Environment

'Antarctica Melts,' NASA Says, Showing Effects Of A Record Warm Spell

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 2:37pm

Taken just nine days apart, two images illustrate the impact a recent warm period had on the Antarctic Peninsula. NASA says such warmth "has become more common in recent years."

(Image credit: NASA)

Categories: Environment

Supreme Court Pipeline Fight Could Disrupt How The Appalachian Trail Is Run

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 1:59pm

The Appalachian Trail is at the center of a legal case before the Supreme Court on Monday involving a proposed gas pipeline. Trail officials say it has become a football between the case's two sides.

(Image credit: Becky Sullivan/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Why Are Swarms Of Locusts Wreaking Havoc In East Africa?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 1:52pm

Clouds of the insects can stretch for miles, devouring vegetation and destroying crops. Locust experts say time is running out to get the swarms under control because they multiply so quickly.

(Image credit: Ben Curtis/AP)

Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef could face 'most extensive coral bleaching ever', scientists say

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 12:00pm

This year’s bleaching likely to be widespread although less intensive than previous outbreaks, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says

The Great Barrier Reef could be about to experience its most widespread outbreak of mass coral bleaching ever seen, according to an analysis from the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But the analysis, seen by Guardian Australia, says while bleaching could hit the entire length of the world heritage-listed reef, the impacts may not be as intense as previous major outbreaks.

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Categories: Environment

Device inspired by mangroves could help clear up flood water

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 12:00pm

Researchers say their synthetic system reproduces tree’s ability to desalinate water

A novel approach to removing salt from water, inspired by mangrove trees, has been revealed by researchers who say the system could offer an unusual approach to clearing up flood water.

Mangroves, like other trees, employ a system of water transport: it is thought evaporation of moisture from their leaves produces a negative pressure in their water-conducting tissues that helps to draw water into their roots and up their trunks.

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Categories: Environment

JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 9:27am

Leaked report for world’s major fossil fuel financier says Earth is on unsustainable trajectory

The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has warned clients that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity and that the planet is on an unsustainable trajectory, according to a leaked document.

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 9:05am

The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including chinstrap penguins and a koala up a tree

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Categories: Environment

Coal and wet wood burning: how will restrictions work?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 7:18am

Everything you need to know about the phasing out of the polluting domestic fuels in England

From next year, sales of the most polluting domestic fuels, coal and wet wood, will be phased out in England. What will this mean for households, the environment and the traditional roaring open fire?

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Categories: Environment

As Nobel prize winners, we demand Justin Trudeau stop the Teck Frontier mine | Nobel prize winners

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 4:30am

All new projects that enable fossil fuel growth are an affront to our state of climate emergency. It is a disgrace Canada is considering them

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland,

The year 2020 has already become one defined by devastating impacts of climate change. While we celebrated the ambition of countries – including Canada – that demanded the enshrinement of 1.5C in the Paris climate agreement, it is increasingly clear that even this is a compromise with deeply tragic implications for the world’s climate-vulnerable regions.

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Categories: Environment

Dry February sends California back to drought: 'This hasn't happened in 150 years'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/02/21 - 4:00am

February is typically one of the wettest months in California, but the state is parched, and there’s no moisture in the forecasts

San Francisco and Sacramento have not seen a drop of rain this February, and climate scientists are expecting that disturbing dry trend to hold, in what is typically one of the wettest months of the year for California.

“This hasn’t happened in 150 years or more,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “There have even been a couple wildfires – which is definitely not something you typically hear about in the middle of winter.”

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Categories: Environment

House coal and wet wood to be phased out by 2023 to cut pollution

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 11:10pm

Wood burning stoves and coal fires are the single largest sources of PM2.5

The sale of the most polluting fuels burned in household stoves and open fires will be phased out in England from next year to clean up the air, the government has said.

Plans to phase out the sale of house coal and wet wood have been confirmed as part of efforts to tackle tiny particle pollutants known as PM2.5, which can penetrate deep into lungs and the blood and cause serious health problems.

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Categories: Environment

Coalition ministers at odds over emissions target after Labor commits to net zero by 2050

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 7:15pm

Mathias Cormann says Coalition will ‘finalise longer-term target in time for Cop26’ but Angus Taylor commits only to ‘long-term strategy’

Senior Morrison government ministers are publicly at odds about whether Australia will take a long-term emissions reduction target to global climate talks in November after Labor unveiled a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

On Friday the finance minister Mathias Cormann confirmed the government “will be finalising a longer-term target in time for Cop26” but the emissions reduction minister would commit only to “a long-term strategy” despite repeatedly being asked about a new target.

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Categories: Environment

The government's sudden passion for climate technology is newfound and insincere | Simon Holmes a Court

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 5:34pm

The call for technology before action is a specious distraction designed to paper over the plan to take no action

If you’re committed to the Paris agreement – to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below two degrees above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees – then at a minimum, logically, scientifically, you’re committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

So far, at least 77 countries have committed to the target, as has every state and territory in Australia. The fact that prime minister Scott Morrison is pushing back hard against the calls for such a target sends yet another strong signal that his government still denies the need to tackle climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Flood insurance cover does not protect thousands of new homes

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 5:01pm

Thinktank says 70,000 new builds in high risk areas are not covered by government-backed scheme

Tens of thousands of families who bought new homes in flood-risk areas are facing “crippling” financial costs, as they are ineligible for cover under a government-backed insurance scheme, a study has found.

Research by the liberal conservative thinktank Bright Blue found that 70,000 homes had been built on land at the highest risk of flooding in England since 2009, including 20,000 that were not protected by flood defences.

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Categories: Environment

Canadian police had 'no authority' to search pipeline activists, says watchdog

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 2:12pm

Letter offers scathing criticism of police’s tactics against Wet’suwet’en people amid growing protest over gas pipeline

Canadian federal police had “no legal authority” to make ID checks and searches on activists seeking to block a pipeline project on Indigenous territory, according to newly released correspondence from the force’s oversight body.

The nine-page letter written by Michelaine Lahaie, chair of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, offers scathing criticism of the police’s continued use of tactics against Indigenous people which she had previously warned against.

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Categories: Environment

Colorado River flow shrinks from climate crisis, risking ‘severe water shortages’

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 12:00pm

Millions of people rely on the 1,450-mile waterway as increasing periods of drought and rising temperatures reduce flow of river

The flow of the Colorado River is dwindling due to the impacts of global heating, risking “severe water shortages” for the millions of people who rely upon one of America’s most storied waterways, researchers have found.

Increasing periods of drought and rising temperatures have been shrinking the flow of the Colorado in recent years and scientists have now developed a model to better understand how the climate crisis is fundamentally changing the 1,450-mile waterway.

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Categories: Environment

Bushfires highlight need for urgent climate action and 'a real target', Anthony Albanese says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 9:30am

Labor leader to argue setting goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 ‘should be as non-controversial in Australia as it is in most nations’

Labor has to take the initiative in defending Australia against the dangers of climate change because the summer of catastrophe has highlighted our national vulnerability and because business and the states are now demanding national leadership, according to Anthony Albanese.

As revealed by Guardian Australia, the Labor leader will use a speech to a progressive thinktank on Friday to commit the ALP to adopting a net-zero target by 2050 if it wins the next federal election, without the use of carryover credits from the Kyoto period.

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Categories: Environment

The mystery sickness bringing death and dismay to eastern Ethiopia

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/02/20 - 2:00am

As villagers in Somali region fall ill in unexplained circumstances, some locals fear gas exploration has tainted the local water supply

At first, 23-year-old Khadar Abdi Abdullahi’s eyes began turning yellow. Then the palms of his hands did the same. Soon he was bleeding from his nose, and from his mouth, and his body was swelling all over. Eventually he collapsed with fever. He later died.

A deadly sickness is spreading through villages near a Chinese natural gas project in Ethiopia’s Somali region, according to locals and officials who spoke to the Guardian. Many of Khadar’s neighbours have suffered the same symptoms. Like him, some died.

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Categories: Environment

Labor to announce net zero emissions target by 2050 and will oppose taxpayer funding of new coal power

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/02/19 - 7:14pm

Exclusive: Anthony Albanese is expected to confirm in speech on Friday that Labor will oppose using Kyoto carryover credits

Labor has locked in behind a target of net zero emissions by 2050, and will oppose taxpayer funding of new coal-fired power plants, in the party’s first major decisions about climate policy for the next federal election.

As well as adopting the clear 2050 target that Scott Morrison appears reluctant to sign up to, in part because of rolling combat within the Coalition, Guardian Australia understands shadow cabinet has also decided to oppose using carryover credits from the Kyoto period to meet future emissions reduction targets.

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Categories: Environment

Thousands of feral horses to be removed from Kosciuszko national park after bushfires

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/02/19 - 7:07pm

NSW government says relocation the priority but will not rule out some brumbies may be killed during largest removal of horses in park’s history

About 4,000 feral horses will be removed from Kosciuszko national park in New South Wales as part of an emergency response to protect the alpine ecosystem after large areas were devastated by bushfires.

The move would be the largest removal of horses in the park’s history, said the NSW environment minister, Matt Kean.

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Categories: Environment
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