Environment

Banned Japanese whalers expect Southern Ocean hunt to resume

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 11:55pm

The Institute of Cetacean Research has indicated that whaling could resume despite the International Court of Justice ruling

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

What could David Beckhams BBC film say about the Brazilian Amazon?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 3:54pm

Documentary starring ex-footballer is an excellent opportunity to portray the reality of life in the rainforest

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

When Is Bottled Air Worth $860? When It's A Work Of Art — And Protest

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 1:00pm

A jar of fresh air from southern France, bottled by a Beijing artist, was sold at auction in China for $860. AP correspondent Didi Tang says it's one of many works of pollution protest art in China.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

South Texas Oil Brings Boom — As Well As Pollution's 'Toxic Soup'

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 1:00pm

While the South Texas oil boom has meant a flood of cash and people to formerly impoverished communities, there have also been serious repercussions — namely, rampant air pollution.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

Country diary: New Forest: Butcher's broom berries asked to be noticed, but approach with caution

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 1:00pm
New Forest: The shrub's fine spines are a prickly sign of being in ancient woodland

Scarlet is not a springtime forest colour, so the two gleaming berries by the track brought us to a standstill. Set within the foliage of a small dark green shrub, they caught the sunlight and asked to be noticed. Their parent needs to be approached with caution. Anyone pulling the branches aside to get a better look soon regrets it. They immediately encounter spines so fine they can hardly be seen, but, oh, can they be felt. This is butcher's broom, a sure sign we are in a stretch of ancient woodland. A tease from beginning to end, who'd guess that this plant, once so aptly named "knee holly" in some country areas, is a member of the lily family? Even its "leaves" are not leaves at all. The true leaves are just papery scales on the stem. What appear to be leaves are really flattened side shoots that broaden out to look like them, and it's from the middle of these that a single greenish flower forms, not much bigger than a match head.

We are on our way to see a fine display of daffodils drifted through an area of woodland. The filtering sun highlights both the blooms and the undulations as the ground drops away, creating an enchanting overview. As we watch, a roe deer breaks cover and bounds into the far distance, the broad white patch on its rump telling us what it is. Perhaps its abrupt arrival at the top of the slope was unsettling. Almost at once, a fox appears and works its way along the edge of the trees. It pauses, nose pointed towards us as though catching our scent from several hundred metres, before vanishing into a field we only glimpse between the trunks.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 8:37am

Cushion starfish, space cherries and an anteater's tongue are among the pick of this week's images from the natural world

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Easter eggs: Sainsbury's to offer dedicated packaging recycling bins

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 7:31am
Customers will be able to recycle all elements of discarded Easter eggs packaging in the first facility of its kind Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Songbirds in decline a tragedy for Britain's culture, as well as its environment

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 6:37am
This is the season of songbirds the nightingales and skylarks whose voices resonate in poetry and music as well as nature. But with their numbers in freefall, could we lose them for ever?

It all began at two minutes to six on May Day last year, when the sonorous tones of Sir David Attenborough combined with the equally unmistakable call of the cuckoo, heralding the start of Tweet of the Day.

The response to the Radio 4 series, produced by my old colleagues at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol, surprised even the programme-makers themselves. Despite the early slot, millions of listeners have regularly tuned in to get their daily dose of birdsong.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Climate imbalance disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 6:00am
Contrarian papers tend to be rebutted quickly in peer-reviewed literature, but receive disproportionate media attention

A new paper has been published in the journal Cosmopolis entitled Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of research on human-induced climate change. The paper was authored by John Abraham, myself, and our colleagues John Cook, John Fasullo, Peter Jacobs, and Scott Mandia. Each of the authors has experience in publishing peer-reviewed responses to flawed contrarian papers.

Despite the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming supported by peer-reviewed research, expert opinion, the IPCC reports, and National Academies of Science and other scientific organizations from around the world, a large segment of the population remains unconvinced on the issue. A new commentary by Edward Maibach, Teresa Myers and Anthony Leiserowitz in Earth's Future notes that most people don't know there is a scientific consensus about human-caused climate change, which undermines public engagement on the subject.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Post-IPCC, we have missed the glimmers of hope on the ground

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 5:45am
When it comes to climate change and food security, we're accustomed to bad news. But there are a few good stories, too

This story follows on from another post about what the latest IPCC report says about climate impacts on our food supply.

***

Last week, development agency experts gathered in London to examine the impacts of climate change on food systems, as projected by the latest IPCC Working Group II report. The event, organised by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), a research consortium, honed in on a CCAFS paper that summarised what the IPCC report had to say.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Hollywood stars to 'put human face on climate change' in ambitious TV series

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 5:02am
Producers hope 'emotion' of celebrities like Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger will connect with ordinary Americans

A star-studded cast of Hollywood actors will for the first time "put a human face on climate change" in an ambitious new US television series, the show's executive producer says.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Don't blame camels for global warming, study concludes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 4:03am

Camelid family of animals produce significantly less methane cattle, sheep and goats, reports Climate News Network

Never accuse science of neglecting the smallest and apparently least significant detail in its efforts to understand fully how the Earth and all that's in it keeps going.

One of the latest arcane revelations comes from scientists in Switzerland, who describe in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS One why we should not heap blame on camels for adding to the methane already in the atmosphere.

Camels and their camelid relatives, llamas, guanacos, alpacas, vicuñas, dromedaries and Bactrian camels do produce methane, which is more than 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. But they produce significantly less of it than ruminants like cattle, sheep and goats.

When they are digesting their food, ruminants emit large quantities of methane, around 20% of global methane emissions. So far the assumption has been that camels, with their similar digestive systems, produce the same amount of the gas.

But now researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have shown that camels release less methane than ruminants.

Ruminants and camelids are similar but not identical. Both groups have stomachs with several chambers, enabling them to regurgitate food from one chamber in order to reduce it in size by renewed chewing. That is why people had assumed till now that camelids and ruminants produce similar amounts of methane. But the researchers have concluded that in absolute terms camels release less methane than cows and sheep of comparable body size.

It is slightly more complicated than that: if you compare methane production with the amount of what the team calls "converted feed", then methane releases are the same in both groups. But the amount of converted feed is what matters.

The research may be less esoteric than it at first appears. Working with Zurich zoo and private camel keepers, the researchers measured methane production in three types of camelids. They found that all three had a lower metabolism than ruminants because they eat less.

One of the report's authors, Dr Marcus Clauss, a veterinary surgeon from the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Zurich, said: "For each unit of digested food, ruminants and camelids produce the same amount of methane. But camels generally have a lower metabolism and hence eat less than domestic ruminants. So the total amount of digested fibre per day is lower in camelids, hence the total amount of methane produced is also lower."

The authors say the camelids' lower metabolism may be important for countries with lots of camels, like the dromedaries of the Middle East and Australia, or the alpacas and llamas of South America. But they do not advocate a switch from beef and lamb to camel meat.

Dr Clauss says: "Personally, I do not think this has relevance to agricultural systems, because there are many other things to consider. For example, I am sure you could not produce the same amount of meat in the same time from a camel as you can from a steer."

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

At-risk cities hold solutions to climate change: UN report

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 4:02am
Smart choices by cities such as Miami in planning and investment could hold key to cutting emissions, IPCC draft says

It is already taking shape as the 21st century urban nightmare: a big storm hits a city like Shanghai, Mumbai, Miami or New York, knocking out power supply and waste treatment plants, washing out entire neighbourhoods and marooning the survivors in a toxic and foul-smelling swamp.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

London's smog crisis was just an average day in many Chinese cities | Jennifer Duggan

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 3:48am
London's high levels of air pollution made headlines, but cannot be compared to what afflicts Beijing and other cities

The recent bout of smog in London led to much warranted public outcry and to comparisons being made with Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Much was made of the fact that on a particular day, air pollution levels in some parts of London were higher than those in Beijing, a city plagued with air pollution problems.

However, while London's smog was of serious concern and something that the government should take measures to prevent, it cannot be compared to the high levels of air pollution that routinely afflict China's big cities. The comparisons were made on what was a good day in Beijing. The levels of around 150 on the Air Quality Index which were experienced in London are an average day for many of China's cities.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Is shaming bad cycling on film a good idea?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 3:06am

Recording cyclists jumping red lights and cycling on the pavement won't help cycling's PR problem

This week another video showing rogue road behaviour from a cyclists helmet cam went viral.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How much of the world's carbon reserves can we burn? - interactive

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 2:29am

Burning remaining fossil fuel reserves will release carbon dioxide that will trigger different warming scenarios

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

UN: greenhouse gas emissions nearly doubled in first decade of 21st century

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 1:51am
Leaked draft shows emissions grew nearly twice as fast from 2000-10 as in previous 30 years despite economic slowdown

Greenhouse gas emissions grew nearly twice as fast over the past decade as in the previous 30 years, bringing the world closer to warming that will bring dramatic and dangerous changes to the climate, according to a leaked draft of a United Nations' report.

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the growth rate in emissions over the from 2000-10 was higher than expected even after taking into account the economic slowdown.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Future-proof UK coastal areas against rising sea levels, says National Trust

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 1:05am

Charity says many of its sites have been battered by storms and hit hard by high tides this winter

A clear national strategy is "urgently needed" to help future-proof coastal areas from rising sea levels and extreme weather, according to a report published by the National Trust on Friday.

The trust, one of the UK's biggest coastal owners, says many of its sites have been "battered" by storms and "hit hard" by high tides this winter.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australias beaches littered with 150m pieces of rubbish, says CSIRO

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2014/04/10 - 8:58pm

Remote beaches are the least tidy and 80% of rubbish is from land-based sources such as plastic drink bottles

An estimated 150m pieces of rubbish are strewn upon Australias beaches, with many remote locations far less tidy than beaches close to cities, a CSIRO study has found.

The government science agency has been surveying more than 175 beaches around Australias coastline since 2011 to assess the extent of human-caused waste. The project, which concludes in June, has found that when population factors are accounted for, the more remote beaches contain a proportionally greater amount of rubbish than those next to large population centres.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

What's A Breath Of Fresh Air Worth? In China, About $860

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2014/04/10 - 2:06pm

A Beijing artist who collected a jar of air from Provence, France, sold it at auction "to question China's foul air and express dissatisfaction."

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment
Syndicate content