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News Round Up October 2015

A selection of geographical stories that have made the headlines this month.


  1. World's oceans facing biggest coral die-off in history, scientists warn

  2. Scientists have confirmed the third-ever global bleaching of coral reefs is under way and warned it could see the biggest coral die-off in history. Since 2014, a massive underwater heatwave, driven by climate change, has caused corals to lose their brilliance and die in every ocean. By the end of this year 38% of the world’s reefs will have been affected. About 5% will have died forever.

  3. Smoke from Indonesian fires blankets Thai holiday island of Phuket in haze

  4. The Thai holiday island of Phuket has been plunged into a poisonous grey haze caused by illegal forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia. Reduced visibility caused passenger planes from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and destined for Phuket airport to turn around on Thursday. The noxious fumes which have been spreading for weeks have shut down many other parts of south-east Asia.

  5. Where is the world's most stressful city?

  6. Research has shown that city-living has been linked to depression and anxiety – but what is it, exactly, that makes urban life so stressful? And what can be done to make the world’s cities more habitable?

  7. Perth's water worries: how one of the driest cities is fighting climate change

  8. Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is not only one of the most isolated cities in the world, it is also becoming one of the driest in Australia. Since the gold rush of the 1890s, impressive engineering schemes have transported enough water to make Perth a city of lush lawns and eye-catching flowerbeds, to the surprise of some visitors. But a drop in average annual rainfall in recent years, along with some truly dire climate change projections, have required government and business to focus on water security. Australia’s Climate Council estimates that water flow from rainfall into Perth’s dams has slumped by 80% since the 1970s, with precipitation in the south-west corner of Australia forecast to drop by up to 40% by the end of the century.

  9. What is the world's most vulnerable city?

  10. From the Maldives to Mauritania, some cities are engaged in a constant battle for survival against nature’s relentless forces. But which of these metropolises is closest to being overwhelmed by sea, sand or other natural threat?

  11. Ebola countries record first week with no new cases

  12. The three West African countries at the heart of the Ebola epidemic recorded their first week with no new cases since the outbreak began in March 2014. The outbreak has so far killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). New cases have fallen sharply in 2015, but the WHO has warned that the disease could break out again