Photo of the week: extreme drought in California

California’s lake Oroville reaches historic lows (photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

For a third year in row, California is suffering severe droughts. As a consequence,  the water level of Lake Oroville has decreased towards historic lows. This also leads to a significant decrease of available hydropower and California is forced to rely more on natural gas plants, resulting in more CO2 emissions.

 

Source: SFGate

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Photo of the week: US air pollution

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Decrease of NO2 between 2005 and 2011 in the Northeast of the United States (photos: NASA’s Aura Satellite)

This set of pictures shows the fallback in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) between 2005 and 2011. NO2 is a yellow-brown gas that is often used as an indicator for air pollution in general. It is produced during the combustion of fossil fuels in vehicle engines and coal power plants. Thanks to new regulation, air pollution in the US has decreased significantly.  These images represent the improvement seen in the northeast corridor of the U.S., from Boston to Richmond, where some of the largest absolute changes in NO2 have occurred.

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Photo of the week: Soy beans

The agriculture of soy beans (photo: Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

Today the consumption of soy beans is ten times the amount of fifty years ago. Three quarters is used for the meat industry. The soaring demand for meat is putting high pressure on our planet as valuable agriculture land and ancient forests make way to grow food for animals instead of people.

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Negawatt power

Global energy demand is ever growing. A few years back China was opening a new coal plant every day on average to keep pace with its demand. Luckily they are considering other means of energy production these days, as air pollution is a worsening problem in the country. Most countries – including China – still tend to build more power plants to tackle their shortage on energy. But why not using the available energy more efficiently?

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