Friday August 17, 2018

Plastics Contribute to Global Warming, Scientists Say

A graphic video of doctors pulling a plastic straw out of the bloody nose of a large sea turtle has prompted some U.S. cities and companies to phase out the straws

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Add plastics to the list of causes for global warming.
Add plastics to the list of causes for global warming. (Img: Flickr)
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Scientists writing in the journal PLOS One said Wednesday that plastics emit the greenhouse gases methane and ethylene when they are exposed to sunlight and degrade.

The researchers carried out tests on such common plastic products as water bottles, shopping bags and food containers.

“Plastic represents a source of climate-relevant trace gases that is expected to increase as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment,” said senior researcher David Karl of the University of Hawaii.

Methane gas, both man-made and naturally occurring, is said to be a major cause of climate change.

plastics
A man collects plastic and other recyclable material from the shores of the Arabian Sea, littered with plastic bags and other garbage, in Mumbai, India, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

The manufacturing and use of plastics have come under scrutiny in recent years after environmentalists discovered a massive island of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean — threatening sea life and the food supply.

Plastic drinking straws are the latest target of activists, who say they are used once and discarded because most cannot be recycled.

Also Read: Prenatal Exposure to Plastic Chemical may Reduce Cognitive Skills

A graphic video of doctors pulling a plastic straw out of the bloody nose of a large sea turtle has prompted some U.S. cities and companies to phase out the straws. (VOA)

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Stock, Sip A Little Longer And Breathe In These Food Items Before You Regret

The rising emissions of greenhouse gases, erratic weather and temperature patterns might make us miss some of the food items

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we consume chocolates faster than it is produced
we consume chocolates faster than it is produced. Pixabay

— By Shikha Jain

Besides affecting our moods and making us grumble more, the crazy weather will inevitably affect our food. We are not talking exotic sea creatures and rain strains of food flax, but chocolate, wine, honey and a few more, which may not be available for sale in the near future. Due to global warming and drought, the production of food is adversely affected as extreme weather events have already ravaged different regions of the world. Imagine a world where breakfasts would no longer be doused in maple syrup or a planet completely devoid of coffee. So, stock them up, sip a little longer and breathe in them before they leave you craving.

Chocolate:  You think you can’t do without chocolates? I insist you to think again. Because according to the experts the vicious circle of drought has affected West Africa, which manufactures 70% of the world’s chocolate. And gradually, it will reduce and may lead to unavailability of cocoa in the next 20-30 years. It is also said that we consume chocolates faster than it is produced.

Peanuts: Nuts might drive you nuts. These ‘fairly fussy plants’ require stable and particular environment to grow. Too little rain, the pods don’t germinate. Too much sunshine, the shoots wither. The production has shrunk in the last six-seven years and will continue to do so. Some say that peanuts might be extinct by 2030, so if no peanuts, no peanut butter. Ouch! But if they don’t, then it will become a luxury item and then be ready to shell out more money for it.

peanuts might be extinct by 2030
peanuts might be extinct by 2030. Pixabay

Maple Syrup: Pancake emergency! As sugar maple tree responsible for syrup is stressed to the point of disappearing, because of the unpredictable weather conditions. The maple, like peanuts is dependent on precise climate conditions of mild days and freezing nights that our ever-changing climate can no longer offer.

Chickpeas: What would Lebanese cuisine be like without hummus? The chickpeas need 76 gallons of water for every ounce and since there is not enough water, the overall production of legumes is declined by 40% around the world in the last one decade and expected to go down even more in the future. So at this rate, you better eat hummus while you still can.

Honey: No more sweet treat? Honey bee colonies are vanishing at an alarming rate and biologists had warned us about the colony collapse disorder – bees abandoning their hives over a decade now. Plenty of reasons are listed like, parasites, electromagnetic radiation, pathogens, genetically modified crops and many more. Climate change has restricted the areas for them, because humble bee species do not have the ability to easily adapt these changes, which shows the ripple effect in the production of honey.

Avocados:  Avocados and chickpeas are like brothers when it comes to their making. To make just one pound of avocado 72 gallons of water is required, and that’s about how much water is used in the four average American showers. It just so happens that more than 80% of avocados are grown in California, where there is a drought. So it might just exterminate before we could even think.

more than 80% of avocados are grown in California, where there is a drought
more than 80% of avocados are grown in California, where there is a drought. Pixabay

Coffee: Coffee lovers, alert! You got to find a new way to do away with your Monday blues, because your favourite relaxtant is on the path to extinction. It is anticipated that all types of coffee beans will be wiped off the face of the earth by 2080. The rising temperature ruins the plantation of the coffee beans. So, the next time, breathe in the aroma and sip on your morning coffee for a little longer.

Bananas: No more bodybuilding, because no more bananas. Yes, this popular five-a-day fruit intake is on the list of endangered food items. Since bananas rely on moderate weather to ripen and then consistent water to thrive, farmers are being forced to make heavy investments. And a fungal disease called ‘The Panama Tropical Race 4’ is also wiping out banana plantations across the globe.

this popular five-a-day fruit intake is on the list of endangered food items
The vitamins in banana maintain the elasticity of the skin and the antioxidants prevent aging. Pixabay

Fish: No more glowing skin? At the pace we are going the oceans will ran out of the fish by 2048. Overfishing, trawling, pollution and climate change are to be blamed for the disappearance of many aquatic species. As the ocean becomes warmer, there is a change in the ideal habitat temperature required by the water animals. Therefore, leading to shortage of fish.

Will there be no more wine festivals?
Will there be no more wine festivals? Pixabay

Also read: Seafood-Rich Diet May Up Pregnancy Chances and Sexual Intimacy

Wine Grapes: Will there be no more wine festivals? Because the major type of grape used for wine production is picked after the rain, and there is either uneven rainfall or no rain. But a glimmer of hope always exists. So, if wine growers begin to exploit the diversity of those other thousand wine grape varities in earnest, the industry could survive. After all, it’s all about adaptation.