Global environmental developments in January 2021
Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 ties with 2016 to go down as warmest year on record, according to NASA
January saw several reports on climate change and extreme weather events, including a report on 2020's ties with 2016 to go down as the warmest year on record globally and sobering reports on decreasing population of species.
Here is a look at environmental developments, reports, events and stories compiled by Anadolu Agency.
- The iconic sunflower sea star is listed as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN, following a joint groundbreaking population study led by Oregon State University and The Nature Conservancy.
- According to scientists, platypuses, which are seen as one of the most profound egg-laying mammals, are becoming highly threatened species.
- Environmentalist activists, climate protesters worldwide celebrate the 18th birthday of Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on social platforms.
- Electric car sales in Norway account for over half of car purchases, makes it the first country in the world to reach the benchmark.
- Five states in India confirm Avian Influenza's outbreak, commonly known as bird flu, forcing the Environment Ministry to issue a nationwide alert since the country reports over 350,000 suspected bird deaths from the flu.
- Spain registers its coldest temperature on record, with a meteorological station in the Catalan Pyrenees writing a frigid -34.1 degrees Celsius (-29.3 Fahrenheit).
- Ebb tides, evaporation and excessive use of water in the last 20 years are the main reasons for drought in lakes, says an academic from a Turkish university.
- 2020 is recorded as the warmest year in Europe, according to the European Union's climate monitoring service.
- Japan and Brazil ink a deal on safeguarding the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest.
- Precipitation in Turkey's Marmara region is below the average of the past many years in December, down almost by half.
- Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry says it would look after 1,625 of the 9,098 monumental trees present across the country in 2021.
- The European Commission to launch research on "One Health" and bring in legislation to prevent goods linked to deforestation from being sold in European markets as part of concerted action to protect local, sustainable development and biodiversity.
- The African Development Bank (AfDB) pledges to mobilize $6.5 billion in support of Africa's Great Green Wall, a flagship initiative led by the African Union to combat increasing desertification in the region, it said in a statement.
- For the past several weeks, the air in Tehran and some other major metropolises across Iran have become irrespirable, with the pollution index touching dangerously high levels.
The year 2020 is one of the three warmest on record, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says, with a naturally occurring cooling climate phenomenon, La Nina puts a brake on the heat only at the very end.
- Turkey, Pakistan and Azerbaijan agree on following joint strategy on various fields, including on sustainable development.
- Scientists are working to save the northern white rhino from extinction through advanced reproduction technologies, according to the Ol Pejeta conservancy.
- Avian influenza outbreaks continue to ravage the poultry sector in France, leading to the culling of over a million birds in the southwest region.
- The Earth's global average surface temperature in 2020 ties with 2016 to go down as the warmest year on record, according to the US' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- The increase in Turkey's solar energy capacity is expected to reach over 100% this year, the head of the Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association, GENSED, tells Anadolu Agency.
- Taiwan, UK seek a bilateral investment agreement on various fields, including fight against climate change.
- The midwinter waterfowl count kicks off in Turkey's Gediz Delta, which hosts many bird species.
- US President Joe Biden signs sweeping executive orders rolling back the Trump era, including rejoining landmark Paris climate accord.
- The high concentration of microplastics detected in the Bengawan Solo and Brantas rivers on Indonesia's Java Island is not only affecting the aquatic life but poses a threat to human health as well, according to the Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton) study.
French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden hope to work on various global issues and challenges, including climate change under the Paris Agreement.
- New York City pension funds to divest an estimated $4 billion from fossil fuel companies, which would be one of the world's largest divestments, NYC's Comptroller announces.
- According to a Turkish nutritionist, at least 870 million people facing hunger could be fed with one-fourth of the food wasted across the world.
- Biden announces the goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050: "Today, I took bold action to advance those goals."
- A group of former environmental ministers in Brazil sends European leaders a letter asking for help in coping with a coronavirus crisis in its Amazon region.
- The rate of air pollution in Istanbul decreases by 10% last year compared to 2019, a Turkish scholar tells Anadolu Agency.
- A total of 70% of all sharks and rays species are at risk of going extinct, marine scientists warn.
- Mentioning the climate change effects on the world socially and economically, Turkish scientists note that it will also exacerbate poverty worldwide.