Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Football: Brazil's World Cup also a test bed for climate change
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) June 12, 2014

Brazil's World Cup mascot under threat: nature watchdog
Geneva (AFP) June 12, 2014 - The animal that inspired Brazil's 2014 World Cup mascot, the Three-banded Armadillo, is facing extinction as its natural habitat is destroyed, an international nature watchdog warned on Thursday.

Brazil's population of the scaly-backed animal has shrunk by more than a third over the past decade as the area covered by the dry shrubland where it lives has halved, the IUCN said on the eve of the tournament's kick off.

The Brazilian armadillo -- which provided the inspiration for World Cup symbol Fuleco -- was named by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of many species under threat worldwide.

The IUCN, which works closely with governments, the United Nations and other environmental groups, also warned that 94 percent of wide-eyed primate lemurs are threatened with extinction.

Of the 101 surviving species, 22 are under threat -- including the biggest, the Large-bodied Indri, and the smallest, Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur -- the Switzerland-based body said.

Lemurs are threatened by destruction of their tropical forest habitat in Madagascar.

Political uncertainty and rising poverty have accelerated illegal logging, the IUCN explained, adding that hunting of the animals for food had also emerged as a serious issue.

- Orchids on the edge -

In the plant world, the group warned that close to 80 percent of temperate Slipper Orchids now face extinction.

The finding was based on a global assessment of the species, which is easily recognisable thanks to its slipper-shaped flowers, which trap insects to ensure pollination.

It is found in North America, Europe and temperate regions of Asia.

The IUCN blamed habitat destruction and excessive harvesting of wild species for sale.

"What was most surprising about this assessment was the degree of threat to these orchids," said Hassan Rankou of the IUCN's orchid team, which is based in the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.

"Slipper Orchids are popular in the multimillion-dollar horticultural industry. Although the industry is sustained by cultivated stock, conservation of wild species is vital for its future," he said.

Among the most at-risk species are the Freckled Cypripedium, with less than 100 left in Yunnan in China and the Ha Giang province of Vietnam.

Also under threat are the national flower of the Cayman Islands, the Banana Orchid.

Turning to the globe's rivers and oceans, the IUCN said that the Japanese Eel -- a traditional delicacy in Japan and the country's most expensive food fish -- was also in danger.

It had been hit by habitat loss, overfishing, barriers to migration, pollution and changes to oceanic currents. Its decline has driven a rise in trade in species such as the Shortfin Eel, the IUCN said.

Still, there was also good news.

The IUCN said it had raised its rating the Yarkon Bream, a fish found only in Israel, from extinct in the wild to vulnerable.

Its habitat was wrecked by drought and drawing water for irrigation, but it was saved by taking 120 of the last wild fish into a captive breeding programme at Tel Aviv University.

Its population has increased significantly since 9,000 laboratory-born Yarkon Bream were released into restored habitats in the Yarkon and other Israeli rivers, the IUCN said.

Beyond the spectacle of 32 nations battling for the greatest prize in football, the World Cup is also a test bed for tackling climate-damaging carbon emissions from major events.

The world's biggest sports fest is a major source of carbon, but FIFA says this year's event should break new ground in addressing the problem.

It describes the 2014 show as a "stepping stone" towards "sustainable" World Cups by evaluating and reducing the carbon footprint.

From 2018, World Cups go into a new, greener phase, because environmental protection will be a mandatory requirement in hosting the contest.

FIFA estimates the Brazil event will produce about 2.7 million tonnes of emissions as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) -- roughly the total emissions of Iceland over a six-month period.

"It's not just about the number of flights from A to B, it's also the tonnes of cables that are being used in TV production and the number of hours the refrigerators will be running during the World Cup," said Federico Addiechi, FIFA's head of corporate social responsibility.

But outside observers such as Frederic Chome, director of Belgium-based carbon consultancy Factor X, say the real tally is even higher.

"The problem with these sporting events is that they fail to factor in many emissions sources," he told AFP.

Missing from the FIFA inventory are preparations like stadium construction, which uses vast amounts of carbon-spewing cement, and manufacturing, transporting and use of World Cup-related products.

"Big international events like this cause TV sales to rise by one percentage point, which is about 20 million individual sets," Chome pointed out.

"If you consider that one TV costs 5-6 tonnes of CO2 to make, that makes at least 100 million additional tonnes of CO2. And then you add a billion televisions drawing power for three hours a day over three weeks, that makes another two million tonnes of CO2."

Many smaller, apparently invisible items add to the footprint.

FIFA is issuing sets of World Cup uniforms -- two pairs of trousers, three T-shirts, a jacket, a jersey, a cap and a rain poncho -- to 2,880 people who have been hired for the event.

The outfits were made in China and shipped nearly 20,000 kilometres (12,400 miles) to Rio. They were then transported another 1,660 km to the host cities. The result: about 436 tonnes of CO2e.

It all adds up, say the experts, but the single biggest polluter is always transport.

It accounts for more than 80 percent of World Cup emissions, mainly through international carriers ferrying the estimated 40 percent of international fans to Brazil. Some of the host venues are more than 3,000 km apart.

- Going greener -

Brazil estimates that 60,000 tonnes of direct emissions will result from accommodation, domestic flights and ground transport, construction and tournament "operations."

These will be more than offset by 115,000 tonnes of carbon credits donated by local companies and projects, it says.

The credits, essentially permits to emit greenhouse gases, can be sold if unused, and form part of international efforts to curb Earth-warming carbon pollution through fossil fuel consumption.

Once indirect emissions from international flights and tourism are added, Brazil has calculated the total emissions at 1.4 million tonnes, compared to FIFA estimated output of 2.7 million.

FIFA has said it will offset 251,000 tonnes through projects worth about $2.5 million (1.9 million euros) that could include reforestation, or building wind farms and hydroelectric plants.

The previous host, South Africa, emitted 1.65 million tonnes of World Cup greenhouse gases -- a million tonnes less than predicted, partly because fewer tourists came.

Brazil's emissions could therefore be much higher, although it uses less-polluting energy obtained in large part from hydro-generation.

"Big sporting events are increasingly winning green medals for their environmental performance," says UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, although Chome cautions that a truly green sports event is "a flight of fancy".

"The best we can do is to have much stricter environmental criteria from the point of determining candidate hosts," he said.


Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Teachers and Scientists Meet at NASA GISS for Climate Change Workshop
New York NY (SPX) Jun 10, 2014
On April 28, 2014, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York hosted a unique gathering for secondary teachers, climate researchers and education specialists to connect NASA's cutting edge climate change science with how students are learning and getting ready for the world. The Climate Change in the Classroom (CCIC) Workshop involved 33 teachers who teach subjects acr ... read more

NASA Missions Let Scientists See Moon's Dancing Tide From Orbit

Earth's gravitational pull stretches moon surface

Water in moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history

NASA Invites Public to Select Favorite Moon Image for Lunar Orbiter Anniversary Collection

Rover Corrects its Spacecraft Clock

NASA could not deliver humans to Mars

Big Brother creators to document Mars One mission

NASA's human spaceflight program doomed to fail: study

Astronaut Mike Hopkins says space smells

NASA Invites Universities to Submit Innovative Technology Proposals

One docking ring to rule them all

CU-Boulder payload selected for launch on Virgin Galactic spaceship

Chinese lunar rover alive but weak

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover 'alive but struggling'

Chinese space team survives on worm diet for 105 days

Moon rover Yutu comes closer to public

Russia, US resume talks on new joint projects for ISS

Russian Soyuz with New Crew Docks at ISS in Automatic Mode

Russian, German and US astronauts dock with ISS

Six-Person Station Crew Enjoys Day Off Following Docking

Next ATV transferred to Final Assembly Building at Kourou

Roscosmos Scolded for 'Pestering Society' with Proton Crash Theories

SpaceX unveils capsule to ferry astronauts to space

Elon Musk to present manned DragonV2 spacecraft on May 29

Astronomers Confounded By Massive Rocky World

Two planets orbit nearby ancient star

First light for SPHERE exoplanet imager

Astronomers find a new type of planet: The 'mega-Earth'

Plastic rocks likely to become part of geologic record

Nintendo jumps on toy figure trend to boost Wii U

Just add water: 3-D silicon shapes fold themselves when wetted by microscopic droplets

Toxic computer waste in the developing world

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.