Hydro-meteorologists have called a smog alert in the central Bohemian
region. The reason for the present problem is the long-lasting heat wave
which has radically increased the amount of ground-level ozone in the
Elderly people and people with chronic ailments have been advised to avoid increased physical activity and stay indoors as much as possible.
Extreme weather conditions, such as the current droughts, are likely to become a regular feature in the Czech Republic in the future. But scientists say the Czech government is not doing enough to address the problem. In an open letter addressed to Czech politicians, experts urge lawmakers to step up their efforts in dealing with water management and drought.
The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst bark
beetle infestation in at least 200 years. The lower house of Parliament is
due on Tuesday to discuss both emergency and long-term measures to combat
the voracious insect, which kills spruce trees.
The amount of spruce wood damaged by bark beetles has risen steadily in the past few years, from 2 million cubic metres of spruce wood in 2015 to more than 5.5 million cubic metres in 2017. Experts are warning that the nation’s forests could be wiped out if the current monoculture forestry format is not unchanged.
Several hundred green activists protested at the Bílina coal mine in the
north of the country on Saturday.
Two dozen of them managed to enter the mine in the early hours of the morning and chained themselves to the excavator. When other protesters tried to force their way into the mine the police intervened, detaining over 170 people.
The protest was organized by the group Limity jsme my which is striving to get the mine closed.
The quality of water being fed into Czech reservoirs is rapidly declining,
an expert from the Academy of Sciences told a conference in Prague on
drinking water, and in some areas is on the verge of being untreatable,
meaning it cannot be readily filtered to become potable.
Martin Pivokonský, director of the Academy’s Institute of Hydrodynamics said the biggest threat comes from rising levels of cyanobacteria and pesticides in natural water sources.
Annual timber production in Czech forests in 2017 increased by one tenth on
the previous year to a record 19.4 million cubic metres, according to data
released on Wednesday by the Czech Statistics Office. It is the highest
figure since 2007, when hurricane Kyrill devastated more than 100,000 cubic
metres of the country’s forests.
Around three-fifths of the timber production consisted of trees infested by the bark beetles or tress damaged by recent storms. Coniferous trees amounted to 90 percent of the overall timber production. The highest timber production until now was recorded in 2007, when hurricane Kyril devastated over 100,000 cubic metres of wood.
The Czech company Chemoprojekt, based in Ústí nad Labem in north Bohemia, is set to launch production of biodiesel made from waste frying oil, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday. It will be the first company in the country to introduce production of so-called second-generation biofuels.
The Czech Republic is one of the weakest states in the European Union when
it comes to combatting climate change, according to Climate Action Network
Europe. The Brussels-based organisation placed the Czech Republic 20th in
the bloc on the basis of criteria including efforts to reach targets for
the year 2020 set by the EU and enacted into legislation nine years ago.
The Czech Republic was directly behind Slovakia in the table created by Climate Action Network Europe. Sweden was judged the most successful EU country in tackling climate change while Poland was seen as having most to do.
The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst calamity in years. Experts are warning that if required measures are not taken soon enough, the forests might soon find themselves wiped out. Despite the alarming situation, the agriculture ministry is looking to keep the current monoculture forestry format more or less unchanged.