The Blue Files | Episode 3
[As Featured in Episode 3]
An international team of scientists has concluded human activity churns out up to 100 times more planet-warming carbon each year, than all of the volcanoes on earth. The decade-long study by the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) measured certain carbon isotopes in rock samples around the world in order to create a timeline stretching back 500 million years. They then used that data to map how carbon moved between land, sea and air. The team estimates that the Chicxulub asteroid which is widely believed to be responsible for killing off the dinosaurs66 million years ago, released between 425 and 1,400 gigatonnes of CO2. Manmade emissions, in 2018 alone, topped 37 gigatonnes. The findings were published in the journal Elements.By the way, one gigatonne is equivalent to around 3 million Boeing 747s. Let’s hope we don’t end up like the dinosaurs.
The majority of plastic pollution that is destroying our oceans comes from “merchant ships”, says a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Over almost 35 years, researchers collected thousands of pieces of waste during visits to a small inaccessible island located between Argentina and South Africa. This island is in a zone where a vast whirlpool of currents has created what is known as an “Oceanic Garbage Patch”. In the recent collection, in 2018, 75 per cent of the garbage appeared to originate from Asia, most often China, specifically. The report says many of the plastic bottles found were crushed with their tops screwed on tight. This is a routine process aboard ships to save space. The study offers fresh evidence that the vast garbage patches floating in the middle of oceans, are not from single-use plastics dumped in waterways by people on land, rather a result of merchant marine vessels tossing their waste overboard by the ton.
Fast food giant Burger King will no longer give away plastic toys with children’s meals in the U.K., amid pressure to reduce plastic waste. The ecofriendly move comes after two children (Ella and Caitlin) from Winchester, in the southern coast of England, petitioned both Burger King and its rival McDonald’s to stop giving away plastic play things. The children managed to collect more than a half million signatures. Burger king is now also encouraging customers to bring in old promotional plastic toys, which it says it plans to melt to make other items. McDonald’s however, won’t budge, instead saying its customers would be able to choose between a toy and fruit.