Around the world, the renewable energy sector has become a major growth industry: according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), employment in this sector rose by 5 percent in 2015, accounting for 8.1 million jobs around the world. The industry is projected to add another 24 million positions by 2030, as the world’s population clamors for alternatives to fossil fuels.
A new study that improves upon pre-2005 ocean temperature estimates has found that the world’s oceans have been heating up thirteen percent faster than previously estimated, and that rate is increasing as time goes by. This new revelation is important, as the oceans absorb roughly 90 percent of the excess heat that the planet is retaining, making it not only an important indicator for how quickly the planet is actually heating up, but it also means that the danger posed by disproportionately warmer oceans is also greater than we feared.
Humpback whales in the southern hemisphere have been exhibiting odd behavior over the past few years: typically a solitary species that only temporarily gathers in pods of up to a dozen individuals, groups of up to 200 whales have been gathering in spots off of the west coast of South Africa. In addition to this oddity, these whales typically aren’t found that far north in the summer, preferring feeding grounds closer to Antarctica.
Researchers are at a loss when it comes to explaining this new behavior, although one idea suggests that this is actually a normal activity, interrupted when the humpback’s numbers dropped due to over-hunting in previous centuries.
Documents obtained by The National Association of Clean Air Agencies from an anonymous source have revealed President Donald Trump’s plans to make massive budget and personnel cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. This news comes amidst the controversy stirred up by a statement made by incoming EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, having declared that human activity is not a contributor to climate change.
The proposed cuts themselves would entail slashing the agency’s already tight $8.1-billion budget by 25 percent, and cut its 15,376-member workforce by 20 percent. The EPA’s budget and manpower has already been pared back to late-1980s levels, prompting concern over whether or not the agency would be able to effectively function.