Environment

World's cities experiencing more heatwaves, study shows

Guardian Environment News - 3 hours 21 min ago

Number of extremely hot days a year has increased in hundreds of cities since the 1970s years, with frequencies peaking in the last five years

World cities are experiencing more heatwaves and fewer cold spells, according to a study of extreme temperatures in hundreds of urban areas over the past 40 years. It found that many cities are seeing fewer extremely windy days than in the 1970s and have more extremely hot individual days and nights.

The climate researchers from US and Indian universities identified 620 of the world’s urban areas with a population over 250,000 and then chose 217 which were situated close to an international weather station with rainfall, wind and temperature records stretching back to 1973.

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Categories: Environment

Republicans push through Keystone bill to set up showdown with Obama

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 3:27pm

Bill in favour of pipeline’s construction glides to 62-36 passage in the Senate, but the president has repeatedly said he will veto the proposal

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Categories: Environment

Scientists, General Public Have Divergent Views On Science, Report Says

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 3:26pm

A Pew Research Center study shows that the two groups disagree most strongly on the safety of GM foods, the use of animals in research, climate change and human evolution.

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Categories: Environment

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 2:56pm

A new report from two environmental groups reviewed the recyclability and compostability of packaging from 47 food companies. It found few examples of companies that have prioritized waste reduction.

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Categories: Environment

Clouds form inside Grand Canyon in rare phenomenon - timelapse video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 1:23pm
A blanket of clouds amass inside the Grand Canyon on Wednesday in a rare meteorological phenomenon known as 'cloud inversion'. Timelapse footage shows the clouds swirling inside the famous canyon located in Arizona. Experts say the inversion occurs in low wind when warm air sits on top of the clouds, causing them to remain close to the Earth's surface Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Balcombe balks at tax changes for community green-energy projects

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 12:52pm
Village which brought fracking to public attention fears changes to tax relief will thwart efforts to spread solar energy use Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Senate OKs Keystone XL Pipeline, Setting Up Fight With Obama

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 11:21am

Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans to pass the measure, which must be reconciled with a version passed by the House. The Senate vote is also not enough to override a threatened presidential veto.

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Categories: Environment

Shell slashes spending and calls for North Sea tax cuts

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 9:33am
Anglo-Dutch oil group said it was cancelling investment plans and will take a ‘significant hard look’ at the tax position of its North Sea operations

Shell is to make $15bn (£10bn) of spending cuts and has warned George Osborne that North Sea operations will remain in the firing line unless the chancellor can offer tax cuts. Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, said he had already put in place a restructuring programme selling off some North Sea fields, but low oil prices meant more savings must be found.

Related: Shell determined to start Arctic oil drilling this summer

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Categories: Environment

Shell urges shareholders to accept climate resolution

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 9:26am

Resolution brought by activist shareholders requires oil firm to test its business model is compatible with global targets to limit global warming

Shell is set to confront the risk that climate change may pose to its future, after backing a resolution from activist shareholders. The move came on the same day it announced $15bn (£10bn) in cost cutting due to plummeting oil prices and said it wanted to resume drilling for oil in the Arctic.

The resolution, filed by 150 investors who control hundreds of billions of pounds, requires the oil major to test whether its business model is compatible with the pledge by the world’s nations to limit global warming to 2C.

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Categories: Environment

Solar power in the UK almost doubled in 2014

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 8:01am

Installed solar photovoltaic capacity grows from 2.8GW to nearly 5GW as industry hails ‘milestone achievement’

Solar power almost doubled in the last year, with 650,000 installations ranging from solar farms to panels on homes, figures showed.

By the end of 2014 there was almost five gigawatts (5GW) of solar photovoltaic panels installed, up from 2.8GW at the end of 2013, the Department of Energy and Climate Change figures showed.

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Categories: Environment

Biofuels are not a green alternative to fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 7:06am

Biofuels and bioenergy take up finite land resources at the cost of food production and carbon storage and doesn’t guarantee carbon emissions cuts

Powering cars with corn and burning wood to make electricity might seem like a way to lessen dependence on fossil fuels and help solve the climate crisis. But although some forms of bioenergy can play a helpful role, dedicating land specifically for generating bioenergy is unwise. It uses land needed for food production and carbon storage, it requires large areas to generate just a small amount of fuel, and it won’t typically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

First, dedicating areas to bioenergy production increases competition for land.

Related: Are biofuels worse than fossil fuels?

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Categories: Environment

New research reveals extreme oxygen loss in oceans during past climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 7:00am

During global warming after the last ice age, we found evidence of extreme oxygen loss in the oceans

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Amendment to infrastructure bill puts cycling investment on a level with roads

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 5:29am

A new requirement for national cycling and walking investment in the infrastructure bill could mean future funding for sustainable transport gets the same priority as road and rail

This week, the House of Commons added in a requirement for a national ‘cycling and walking investment strategy’ to the infrastructure bill. For the first time, investment in safe routes to school and work places may receive as much parliamentary attention as ‘big kit’ infrastructure such as High Speed 2 and major roads.

Originally this proposal was simply supported by just a few non-governmental organisations. So how did it turn into something roads minister John Hayes MP described as having “more tributes… than a ’60s pop band”? And, even more importantly, what could it mean for a country that continues to struggle to pull itself up from some of the lowest cycling rates in Europe?

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Categories: Environment

Elusive African golden cat is filmed attacking monkeys – video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 3:42am
Extremely rare footage of an African golden cat, filmed by scientists, shows it hunting in Kibale national park in Uganda. The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology released the video, which shows a group of red colobus monkeys gathered around a tree stump before the big cat suddenly pounces on one of the monkeys

• Read more: Dramatic footage of African golden cat sheds light on species Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Dramatic footage of African golden cat sheds light on species

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/29 - 3:41am

Camera trap film of one of the world’s least-studied cats shows the animal stalking a group of monkeys in Uganda

Conservationists have recorded dramatic and rare video of the African golden cat, the continent’s least-studied wild cat.

In the footage, captured in Kibale national park in south Uganda, the cat stalks and rushes a group of red colobus monkeys before appearing to beat a retreat.

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Categories: Environment

British belief in climate change on the rise, research finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/28 - 11:01pm

Poll finds 15% say climate change is major threat in next two decades, jumping to 29% for people with direct recent experience of flooding

Britons are more likely to agree the climate is changing than at any time in recent years, with nearly nine in 10 people saying climate change is happening and 84% attributing this somewhat or entirely to human activity, new research has found. Two-thirds say they are concerned by global warming.

When asked to name major threats to the UK in the next two decades, 15% of those polled listed climate change without prompting, putting it in fourth position behind immigration, the economy and health. But among people who had direct recent experience of flooding, the number nearly doubled, to 29%.

Related: UK flood victims less likely to be climate sceptics

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Categories: Environment

Australian fish moving south as climate changes, say researchers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/28 - 10:54pm

University of Tasmania finds 35 species face shifts in their ranges and egg-laying patterns as the waters off south-east Australia warm faster than average

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Categories: Environment

Meadow of ice-packed tufts, shades of black death and serfdom

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/28 - 10:30pm
Tolworth Court Farm, Surrey: The last splashes of Bonesgate stream trickle into the Hogsmill Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Melbourne's trees bombarded with emailed love letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/28 - 8:27pm

City council gives identification numbers to its 70,000 trees which allow admirers to write Dear Tree letters – and get replies

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Categories: Environment
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