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Around the world: The IPCC report (2021) and the language of climate change

From natural sponges and trees as weapons to championing biodiversity in indigenous communities–discover the stories that caught our eye on climate change this week.

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The 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), written by 234 scientists, outlines the future impacts of global warming of 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. To help visualise the need for change, they released an interactive atlas showing how different countries could be transformed as temperatures rise.

While the report shows that human activity and the emission of greenhouse gases are what’s changing the climate, it also underlies that it’s not too late to cut climate-heating emissions and keep the temperature rise within internationally agreed goals which would help stop or at least slow down some of the impacts.

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Zanzibari women farm natural sponges

Warming seas and rising salinity levels fuelled by global warming are impacting seaweed farms and fishing on the Indian Ocean Coast. With the help of a charity whose aim is to protect and restore marine ecosystems, Zanzibari women are now learning how to swim and farm natural sponges that can withstand climate shocks, protect their income, and keep them afloat.

Read the full article here
Words by Kim Harrisberg

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How forests could be carbon-sucking machines

Climate change isn’t simply how much greenhouse gases we emit. It depends on how we damage the things that take up carbon, like trees. Climate change is negatively impacting our forests and their ability to store carbon.

According to a new study using satellite imagery, adding 2.2 billion acres of tree cover would capture two-thirds of man-made carbon emissions. It also estimates that by letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared, this would increase global forested areas by one-third and serve to remove 205 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

The sooner restoration efforts are implemented, the greater the climate benefits.

Read the full article here
Words by Umair Irfan

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Fostering biodiversity on a national level

Diversifying farming and creating greenspaces in cities can help to revitalize “green deserts” across the globe. To do this, biodiversity planning needs to be considered at a national level.

Taking inspiration from The Brazillian Amazon, Western Canada’s temperate rainforests, and Northern Australia’s deserts–all of these habitats are carbon sinks, rich in wildlife, and much of their area is managed by Indigenous people and local communities. They are essentially the Earth’s most important stewards and their leadership is key to containing climate change, preserving biodiversity, and conservation and sustainable development.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is working to support opportunities for Indigenous peoples to play a stronger role in natural resource management.

Read the full article here
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