World leaders, politicians, and titans of industry gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week to discuss global issues, including this year’s focus—the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the climate crisis. The forum’s Global Risks Report 2023 identifies urgent climate and environmental risks for which the world is least prepared, adding that a lack of progress on climate action targets reflects a gap between what is scientifically necessary and what’s politically possible.
The concept of tipping points is scary—they’re moments in time beyond which changes, like sea level rise, will continue even if global warming slows. Scientists say we are on the edge of multiple tipping points, like the collapse of Greenland’s ice sheet and biodiversity loss, and that rapid steps are necessary to avoid them.
Credit: First Energy Corp/ Flickr
Eating freshwater fish like trout or bass may expose a person to high levels of toxic “forever” chemicals. A new study from the Environmental Working Group shows that consuming just one fish could be the equivalent of drinking water laced with the PFAS chemicals for a month. PFAS compounds are called “forever” chemicals because they are so persistent and are found everywhere from drinking water and food to packaging and cosmetics. They accumulate in the body and don’t break down in the environment.
Where "forever chemicals" are found in freshwater fish interactive map | Credit: Environmental Working Group
Lightning is one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena occurring on Earth, striking the U.S. alone nearly 25 million times a year. Hotter than the surface of the sun, bolts can be both captivating and destructive, causing forest fires and causing power outages.
The "LLR" laser has been installed on the summit of the Säntis (2500m) and was activated from June to September 2021. It was focused above a 124m high transmitter tower belonging to the operator Swisscom, equipped with a traditional lightning conductor. | Credit: © TRUMPF / Martin Stollberg