Category Archives: greenhouse gases

Scientists Warn of Permanent drought for 25% of the Earth by 2050, If Paris Goals Are Not Reached


There are lots of research on climate change and these studies have stated the detrimental effects of man-made gases that are released into the atmosphere daily. However, a recent study on the ever-growing effects of global climate inaction has stated that almost every part of the earth could end up in a long-lasting state of drought if its temperature rises or warms up to 2ºC by 2050.

However, it is important to note that a top researcher in this study named Manoj Joshi has this to say, “The research envisages that desertification would increase about 20% or more on the land surface if the global temperature reaches 2ºC”. Nevertheless, this new study has been published in the journal, Nature.

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Today, climate change has been as a result of man-made activities, and researchers have linked and stated that the spread of extreme droughts has been as a result of human activities for many years. It has also been known that the only way to limit these effects is by avoiding the conditions that could result in climate change to a temperature of about 1.5ºC.

Furthermore, Dr. SU-Jong Jeong, a scientist in China’s University of Science and Technology has also concluded that “the temperature of the earth has warmed up by 1ºC but to keep global warming by 1.5ºC, is to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which may lead to the circumvention of aridification in many parts of the earth” this includes America, Africa, Australia, and Asia (which has almost 20% of the world’s population)

“It is important to know that aridification poses a serious risk to the earth because of its threat to vital areas such as biodiversity, farming, water quality, and so on”. Lead researcher and author at the Southern University and Technology in Shenzen, China, Chang-Eui Park, stated this in a recent news release. He has also indicated that aridification can also result in an increase in more droughts and wildfires in many parts of the world – related to those seen intense in California and its environs.

The recent research also concluded and showed that decreasing global warming to a 1.5ºC rise would prevent the spread of drought, and it is important to note that the rates of drought across the world today has already increased beyond human expectations. This is due to the fact that the temperature of the Earth has sporadically risen to 1ºC in global average temperature.

Scientists have taken a critical look at the probable occurrence of aridification for different levels of global warming, containing a 1.5ºC and 2ºC rise in the average temperature of the earth. Although, the Paris climate accord has been with lots of critics from environmentalists and scientists as not being adequate to the tasks of combating the problems associated with climate change which is already imposing lots of havoc across the world today. Nevertheless, the main objective of the Paris agreement is to decrease global warming to 2ºC by the end of the century. However, if we are to achieve this feat, “prompt measures” have to be taken to restrain the emergence of aridification.

The issue associated with the Paris agreement is that the U.S (which is the second largest emitter of carbon in the world) recently withdrew its support for the Paris accord under the governance of President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, President Trump has instead, moved to other directions stated by other scientists. Together with this, Trump has also increased his actions to gut adequate measures that have been put to place for environmental protection by the former administration during his first year in office, and it is vital to know that Trump is showing no signs of limiting his actions.

Furthermore, Trump has also stated last week of his enthusiasm of a warmer planet, when he tweeted that the United States “could use a little bit of that good old global warning” to fight the cold weather that is taking over other states in the east. In addition to this, he has shown that he is unaware of the discrepancy between weather and climate. Trump’s move to withdraw the U.S from the Paris climate accord has been criticized by lots of ecologists as “stupid and reckless”

The reckless decision has categorized Trump’s tactic to the environment, not only to the United States alone but also to the world – throughout his first year as the President of the United States. However, Trump’s tweet last week sparked lots of comments from environmentalists and analysts, but this is not the first tweet made by the American President on cold weather to suggest that the world should embrace climate crisis.

Moreover, David Sirota of the International Business Times has said that the president tweet should be preserved forever so that generations to come can know the reason why the American government didn’t take adequate measures to combat climate change.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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25+ Spectacular Facts About the Amazon Rainforest


The Amazon Rainforest, also known as Amazonia, is located in South America and is the world’s largest tropical rainforest covering an area of 5,500,000 km2. Due to its large size, the Amazon forest covers a territory of nine nations with the biggest part of it in Brazil. The climate within the region is mainly tropical with hot, humid and very wet conditions.

The rainforest ecosystem is critically important for the well-being of the planet because it plays a highly significant role in stabilizing the world’s climate. The Amazon forest also provides home to many plants and animals and for this reason, it qualifies as a major tourist destination for the lovers of nature. These are just a few of the many facts about the Amazon Rainforest. Below are more than 25+ spectacular facts about the Amazon Rainforest.

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Fact 1: The Amazon rainforest covers over half of the world’s remaining rainforest. Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Only 6% of the earth’s surface is covered by the rainforest and out of this, the Amazon rainforest covers over half of the world’s remaining rainforests.

Fact 2: It is located in a territory of nine countries. Amazon is located in a territory of nine nations including Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Brazil takes the largest share of the rainforest, about 60%, while roughly 13% of it is in Peru and 10% of it is in Colombia.

Fact 3: The Amazon has a rich ecosystem. The Amazon is virtually unrivalled in scale and complexity of animal and plant species. It houses at least 10% of the world’s known biodiversity and is the home ground of more than 16,000 different species of trees, 2.5 million insect species, 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fish species, 1,300 bird species, 427 mammals, 430 amphibian species and 380 reptile species which have been classified just within the region.

Fact 4: Interestingly, a European by the name Francisco de Orellana is named after the Amazon for navigating the entire Amazon River. He gained recognition as the first explorer to traverse the Amazon River within the Amazon rainforest.

Fact 5: Deforestation is extensive in the rainforest. On aerial view, the Amazon rainforest is depleting at an astonishing rate because of extensive deforestation. Experts postulate that in the next forty years, the rainforest will be completely lost especially if action is not taken to address the problem. The rainforest is disappearing at a rate of 1.5 acres every second. The main reason for deforestation in the area is to clear the forest for cattle grazing and crop production.

Fact 6: A quarter of the western medicine pharmaceuticals used today has rainforest based ingredients that originate from the Amazon rainforest. Currently, over 120 drugs come from plant-derived sources and 70% of the plants identified as active against cancer cells come from the rainforest. It is even believed that the cure of cancer may be found in the Amazon rainforest.

Fact 7: The Amazon trees and plants provide more than 20% of the world’s oxygen. Considering the large size of the rainforest, it generates more than 20% of the globe’s oxygen and perhaps the reason it is known as the “lungs of the planet”. The vegetation in the Amazon continuously draws in and recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen and releasing it into the atmosphere, acting as a giant air machine.

Fact 8: There are about 50 indigenous tribes with their own language and culture living in the Amazon rainforest. The more than 50 indigenous communities in the Amazon have also never made contact with anyone outside the rainforest. Brazil’s Amazon is said to host the majority of the indigenous tribes. Most of the tribes are not settled in a specific location but rather move from one location to another often. They are nomadic hunters and gatherers.

Fact 9: The rainforest is home to very many dangerous animals. From poisonous reptiles to predatory creatures, the Amazon rainforest hosts numerous dangerous creatures. In fact, some the creatures, like the poison dart frog has enough venom that can kill up to 10 humans. The eight most dangerous Amazonian rainforest animals are the Green Anaconda, Poison dart frog, Brazilian wandering spider, the Jaguar, Electric Eel, South American Rattlesnake, Bullet Ant and the Red Bellied piranhas.

Fact 10: There are hundreds of endangered and threatened species of Amazon wildlife. About 137 species of the plants, animals and insects become extinct everyday through forces of destruction such as logging and cattle ranching, which have contributed to the loss of many acres of the rainforest. In the present day, anthropogenic activities in the Amazon rainforest threaten numerous species that at the verge of extinction.

Fact 11: The Amazon suffered a drought in the years 2005 and 2010. In 2005 and 2010, the Amazon rainforest experienced a significant drop in rainfall causing the Rio Negro Tributary to fall to its lowest level on record and the release of greenhouse gases from dead wood. The drought also resulted in very low stream flows and increased frequency of forest fires.

Fact 12: The Amazon River is the world’s largest river by volume. The Amazon rainforest hosts the Amazon River, which is the largest by volume and the second longest in length globally. The river has 17 tributaries draining 55 million gallons of water per second into the Atlantic Ocean, making it the largest in the quantity of water that it transports.

Fact 13: The floor of the Amazon forest is completely dark. The broad-leafy canopies of the Amazon trees block most of the sunlight. Only 1% of the light makes it to the floor. The broad-leaf canopies also slow down rainwater, making it take up to ten minutes to reach the ground.

Fact 14: One in five of all bird and fish species live in the Amazon. 10% of the world’s species live in the Amazon and 20% of the world’s known birds live in the Amazon. The Amazon is thus home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. It is believed that the ants found in a single bush within the Amazon can be more than the entire British Isles.

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Fact 15: Agricultural activities are not sustainable in the rainforest. The region most has infertile soils that cannot support crops for a long period of time. It is the reason those living in the rainforest have to move often. The soils are notoriously thin and poor in nutrients. Surprisingly, rich rainforests grow on the soils even though they are low in mineral content.

Fact 16: The Amazon River once flowed West ward. A long time ago, the river once flowed east-to-west, but due to the continental drift, it created a raised highland along the east coast of South America, which tilted the Amazon flow, sending water and sediments rushing towards the center of the continent.

Fact 17: The toucan is the loudest creature in the Amazon. It is a brilliantly colored arboreal fruit-eating bird, which aids to give it camouflage in the tropical rainforest.

Fact 18: A three degrees rise in temperature will destroy 75% of the Amazon rainforest. Climate change experts warn that global temperature increases will kill the rainforest within 100 years. The impacts of the temperature rise cannot be seen now but it will surely affect the rainforests in years to come.

Fact 19: The Amazon depends on a continuous supply of dust containing phosphorous for fertilization. The phosphorus dust is blown from the Sahara Desert over the Atlantic Ocean by wind. Strong winds sweeping across the Sahara help in the process. Phosphorous is an essential nutrient that acts like a fertilizer which the Amazon depends on to flourish.

Fact 20: Martin Strel holds the Guinness World Record for swimming the entire length of 5,268 m of the Amazon River for 66 days. He was the first man to swim the entire length of the Amazon River from headwaters in Peru to the Brazilian port city of Belem.

Fact 21: Efforts to curb deforestation in the Amazon have been difficult. Actions to address the deforestation problem have been difficult over the years until recently when laws and stricter policies were put in place to protect the forest from deforestation. Conservation policies, improved law enforcement and new protected areas have played a significant role.

Fact 22: In the past years, the Amazon has suffered a loss of approximately 20% of its size due to the cutting down of trees. All of it started with the controversial Trans-Amazonian Highway, which created room logging and more destructive actions such as illegal hunting of wildlife and clearing of interior forest areas for farming and settling squatters.

Fact 23: The Kapok tree is the tallest in the Amazon. The tree can grow to lengths of 200 ft towering over the other rainforest vegetation.

Fact 24: More than 80% of the types of food the globe consumes have its origin in the Amazon rainforest. More than 3000 fruit types that grow in the rainforest are edible. They include avocados, coconuts, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pineapples, and mangoes. A variety of vegetables and spices were also originally found in the rainforest.

Fact 25: The biodiversity of plant species in the Amazon is the greatest in the world. Every one hectare (2.47acres) contains 750 types of tree species and 1500 types of plant species.

Fact 26: The Amazon rainforest acts as a carbon sink. Because of its vastness, the Amazon rainforest absorbs and stores carbon dioxide. The rainforest therefore plays a crucial role in maintaining the global carbon levels.

Image credit: skitter , pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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The Journey to Limelight of Electrically Powered Vehicles in the US


The use of electricity to power vehicles in the world can be dated back to as far as the 19th century. A lot of people made tremendous contributions to the development of this kind of vehicle. Around this time, there were other means of powering vehicles which include the use of steam and fuel (coal, gasoline, etc.) which have gained prominence in the world today. The electric cars at this time were very slow and they could only work for a limited time due to the capacity of the batteries used at that time. Some could only travel a few miles and a few hours.

Before its acceptance in the US, it was already widespread in the UK and in France with so much improvement because better durable batteries were made and its speed had improved. It was until about 15 years after that the US accepted it. The first in the US was by William Morrison. It was 6-carriaged, with a speed of about 14 mph in 1890. By 1897, through the “Electric Vehicle Company,” the electric car had started to gain prominence in the US as it was used as cabs in New York, with about 62 electric cabs during that period.

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Because of some limitations in the batteries used at that time, i.e., early 20th century, the top speed of these early electric vehicles was limited to about 20 mph; but, it still earned the consumers’ preference because of some advantages it had over the other vehicles. It didn’t have vibrations, bad smell and an awful noise as can be attributed to gasoline cars.

They were also very easy to operate and they didn’t require much to start up, unlike their competitors – steam vehicles which usually took about 45 minutes to start up on cold mornings; and gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine. Because of the ease of operation of Electric cars, it was accepted widely by women in the US and was even tagged the women’s car.

When power supply became better 1912, there came a surge in the popularity of electric cars so much that it grew to a 38% use among all other types of vehicles. A total of about 34,000 electric cars were registered in the US. In the early 1920’s, the electric cars in the US began to suffer a rapid decline in its use, owing to some factors highlighted below:

  • Good road infrastructures which now required vehicles that could travel faster and for longer periods. Electric cars couldn’t stand this test as they were slow with their maximum speed of about 20 mph, and they couldn’t travel more than 60 miles or thereabout.
  • The discovery of large oil reserves in the world made fuel readily available and cheap. It now became a cheaper means to power vehicle using fuels which could even travel faster and longer.
  • Gasoline cars became even easier to operate. The hand crank which was a difficult way of starting fuelled-vehicles was replaced with an electric starter by Charles Kettering; and the noise from ICE cars became more tolerable as mufflers were used, which Percy Maxim had invented in 1897.
  • The mass production of fuelled-vehicles by Henry Ford during that period made the price of gasoline cars affordable, up to half the price of electric cars.

Consequently, these led to a drop in the demand for electric cars, leading to many of such companies being closed or converted. Only a few electric vehicles such as the milk floats in the US were still functioning.

Looking through these facts, it would seem as though electric cars would never gain prominence again in the US and even in the world at large. But, nature has its way of recycling, bringing old methods to limelight. Such is the case of the electric cars in the US today. The recent problem of global warming, a result of greenhouse gases from fuel combustion, has called the attention of the world to save our crashing Earth. One way this would be achieved is by curbing the use of fuelled-vehicles.

The US has from the 1990’s, made remarkable advancements in the design and improvement of electric cars. During this period, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), began an advocacy for more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles.

From December 2016’s analysis, about 2 million electric vehicles are used all around the world, an amount of 0.2% in comparison with non-electric vehicles. America recorded an amount of 570,000 electric cars. It is said that US citizens want zero or low-emission vehicles, and it is only a matter of time for electric cars to gain prominence again, may be permanently this time.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Recent Climate Study: Severe Forecasts on Global Warming Could Be Accurate


Reports on global warming are not new all over the world today and events that contribute to climate change include the burning of fossil fuels to foster the growth of our economy. It has also been discovered that by 2100, the earth will be 15% warmer than it should. Also, the growth of indecision of disconsolate projections has been narrowed also. However, it is important to note that lots of climate models have been made so far and these models project that the amount of climate change in this century is the ones that support current observations.

Furthermore, the use of climate models is to project how much warming is taking place and what we should expect when there is an increase in the concentration of gases like CO2 ( Carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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Recent research has affirmed that the uncertainty of global warming is narrow, which means that the future looks dire for us.

Climate researchers who have worked on global warming had already proposed that there is a 62% chance of the earth becoming warmer on average by more than 4 degrees Celsius if there are no policies or measures to control the emissions of greenhouse gases. With a recent climate study, the uncertainty of global warming has been narrowed and it is now estimated that by 2100, there will be a 93% chance that global warming will exceed 4 degrees Celsius.

Moreover, many nations of the world had a meeting in Paris in 2015 and they made a joint decision to curb the rise of global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius; even at this temperature, the state of global warming can still pose a great danger to the earth. However, one degree higher to this temperature is cataclysmic. And an increase above 5 degrees Celsius could pose a total change to the world or may even end it.

It is also important to note that two United State researchers made a report in the journal Nature. They made use of several climate models for the projections which were proposed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and they also aligned the reasons against some opinions that were made.

In the report also, a detailed look was done on the differences in seasonal and monthly climate, the utilization of energy, the emissions of greenhouse gases, and how they affect temperatures. Furthermore, there have also been some contentions about how accurate these climate models work and how they can be used to forecast the world’s climate in the next centuries to come. With this, it has been affirmed that the future looks dire for us if nothing is done on global warming.

A researcher from the Stanford University of California has said that with the results gotten by them, it does not make sense to discard the forecasts made on global warming probably due to the fact that the models used are imperfect in their imitation to the way the climate looks now.

More truths

Researchers from the Stanford University of California have proposed that they are trying to show that the faults of the climate model can be used to discard predictions that are not severe. They have also stated that their results which were gotten by them suggest that if the world is to achieve a total stabilization of global temperature, then there is a need for a drastic decrease in the emissions of greenhouse gases that were previously envisaged.

With these statements and affirmations, it has been known that the use of climate models are essential as the use of climate data itself and that the basis of uncertainty could be the effect of warming. This means that there will be more evaporation to a warmer earth; which implies that the warmth of the earth is captured in the atmosphere which could cause an increase in the radiation of the sun.

For many years now, lots of research have been done in order measure with accuracy, the links between the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of coal, natural gas, and oil, and the change in the temperature of the earth.

Modest indication

A researcher in Carnegie by name Ken Caldeira has estimated the way in which Carbon dioxide causes global warming in the earth and the way in which greenhouse gases can warm the earth for a long period of time.

However, recent conclusions solely rely on modest indications which is the precision with which climate models can be used to envisage the future of the earth when it comes to climate change.

Ken Caldeira has praised the use of these models that simulate today’s comments and he has also said that these models may be the most reliable forecast for the future of the earth.

Finally, based on a recent research, it has been confirmed that if there are no adequate policies put in place concerning the emissions of greenhouse gases, there is a high chance that global warming will surpass 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, which indicates grave danger on the future of the earth.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Electric Cars Are Now Cheaper to Own Than Petrol Cars


It wasn’t too long ago that electric cars were considered a dream of the future, unattainable by most working class citizens. But according to new research, this may no longer be the case.

In countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, electric cars have become much more cost-effective to use and own, especially in the long-term, as found by this study. In the United States, research was conducted in Texas and California, while the study encompassed all of the other two aforementioned countries.

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This information comes at the same time as a rapid rise in the sales of electric cars in occurring, and the researchers find it fair to theorize that this is a direct result of the lower costs. Currently, the low prices is assisted by government support, though electric cars are still expected to naturally become the most inexpensive option in the near future.

The study in question was conducted by Kate Palmer, James E. Tate, Zia Wadud, and John Nellthor at the University of Leeds, UK, and it involved recording and analyzing the entirety of the cost of owning a car over the course of four years. This included all details involved with purchasing, using, and maintaining a car, including original price, fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and taxation and insurance fees.

Cars that ran entirely on electricity had the lowest fuel costs of all car options, as charging the car is much more low cost than filling up with gas, diesel, or petrol. The simpler and easier to maintain engines incurred lower maintenance costs thanks to their extra functions, which includes eliminating the need for brake pad replacements as the engine assists in braking the car on its own. In fact, in the UK, running and owning an electric car was 10% less expensive than doing the same for a petrol car as of 2015.

Meanwhile, hybrid cars did not follow in this fashion. Due to an inability to plug in and charge, they were often actually more expensive than their petrol counterparts. Hybrids that can be plugged in actually were even more expensive to own, especially when it came to the initial purchase, as buyers would basically need to pay for two engines, doubling the price. (It is worth noting that this is not the case in Japan as plug-in hybrids in that country have more subsidies.)

The researches, in a statement led by James Tate, expressed feelings of encouragement as his team predicts that purely electric cars will become even more inexpensive in the future, with car battery costs for this kind of vehicle lowering in the coming years. This is in spirit of sales subsidies, which are about $6,750 in the UK and $8,780 in Japan at this moment, but are predicted to slowly fall. The researchers estimated that by the year 2025, an electric car may be just as inexpensive to buy, own, and use as a petrol car – though some companies, like Renault, estimate that this will happen before that in the 2020’s.

Sales of electric cars have had a significant increase in recent years. For example, in the UK, the rise is as much as 37%, while diesel automobile vehicles have dropped by 30%. This is in lieu with increased concerns regarding air pollution, especially from vehicles and cars that use diesel gas. In fact, at the rate they’re going, electric cars – which do not produce nearly as much carbon emissions that contribute to global warming – could outsell diesel vehicles by May 2019. This is according to Matt Finch, an analyst at the United Kingdom Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

The push to roll out electric cars, which produce less climate-warming carbon emissions, has been supercharged by concerns over air pollution, particularly from diesel cars. In the UK, where toxic air is at illegal levels in most urban areas, sales of diesel vehicles have plummeted by 30% in the last year while sales of electric cars, which produce 50% less greenhouse gases than petrol cars, have soared by 37%.

Currently, however, demand for electric cars is far greater than the supply manufactured. The main issue behind this has been suggested to be due to the fact that there are good electric cars prices at the low and high ends, but none in the medium price range, where most families who which to purchase family cars will be turning their attention.

Meanwhile, concerns regarding the worsening state of the environment and air pollution continue to rise around the world, particularly in China, which has the largest market of electronic cars worldwide that continues to grow day by day. The rest of the world has yet to catch up, as petrol companies and traditional fuel car manufacturers continue to push to make their own products and sales.

This may come with some unfavorable downsides, as governments may begin to tax electric cars when petrol and fuel sales start to drop, according to Steve Gooding, the director of the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring Ltd. The transition to more electric cars would also require more public chargers, which good charging speeds and powers that can match up to the needs of users.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

11 Greenest Countries on Earth in 2017


The world is making advancements towards becoming green especially for environmentally conscious nations as they work hard to develop their economies. Industries have been set up, people have ventured into real estate, and governments are constantly making great milestones in the health, education, energy and transportation sectors. These developments have allowed countries to provide a better economy and life to its citizens.

However, this does not come without consequences to the environment. Global warming and environmental degradation is one of the impacts faced. The environment is thus at a risk, particularly with the increase in the number of production industries, expansion of modern transport and residential developments. Despite these environmental risks that come with development, there are countries that have worked hard to reduce them and keep their environment green. Here are 11 countries that have been termed as the greenest in 2017:

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1. Iceland

Iceland is one of the countries that takes its environment very seriously and invests in its sustainability. It has been graded as one of the greenest countries in world. Besides, it has been in the fore front in the implementation of programs that are eco-friendly. It boasts of an Environmental Performance index of 93.5.

It has placed focus on production of electricity and heat by utilizing geothermal landscapes. Iceland has also played a major role in the fight against ocean pollution. It has made sure that the waters are kept clean and fishing is done while prioritizing on protecting the environment.

2. Switzerland

Switzerland is the second most greenest country in the world in 2017 with an Environmental Protection index of 89.1. It has put into place various measures to ensure that the environment is kept clean and at the same time sustainable. The setting up of Alpine park is one of the steps it took. Additionally, the country has focused on production of resources by using renewable energy, a move that promotes a green economy.

Switzerland has over the years made laws that have allowed farmlands to develop and prevent them from being used for infrastructural expansion. These contributions by the country has allowed it to be green as the natural environment has been kept safe. Clean air, beautiful lakes and mountains have been notable features that make it prominent.

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is popularly known for its amazing scenery and equally intriguing landscape. The green in its environment is clearly evident at first glance. It boasts an Environmental Protection Index of 86.4. The country has put stern measures to avoid both air and water pollution and hoping to achieve a carbon neutral environment by the year 2021.

The citizens of the country use renewable energy in order to avoid the production of greenhouse gases. Costa Rica hopes to be the first carbon neutral country in the world and is constantly seeking for funding to make this possible. Other than being one of the greenest countries in the world, Costa Rica is also considered to be one with the happiest people in it.

4. Sweden

Sweden is listed among the greenest countries in the world with an Environmental Protection Index of 86.0. The country plans on eradicating the use of fossil fuel by the year 2020. The move is meant to prevent environmental pollution. What’s more, they have embraced the use of renewable energy that is eco-friendly to keep the environment natural and safe from pollution.

The use of renewable energy greatly contributes to the reduction of carbon in the air thus a cleaner and safer environment. The most notable action is the partnership between Sweden and its neighboring countries, especially by taking responsibility to protect the Baltic Sea and protect the ecosystem. The environmental governance body in Sweden is amongst the most sound and this has contributed to the fact that Sweden has been kept green.

5. Norway

Norway is one of the counties in Europe that has a significantly green environment. It has an Environmental Protection Index of 81.1. The country has made sure that its residential and commercial facilities do not release any greenhouse gases to the environment. Like other countries, Norway has made sure that the whole country uses eco-friendly and renewable sources of energy so as to reduce the rate of pollution and carbon production.

Norway has put in place sustainable development strategies and environmental laws that are supposed to aid in realization of a carbon neutral country by the year 2030. Most interestingly, Norway cultivates a relationship with nature. Children from a tender age are taught on how to live together with nature and protect the environment. In addition, Norway uses ecological knowledge to keep its environment clean and safe.

6. Mauritius

Mauritius, a small island country in Africa, has played a major role in keeping its environment green. It has an Environmental Performance Index of 80.6. Mauritius being an island, has worked tirelessly to protect its ports. It has set up laws and protection acts that reduce the rate of pollution whilst promoting environmental protection.

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7. France

The contribution of Nicholas Sarkozy played a major role in making France one of the greenest countries in the world. He implemented legislations that made it mandatory for all of France to partake in making the country eco-friendly and to conserve energy. France has an Environmental Protection Index of 78.2. France has been endowed with very fertile grounds and is one of the top exporters of food. It is also makes wine thanks to the grape fields it has.

The country has less industries as compared to other countries and this has helped in the reduction of air pollution. Over the years, France has been working on deindustrialization – a move that has seen the environmental state of the country improve as water pollution has been reduced significantly. Additionally, France has vowed to change its resource usage and methods of production to conserve the environment.

8. Austria

Austria has an Environmental performance Index of 78.1. It achieves this Index by relentlessly striving to maintain the natural conditions of its environment. Among the major actions taken by Austria is putting environmental protection in its social and economic policy agenda.

Austria has also worked hard in sectors such as waste management and chemical as well as air pollution to prevent such pollutants from destroying the environment. Further, Austria has incorporated ecological knowledge in their agriculture to prevent pollution. This has been highlighted by the restriction on the use of pesticides. It has also put measures into place to protect its forest and reduce deforestation. All these have contributed to making it one of the greenest countries in the world.

9. Cuba

Cuba is not left behind among the countries ranked as the greenest in the world. This is evidenced considering its Environmental Protection Index of 78.1. Cuba has worked hard in keeping its environment green and safe by reducing the use of Pesticides on farmland since they are chemicals that negatively impact the environment.

The sea level has also been lowered to protect the soil from excessive salt that might destroy it. Environmental awareness is also taught in schools so that children can embrace it and practice it to sustain the environment.

10. Colombia

Colombia is a beautiful country that has been blessed with amazing sceneries and vegetation. Particularly, Colombia is endowed with the amazon forest, tropical rainforests and deserts. It also has thousands of species living in its ecosystem. Policies and regulations have equally been set up to protect the environment and preserve its biodiversity.

Despite the fact that they were initially accused of degrading their natural environment, they have worked tirelessly to regain the lost glory by making laws that favor the sustainability of the environment. It has an Environmental Performance Index of 76.8 and is ranked among the greenest countries in the world.

11. Finland

Finland finishes the top 11 list among the greenest countries in the world for the year 2017. In the 80’s, Finland was known for high scores of nitrogen emission and other activities that destroyed the environment. However, over the years, improvements have been noted as the country strives to restore its environment to its original state.

The body in charge of the environment in Finland has worked hard to make sure greenhouse gases are not produced and that the citizens in the country use renewable sources of energy for production. Wind power has greatly been made use of. According to Yale University’s annual Environmental Performance Index, Finland has planned to have more than half of its electricity coming from renewable sources of energy.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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