Indonesia is preparing cloud-seeding operations in an effort to combat a haze of air pollution blanketing neighbouring Singapore. Pollution levels were "moderate" levels on Tuesday morning, according to the pollution standard index, a day after hitting "unhealthy" levels. The worst affected parts of the island are in the west and closest to Indonesia. The haze has become an annual event in this part of Southeast Asia, as farmers illegally burn forest or plantation areas to clear land. — Al Jazeera America
Scientists have recently discovered deep deposits of a powerful warming gas leaking into the ocean from previously hidden vents just off North America's East Coast, kicking up underwater carbon dioxide levels [...] Most of the vents are located about 1,600 feet down, the perfect spot for the ocean's temperature and water pressure to combine and create an oozing mix of ice and methane gas, a powerful substance with an impact on global warming that's 20 times more damaging than that of [CO2]. — News.Mic
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Liveability Survey could be used to "assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages," among other things.
But that needn't apply to those in Melbourne, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live.
The Australian culture hub was buoyed by superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2. — cnn.com
While three Canadian cities made the ranking's top 10 (again), U.S. cities keep failing to score high.The world's top cities for liveability are:1. Melbourne, Australia2. Vienna, Austria3. Vancouver, Canada4. Toronto, Canada=5. Adelaide, Australia=5. Calgary, Canada7. Sydney, Australia...
The United States is currently engulfed in one of the worst droughts in recent memory. More than 30% of the country experienced at least moderate drought as of last week's data. In seven states drought conditions were so severe that each had more than half of its land area in severe drought. Severe drought is characterized by crop loss, frequent water shortages, and mandatory water use restrictions. — USA Today
California and Oklahoma are both experiencing "exceptional drought" – the most severe category – in 25-30% of the state. Both of these states, particularly California, are major agricultural regions and the effects of the drought will have profound ripples economically. North Texas has been in...
Archaeologists are working with other firefighters to protect several historical guard stations using, what's essentially a protective foil wrap.
Crews rushed this weekend to cover five historical cabins at the Placer Guard Station. "We ordered this wrap," said archaeologist Ward Stanley. "It looks like tin foil.
"It's pretty simple, you just wrap the house in a shingle-type fashion so it's overlapping going down so the stuff that goes down doesn't get into the cracks," Stanley said. — abc30.com
As residents of Toledo, Ohio, and the surrounding region recover from a weekend without access to usable tap water — the fault of a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie — the crisis has set off new calls for stricter rules on the use the fertilizers that help contribute to the blooms. The algae bloom set off alarms on Saturday, causing authorities to impose a ban on the use of the city’s tap water, which comes from Lake Erie, affecting more than 400,000 people in Toledo... — Al Jazeera
China has announced plans to ban the use of coal in its smog-plagued capital by the end of 2020, as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.
Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website on Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.
The Chinese central government recently listed environmental protection as one of the top criteria by which leaders will be judged. — Al Jazeera
A unique collaborative project has been launched, bringing a constant stream of live river level data to anyone who needs to stay up-to-date with environmental conditions. Shoothill GaugeMap brings the real-time status of England and Wales’ rivers and tides from Environment Agency monitoring stations, to people in an accessible and user-friendly manner. It works via the web and Twitter, and is available on all major desktop browsers, tablets and smartphones. — shoothill.com
The Fox River has shown little respect for Mies' brilliant juxtaposition of the natural and the man-made. In the past 18 years, the river has inundated the [Farnsworth] house three times. [...]
Confronted with the prospect of more flooding, the house's owner is carefully weighing how to preserve and protect the house, two goals that potentially conflict... Such are the choices in an era when disastrous "100-year floods" seem to occur every few years. — The Chicago Tribune
“What hides behind the literary aspect of this report are deep reflections on the lessons, errors, approaches and paths of China’s previous urbanizations efforts,” concluded an editorial in the newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily. The state-controlled People’s Daily gushed: “If we want high rises, we even more need the fresh mountain waters. Only by seeing the past can we grasp the future.” — qz.com
[The Catskills] could become a lot flashier, thanks to [Sherry Li's] proposal for the area: a multibillion-dollar "China City of America," complete with an amusement park, mansions, a casino, retail centers, a college, and more. [...]
The Center for Immigration Studies wrote a comprehensive take-down of "China City," criticizing the project's potential for environmental disruption, dubious promise of job creation, and possible role as a stalking horse for the Chinese government. — The Atlantic Cities
Grimshaw Architects recently announced the completion of the Ecorium at the National Ecology Center in Seocheon, South Korea -- making this the firm's first project in Asia. The newly built ecological educational and research center gives visitors a first-hand experience to learn about the...
The latest market opportunity for entrepreneurs in China? Polluted air. For nearly as long as pollution has been a salient, public issue in the country, foreigners and locals have been devising ways to help residents avoid the worst of smog—and in some cases make a little money in the process. Here are some of the most notable ones. — qz.com
Kate Orff wants to grow oysters in New York’s Jamaica Bay. Not for you to eat, but to save the shore from mighty storms. Great piles of mollusks will diffuse the energy of 10-to-15-foot waves, like those from Sandy that shattered boardwalks and beach homes and shot like missiles up city streets. — bloomberg.com
By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin — rollingstone.com
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