Wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are spreading far more quickly around the world than many experts had predicted. But this rapid growth in clean energy isn’t yet fast enough to get global warming under control, the International Energy Agency said. The agency, in its annual World Energy Outlook, estimated that current energy policies could cause global greenhouse gas emissions to continue rising for the next 20 years.

Once a vast sea, Aral turning into desert

The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest inland lake. More than 60 million people in six nations — Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan — rely on the rivers leading to the Aral. But the two rivers that feed the basin, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, carry to the Aral about 10% of the water they did before Soviet industrial projects took hold in the 1960s. A new book, with contributions from 57 authors, said about 17,000 square miles “of the seabed has become exposed and has turned into a vast desert.” The remaining waters cover just 17% of the sea’s original 26,000 square-miles.

News services