer interns. I’m very excited to be writing my first news digest! 

To start off with some climate change mitigation progress, the United States has approved its first big offshore wind farm. After over a decade of planning, the Vineyard Wind project will be installed just off the coast Martha’s Vineyard with a goal of providing enough energy to power 400,000 homes. Read more at the Conversation.

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While this ambitious project will help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, unfortunately, this project alone will not reduce carbon emissions enough to protect the Antarctic from the harmful effects of climate change. New research shows that if carbon emissions aren’t cut quickly, Antarctica will reach an irreversible tipping point in 2060, where further efforts to pull carbon out of the air won’t be able to stop ice loss. Read more here

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If Antarctic melting isn’t reason enough for us to decrease our carbon emissions, carbon and global warming also damage coral reefs. A new study suggests that coral reefs could stop growing in the next 10 years if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t rapidly cut, due to ocean warming and acidification. Read more at ABC News

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Between the Antarctic and corals it’s clear that carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions need to be drastically cut. Besides using renewable energy to decrease fossil fuel usage, scientists are also testing out other solutions that remove carbon dioxide once it's already in the air. The trials of these new methods will begin in the UK and will include testing out five different methods. Read more at the Guardian.

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One method being tested as a way to remove carbon from the air-- planting more trees-- is already a topic of wide debateHowever, planting trees may not live up to all of the hype when it comes to carbon reduction. According to University of Arizona climate scientist David Breshears, tree planting is “like bailing water with a big hole in the bucket." Read the summary at Science Daily and see Breshears’ research here.

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While it may not be a foolproof plan for carbon reduction, planting trees to restore forests may be beneficial for a different reason: reducing the risk of disease. A recent study of the Hantavirus, a deadly infection spread by contact with infected rodents in Brazil, has found that restoration of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest could help reduce the risk of this disease by up to 45%. Read more at Mongabay


In addition to forest restoration, other restoration efforts are important because so many species are currently in danger. One species, the eastern monarch butterfly, has attracted researchers to its cause. study how and where declining milkweed can be restored. Read more at Science Daily.


That’s all I have for this edition of the news digest-- thank you for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week and make sure to keep your eyes out for Olivia’s first news digest later this month!



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