Environmental News

‘The next pandemic’: drought is a hidden global crisis, UN says

Countries urged to take urgent action on managing water and land and tackling the climate emergency

Drought is a hidden global crisis that risks becoming “the next pandemic” if countries do not take urgent action on water and land management and tackling the climate emergency, the UN has said.

At least 1.5 billion people have been directly affected by drought this century, and the economic cost over roughly that time has been estimated at $124bn (£89bn). The true cost is likely to be many times higher because such estimates do not include much of the impact in developing countries, according to a report published on Thursday.

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UK refuses to commit to immediate lowering of air pollution limits

Government accused of disregarding coroner’s words about death of Ella Kissi-Debrah, aged 9

The government has refused to commit to an immediate lowering of legal levels of air pollution as a result of the death of a nine-year-old child from toxic air.

Ella Kissi-Debrah was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of their death in a historic ruling by a coroner earlier this year.

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Half the trees in two new English woodlands planted by jays, study finds

Former fields were naturally regenerated with oak trees growing from acorns buried by the birds

More than half the trees in two new woodlands in lowland England have been planted not by landowners, charities or machines but by jays.

Former fields rapidly turned into native forest with no plastic tree-guards, watering or expensive management, according to a new study which boosts the case for using natural regeneration to meet ambitious woodland creation targets.

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Orchid thought to be extinct in UK found on roof of London bank

Colony of small-flowered tongue orchid plants discovered in rooftop garden of investment bank Nomura

A rare species of orchid believed to have been extinct in the UK has been discovered on the roof of an office building in the City of London.

Serapias parviflora, also known as small-flowered tongue orchid, was found growing in the 11th-floor rooftop garden of the Japanese investment bank Nomura. It is usually found in the Mediterranean basin and the Atlantic coast of France, Spain and Portugal.

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What tree rings reveal about America’s megadrought – a visual guide

How we know the American south-west is experiencing a once-in-a-millennium drought

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