Environment

TTIP proposal casts doubt on G20 climate pledge, leaked EU draft shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/07/13 - 3:23am

Draft proposal reveals new loopholes on a pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies within a decade

Trade negotiators in Brussels are proposing new loopholes on a G20 pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies within a decade, in the latest leaked TTIP proposals seen by the Guardian.

The EU’s draft text for a trade and sustainable development chapter also appears to draw an equivalence between the need to prevent trade distortions and the fight against climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Global warming implicated in dinosaur extinction | Howard Lee

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/07/13 - 3:00am

New technique for measuring ancient temperatures finds two pulses of climate warming at the end of the Cretaceous

In a paper published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the University of Michigan and the University of Florida show that there were big jumps in climate warming when the dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous. This brings the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in line with the other mass extinction events, which occurred at times of abrupt and sometimes extreme climate change (including the end-Permian, the end-Triassic, the Toarcian, and others).

By employing a relatively new ancient-temperature-measuring technique called “carbonate clumped isotope paleothermometry,” scientists have uncovered an 8ºC jump in seawater temperatures that unfolded rapidly, at the same time as massive CO2 emissions from the Indian Deccan Traps eruptions (“rapidly” here means anything less than about 30,000 years, possibly centuries; such are the limits of time resolution). They also found a second, smaller spike in warming about 150,000 years later, at around the same time as the asteroid impact at Chicxulub in Mexico.

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Categories: Environment

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Egypt in penultimate stop of its world tour

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/07/13 - 2:13am

Solar-powered plane will next make a final flight to Abu Dhabi where its round-the-world journey will end

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Cairo on Wednesday for its penultimate stop as the solar-powered plane nears the end of its marathon tour around the world.

After the two-day flight from Spain, just one final leg lies between it and its final destination, Abu Dhabi, where it started its odyssey in March last year.

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Categories: Environment

India to meet climate goals earlier than promised, says outgoing climate chief

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/07/13 - 1:49am

Prakash Javadekar says India is now a world leader in tackling climate change and other countries need to follow its example, reports Climate Home

India could meet its carbon reduction goals earlier than expected, the country’s outgoing climate minister told a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday.

By 2030, the world’s fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter plans to cut the carbon intensity of GDP up to 35% on 2005 levels and boost the share of clean power in the energy mix to 40%.

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Categories: Environment

WWF buys shark fishing licence on Great Barrier Reef to scrap it

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/07/13 - 1:05am

Conservation group seeks help to pay for the $100,000 licence which lets owner drag 1.2km nets along length of the reef

A conservation group has taken the unusual step of buying a commercial shark fishing licence on the Great Barrier Reef, and will retire it, saving the sharks that it would otherwise be used to catch.

WWF said it was now seeking funds to cover the cost of the $100,000 licence, which gives the owner the right to drag a 1.2km net anywhere along the length of the Great Barrier Reef, targeting sharks. It can also be used for fishing with lines to target other species.

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Categories: Environment

Badger cull expansion 'flies in face of scientific evidence'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/07/13 - 12:55am

Experts call on new prime minister Theresa May to halt ‘failed’ policy, calling it ‘risky, costly, and inhumane’

The imminent expansion of England’s controversial badger cull “flies in the face of scientific evidence”, according to the nation’s foremost experts, who have called on new prime minister, Theresa May, to halt the “failed” policy.

The scientists say the badger cull, intended to curb tuberculosis in cattle, is a “risky, costly, and inhumane” distraction and may actually increase TB infections.

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Categories: Environment

Action to cut food waste gains momentum across Europe

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 11:00pm

France’s ban on supermarkets throwing away unwanted food has led to greater calls for laws on food waste, campaigners say

Efforts to force supermarkets and other businesses to waste less food are gaining momentum following France’s ban on supermarkets throwing out unwanted food, according to campaigners.

Earlier this month MEPs voted 600 to 48 to bring forward laws to end unfair trading practices by supermarkets, many of which lead to overproduction and food being wasted.

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Categories: Environment

Failure to teach cooking at school 'contributing to £12bn a year food waste'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 11:00pm

Head of government advisory group warns that generations of young people in the UK lack basic cooking skills

A failure to teach children to cook at school is one of the reasons to blame for UK householders throwing away £12bn of food each year, according to a former leading government adviser on food waste.

Liz Goodwin, until last week chief executive of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), said that while avoidable food waste had been cut by a fifth in the past decade, reductions had stopped.

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Categories: Environment

How did Denmark become a leader in the food waste revolution?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 11:00pm

From community food banks to food waste kitchens and even a supermarket, the Danes have embraced the concept

A six-year-old sniffs asparagus suspiciously as his father grapples with a grapefruit and several women admire a selection of cabbages, in search of a bargain.

“Everyone pays 20 kroner (about £2) for a reusable bag to fill with whatever they like,” says Bettina Bach, 31, of Bo Welfare, a social housing project in the Danish city of Horsens that runs the food waste pop-up shop.

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Categories: Environment

Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 10:00pm

The demand for ‘perfect’ fruit and veg means much is discarded, damaging the climate and leaving people hungry

Americans throw away almost as much food as they eat because of a “cult of perfection”, deepening hunger and poverty, and inflicting a heavy toll on the environment.

Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards, according to official data and interviews with dozens of farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials.

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Categories: Environment

Kayaker captures video of humpback whales feasting in San Francisco Bay

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 6:15pm

The feeding frenzy lasted roughly half an hour before the mammals swam back to the Pacific Ocean under the Golden Gate Bridge

A kayaker captured video of humpback whales feasting on fish in a bay with the San Francisco skyline as a backdrop.

Lyrinda Snyderman of Berkeley, California, says she was out with three other kayakers to circle nearby Angel Island on Sunday when the group spotted the whales.

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Categories: Environment

Not In My Landfill: Georgia Residents Fight Plan To Store Toxic Coal Ash

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 1:26pm

In 2014, after disastrous spills and opposition from environmentalists, the Environmental Protection Agency imposed new rules on the storage of coal ash. Now utilities are planning to close down the ponds that hold the toxic ash, but it has to go somewhere. Environmentalists say the safest place for it is in securely lined landfills, such as the municipal landfill in Wayne County, Ga. Locals are fighting the plan, but there's not much they can do.

Categories: Environment

Donald Trump would be world's only national leader to reject climate science

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 11:52am

Sierra Club report finds science of climate change accepted by leaders of every country recognized by US – including Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong-un

Donald Trump would be the only national leader in the world to dismiss the science of climate change should he become president, putting him out of step even with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea.

The potential isolation of the US on climate change has been laid bare by a new Sierra Club report which found universal acceptance of climate science among the leaders of the 195 countries recognized by the US state department.

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Categories: Environment

Drones to unleash vaccine-laced pellets in bid to save endangered ferrets

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 9:17am

US Fish and Wildlife Service to target diseased prairie dogs, food for the ferrets, via specially designed drones that shoot pellets in three directions at once

The US government is set to unleash drones that fire vaccine-laced pellets in a bid to save the endangered black-footed ferret, a species that is facing a plague epidemic across America’s great plains.

The US Fish and Wildlife (FWS) has developed a plan to bombard ferret habitat in Montana with the vaccine, which will be administered via specially designed drones that will be able to shoot pellets in three directions simultaneously.

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Categories: Environment

Global warming is shifting Earth's clouds, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 2:13am

Climate Central: The warming of the planet over the past few decades has shifted a key band of clouds poleward and increased the heights of clouds tops

The reaction of clouds to a warming atmosphere has been one of the major sources of uncertainty in estimating exactly how much the world will heat up from the accumulation of greenhouse gases, as some changes would enhance warming, while others would counteract it.

The study, detailed Monday in the journal Nature, overcomes problems with the satellite record and shows that observations support projections from climate models. But the work is only a first step in understanding the relationship between climate change and clouds, with many uncertainties still to untangle, scientists not involved with the research said.

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Categories: Environment

Is Burning Trees Still Green? Some Experts Now Question Biomass

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 2:02am

Biomass was rising a decade ago as a carbon-neutral energy. But the industry is sputtering as oil and natural gas booms, and some scientists are questioning if it's actually good for the environment.

Categories: Environment

Europe's oil imports 'dependent on unstable countries'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 1:47am

Oil from geopolitically unstable regions such as Russia, Libya and Iraq accounts for 80% of Europe’s imports, report shows

Europe is dependent on foreign and often geopolitically unstable regions such as Russia, Libya and Iraq for 80% of its imported oil, according to a report.

Rosneft and Lukoil are the two companies benefiting most from the EU’s current oil imports regime, supplying a third of the continent’s imported crude in 2015, according to the new study. Statoil and Saudi Aramco provided another 20%, with Chevron and Exxon accounting for 12%.

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Categories: Environment

US senators detail a climate science 'web of denial' but the impacts go well beyond their borders

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/12 - 1:03am

Australians have been both helpers and victims of the fossil fuelled web of climate science denial being detailed in the US Senate

By the middle of this week, about 20 Democratic senators in the US will have stood up before their Congress to talk about the fossil fuelled machinery of climate science denial.

The senators are naming the fossil fuel funders, describing the machinery and calling out the characters that make up a “web of denial”.

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Categories: Environment

Eagle attacks boy at birds of prey show in Alice Springs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/11 - 11:43pm

Child immediately treated for superficial wounds by first aid officers as bird removed from show

A wedge-tailed eagle that was part of a birds of prey show at Alice Springs Desert Park flew at a young boy and latched on to his head with its talons instead of flying over to a perch as it had been trained to.

The moment was captured by a visitor to the park, Christine O’Connell, who uploaded an image on to Instagram of the eagle seemingly attempting to drag away the boy, who was wearing a green hoodie.

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Categories: Environment

UK poorly prepared for climate change impacts, government advisers warn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/11 - 10:00pm

A 2,000 page report by Committee on Climate Change predicts global warming will hit UK with deadly heatwaves, more flooding and water shortages

The UK is poorly prepared for the inevitable impacts of global warming in coming decades, including deadly annual heatwaves, water shortages and difficulties in producing food, according the government’s official advisers.

Action must be taken now, according to the report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published on Tuesday, with more widespread flooding and new diseases among the risks in most urgent need of addressing.

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Categories: Environment
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