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Climate Change: Greenland’s Dark Zone; Covid CO2 Drop Over; Company Pledges and More

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Mystery of Greenland’s expanding ‘dark zone’ finally solved
https://www.livescience.com/greenland-dark-zone-mystery-solved.html
The mystery of a growing “dark zone” on Greenland’s melting ice sheet has been solved. Researchers have found that phosphorus-rich dust blown across the ice may be the key to the phenomenon. Greenland’s ice sheet is the second largest in the world. It covers around 656,000 square miles (1.71 million square kilometers), an area three times the size of Texas, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). However, the ice sheet is now in a state of permanent retreat and is losing 500 gigatons (500 billion tons) of ice every year, Live Science previously reported.

Greenland is careening toward a critical tipping point for ice loss
https://www.livescience.com/greenland-ice-loss-threshold-2055.html
Frozen Greenland is on track to become significantly less frozen before the 21st century is over. By 2055, winter snowfall on the Greenland Ice Sheet will no longer be enough to replenish the ice that Greenland loses each summer, new research finds. Rising global temperatures are driving this dramatic change. If Earth continues to heat up at its present pace, average global temperatures should climb by nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 degrees Celsius) by 2055. Regional averages in Greenland become even hotter, rising by about 8 F (4.5 C), scientists reported in a new study.

Is an electric car better for the planet?
https://www.livescience.com/electric-cars-environment.html
Which is better for Earth: an electric or gas-powered vehicle? The answer to this question might seem blindingly obvious: Of course electric cars must be better for the environment, because they don’t have exhausts and so don’t emit greenhouse gasses as they drive. However, electric vehicles (EVs) aren’t perfect, and they come with their own set of polluting problems. Notably, their batteries contain components, such as lithium, that require a significant amount of energy to source and extract.

Watch this giant iceberg break off from Antarctica
https://www.livescience.com/giant-iceberg-breaks-off-antarctica-a-74-images
New radar images captured from space reveal a giant iceberg breaking off in Antarctica. The iceberg, called A-74, covers about 490 square miles (1,270 square kilometers), making it 1.5 times bigger than Greater Paris. It broke off from the northern region of Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf on Feb. 26, just a few months after a large crack formed in November 2020. The new images of the iceberg’s big break were captured by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, an Earth-observing project made up of two orbiting satellites: Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B.

Watch this giant iceberg break off from Antarctica
https://www.livescience.com/giant-iceberg-breaks-off-antarctica-a-74-images
New radar images captured from space reveal a giant iceberg breaking off in Antarctica. The iceberg, called A-74, covers about 490 square miles (1,270 square kilometers), making it 1.5 times bigger than Greater Paris. It broke off from the northern region of Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf on Feb. 26, just a few months after a large crack formed in November 2020. The new images of the iceberg’s big break were captured by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, an Earth-observing project made up of two orbiting satellites: Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B.

The Gulf Stream is slowing to a ‘tipping point’ and could disappear
https://www.livescience.com/gulf-stream-slowing-climate-change.html
The Gulf Stream — one of Earth’s major climate-regulating ocean currents — is moving slower than it has in thousands of years, a new study suggests. Human-induced climate change is largely to blame. This “unprecedented” slowdown could impact weather patterns and sea levels on both sides of the Atlantic, the researchers found. And it only looks poised to worsen over the coming decades if climate change continues unabated. Indeed, if global warming persists at its current pace, the Gulf Stream could pass a critical “tipping point” by the year 2100, lead study author Levke Caesar, a climatologist at Maynooth University in Ireland, said, potentially causing the current to grind to a halt, regardless of the climate.

FedEx pledges $2 billion toward carbon capture, carbon-neutral operations by 2040
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/03/fedex-pledges-2-billion-toward-carbon-neutral-operations-by-2040-aims-for-all-electric-fleet.html
FedEx is investing at least $2 billion toward sustainable energy initiatives, including electric vehicles and carbon capture research, as part of a new pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040, the company announced Wednesday. The Memphis-based logistics giant said it aims to replace all of its parcel pickup and delivery vehicles with a sustainable electric fleet by 2040. FedEx, which operates more than 200,000 vehicles and 680 cargo airplanes, will continue investing in alternative fuels to reduce emissions from its aircrafts and vehicles, the company said.

General Motors to eliminate gasoline and diesel light-duty cars and SUVs by 2035
https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/01/28/general-motors-electric/
General Motors has pledged to stop making gasoline-powered passenger cars, vans and sport utility vehicles by 2035, marking a historic turning point for the iconic American carmaker and promising a future of new electric vehicles for American motorists. GM chief executive Mary Barra, who antagonized many climate experts by embracing President Donald Trump’s relaxation of fuel efficiency targets, said Thursday the company now wants to lead the way to a greener future.

Remember the pandemic greenhouse emissions drop? It’s nearly gone
https://www.ctvnews.ca/climate-and-environment/remember-the-pandemic-greenhouse-emissions-drop-it-s-nearly-gone-1.5331869
Lockdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus caused a 7% drop in CO2 emissions over the course of 2020 — the biggest drop ever recorded — a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change estimates. But its authors warn that unless governments prioritize green investment in their attempts to boost their struggling economies, the world is going to see a strong rebound in emissions — with potentially catastrophic consequences.

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