Winter in Iceland. Photo © Jenna Gottlieb.

Weather and Climate in Iceland

Iceland isn’t as cold as you may think. The Gulf Steam works to moderate Iceland’s climate, but doesn’t mean calm, as it’s also responsible for the frequent weather changes. Weather here is not casual conversation, but serious business; it can change rapidly, from calm winds and sunny skies to rain, snow, sleet and back to calm wind and sunny skies, all in the same hour. It’s unpredictable, frustrating, exhilarating, and confusing for many tourists, but Icelanders have learned to adapt and go with the flow.

People filling bottles and drinking at a public water fountain in Paris, France.

Life in Paris: Air and Water Quality

Parisians deal daily with high levels of air pollution thanks to a number of factors, a population favoring diesel cars included. In the spring of 2015, Paris briefly topped the world charts for air pollution, putting it above regular offenders such as Delhi and Peking. On the ground, a national pastime of cigarette smoking and lime buildup in water are two issues newcomers face.

City lights shine dimly through a haze that resembles fog.

Air Quality and Other Environmental Factors in South Korea

Thanks to innovations such as natural-gas bus fleets, the designation of greenbelts, and tighter restrictions on factories, South Korea’s air quality has improved, especially in larger cities such as notoriously smoggy Seoul. Read on to learn about the country’s air quality, water quality, sanitation, and more.

Spiky isote plants grow on a steep hillside on a coffee plantation.

Environmental Issues in Guatemala

Despite conservation efforts, environmental issues can seem daunting at times. Al Argueta discusses deforestation, air quality, open-pit mining, and other issues threatening Guatemala’s natural resources.