Millions of people worldwide were turning off lights and appliances for an hour from 8:30 p.m., March 27th, in a gesture to highlight environmental concerns and to call for a binding pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s was the fourth annual Earth Hour, organized by the World Wildlife Fund.
Lights went out at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Rome’s Colosseum, London’s Big Ben, Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Moscow’s State University, New York City’s Empire State Building and many other places across the globe (see the picture gallery below after the jump.)
In all, an estimated one billion people gathered, according to organizers in New York, to simply turn off their lights for just one hour in a display of international cooperation and conservation.
The Earth Hour organization recently noted the effects of climate change across the United States, citing a White House report. The report, according to Earth Hour, found that nearly every region of the country has experienced water-related impacts in the form of floods and water-quality issues. The Southeast and the West, for example, are facing more frequent droughts. Snowpack, a primary source of freshwater in the West and Alaska, is declining.
Weather extremes, pests, diseases and warmer temperatures pose challenges for agriculture. Coastal communities face erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels and greater storm surges. Heat, poor air quality, diseases and severe weather events threaten all areas of the country. Climate change is stressing fragile ecosystems and threatened animal and plant species. [GlobalChange via NJ]