Environment

Tackling degraded oceans could mitigate climate crisis - report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 5:01pm

Greenpeace says efforts to restore seas’ ecosystems would boost their capacity to absorb heat and store carbon

Halting overfishing and the plastic pollution of the oceans could help tackle the climate emergency by improving the degraded state of the world’s biggest carbon sink, a report has found.

The oceans absorb both the excess heat generated by our greenhouse gas emissions, and absorb carbon dioxide itself, helping to reduce the impacts of climate chaos. But we are rapidly reaching the limits of the oceans’ absorptive capacity as our pillage of marine life is disrupting vital ecosystems and the natural carbon cycle.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change now 'the most significant threat' to Australia's wet tropics

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 10:00am

Wet Tropics Management Authority offers grim assessment of impacts on region’s biodiversity and economy

Climate change is escalating as “the most significant threat” to Australia’s wet tropics world heritage area, with an update to parliament reporting the outlook for the bioregion is a cause of “great concern”.

The grim assessment of the critical north Queensland rainforest region is outlined in an annual snapshot of the protected area prepared by the Wet Tropics Management Authority, which urges greater national and international effort to address the causes of climate change.

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Categories: Environment

No, Koalas Aren't 'Functionally Extinct.' But They Are In Danger.

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 9:40am

Amid a catastrophic fire season in Australia, what do we know about the fate of the koala?

(Image credit: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

IFS warns Labour renationalisation may delay low-carbon economy

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 7:57am

John McDonnell rejects claim, saying thinktank is taking ‘nakedly ideological stance’

Labour’s plan to renationalise large chunks of the economy risks years of disruption that could delay Britain’s transition to a low-carbon economy, a thinktank has said.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that taking water, energy companies, the Royal Mail and railways under state control would be costly, complex and risky and said Labour might do better to tighten regulation instead.

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Categories: Environment

Middle Earth: the fight to save the Amazon's soul - video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 5:37am

In the heart of the Amazon rainforest, an alternative climate conference is taking place that brings together youth activists, indigenous leaders, scientists and forest dwellers. In a region known as Middle Earth, they are building a new alliance and demonstrating that the rainforest is central to life on Earth, even though Brazil backed out of hosting this year's official UN climate talks after the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president

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Categories: Environment

Trump deploys 'surge' of park rangers to patrol Mexican border

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 4:00am

Diverting rangers is a way to direct federal resources to the border without the need for congressional approval

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The Trump administration is sending a new “surge” of rangers from US national parks such as Zion, Yosemite and the National Mall to patrol the southern border for crossings by illegal immigrants.

Continuing a controversial policy initiated in 2018, rangers who work in law enforcement will be dispatched to Organ Pipe Cactus national monument on the Arizona and Mexico border as well as Big Bend national park on the border in south-west Texas.

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Categories: Environment

Raiders Of The Lost Crops: Scientists Race Against Time To Save Genetic Diversity

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 3:05am

Elephants, snakes and crocodiles? Researchers around the globe faced risky situations to gather wild relatives of key foods. That genetic pool could be vital to helping crops adapt to climate change.

(Image credit: L.M. Salazar/Crop Trust)

Categories: Environment

Montana Residents Ask Supreme Court To Allow Cleanup Beyond Superfund Requirements

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 3:05am

Montana property owners are suing BP to clean up arsenic pollution left over from mining. The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and businesses worry it could open them up to huge new costs.

(Image credit: Nora Saks/Montana Public Radio)

Categories: Environment

Revealed: 'monumental' NSW bushfires have burnt 20% of Blue Mountains world heritage area

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 7:42pm

More than 10% of forest in NSW national parks destroyed by fire this season, with the damage to Gondwana rainforest a ‘global tragedy’
‘Absolutely suffocating’: how are you affected by smoke haze from Australia’s bushfires?

More than 10% of the area covered by New South Wales national parks has been burned in this season’s bushfires, including 20% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area, state government data obtained by Guardian Australia has revealed.

The amount of bushland destroyed within NSW national parks dwarfs that of the entire previous fire season, when 80,000 hectares were lost.

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Categories: Environment

Wild seed collectors turn Indiana Jones in the search for resilient crops

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 5:06pm

More than 370 species were gathered during a six-year mission to widen the gene pool and ensure future food security

The seeds of more than 370 wild crop species have been collected as part of a six-year Indiana Jones-style mission to widen the gene pool of staple crops and ensure future global food security in increasingly unpredictable growing conditions.

A hundred scientists from 25 countries travelled by horse, canoe and even elephant to reach remote corners of the world in search of wild species of common agricultural crops such as rice, barley, beans and potatoes that billions of people rely on for basic nutrition.

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Categories: Environment

As Miami Faces Threats From Sea Level Rise, Some Worry About Climate Gentrification

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 4:10pm

As flooding grows worse in Miami's upscale beachfront areas, black residents living on higher ground worry they'll be displaced. The city is studying this climate gentrification.

Categories: Environment

Q&A: former Tuvalu PM says Scott Morrison denies climate change is happening in Pacific

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 1:36pm

Special episode of the ABC show featuring Pacific leaders was dominated by climate crisis and Australia’s response

The former prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, who hosted Pacific leaders including Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern at the Pacific Islands Forum in August has told a special Pacific edition of Q&A he was “taken aback” by Scott Morrison’s behaviour in the diplomatic meetings.

“Unfortunately prime minister Scott Morrison of Australia [was] expressing views that completely denies there is climate change happening already in the Pacific. As chairman I was taken a little bit aback,” he said.

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Categories: Environment

'Black wall' of redacted pages as UK fracking report finally released

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 12:14pm

People will wonder why there is so much the government wants to conceal, says Greenpeace

The government has heavily redacted a secret report into the fracking industry after it was forced to comply with a court order for its release.

The Whitehall report on the UK shale gas sector emerged on Monday after a years-long battle to uncover the hidden documents – but with three quarters of its pages blacked out. The 48-page report, seen by the Guardian, includes 37 pages that are entirely blacked out and only one – the front cover – that was left uncensored.

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Categories: Environment

US Congress commits to act on climate crisis, despite Donald Trump

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 12:09pm

Nancy Pelosi tells UN conference in Madrid that commitment is ‘iron-clad’

The US will take action on greenhouse gases and engage with other countries on the climate emergency despite Donald Trump’s rejection of international cooperation, a delegation from the US Congress has told the UN climate conference in Madrid.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, struck a defiant stance on Monday, declaring: “Congress’s commitment to action on the climate crisis is iron-clad. This is a matter of public health, of clean air, of clean water, of our children, of the survival of our economies, of the prosperity of the world, of national security, justice and equality. We now must deliver deeper cuts in emissions.”

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Categories: Environment

As Climate Talks Begin, U.N. Chief Warns Against 'Fiddling' While The Planet Burns

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 11:25am

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said despite Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, the U.S. is committed: "We're still in it." The sailing yacht with Greta Thunberg aboard will arrive soon.

(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Winter Storm Reaches Northeast, Smothering Region With 1st Major Snow Of The Season

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 11:10am

The post-Thanksgiving travel rush has ended, but the winter storm continues to bear down in the New England region, causing hundreds of flight cancellations and delays.

(Image credit: Bill Sikes/AP)

Categories: Environment

Hot weather raises risk of early childbirth, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 9:00am

Early births are associated with health and developmental concerns, adding to fears over climate crisis

Hot weather increases the risk of early childbirth, which in turn is linked to worse health and developmental outcomes for children, a major new study has found.

The report could have fresh implications for the impact of global heating on human health.

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Categories: Environment

As Climate Warnings Grow Dire, Energy Companies Face A 'New Frontier Of Threats'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 7:00am

Natural disasters, protests and stark scientific reports are heightening concern over climate change. And companies are under pressure from banks and investors to green their corporate images.

(Image credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Californians are turning to vending machines for safer water. Are they being swindled?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 4:00am

Vended water is many times more expensive than tap water. And there isn’t much evidence to show customers are getting the quality they’re paying for

Customers stream into the parking lot of a San Diego strip mall, lining up behind a windmill-shaped vending machine that fills their jugs for 25 to 35 cents a gallon.

“The water that comes from the tap, I don’t trust it, and it doesn’t taste good,” Miguel Martinez said on a recent afternoon, as he filled his bottle from the kiosk. Martinez lives in San Diego’s nearby Shelltown neighborhood, an area located minutes from downtown where many immigrant families have landed.

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Categories: Environment

25th U.N. Climate Change Conference Begins In Spain

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/12/02 - 3:06am

The two-week event had been due to take place in Chile, but because of social unrest in that country, the Spanish capital Madrid offered to host it instead.

Categories: Environment
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