Environment

White House Announces New Fuel Efficiency Standards For Trucks, Buses

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 1:33pm

The Obama administration has announced new fuel efficiency standards for trucks and buses.

Categories: Environment

Australia’s rarest tortoises get new home to save them from climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 1:31pm

Natural range of critically endangered western swamp tortoise increasingly untenable owing to reduced rainfall

Twenty-four of Australia’s rarest tortoises have been released outside their natural range because climate change has dried out their remaining habitat.

The natural range of the critically endangered western swamp tortoise, Pseudemydura umbrina, has shrunk to two isolated wetlands in Perth’s ever-growing outer suburbs, and a herpetological expert, Dr Gerald Kuchling, said reduced rainfall and a lowered groundwater table made those areas increasingly untenable.

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Categories: Environment

World's hottest month shows challenges global warming will bring

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 12:31pm

July was hotter than any month globally since records began – but some areas, such as the Middle East, suffer more than others

In Siberia, melting permafrost released anthrax that had been frozen in a reindeer carcass for decades, starting a deadly outbreak. In Baghdad, soaring temperatures forced the government to shut down for days at a time. In Kuwait, thermometers hit a record 54C (129F).

July was the hottest month the world has endured since records began in 1880, scientists have said, and brought a painful taste of the troubles people around the world may have to grapple with as global warming intensifies. Results compiled by Nasa showed the month was 0.84C hotter than the 1951-1980 average for July, and 0.11C hotter than the previous record set in July 2015.

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Categories: Environment

Obama tightens emissions and fuel efficiency rules for heavy duty trucks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 11:30am

Second phase of new benchmark will cut equivalent of greenhouse gases emitted by electricity and power from all US residences in one year, officials say

US trucks will produce 10% less carbon dioxide and consume 10% less fuel within a decade under the last major plank of Barack Obama’s climate policy.

The second phase of a new benchmark for medium- and large-sized trucks will cut more than 1bn metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and 2bn barrels of oil use, the Environment Protection Agency announced on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Greener alternatives to Hinkley Point C | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:45am

Simon Jenkins writes that “To question China’s good intentions in financing the power station [at Hinkley Point] is silly. It is a French-built plant, and the idea that Beijing might contrive to embed and then activate some doomsday bug is absurd” (Trade with China is a good thing. But Hinkley Point is a dud, 11 August).

Not that absurd. The China General Nuclear Group (CGN), which is involved in financing Hinkley Point, expects to build a new nuclear station with its own reactor at Bradwell in return for its involvement at Hinkley. This was agreed by David Cameron and Xi Jinping last October.

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Categories: Environment

Piranhas with human-like teeth in Michigan fuel concern over invasive fish

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:33am

The large, South American tropical fish were probably illegally dumped in the Great Lakes by pet-owners who no longer wanted to keep them in aquariums

Three large vegetarian piranhas with human-like teeth have been discovered in Michigan, amid growing concern among wildlife officials over tropical and invasive fish infiltrating the Great Lakes region.

Over the past month, two red-bellied pacu piranhas have been caught in Lake St Clair and one other in the Port Huron area in Michigan. They were probably illegally dumped by people who didn’t want to keep them in their aquariums any longer.

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Categories: Environment

'Roaring Wind' Examines Extreme Weather, And The Power Of Air

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:26am

Biologist Bill Streever sailed from Texas to Guatemala while doing research for his new book, And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind. He says the wind was working against him "most of the time."

Categories: Environment

'Googly-eyed' stubby squid spotted off California coast – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 9:41am

Researchers have captured rare footage of the stubby squid – a purple-colored species with large eyes – during an exploration voyage off Santa Monica, California. The somewhat rare species, which looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, spends its life on the seafloor, burrowing into the sand for camouflage and using its large eyes to spot incoming prey, such as shrimp and small fish

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Categories: Environment

Louisiana woman visits evacuated home after floods to rescue cats – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 8:38am

Southern Louisiana has been ravaged by a slow-moving rainstorm that the National Weather Service has called a ‘1,000-year’ disaster. Thousands of people have evacuated their homes and at least eight people are dead as of Tuesday morning. The historic storm began in the corner of Florida’s gulf coast in the first week of August

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Categories: Environment

High pesticide levels on oilseed rape crops harm wild bees, scientists prove

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 8:00am

Species that feed most on the bright yellow flowers of the crop treated with controversial neonicotinoids have fallen by as much as 30%

Pesticides used on oilseed rape crops, whose bright yellow flowers have become an increasingly common sight across the British countryside, are harming native populations of wild bees, scientists have conclusively proved.

Species that feed most on the flowers of the now-profitable cash crop used for vegetable oils and animal fodder are down by as much as 30%, according to the wide-ranging study published in the journal Nature.

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Categories: Environment

Irish Times subeditor comes up with a perfect pun

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 7:13am

Praise for the journalist who crafted a superb headline over a routine story

I’m about to take a two-day break but I can’t go without mentioning a superb headline I came across in today’s Irish Times.

It was over a fairly routine story about research at Galway university into the declining numbers of the “dark European honey bee” (apis mellifera mellifera, in case you wondered).

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Categories: Environment

Louisiana floods: state begins recovery from devastating storm – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 6:26am

Historic flash floods in the southern state have left at least seven people dead and caused more than 20,000 people to be rescued. The storm has put another 12,000 people into temporary shelters. Residents were pulled from water-logged homes, flooded cars and at-risk hospitals across the southern portion of the state

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Categories: Environment

Louisiana left stunned by damage from '1,000-year' flood: 'It just kept coming'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 5:55am

In a state that stays prepared for hurricanes, the devastating floods that have left tens of thousands homeless seemed to creep up almost without notice

An enormous and slow-moving rainstorm has laid waste to much of southern Louisiana, which the National Weather Service has called a “1,000-year” disaster.

By Monday afternoon, more than 20,000 residents had been rescued from the historic floodwaters, and as many as seven had died.

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Categories: Environment

Second phase of world's biggest offshore windfarm gets go-ahead

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 5:46am

Multibillion-pound Hornsea Project Two, 55 miles off Grimsby coast, would see 300 turbines span an area five times size of Hull

Plans for the world’s biggest offshore windfarm off the Yorkshire coast are to be expanded to an area five times the size of Hull after being approved by ministers.

The multibillion-pound Hornsea Project Two would see 300 turbines – each taller than the Gherkin – span more than 480 sq km in the North Sea.

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Categories: Environment

Disasters like Louisiana floods will worsen as planet warms, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 3:00am

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to classify disaster as the eighth flood considered to be a once-in-every-500-years event in the US in a year

The historic and devastating floods in Louisiana are the latest in a series of heavy deluges that some climate scientists warn will become even more common as the world continues to warm.

On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) is set to classify the Louisiana disaster as the eighth flood considered to be a once-in-every-500-years event to have taken place in the US in little over 12 months.

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Categories: Environment

Young Londoners launch independent air pollution billboard campaign

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 3:00am

Artists teamed with photographer and volunteers to produce posters that will warn young people of air quality on some of the capital’s most polluted streets

Young Londoners concerned about air pollution from traffic have launched an independent billboard campaign to warn their peers of the dangers of diesel fumes.

Artists Vasilisa Forbes and Claire Matthews, together with photographer Terry Paul and a group of 16 to 25-year-old volunteers, have printed 12 large 20 x 12-foot posters which will appear for months on some of London’s most polluted streets.

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Categories: Environment

Amazon chiefs visit British Museum as part of dam-building protest

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 2:05am

Leaders of the Munduruku people will be shown the storeroom’s head-dresses and other objects made by their tribe more than 150 years ago

Amazonian leaders, in Britain to protest against the construction of several large dams which they say will destroy the lives of thousands of indigenous people, will on Tuesday be shown head-dresses and other objects made by their tribe more than 150 years ago.

The two chiefs of the Munduruku civilisation, which has flourished peacefully for centuries by fishing and farming along the banks of the great Tapajós river and its tributaries in the rainforests of central Brazil, will visit the massive storeroom of the British Museum in London, where a collection of 50 objects brought to Britain by a Victorian merchant are kept.

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Categories: Environment

Why aren't ships using wind-power to cut their climate footprint?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/08/15 - 9:00pm

Industry claims to have no control over its rising emissions, blaming the growth in global trade, but low-carbon alternatives such as wind power do exist

MS Estraden looks, on first glance, like a normal cargo ship. Just another one of the 50,000 vessels transporting pretty much everything we buy, sell and consume.

But on closer inspection, ship-spotting enthusiasts will notice two large cylinders rising from the deck. These are rotating devices that capture wind and help propel the ship forward. It is technology first trialled back in the 1920s, but only now brought into commercial use.

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Categories: Environment

July 2016 was world's hottest month since records began, says Nasa

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/08/15 - 6:01pm

Nasa’s results, which combine sea-surface temperature and air temperature on land, show July was 10th month in a row to break monthly temperature record

Last month was the hottest month in recorded history, beating the record set just 12 months before and continuing the long string of monthly records, according to the latest Nasa data.

The past nine months have set temperature records for their respective months and the trend continued this month to make 10 in a row, according to Nasa. July broke the absolute record for hottest month since records began in 1880.

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Categories: Environment

Electricity retailers use lack of competition to exploit consumers, analysis says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/08/15 - 2:57pm

AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia dominating the market, with consumers suffering most in South Australia

Electricity retailers are price-gouging consumers in Australia, with the big three retailers exploiting a lack of competition and the complexity of electricity bills, according to the results of a new analysis.

The situation was worst in South Australia, where retailers were making an average margin of $425 a year more than they did in the regulated market in the Australian Capital Territory, according to the report produced by the economics consultancy CME and commissioned by GetUp.

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Categories: Environment
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