To keep their airport slots during COVID times, airlines have been flying empty planes, having massive implications for the climate. Richard R. Schünemann, Unsplash

Nanoclay, ‘ghost’ flights, and the future of the Great Barrier Reef

News to know in our bi-weekly digest

The 2022 Winter Olympics have kicked off in Beijing – but could the Earth soon become too warm for winter sports?

This week on Landscape News, join us on a journey to Paris’ lost river, Dubai’s encroaching desert, the artificial reef made from subway cars and many more exciting destinations.

LANDSCAPE NEWS

Flooding in Kolkata, India
India is one of Asia’s most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. Dibakar Roy, Unsplash

Thinking of visiting Antarctica? Check your pockets beforehand so you don’t unwittingly bring invasive species with you.

Ozone isn’t just harmful to human health: it’s also causing air pollution that wipes out USD 63 billion worth of staple crops each year.

The climate crisis is taking a heavy toll on India. We spoke to the environment minister of Maharashtra to learn how the country’s second-most populous state is bracing itself.

PLANET

Orca (killer whale) in British Columbia, Canada
Orcas, also known as killer whales, are apex predators that have been known to attack and feed on other whales. Thomas Lipke, Unsplash

Have you ever wondered why orcas are known as killer whales? For the first time, they’ve been filmed preying on the largest animal in existence: the blue whale.

There are probably over 9,000 tree species that are still unknown. They’re likely to be in the firing line as the climate crisis bites.

This Swedish city is recruiting a flock of crows to pick up discarded cigarette butts from the streets.

Back in 2008, more than 1,000 retired New York Subway train cars were dumped into the Atlantic to create an artificial reef. Did it work?

CLIMATE

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach, in the Hawaiian city of Honolulu, is being eroded by rising sea levels. AussieActive, Unsplash

Floods and landslides have killed more than 20 and displaced thousands in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state. Meanwhile, millions in East Africa face hunger amid the region’s worst drought in 40 years.

Is your kitchen stove contributing to the climate crisis? Gas stoves can leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas, even when they’re off.

Hawaii’s world-famous Waikiki Beach is in trouble: it’s slowly being eroded away by sea level rise, and officials and landowners can’t agree on what to do about it.

A century ago, Paris buried the Bièvre river under a pile of concrete. Could climate change help bring it back?

PEOPLE

Flooding in the US city of New Orleans
In the U.S., Black-majority cities such as New Orleans face major flood risks in the decades ahead. Water Alternatives Photos, Flickr

Is this the world’s best new building? A hospital in a remote part in Bangladesh has been awarded the RIBA International Prize for its eco-friendly design.

Chinese trawlers are decimating fish populations off the coast of West Africa – and depriving Sierra Leone’s coastal communities of their main source of income.

The U.S. will face a 26 percent increase in flood risk by 2050, with Black communities set to be hit hardest.

On Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, scuba diving isn’t just for tourists: this community center is training local teenagers to carry out underwater conservation work.

BUSINESS

An electric Porsche charging in Florida
Global electric car sales have skyrocketed in the last two years. Bob Osias, Unsplash

JBS, the world’s biggest meatpacker, claims to have zero tolerance for deforestation, but its actions in the Amazon rainforest prove otherwise.

Electric vehicle sales have soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, so too have ‘ghost’ flights that airlines have been making just to keep their landing slots.

If you live in Europe, much of your internet is likely hosted in Ireland – and it’s burning through the country’s energy supply.

Dubai has lost almost half of its arable land to desertification in the last 20 years. Could nanoclay be the answer?

POLICY

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Freetown, Sierra Leone, has become the first city in Africa to appoint a heat officer. Bunting Kargbo, Unsplash

Meet Africa’s first heat officer, who will be tasked with adapting Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown to a hotter future.

Nuclear and natural gas can now be counted as ‘green energy’, according to the E.U.’s controversial new guidelines on sustainable investing.

Australia has pledged USD 700 million to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists say the plan will achieve absolutely nothing.

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