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Global heating to inflict more droughts on Africa as well as floods

Guardian Environment News - 20 hours 19 min ago
New UK research predicts extremes of weather will hit food production

Global heating could bring many more bouts of severe drought as well as increased flooding to Africa than previously forecast, scientists have warned.

New research says the continent will experience many extreme outbreaks of intense rainfall over the next 80 years. These could trigger devastating floods, storms and disruption of farming. In addition, these events are likely to be interspersed with more crippling droughts during the growing season and these could also damage crop and food production.

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Categories: Environment

Lincolnshire flooding: hundreds of homes evacuated

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/15 - 2:58pm

Military helicopters are drafted in to repair broken bank of River Steeping in Wainfleet

Hundreds of homes have been evacuated in a Lincolnshire town following severe flooding as the local MP warned that residents are “by no means out of the woods yet”.

Residents in at least 590 homes in Wainfleet and Thorpe Culvert were told to leave as waters continued to surge on Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

Hundreds of dolphins have died along Gulf Coast since February, scientists say

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/15 - 8:53am

At least 279 animals have been stranded, triple the usual figure, and 98% have died, prompting investigation

At least 279 dolphins have become stranded across much of the US Gulf Coast since the start of February, triple the usual number, and about 98% of them have died, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said.

Scientists will investigate whether lingering effects from the 2010 BP oil spill and more immediate effects from low salinity because of freshwater flowing from high rivers and a Louisiana spillway contributed to the deaths, said Teri Rowles, coordinator for Noaa fisheries’ marine mammal health and stranding response program.

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Categories: Environment

Hopes for climate progress falter with coal still king across Asia

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/15 - 8:00am
A depressing picture of global power generation has coal still firmly on top. And in a vicious cycle, the very heatwaves and winter freezes high carbon emissions cause seem to be increasing them

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund is preparing to leave fossil fuels behind. Last week, Norway’s parliament confirmed by unanimous vote that its $1tn sovereign wealth fund would dump $13bn of fossil fuel investments – and start investing billions in renewables.

The move is designed to protect Norway’s state-owned investment fund from the decline in fossil fuels that will be vital if full-blown climate catastrophe is to be averted.

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Categories: Environment

Cracking cheese, Gromit! Wensleydale waste to heat 4,000 homes

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/15 - 6:00am
Yorkshire dairy by-products will be turned into renewable biogas to cut carbon emission

The crumbly cheese beloved of TV duo Wallace and Gromit will soon help heat thousands of Yorkshire homes with renewable “green gas” made from cheese waste.

The Wensleydale Creamery has struck a deal to supply the waste whey from its cheese factory to a local bioenergy plant that produces enough renewable biogas to heat 4,000 homes. The Leeming biogas plant, which currently runs on ice-cream residue, will use a process called anaerobic digestion to turn the dairy-based waste into renewable biogas.

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Categories: Environment

High Flooding On Lake Ontario And St. Lawrence River

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/06/15 - 4:57am

The U.S. and Canada are under pressure to show a water control plan for the area along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River didn't actually make flooding worse.

Categories: Environment

Climate crisis: aviation industry hears clamour for electric planes

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/06/15 - 12:00am

Shift from fossil fuels top of agenda for Paris air show, industry having lagged behind other sectors

Faced with growing calls for action on the climate crisis, aerospace companies gathering for the Paris air show next week are turning their thoughts to a future run on electricity rather than fossil fuels.

The scale of the challenge is considerable. The target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and embraced by the UK this week, coincides with the expectation that the number of flights will double in the next 20 years.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 3:05pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Two Greenpeace activists arrested as it sends ship to join BP oil rig protest

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 11:55am

Group defies court order against Arctic Sunrise supporting occupation of North Sea rig

Police have arrested two Greenpeace activists who had boarded a North Sea oil rig as the environmental group said it was sending its ship Arctic Sunrise to join the protest in defiance of court orders obtained by BP.

The oil firm has taken out injunctions against the ship and the Greenpeace ice-breaker, the Esperanza, forbidding them from supporting a protest on a rig in Scotland’s Cromarty Firth that is now in its sixth day.

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Categories: Environment

Pope Francis declares 'climate emergency' and urges action

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 11:53am

Addressing energy leaders, pope warns of ‘catastrophic’ effects of global heating

Pope Francis has declared a global “climate emergency”, warning of the dangers of global heating and that a failure to act urgently to reduce greenhouse gases would be “a brutal act of injustice toward the poor and future generations”.

He also endorsed the 1.5C limit on temperature rises that some countries are now aiming for, referring to warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of “catastrophic” effects if we crossed such a threshold. He said a “radical energy transition” would be needed to stay within that limit, and urged young people and businesses to take a leading role.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 10:14am

A cattle egret, a roving monkey and a curious chipmunk

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Categories: Environment

White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 8:40am

William Happer contacted Heartland Institute, one of the most prominent groups to dispute that fossil fuels cause global heating

A member of the Trump administration’s National Security Council has sought help from advisers of a conservative thinktank to challenge the reality of a human-induced climate crisis, a trove of his emails show.

William Happer, a physicist appointed by the White House to counter the federal government’s own climate science, reached out to the Heartland Institute, one of the most prominent groups to dispute that burning fossil fuels is causing dangerous global heating, in March.

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Categories: Environment

Battery benefits questioned | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 8:36am
Scottish Power claims it is making a ‘significant step’ forward with renewable energy, but David Miller has doubts

Jillian Ambrose (Report, 11 June) claims that a 50MW battery system is a “significant step”. But how significant a step does not depend upon the instantaneous energy output in megawatts. Most significantly, it depends on how long it can keep this energy flow going. So the relevant measurement, to compare with rival systems, would be in MW hours (which are what we pay for in our electricity bills).
David Miller
(Emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at UCL), London

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Categories: Environment

English nature's 'jewels in crown' threatened by cuts, says watchdog

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 7:33am

Natural England chair bemoans budget cuts that have left conservation body ‘massively depleted’

The reserves and protected places that are the “jewels in the crown” of English nature cannot be managed properly because of budget cuts, Tony Juniper, the chair of Natural England, has said.

The budget for the government’s conservation watchdog has been slashed in half over five years, leaving it “massively depleted”, according to Juniper, the influential former Friends of the Earth campaigner whom the environment secretary, Michael Gove, appointed earlier this year.

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Categories: Environment

Extinction Rebellion protesters stop rush-hour traffic in London

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 7:02am

Lewisham campaigners block three roads into city centre to highlight ‘air pollution crisis’

Environmental protesters stopped traffic on three main roads into central London from the south-east in protest over the “air pollution crisis” in the area.

The protesters, organised by a local chapter of the Extinction Rebellion group, blocked traffic on the A20 near Lewisham station, A205 South Circular in Catford and the A2 in Deptford during the morning rush-hour.

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Categories: Environment

Killing Coyotes Is Not As Effective As Once Thought, Researchers Say

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 6:22am

Government agencies kill more than 68,000 coyotes a year to keep them from preying on livestock and big game. But scientists say tracking them might be a better solution.

(Image credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Power to the people: how Spanish cities took control of energy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 5:05am

The ‘sunshine tax’ is dead, and Barcelona and Cádiz are mounting a renewables revival

After a close fight, Barcelona’s radical mayor, Ada Colau, is expected to take office for a second term on Saturday, vindicating her often-criticised policies, which have included making sure all the city’s municipal buildings and services run on renewable energy.

On the other side of the country in Andalucía, José María González was re-elected as mayor of Cádiz last month having swept to power in 2015 on the same tide that brought Colau to office, with energy as a central issue in his campaign.

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Categories: Environment

New Orleans Sues Big Oil

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/06/14 - 2:01am

New Orleans is suing oil and gas companies to help it pay for flood protection. It's a major move against an industry that's key to the city's economy.

Categories: Environment

The Trans Mountain pipeline is a disaster – but Trudeau can make it right | Brian Cladoosby, Leonard Forsman, Teri Gobin and Jay Julius

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/06/13 - 11:00pm

The pipeline poses grave risk to animals and Indigenous communities. As leaders of four sovereign tribes, we are calling on the government to say no

In February, Canada’s National Energy Board released its final report recommending approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, in spite of devastating risks to the Salish Sea and the salmon, orca and tribal nations that rely on it. On 18 June, the government of Justin Trudeau is expected to issue its final decision.

The Trans Mountain pipeline, first proposed by oil giant Kinder Morgan in 2013, would transport Alberta tar sands oil to a shipping terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia. This would mean a massive increase in oil tanker traffic through the Salish Sea, which comprises the water bodies of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia. The marine species in these waters know no border, and the risks to Indigenous peoples in both Canada and the US also cross borders. As leaders of four sovereign tribes, we are calling on the Trudeau government to do the right thing and say no.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis: Alaska is melting and it’s likely to accelerate global heating

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/06/13 - 11:00pm

The state has just had its warmest spring on record, causing permafrost to thaw and dramatically reshaping some areas

A city in western Alaska has lost a huge stretch of riverbank to erosion that may turn it into an island, amid renewed warnings from scientists over the havoc triggered by the accelerating melting of the state’s ice and permafrost.

Residents of the small city of Akiak were alarmed to find the Kuskokwim River suddenly much closer to housing after about 75-100ft of riverbank disappeared over the course of just a few hours.

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Categories: Environment
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