Academic journal article The Science Teacher

The Top Five Environmental Stories of 2015

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

The Top Five Environmental Stories of 2015

Article excerpt

Last year was filled with fascinating environmental stories, including these five (see "On the web" for more information):

1. Paris climate change agreement. More than 180 countries agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change. The target is to hold the global average temperature increase to 1.5[degrees]C above pre-industrial levels.

2. Pope Francis's environmental encyclical. This historic document brought global attention to environmental protection on an ethical basis (Beckrich 2015).

3. Keystone XL pipeline rejected. President Obama announced that he would not approve the massive Keystone XL pipeline project, which would have transported tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico.

4. Conservation of wildlife. China, the world's largest importer of elephant tusks, took steps to shut down the ivory trade and protect elephants from poachers. Meanwhile, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed several varieties of African lions as threatened or endangered, ending the U.S. importation of lion trophies. The USFWS decision was based, in part, on the hunting death of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, and, more generally, on declining lion populations worldwide.

5. Hottest year on record. Last year was the hottest year on record. Experts predicted that 2016 will be even hotter with the continued influence of the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean called El Nino. Record drought in the western United States also received a lot of media attention throughout 2015.

Best websites for environmental news

Great sources for environmental news are available year-round. I check these locations regularly to stay informed. Students can be assigned reading from any of these sites. I ask my students to present articles of their choosing to the class. Here are some of my favorite environmental news websites:

* Environment section of the New York Times: http://nyti. …

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