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Global Ideas

Through the Lens

Join us as we take a look through the lens at some environmental events from around the world over the past week, including record temperatures in Australia and menacing monkeys in India.

Sweltering highs of 47 degrees, power cuts, wildfires and dead bats falling from the skies - Australia's record heat wave has brought the reality of climate change home to many. But it's only set to get worse, according to experts. Even in the best case scenario with an effective curbing of global greenhouse gas emissions, Australia would be on course to experience heat waves five times as frequent by the end of this century compared with the latter part of the 20th century, Professor David Karoly from the University of Melbourne told DW this week.

 

Atlantic cod and haddock are the animals you would expect to find in the cold waters of the North Sea. But as the water warms, new residents are making their home there. One of the recent arrivals is the Pacific oyster. The North Sea was once too cold for it, but now "it practically dominates the whole Wadden Sea," says marine ecologist Christian Buschbaum. To reproduce, the oyster needs a few weeks where sea temperatures consistently remain at least 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). And for the past few years, reaching those temperatures has been no problem for the North Sea.

Paris has turned to composting urinals as a weapon in a long-running battle against "wild peeing." Urinating in public isn't just a nuisance for peoples' noses; it's also bad for the environment. The city of light employs sanitation workers to scrub around 1,800 miles of urine-soaked sidewalk each day with water and detergents. Now Paris is testing the Uritrottoir, which comes complete with a miniature garden on top and a funnel through which urine is filtered into a closed box below filled with straw and sawdust.

After years of severe drought, downpours are wreaking havoc in California. More than half of the U.S. state has been under flood, wind and snow advisories in the past week. One of the strongest storms in years - dubbed "bombogenesis" or "weather bomb" - has hit California, killing two and bringing torrential rain and flash floods. In the above picture, firefighters are seen rescuing a woman from her car in Sun Valley, Southern California. 

Marauding rhesus monkeys are terrorizing a village in Delhi's southwest, say locals. The monkeys have been breaking phones, stealing food and attacking people. The problem started in 2007 when authorities set up a sanctuary for the animals beside the village of Bhatti Kalan to deal with the high number of problem monkeys in the city. But instead of solving the problem, it merely transported it to another location. Pictured are some cheeky monkeys scaling a wall in Delhi. 

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