Protected areas play a pivotal role in the battle against climate change. But while new science says that to have a real hope of keeping it under the “danger zone” target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, 50 percent of all land should be kept in a natural state by 2030, most countries that have already committed to protecting 17 percent on land and 10 percent of the oceans by 2020 under the Convention on Biological Diversity are not on target to meet these goals.
Mountain regions are warming up at roughly twice the pace of the global average. As a result, activities like climbing, skiing, and mountaineering will become more dangerous. The climbing community is aware of the threat posed by climate change. A poll ran by the American Alpine Association in 2018 found that 91% of climbers are worried by global warming and 64% have already witnessed its effects in the mountains.
The photo of this breaching humpback whales was taken off the coast of Paternoster, where scientists are investigating the annual gathering of ‘super-groups’ of 200 or more individuals to gain more insights into the acoustic and social behaviors of this species. Special attention is devoted to how these behaviors are affected by anthropogenic noise (ships, seismic surveys, ...). Other threats include vessel strike, entanglement, ocean acidification and warming.
My visit to Yosemite National Park was short-lived. I drove back from Tuolumne Meadows to find the Valley engulfed by wildfire smoke; it was hard to breathe. During 1972–2018, California experienced a fivefold increase in the annual burned area: A trend mainly due to an eightfold increase in summertime forest fire area driven by the drying of fuels promoted by human-induced warming.