2022 too short, too far: Environment news you should not miss

Down To Earth recaps the primary environment, health and developmental news from 2022

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 27 December 2022
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock Photo: iStock

The repercussions of human activities on the environment became all the more apparent in the year 2022. While there was some good news, like the Antarctic ozone hole becoming smaller, instances of dilution of forest conservation rules, missing tree cover and the effect of wildfires on the ozone layer also came to light.

Here are the top picks for environment reads from last year that you should not miss.

Two major volcanoes — Mauna Loa in Hawaii and Mount Semeru in Indonesia — erupted in a span of a week, releasing plumes of gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere. But the greenhouse gas emissions from the two eruptions very small compared to CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning. 

Read more: Mauna Loa & Mount Semeru volcanoes erupted within a week. Will they impact global climate?

The hole in the ozone layer became smaller in 2022, following the trend of the last two decades.

Read more: Antarctic ozone layer hole keeps shrinking in 2022: NASA, NOAA

The National Green Tribunal has slapped thousands of crores of fines on seven states on Supreme Court directions, totalling around Rs 28,180 crore and about Rs 2,000 crore in other cases.

Read more: States fined thousands of crores over waste — but how did NGT calculate the penalty amount?

The wildfires that scorched much of Australia from June 2019 to March 2020 were unprecedented in scale and nature. Now scientists say that the fires have also triggered changes kilometres high in the atmosphere, widening the ozone hole.

Read more: World Ozone Day: Forest fires pose new threat to ozone layer

Tribal communities across the country have asked the central government to withdraw the recent amendments to the Forest Conservation Rules. Activists said the amendments directly axe the rights of tribes and forest dwellers over forest resources.

Read more: Changes to Forest Conservation Rules dilute forest rights, say tribal communities

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi spoke at the Stockholm Convention in 1972 about the need for conservation. 

Read more: Looking back at Stockholm 1972: What Indira Gandhi said half a century ago on man & environment

Some 16 million square kilometres of land — the size of South America — will be degraded if current trends continue, a United Nations report found. 

Read more: Land the size of South America will be degraded if current trends continue: UN Report

25.87 million hectares of forest missing from the latest assessment of India’s green cover.

Read more: Missing: One-third of India’s recorded forests

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