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global warming

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Australia is currently facing some of the largest bush fires in the history of the country. The fires have been raging since September but have recently intensified. The BBC reported that at least 24 people have died, dozens are missing and about 1500 homes have been destroyed.  So far, 13 million acres of land has been burned. To put it into perspective, that’s about the size of Leinster, Munster and most of Connacht combined. This is also an ecological disaster and so far, it is estimated that as many as 480 million animals have been killed.

At this stage, the best thing any of us can do is to donate money to those working on the ground. The following organisations need our help:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Australian Red Cross

The Red Cross support recovery programs and emergency assistance. They work in evacuation centres and recovery hubs across Australia, providing trauma and mental health supports both for victims and volunteers. Click here to donate.

Salvation Army Australia

The Salvation Army has launched a disaster appeal that uses donations to support communities in the crisis by delivering meals, clothes, and other necessities. They also work directly with the first responders who are assisting victims.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service

New South Wales is one of the worst affected areas. By donating here, you can directly help fund Rural Fire Brigades, a group that provides emergency assistance to communities directly affected by wildfires. 

St. Vincent de Paul Society

The St. Vincent de Paul Society has launched a bushfire appeal. This allows you to choose what area you wish your donation to go from a variety of supports they provide such as food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Donate here

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The RSPCA New South Wales’s Bushfire Appeal uses donations to help livestock, pets and wild animals that are in danger. They also treat animals that have been injured by the fires.

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund relies on donations to help koalas that have been affected by the fires. Donations will help with the replanting of trees and habitats for rescued Koalas and will also help protect the forests and woodlands that have not yet been burned. Donate here

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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You can also choose to donate to these GoFundMe campaigns – verified by the CNN– for local animal hospitals who need help: the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. These hospitals help koalas and other animals that are in danger or injured.

A huge thanks to anyone who donates to or raises awareness around this climate disaster.

 

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Donald Trump is facing some ridicule this morning, after the President of the Uniited States of America tweeted that the winter weather being experienced is evidence that climate change is a myth.

'Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?' he wrote, to his 55.8 million Twitter followers. 

The tweet shows the POTUS's distnct lack of understanding when it comes to the difference between weather and climate – as the scientists at NASA put it: 

'The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time.'

'When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather.'

'Naturally, what with this being a Donald Trump tweet, the responses cam in droves as the POTUS was ridiculed for his inability to differentiate between the weather and climate change. 

Here are just a few responses from indignant Twitter users who believe in science: 

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So, we love good news, but every so often, it's important that we also share the bad news – we're sorry.

On this rainy hump day, we have learned that the grape harvest has not been remotely prosperous – resulting in a wine shortage. 

According to The Guardian, wine production last year slumped to its lowest level in over 50 years.

The production issues happened because vines in the world's top three wine-producing regions being badly affected by 'freakishly hot and cold weather'.

amy schumer drinking GIF

The areas hit most include those producing Rioja and Prosecco – SAY IT AIN'T SO! 

You know what happens if wine supplies drop? Prices go up.

"Prices for things like pinot grigio or generic Spanish reds will rise by between 10% and 30% and it's a question of how much of that retailers will pass on," claimed Dan Jago, chief executive of high end wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd.

"Prosecco was very hard hit by frost, so there will be less of it and the price will go up."

I'm nervous. 

julia louis dreyfus wine GIF

The Bordeaux region was also hit with adverse weather conditions:

"In Bordeaux the top 150 chateaux have not really been affected but the grand surface – the total acreage of Bordeaux – has been ravaged. The Bordeaux harvest, like the overall harvest across Italy and Spain, has been decimated but it tends to be the more flat lying, higher volume production land that has been hit."

Basically the world is facing its worst harvest since 1961, with production dropping 8 percent – to 247m hectolitres in 2017.

The Guardian says that a hectolitre is the equivalent of 133 standard wine bottles, so if you do the maths (which we didn't FYI), that means a grand total of 2.9 billion fewer bottles.

Holy HECK. 

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I don't mean to alarm any of you – but scientists are claiming that the world could run out of chocolate by 2050. 

This is not a drill. 

The experts are claiming that due to widespread climate change, that cacao plant could become extinct within 32 years. 

Listen, I am fully aware that climate change is a bigger issue – however the idea of not being able to chow down on a galaxy in 30 years is UNSETTLING. 

bruce bogtrotter eating GIF

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a temperature rise of just 2.1 degrees could bring the chocolate industry to its knees by 2050. 

Doug Hawkins from research firm Hardman Agribusiness, spoke to the MailOnline about the issue, claiming that a big problem is that cacao farming methods have not changed for hundreds of years.

"Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90% of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material," he said. 

Lads, I'm nervous. 

"All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years."

Now scientists at the University of California at Berkeley have teamed up with confectionery company Mars, in an attempt to keep chocolate on the menu – not all heroes wear capes.

Using the sometimes controversial gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, they are trying to develop a version of the cacao plant capable of surviving in dryer, hotter climates.

Please god now. 

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So, we're all aware of the impending doom that global warming promises to bring. The ice-caps will melt, oceans will rise and civilisation as we know it, will be over.

And while keeping our cities above sea-level would seem like a pretty decent incentive for using a green bin, many of us are still not doing our part.

Well, this stops today, because rising global temperatures are wreaking havoc on wine production in Mediterranean countries.

A new report has revealed that a slight increase in temperature in the region may result in labour and productivity losses in the European wine industry – and we just won't have it! 

Published in the Temperature journal, the article outlined how high temperatures may effect the labour output and productivity of manual agricultural grape-picking workers.

The study, which focused on workers in Cyprus who often work in conditions up to 36C, found that higher temperatures led to labour losses of up to 27 per cent.

It's thought that the increased heat can put stress on the workers' metabolic and cardiovascular systems.

The amount of time workers were able to carry out their duties was also reduced by 15 per cent, because of the need for a greater number of breaks.

Wine as we know it could soon be a thing of the past as grapevines are very responsive to their surrounding environment, with soil condition being a key factor in taste.

Dig out the reusable cups – together, we can save the vineyards of Europe. 

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