Weekly news update. Weekly update just for you.


  1. The incident centred on the Russian-built Zvezda module which provides living quarters. The ageing space station has suffered a number of failures over the years and a Russian official recently warned of outdated hardware and failing systems. These include air leaks, misfiring engines and cracks. Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, said later that all systems were back to normal. The smoke was detected during recharging of the station’s batteries, the agency said.
  2. Almost 60% of oil and gas reserves and 90% of coal must remain in the ground to keep global warming below 1.5C, scientists say. The forecast is based on close analysis of global energy supply and demand. It is a “bleak” but realistic assessment of “what the science tells us is needed”, the researchers say. And they have “painted a scenario of the future” that leaves much less room for fossil fuels to be extracted than previously estimated. Scientists say that limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C should help the world avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.
  3. The countries most vulnerable to climate change are calling for an “emergency pact” to tackle rising temperatures. The group wants all countries to agree radical steps to avoid “climate catastrophe” at the upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Green campaigners are urging a postponement of the gathering, citing problems with vaccines for delegates. The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) says the event is critical and cannot wait.
  4. The removal of trees through logging or fires has, for decades, been listed as one of the main factors behind environmental harm. In recent years, the loss of tree cover around the world has been firmly linked to the increasingly volatile changes to the climate. Plants and trees absorb up to a third of our CO2 emissions from the atmosphere each year. Yet, as we fell vast swathes of primary forests around the globe, we are reducing our planet’s ability to lock away, or sequester, the harmful gas that is released from burning fossil fuels.
  5. The Scottish Space Leadership Council, through its Sustainable Space Task Force, has brought together Scottish manufacturers, and data firms in a campaign to make getting to space less damaging to the planet. The industry has been asked to solve challenges which include finding a way of measuring the “true impact” of the international space sector on the environment. Scotland’s first sustainable space summit was held in June, and featured a message from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
  6. Numbers are bouncing back following a decade of conservation efforts, according to the official tally of threatened species. But some tuna stocks remain in severe decline, said the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which compiles the extinction Red List. It said pressures on marine life are continuing to grow. And almost four in ten sharks and rays are now threatened with extinction. In addition, the Komodo Dragon faces threats from climate change, with fears its habitat could be affected by rising sea levels.

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