New research suggests that hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which are used in aerosol spray and have been phased in to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, may cause acid rain. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are also 4,500 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. British plans to start drilling for oil off the shores of the Falkland Islands have ratcheted up tensions with Argentina, which maintains its claim to the archipelago. Argentina’s foreign minister has stated that “war is excluded from our horizon,” but the country has forced ships leaving British-controlled waters to file for a shipping permit before docking at Argentinian ports. According to a report in Nature magazine, the earth’s soil is releasing growing amounts of carbon dioxide, in what could turn into a self-perpetuating cycle of climate warming. Another study has found that Antarctic ice sheets could release significant quantities of methane as they melt. China is sending emergency food to its southern provinces, where 18 million people and 11 million livestock have been cut off from adequate drinking water. It is the region’s worst drought since the ’50s. The recession has led to an 8.6 per cent drop in greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom. Glenn Beck recently apologized to James Cameron for likening him to the Anti-Christ during their public spat over climate-change denialism.
Earth on tickertape runs every other week, covering climate change and current global environmental issues.
Other installments of Earth on Tickertape:
January 11, 2010
November 9, 2009