Botswana lost more than 3,000 hectares of forest between 2001 and 2012 due to elephants, fuel wood harvesting, farming, overharvesting, overstocking of livestock, drought, mining activities and infrastructure development, according to a new report. The report said the highest losses occurred in 2001, 2004 and 2005 when the loss exceeded 400 hectares a year. It highlights that climate change is likely to put increased pressure on forest resources with threats from fire, arable land expansion for dryland farming and other reasons.
The world must begin the shift to zero-carbon sources of electricity by 2018 to avoid adding fossil fuel power plants that increase climate change, as per a team of Oxford University researchers. The world's carbon-emitting power stations had already committed 87 per cent of the emissions required to ensure a 50-50 chance of reaching two degrees of warming compared with pre-industrial level by 2014. By 2017, the remaining stock of potential emissions will have been locked in, necessitating a transition to renewable or zero-emissions electricity from then on.
Global seas could rise nearly twice as much as previously estimated rate, according to a study. Low-lying cities face possible disaster by the end of the century if the new rates are considered. Sea levels could surge more than three feet (0.9 meter) by 2100 from melting Antarctic ice alone, on top of a three-foot rise already predicted. Antarctic ice melt could add nearly 50 feet (15 meters) of sea-level rise by the year 2500, it said.
Nearly 25 per cent of Dhaka residents suffer from lung disease owing to the extreme level of air pollution, a study said. The study recommended the government to take immediate steps for reducing air pollution. Otherwise, the percentage of those with lung troubles will rise rapidly.
Pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline has said it wants to make it easier for manufacturers in the world's poorest countries to copy its medicines and hence would not file for patents. GSK hopes it will allow independent companies to make and sell versions of its drugs in poorer areas. The company has drawn up a list of 50 countries with a combined population of about 1 billion people, where it has said it will not file for patents.
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