Reality Check

All Articles (80)

Production must end now, says first ever estimate of plastic’s cradle-to-grave impact.

The proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change and should be urgently halted, a report warns.

Plastic production is expanding worldwide, fuelled in part by the fracking boom in the US. The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is…

Comments: 0

New research shows affected areas are losing ice five times faster than in the 1990s, with more than 100m of thickness gone in some places.

Ice losses are rapidly spreading deep into the interior of the Antarctic, new analysis of satellite data shows.

The warming of the Southern Ocean is resulting in glaciers sliding into the sea increasingly rapidly, with ice now being lost five times faster than in the 1990s. The West Antarctic ice sheet was stable in 1992…

Comments: 0

Juan de Leon Gutierrez, 16, left his eastern Guatemala home due to years of drought. He died in US custody weeks later.

The rains in the village of Tizamarte in the eastern Guatemalan department of Chiquimula no longer arrive as they did in the past.

"Before it was beautiful, we used to have two harvests a year," Transito Gutierrez told Al Jazeera.

"Now not one [crop] survives," she said. "Now…

Comments: 0

An American explorer has found plastic waste on the seafloor while breaking the record for the deepest ever dive.

Victor Vescovo descended nearly 11km (seven miles) to the deepest place in the ocean - the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.

He spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench in his submersible, built to withstand the immense pressure of the deep.

He found sea creatures, but also found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers.…

Comments: 0

Chris Ray has been tracking pikas in Montana for 30 years. Rising temperatures and dwindling snowpack appear to be taking a toll on the tiny mountain dwellers.

Early one August morning, on a rocky slope high in Montana's Gallatin Range, biologist Chris Ray crouched on a boulder with a tiny, sedated furball in her hands. Ray has long, wavy salt-and-pepper hair and was wearing white nitrile gloves to protect the creature, a fist-sized denizen of the western…

Comments: 0

Virtually all marine life depends on the productivity of phytoplankton—microscopic organisms that work tirelessly at the ocean's surface to absorb the carbon dioxide that gets dissolved into the upper ocean from the atmosphere.

Through photosynthesis, these microbes break down  into oxygen, some of which ultimately gets released back to the atmosphere, and organic carbon, which they…

Comments: 0

Scientists reveal 1 million species at risk of extinction in damning UN report.

Human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life-support systems, the world’s leading scientists have warned, as they announced the results of the most thorough planetary health check ever undertaken.

From coral reefs …

Comments: 0

Instead of a few centimetres of thaw a year, several metres of soil can destabilize within days.

Permafrost in some areas of the Canadian Arctic is thawing so fast that it's gulping up the equipment left there to study it.

"The ground thaws and swallows it," said Merritt Turetsky, a University of Guelph biologist whose new research warns the rapid thaw could…

Comments: 0

Thousands of people are being evacuated from villages along India's eastern coastline ahead of a severe cyclone.

Cyclone Fani is heading towards the state of Orissa with wind speeds in excess of 200 km/h (127 mph), and is expected to make landfall on Friday.

Officials have now shut down operations at two major ports on the east coast, and thousands of rescuers are helping people evacuate from low-lying areas.

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states are also…

Comments: 0

Floodwaters triggered by Cyclone Kenneth's heavy rains rage in parts of Mozambique, causing homes to collapse.

Rescuers raced to help people caught in fast-rising floodwaters in Mozambique's cyclone-hit city of Pemba on Sunday, as houses collapsed in one neighbourhood and heavy rain raised fears of worse to come.

 

More than 160,000 people have been…

Comments: 0

An international team of scientists has found part of the world's largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than expected due to solar heating of the surrounding ocean.

In a study of Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, which covers an area roughly the size of France, the scientists spent several years building up a record of how the north-west sector of this vast ice shelf interacts with the ocean beneath it. Their results, reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, show…

Comments: 0

Climate change can't be halted if we carry on degrading the soil, a report will say.

There's three times more carbon in the soil than in the atmosphere – but that carbon's being released by deforestation and poor farming.

This is fuelling climate change – and compromising our attempts to feed a growing world population, the authors will say.

Problems include soils being eroded, compacted by machinery, built over, or harmed by…

Comments: 0

A powerful cyclone has "entirely wiped out" villages in Mozambique, according to a UN official.

Gemma Connell, the head of the regional Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), said it looked from the air like areas had been "run over by a bulldozer".

Cyclone Kenneth struck on Thursday with winds of 220km/h (140mph).

It came barely a month after…

Comments: 0