Environment

Avian superhighway: UK’s ‘pitstop’ for migrating birds seeks Unesco status

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/04/15 - 4:00am

East Atlantic Flyway in England takes first step to becoming world heritage site alongside global wonders including the Galápagos and Kilimanjaro

High over the Essex coast, an ancient battle of life and death is playing out: a peregrine falcon scans the ground at Old Hall Marshes nature reserve where lapwings guard their nests. A “deceit” (the collective noun for lapwings), bolts into the air to chase away the bird of prey. The furious group of expecting parents nip at the falcon’s feathers until it loses interest.

“This is probably the wildest part of Essex,” says Kieren Alexander, the RSPB site manager, scanning the wetlands with his binoculars for more skirmishes after the lapwings settle.

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Categories: Environment

Lack of NI government puts net zero targets at risk, UK climate adviser warns

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/04/15 - 12:00am

Climate Change Committee says little hope of getting on track if Stormont power sharing not restored soon

The prolonged lack of devolved government in Northern Ireland threatens to seriously hamper the country’s ability to hit the ambitious emissions reduction targets enshrined by law in its climate act, the chief executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has said.

There has been no power-sharing government in place to advance work on meeting these commitments since Northern Ireland’s Climate Change Act, which includes a 2050 net zero target, was passed last spring.

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Categories: Environment

Man charged with foreign interference to remain behind bars until Monday – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/14 - 8:44pm

The 55-year-old businessman appeared via video link at Parramatta magistrates court. This blog is now closed

‘Really disturbing footage’: David Pocock responds to gas seep video

Senator David Pocock has called the video showing large methane gas bubbles active on the surface of Queensland’s Condamine River “really disturbing footage”.

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Categories: Environment

Turning out the lights: what is the legacy of the Liddell power station?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/14 - 8:00am

In the first of a two-part report, we look at the successes – and the costs – of what once was Australia’s largest power station

Jackson Channon, an electrician at the Liddell power station, counts “three generations of generation” who worked at the Hunter Valley site, including a grandad who drove cement trucks used to build it and parents who first met while on staff.

Come 29 April, Channon will attend the closure of the AGL Energy coal-fired facility, joining hundreds of current and former staff, community members and even artists marking the end of what was Australia’s biggest power plant when it was built 52 years ago.

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Categories: Environment

‘Like a boiling broth’: concerns after video of gas seep in Queensland river emerges

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/14 - 8:00am

Exclusive: Origin Energy says it has monitored the bubbling water since 2015, along with other seep locations

New video showing Queensland’s Condamine River “bubbling like a boiling broth” has raised alarm that methane seeps into the waterway are more widespread than previously revealed, amid the continued ramp-up of coal-seam gas drilling in the Darling Downs.

The footage, released on Saturday by environmental group Lock the Gate, shows large methane gas bubbles active on the surface of the river. The group says the phenomenon was filmed at a section of river more than 1km from where similar bubbles have been observed since 2012, prompting a decade of scientific investigation.

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Categories: Environment

Biden approves Alaska gas exports as critics condemn another ‘carbon bomb’

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/14 - 7:52am

Energy department gives green light to exports from liquefied natural gas program, after Willow project approved last month

The Biden administration on Thursday approved exports of liquefied natural gas from the Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, a document showed, prompting criticism from environmental groups over the approval of another “carbon bomb”.

The US energy department approved Alaska Gasline Development Corp’s (AGDC) project to export LNG to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement, mainly in Asia. Backers of the roughly $39bn project expect it to be operational by 2030 if it receives the required permits.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/04/14 - 12:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife photographs, including a green forest lizard, gentoo penguins and a wild beaver

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Categories: Environment

Sandstorms cover China, South Korea and Thailand in a yellow blanket of dust – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/13 - 9:48pm

Sandstorms whipped up from the Gobi desert have spread from northern China to Thailand and South Korea and as far east as Japan, causing a reduction in visibility and an increase in respiratory illness. There have been four sandstorms in the space of a month in China this year

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Categories: Environment

More than 7,500 days’ worth of raw sewage dumped in ministers’ constituencies

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/13 - 2:30pm

Labour analysis shows that raw sewage was discharged into cabinet ministers’ constituencies for 180,759 hours last year

More than 7,500 days’ worth of raw sewage was dumped in the constituencies of cabinet ministers last year, an analysis has found.

The Yorkshire seat of the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, was third on the leaderboard, with 3,455 dumping events, lasting 20,615 hours, Labour party analysis has found.

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Categories: Environment

From desert to wonderland: images show California’s striking superbloom

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/13 - 12:45pm

The parched state’s landscape is peppered with magnificent red, orange and yellow blooms that can be seen from space

California’s superblooms this year are so lush and so exuberant that they can be seen from space.

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies, a Colorado-based company, show striking images of bright orange, red, yellow and purple blooms across southern California.

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Categories: Environment

Coral-eating fish faeces may act as ‘probiotics’ for reefs, says study

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/13 - 10:22am

Corallivorous fish were regarded as harmful to coral but research suggests their poo could be keeping reefs healthy

The faeces of coral-eating fish may act as “probiotics” for reefs, according to a study.

Previously it was thought that corallivore – fish such as pufferfish, parrotfish and butterfly fish that eat coral – weakened marine surfaces. But new research suggests that by eating some parts of the coral and then pooing in different areas of the reef, they are part of a cycle that redistributes beneficial microbes that can help coral thrive.

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Categories: Environment

UK bird numbers continue to crash as government poised to break own targets

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2023/04/13 - 4:21am

Data shows 48% of species declined between 2015 and 2020 with woodland birds faring worst

Bird populations in the UK continue to crash, new data shows, as campaigners predict the government will fail to meet its own nature targets unless radical changes are made.

Statistics released by the government show that bird populations continue to decline in the long and short term. In 2021, on average the abundance of 130 breeding species was 12% below its 1970 value. Though much of this loss was between the late 1970s and the late 1980s, caused mostly by relatively steep declines in woodland and farmland birds, there was still a significant 5% decrease between 2015 and 2020.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s resources minister heaps warm praise on gas as industry PR spree masks doubts about future | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 6:43pm

Madeleine King says gas can help decarbonise the economy but not even big users of the fossil fuel are convinced

The words from the resources minister, Madeleine King, must have felt like a comforting salve to Australia’s gas industry.

In a speech last week in Western Australia, King told resource industry figures in Perth that gas would be indispensable as Australia and the region decarbonised.

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Categories: Environment

Calls for action on Colombia’s hippo scourge after animal dies in road crash

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 1:59pm

Dead creature was one of 150 descendants of four hippos imported by drug baron Pablo Escobar in 1980s

Colombia has logged its first hippopotamus-caused road traffic accident after a car crashed into one of the animals at high speed, leaving the vehicle mangled and the two-tonne mammal lying lifeless and bloodied across a highway.

The hippo was declared dead soon after the crash on Tuesday night in the municipality of Doradal on a highway connecting the cities of Bogotá and Medellín, local environmental authorities said.

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Categories: Environment

‘Toxic’ plastic fire forces 1,000 people to evacuate in Indiana

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 11:34am

The 14-acre site was being used to store plastics for recycling when the out of control blaze broke out on Tuesday

An evacuation order affecting more than 1,000 people was expected to remain in place through Wednesday around a large industrial fire in an Indiana city near the Ohio border, where crews worked through the night to douse piles of burning plastics, authorities said.

Multiple fires, which began burning on Tuesday afternoon, were still ablaze on Wednesday in a 14-acre (5.5-hectare) property containing various types of plastics.

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Categories: Environment

Visitors to New Forest to be fined up to £1,000 for petting ponies

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 10:55am

Rules will also include ban on campfires and barbecues as part of a crackdown on antisocial behaviour

Visitors to the New Forest face being fined up to £1,000 for petting ponies and for lighting campfires and barbecues, as part of measures to tackle antisocial behaviour.

The new rules, approved by New Forest district council, ban the petting and feeding of animals out of concern for their wellbeing and to prevent them from becoming aggressive.

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Categories: Environment

London’s mayor faces high court challenge over Ulez expansion

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 9:18am

Sadiq Khan to press on with plans for ultra-low emission zone despite challenge being allowed to proceed

A legal challenge to the expansion of London’s ultra-low emission zone will be heard in the high court later this year, after a judgment permitted councils to proceed.

The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, vowed to press on regardless with plans to extend the Ulez, which he has argued is needed to tackle toxic air that is responsible for thousands of premature deaths a year.

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Categories: Environment

Biden team proposes strict vehicle pollution limits to boost EV sales

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 6:12am

Proposal would require two of every three new vehicles sold in US to be electric by 2032

The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed strict new automobile pollution limits that would require that all-electric vehicles account for as many as two of every three new vehicles sold in the US by 2032 in a plan that would transform the US auto industry.

Under the proposed regulation, released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), greenhouse gas emissions for the 2027 through 2032 model years for passenger vehicles would be limited to even stricter levels than the auto industry agreed to in 2021.

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Categories: Environment

‘They’ll be erased’: New Mexico races to save its ancient irrigation canals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/04/12 - 3:00am

New Mexico’s ancient water systems nurtured its rural farmlands through climate change. But after last year’s wildfires, there’s little time left to save them

Jimmy Sanchez knows that making things grow during a megadrought isn’t impossible – it just requires a bit of creativity.

In 1882, his ancestors constructed a 24-mile-long ditch to bring water from headwaters in the nearby mountains to the bone-dry foothills where they lived in Holman, New Mexico, allowing their village to sustain fruit, vegetables, and livestock.

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Categories: Environment

Only 2% of New Zealand’s large lakes are in good health, bleak report finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/11 - 4:17pm

The number of cows has nearly doubled in a generation, and the resulting fertiliser and irrigation needs are having a devastating impact

In tourism adverts and on movie screens, Aotearoa has sold its pristine landscapes, churning alpine waterfalls and bright jade-braided rivers to the world, under the tagline “100% pure New Zealand”.

A new report, however, reveals the dire state of many of the country’s fresh waterways: contaminated by thousands of sewage overflows, flooded with nutrient pollution, blooming with toxic algae, risking public health and rendered unswimmable to the communities that have lived by them for years.

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Categories: Environment
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