Arvind Kumar, a chest surgeon at New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, has a ringside view of the toll that northern India’s deteriorating air quality is taking on its residents. When he started practising 30 years ago, some 80 to 90 per cent of his lung cancer patients were smokers, mostly men, aged typically in their 50s or 60s.
But in the past six years, half of Dr Kumar’s lung cancer patients have been non-smokers, about 40 per cent of them women. Patients are younger too, with 8 per cent in their 30s and 40s.
To Dr Kumar, the dramatic shift in the profiles of lung cancer patients has a clear cause: air fouled by dirty diesel exhaust fumes, construction dust, rising industrial emissions and crop burning, which has created heavy loads of harmful pollutants in the air.
Alexandra S. Levine
It was unseasonably warm on Jan. 12, 1888, as Minnie Freeman made her way to a school in rural Nebraska, where she was a teacher.
Temperatures had been climbing well into the 40s that month, a respite from the bitter cold that usually gripped the prairie in the dead of winter.
Shortly after she arrived, the students, whose ages were about 5 to 15 — shuffled into the tiny Midvale School and the lesson began. By noon, a light morning frost had melted, and the sky seemed to be clearing.
Then, over lunch, a deadly snowstorm struck.
Perched on a cliff above Greenland’s Helheim glacier, I tried calling my wife in New York on a satellite phone. Before I could leave a message, an explosion broke the arctic silence.
More explosions followed.
I ran across a muddy tundra to a video camera on a tripod overlooking the glacier and ripped off the trash bag I had used to protect it. I hit record as fast as I could focus.
via In Greenland, a glacier’s collapse shows climate impact | The Wider Image | Reuters
“It’s a pretty tough old time,” says Coonabarabran farmer Ambrose Doolan. “But if you’re working with your family and everyone is looking out for each other, you count your blessings.” In the central-west region of New South Wales, farmers continue to battle a crippling drought that many locals are calling the worst since 1902. In Warrumbungle shire, where sharp peaks fall away to once fertile farmland, the small town of Coonabarabran is running out of water.
Yadav Bhavanth grows vegetables on family land in the south-central Indian state of Telangana. On this small farm in a drought-prone region, his crop production—and income—depend heavily on seasonal rainfall.
In 2015 and 2016, water shortages threatened his crops. And when the rains came, they were often so heavy that they damaged even the hardier plants, causing disease or infestation.
When Simon Leather was a student in the 1970s, he took a summer job as a postman and delivered mail to the villages of Kirk Hammerton and Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire. He recalls his early morning walks through its lanes, past the porches of houses on his round. At virtually every home, he saw the same picture: windows plastered with tiger moths that had been attracted by lights the previous night and were still clinging to the glass. “It was quite a sight,” says Leather, who is now a professor of entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.
But it is not a vision that he has experienced in recent years. Those tiger moths have almost disappeared. “You hardly see any, although there used to be thousands in summer and that was just a couple of villages.”
France is building its first “Alzheimer’s village” in an experiment aimed at improving the lives of people with the disease.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It is an irreversible, progressive disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and impaired cognitive skills.
ATLANTIC MACKEREL, A fatty schooling fish, for years has been caught by fleets in parts of Europe and sold around the world—where it gets pickled, grilled, smoked, and fried. It is among the United Kingdom’s key exports.
But a decade ago, warming temperatures began driving this popular fish north, into seas controlled by Iceland. Almost overnight, this seafood gold began shredding relations between some of the world’s most stable governments. It led to unsustainable fishing, trade embargoes, and boat blockades. It even helped convince Iceland to drop its bid to join the EU. And that was among friendly nations.