Environmental stories from around the web, August 16, 2019

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  • There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.
  • Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.
  • If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.
  • Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content.

Tropical forests

A free-trade deal between the United States and Brazil could be disastrous for the Amazon and forest communities, one commentator argues (The Hill).

The continent of Africa emitted more carbon dioxide than the United States in 2016 (Carbon Brief).

Ancient earthworks in the Amazon clue scientists into how societies used and protected the rainforest (Ensia).

Brazil’s lawmakers are considering a law allowing hunters to go after jaguars and other iconic rainforest wildlife (The Independent).

The Amazon is approaching a tipping point, according to one climate scientist (The New Yorker).

Komodo dragons in Indonesia could become victims of their own popularity (The New York Times).

Investors could be pivotal in stopping deforestation for soy in Brazil (Ethical Corp).

A film tells the story of one man’s restoration of a small piece of rainforest in Ecuador (Yale E360).

Other news

Some coal miners in the U.S. are looking for alternatives to coal mining (The Guardian).

Microplastics are turning up in Arctic snow (The Atlantic) …

… And the tiny pieces of trash are also leading to increases in air pollution (Los Angeles Times).

Average temperatures in parts of the U.S. have already breached the 2-degree-Celsius (3.6-degree-Fahrenheit) mark (The Washington Post).

New research shows that populations of river giants like catfish and stingrays are down by 97 percent in the past 50 years (The Guardian).

Young climate change activist Greta Thunberg is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean for the upcoming U.N. climate talks (The New York Times).

The baleen plates of dead whales are helping scientists learn more about threatened species (CBC).

Fishing and shipping threaten whales as much as renewed hunting by countries such as Japan (Scientific American).

The Trump administration in the U.S. has removed some of the protections of the Endangered Species Act (The Washington Post, The New York Times, EnviroNews Nigeria, Vox).

July 2019 was hotter than any other month in recorded history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported (The New York Times).

Banner image of a jaguar by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

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