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So many satellites in orbit. Can we clear the space?



At the end of 2022, a European satellite unfurled a shimmering silver sail behind it. The purpose of this appendage was simple: to accelerate the self-destruction of the satellite by pushing it into the Earth’s atmosphere.

As strange as it may sound at first glance, this was the latest in a growing wave of efforts to tackle the growing problem of space debris. In recent years, the situation over our sky has changed dramatically. For decades, since the beginning of the space age in the late 1950s, satellite launch rates have remained fairly stable. The growth in the number of satellites is now exponential, fueled by the efforts of corporations like Amazon. Collisions in space, meanwhile, produce clouds of debris that could pose a danger to spacecraft for decades.

Why did we write this

As the amount of man-made debris in space grows, so does the search for solutions. Some experts say the first step is to think of space not as an endless garbage dump, but as a common area requiring agreed-upon norms of behaviour.

Threat mitigation efforts are underway, including so-called active garbage disposal. Concepts include the cosmic equivalent of a net, magnet, or harpoon. Another approach is to minimize the creation of new debris, mainly by promoting international agreement on what the norms of behavior should be.

“People on Earth are benefiting tremendously from space,” says Crystal Azelton, director of space applications programs at the Secure World Foundation, a US organization that promotes collaborative solutions to make space sustainable. “It’s fragile, it’s not infinite, and it needs to be managed in a way that’s sustainable.”

At the end of 2022, a European satellite unfurled a shimmering silver sail behind it. The purpose of this appendage was simple: to accelerate the self-destruction of the satellite by pushing it into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Strange as it may sound at first glance, this was actually just the latest wave of efforts to address a growing problem facing humanity in space – the proliferation of debris and satellites in orbit around our planet.

In fact, we treat space like a garbage dump.

Why did we write this

As the amount of man-made debris in space grows, so does the search for solutions. Some experts say the first step is to think of space not as an endless garbage dump, but as a common area requiring agreed-upon norms of behaviour.

And the task doesn’t get any easier: In early February, the United States gave Amazon permission to launch more than 3,000 satellites, not to mention the Russian rocket that destroyed a defunct Soviet satellite in November 2021, creating a new cloud of debris that would pose a danger. spacecraft for years, maybe decades to come.

There is hope, as the European Space Agency’s silver sail shows, but the situation is difficult. A multitude of countries and companies are currently striving to embrace a space perspective with a number of competing and overlapping priorities. This raises the question of who is responsible for cleaning up this mess, and whether we even need to care about it.

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Power outage and falling trees in Devon and Cornwall



A tree fell on a house on Raleigh Avenue, Cockington, Torquay.

Hundreds of homes were left without power and trees blocked roads as Storm Noah rages across Devon and Cornwall.

Wind gusts of over 60 mph (96.5 km/h) were recorded across the Isles of Scilly, with the weather service predicting winds up to 70 mph (113 km/h).

A woman was injured when her car hit a tree that fell on the A377 motorway near Copplestone, Devon, police said.

Elsewhere, a tree fell on a house in Raleigh Avenue, Cockington, Torquay.

The female driver of the A377 crashed into a tree blocking the entire road and suffered a facial injury.

Police confirmed that the fire department, road workers and tree care crew arrived at the scene, and everyone in the house was held accountable.

It said the road would be closed for the rest of the day and until Thursday until the tree was cleared.

The tree was cleared with the help of a local farmer and emergency services.

Lumberjacks clear a tree blocking a road in Plymouth

Surgeons saw down and removed a fallen tree in Plymouth

At 1400 BST, the National Grid reported that 268 homes in Devon were out of power.

More than 700 homes were also reportedly without power in the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall.

He confirmed that power had been restored to most properties in St. Austell and by 9:30 p.m. Moscow time, they were working to restore all houses.

He also stated that he intended to restore all electricity to the houses in Crediton by the same time.

Network Rail said speed limits were in place on the main line between Plymouth and Penzance.

National Highways has urged drivers on the M5, A38 and A30 to take extra care.

Buses were changed to Torquay due to a fallen tree on Hawkins Avenue. Stagecoach Southwest said.

According to the Met Office, the Isles of Scilly experienced wind gusts of up to 103 km/h.

Windy day in Ilfracombe

Ed Parkinson captured the breaking waves at Ilfracombe on Wednesday.

The National Trust has closed some of its Dartmoor sites.

In a yellow warning, valid until 20:00 BST, The Met Office predicted strong winds with severe coastal storms to the south and west.

It stated that strong winds, low temperatures and heavy rain or showers were caused by an Atlantic low-pressure system slowly moving east across the UK.


Strong wind blows away tents in Cornwall

Some vacationers were evacuated from campsites, as the tents were blown away by the wind.

Steve Ackland of Monkey Tree Recreation Park near Newquay said: “We had fantastic weather last weekend and that’s the other side of that.

“This is what you expect in Cornwall in April and the fact that there are still so many people around is a sign that this is a great place.”

Others, like vacationing Katrina Kay, stayed away.

“If you’re going camping you know what you’re on, it actually wasn’t bad,” she said.

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Do you want to protect your health? Start by protecting indigenous lands.



By protecting indigenous territories in the Amazon, more than 15 million respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, such as asthma and lung cancer, could be prevented each year and save nearly $2 billion in health care costs. This is according to new research in nature.

The 10-year study looked at the impact of wildfires in the Amazon on health and the amount of hazardous particles absorbed by the rainforest. It has been found that the Amazon can absorb nearly 26,000 metric tons of hazardous particles emitted each year, with indigenous territories absorbing nearly 27 percent of that pollution.

Rainforest foliage acts as a biofilter for air pollution and improves air quality by reducing the concentration of pollutants generated by fires, such as dust, soot and smoke. Ecosystems with fewer trees, green spaces, and organic defenses against airborne pollutants, such as cities, experience higher levels of health disparity, including general respiratory irritation, bronchitis and heart attacks, according to the researchers.

Wildfires rage in the Brazilian Amazon. often installed pastoralists, illegal miners and other landowners seeking to expand their business, exacerbating deforestation and threatening indigenous territories. In 2020, land conflicts in Brazil affected 1,576 cases, the highest number ever recorded The Pastoral Land Commission, affiliated with the Catholic Church, since it first started keeping records in 1985.

The researchers found that the particles released by these fires traveled hundreds of miles to remote cities, entering tiny sacs in the lungs and entering the residents’ bloodstreams.

The study concluded that protecting indigenous territories from wildfires and land grabbing could help prevent thousands of diseases. Research shows that when indigenous peoples receive financial and legal support for land management and property rights, forests perform better.

During the four years of former President Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation in the Amazon increased by 56 percent, with about 13,000 square miles of land destroyed. While indigenous peoples lost approximately 965 square miles of their traditional territories because of Bolsonaro’s policies.

Indigenous leaders urgently the current president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will fulfill the promises he made during his campaign to establish new indigenous reservations in the Amazon and continue to change the policies of his predecessor.

“This study confirms what indigenous peoples have been saying for centuries,” Dynamam Tuxa, executive coordinator of the Brazilian Indigenous Association. It is reported by Agence France-Presse.

“This demonstrates the importance of our territories in the fight against dangerous pollution … and climate change.”

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UK still fails to meet methane cut commitment, study says | Greenhouse gas emissions



The analysis showed that the UK is still far from meeting its international obligations to reduce methane emissions, despite measures to ensure that cows do not burp as much of it.

Ministers unveiled a host of initiatives to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions as part of the government’s ‘green day’ energy announcement over a week ago, including plans to introduce methane suppression feed for livestock from 2025 and stop biodegradable waste entering landfills from 2028

But that wasn’t enough to cut the UK’s methane emissions by 30% by 2030, a target agreed as part of the global methane pledge the UK signed ahead of the 2021 Glasgow Cop26 summit, according to an analysis by think tank Green Alliance.

It has been determined that government policy will cut UK methane production by around 14% by 2030 from 2020 levels.

The ministers rejected one important measure to reduce methane emissions, namely an immediate ban on routine gas flaring and gas discharge from gas and oil drilling platforms in the North Sea. A review of the UK’s net zero strategy by former Energy Secretary Chris Skidmore as well as parliamentary committees recommended such a ban from 2025, but the practice would be allowed until at least 2030.

Offshore operators use enough gas to power more than 750,000 homes a year through flaring and gas venting, and enough to power at least 100,000 more homes through undetected leaks.

Measures to reduce methane emissions in the UK under and beyond the commitment are still possible, according to the Green Alliance. Imposing a ban on flaring and venting, forcing landfill operators to capture methane at a faster rate than what is currently emitted from landfills, accelerating repairs to existing leaking natural gas pipelines in the UK and encouraging faster use of methane suppression feedstock. for livestock could help the country achieve a reduction of more than 40% by 2030.

Liam Hardy of Green Alliance said: “The UK’s current methane abatement measures are wholly inadequate, but it is not too late to make a difference. The government should be able to put forward a plan to cut methane emissions by more than 43%. This will help us move closer to net zero and put the UK in a leading position ahead of international climate talks later this year.”

The UK is also falling behind on its overall climate commitment to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the government’s own analysis.

Currently, over 100 countries have signed up to the global methane pledge. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, its warming effect is about 80 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, although its lifetime in the atmosphere is shorter.

The scientific consensus is that drastically reducing methane emissions is one of the fastest and surest ways to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis and could help reduce global temperature rise by as much as 0.5°C over several decades. But global methane emissions are still rising, and many countries are misreporting gas production.

Satellite images provide a much clearer picture of global emissions than ever before. The Guardian recently reported the existence of over 1,000 “super-emitting” methane objects around the world.

The UK government has challenged the Green Alliance’s findings. “This analysis is completely wrong. The UK has taken early and ambitious action to tackle methane emissions. This already means that between 1990 and 2020, UK methane emissions have fallen by 62%, more than any other OECD country,” the spokesman said.

“We recognize the need to do more, so we are moving further and faster to cut emissions in line with the net zero strategy and carbon budgets, and the global methane commitment, the global reduction target.”

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