Monthly Archives: December 2014
Our warming climate is bad news for Christmas trees. Norwegian spruces risk getting cold feet as the insulating blanket of snow that protects their roots from Scandinavian winters thins.
Snow can be surprisingly cosy – acting like loft cladding to prevent sub-zero air penetrating the soil. Less of the white stuff means frigid soil that takes longer to thaw in spring. This limits trees’ new growth and ultimately has a knock-on effect on health, says Sirkka Sutinen, from the Finnish Forest Research Institute.
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A tiger released in a wildlife sanctuary in south India has been shot dead on Sunday after it killed a woman.
The animal was released in Bhimgad wildlife sanctuary, Karnataka, on 19 November. The young tiger, suspected to have killed a woman in Pandaravalli village 186 miles away, was caught and released in the sanctuary. A large contingent of forest officials camped at Bhimgad to ensure it didn’t trouble villagers and also protect the tiger from people. Officials said the tiger did not pose a threat to human life. But tiger biologist Ullas Karanth had warned it was not safe to release the animal as it seemed to have lost fear of humans.
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The pope wishes to directly influence next year’s crucial UN climate meeting in Paris, when countries will try to conclude 20 years of fraught negotiations with a universal commitment to reduce emissions.
Following a visit in March to Tacloban, the Philippine city devastated in 2012 by typhoon Haiyan, the pope will publish a rare encyclical on climate change and human ecology. Urging all Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds, the document will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will distribute it to parishioners.
According to Vatican insiders, Francis will meet other faith leaders and lobby politicians at the general assembly in New York in September, when countries will sign up to new anti-poverty and environmental goals.
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