Container Ship Burns, Sinks, Unleashing Plastic and Oil on Sri Lankan Shores

Container Ship Burns, Sinks, Unleashing Plastic and Oil on Sri Lankan Shores

A container ship off the coast of Sri Lanka that has been burning for 13 days has now begun to sink. Officials say that this could be the worst ecological disaster in the nation’s history, as plastic “snow” pellets wash up on beaches and oil spills into the ocean. 

Why This Matters: Experts worry that pollutants from the burning ship, including dangerous chemicals, oil, and microplastics, could have wide-reaching impacts beyond the immediately affected zone.

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Can Drones Rebuild the Canadian Woods?

Can Drones Rebuild the Canadian Woods?

In Canada’s British Columbia, a new project plans to replant resilient forests with the combination of Indigenous knowledge and new technology. According to reporting by Grist in partnership with The Tyee, Seed the North will “collect seeds, combine them in biodiverse seedpods, and drop them using drone technology over thousands of acres.” 

Why This Matters: Over the past decades, British Columbia’s forests have been through climate change-fueled droughts, wildfires, and pest infestations.

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Due To Extended Drought, This Year’s Fire Season Could Be Worse Than Last

Due To Extended Drought, This Year’s Fire Season Could Be Worse Than Last

Last year’s wildfire season was exceptionally bad — more than 4.2 million acres burned in California alone in 2020. Experts suspect that this year could also bring severe wildfires, given that 40% of the West is being classified as being in “extreme” to “exceptional” drought. 

Why this Matters:  The West has had seasons of drought throughout its history, but with climate change and a boom in population growth, an increase in water demand could make the West even drier as we confront the reality of climate change.

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PFAS in Protective Gear Put Firefighters at Risk of Cancer 

PFAS in Protective Gear Put Firefighters at Risk of Cancer 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has required PFAS, cancer-causing chemicals used in manufacturing, in firefighting gear for years despite cancer being the leading killer of firefighters. An extensive investigative two-part story by E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg reveals not only the dangers of current equipment standards but the lengths the NFPA has gone to hide them.

Why This Matters: A study of 30,000 firefighters from 2010 to 2015 found that firefighters have an increased risk of many different cancers including: leukemia, malignant mesothelioma, bladder and prostate cancers, lung cancer, brain cancer, and digestive and oral cancers.

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One Cool Thing: Redwoods In California Beginning To Come Back After Fire

One Cool Thing: Redwoods In California Beginning To Come Back After Fire

A professor at San Jose State University sparked a wave of optimism when late last fall he posted photos of redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Big Basin Redwoods State Park beginning to show new growth just three months after fires devastated the area.  The scientist, Dustin Mulvaney, snapped photos of the trees’ […]

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As Colorado River Dries, New Questions about Water Management Arise

As Colorado River Dries, New Questions about Water Management Arise

For twenty years, conditions across the Colorado River Basin have worsened as temperatures rose due to climate change.  In 2020, unrelenting heat and super dry conditions left the soil extremely parched, rivers and streams running low, and reservoirs in the region well below capacity.

Why this Matters: Research suggests that the river could lose 1/4 of its flow by 2050 as the climate continues to heat up.

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