Environment

Massive ancient undersea landslide discovered off Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 8:39am

Scientists were amazed to find remains of 300,000-year-old sediment slip while conducting 3D mapping of deep sea floor

Evidence of a massive undersea landslide that took place more than 300,000 years ago has been discovered off the Great Barrier Reef.

Scientists discovered remains of the slip off Innisfail on Australia’s north Queensland coast.

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Categories: Environment

Elephants in crisis: MPs accuse government and Europe of dragging their feet over ivory ban

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 7:29am

‘This is the last chance saloon,’ say politicians and campaigners pushing for urgent action

The UK and EU, the world’s largest exporters of legal ivory, have been accused of not doing enough to save Africa’s fast disappearing elephant populations.

“This is the last chance saloon to save elephants,” said UK Labour MP Justin Madders at a meeting at Westminster Hall on Monday where more than 30 MPs on both sides of the chamber debated a public petition of 107,000 signatories calling for government to close its domestic ivory markets.

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Categories: Environment

Data linking death with air pollution inconclusive, says Indian minister

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 5:46am

Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave overlooks Greenpeace research stating 1.2m Indians die each year from airborne pollutants

India’s environment minister has been accused of playing down the health risks of the country’s extremely polluted air by claiming, contrary to research, that there is no conclusive data available linking “death exclusively with air pollution”.

The environmental group Greenpeace released a report in January citing Global Burden of Disease (GBD) research that estimated nearly 1.2 million Indians die each year due to high concentrations of airborne pollutants such as dust, mould spores, arsenic, lead, nickel and the carcinogen chromium.

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Categories: Environment

Don't Call It Wheat: An Environmentally Friendly Grain Takes Root

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 5:00am

Researchers have developed a new wheat-like species called Salish Blue that grows back year after year, which not only cuts down on work for farmers, but helps prevent erosion and agricultural waste.

(Image credit: Eilís O'Neill/KUOW/EarthFix)

Categories: Environment

Cod in a cold climate – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 4:46am

Fish is Norway’s most valuable export, more so than its vast oil fields. Two-thirds of UK cod comes from the Barents Sea. As the climate changes and the sea grows warmer the fish move north, and so, too, do the fishermen

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Categories: Environment

Microbead ban should include all products washed down the drain, say campaigners

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 2:38am

A proposed government ban on the tiny plastic beads that pollute the ocean should be extended to include items such as make-up, sunscreen and cleaning products

Plans to ban tiny pieces of plastic that pollute the ocean should be extended to more products that people commonly wash down the drain, campaigners have urged.

The government has proposed banning the sale and manufacture of products containing plastics known as microbeads that they classify as “rinse-off” items, such as shower gel, face scrubs and toothpaste.

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Categories: Environment

Lack of transparency over green energy subsidies 'shambolic', say MPs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 12:01am

Government criticised for failing to keep consumers updated as overspend on renewables is forecast to push up bills

MPs have criticised ministers for their “shambolic” failure to regularly spell out the impact of government green policies on household energy bills.

The Commons public accounts committee said the government had missed its commitment to publishing annual reports on how consumer bills were affected by subsidies to support solar and wind power.

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Categories: Environment

Carmichael mine jobs need '21 times the subsidies' of renewables, says lobby group

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 11:19pm

Federal funding for Adani project amounts to $683,060 a job, compared with $32,191 a worker in Queensland’s clean energy sector, 350.org says

Clean energy projects in Queensland are already on track to create more employment than Australia’s largest proposed coalmine, which if funded federally would cost taxpayers 21 times more per job, according to new study.

Federal government agencies are investing $71.4m in seven solar farms and a windfarm in Queensland, which are set to deliver a total of 2,218 jobs, according to analysis by climate advocacy group 350.org.

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Categories: Environment

Final phase of Dakota Access pipeline to be approved, a major blow to Standing Rock Sioux

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 4:02pm

The army corps of engineers says it intends to grant a permit for the oil pipeline to cross the Missouri river, following Donald Trump’s executive order

The US government is set to allow the final phase of construction of the Dakota Access pipeline to begin as early as Wednesday, dealing a major blow to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Related: Over 70 arrested at Standing Rock as Dakota Access aims to finish pipeline

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Categories: Environment

Army Corps Of Engineers Grants Easement For Dakota Access Pipeline

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 2:29pm

The Army Corps of Engineers has granted the final easement needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, according to a court filing Tuesday.

Categories: Environment

Army Approves Dakota Access Pipeline Route, Paving Way For The Project's Completion

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 2:25pm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will allow the pipeline to cross under the Missouri River, cutting short an environmental impact assessment and removing the final barrier to construction.

(Image credit: James MacPherson/AP)

Categories: Environment

'America First' Energy Plan Challenges Free Market Realities

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 2:01pm

While Barack Obama's energy policy focused on renewable power and climate change, President Trump is focused on extracting fossil fuels. Among big changes, some predict higher prices at the pump.

(Image credit: Shawn Thew/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

After More Than A Century, Bison Return To Canada's Oldest National Park

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 1:44pm

Banff National Park is hailing the beasts' return as a "historic and cultural triumph." Local indigenous communities also have strong spiritual ties to the bison, and welcomed their reintroduction.

(Image credit: Johane Janelle/Parks Canada /Reuters)

Categories: Environment

MAP: Find Out What New Viruses Are Emerging In Your Backyard

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 1:41pm

Over the past 60 years, the number of new diseases cropping up in a decade has almost quadrupled. "We're in a hyperinfectious world," says one scientist.

(Image credit: Michaeleen Doucleff, Brittany Mayes and Katie Park/NPR)

Categories: Environment

After Tornadoes Hit In And Around New Orleans, Wall Of Storms Moves East

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 12:54pm

The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in southern Louisiana on Tuesday, and severe weather moving east threatened other Southern states.

(Image credit: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Categories: Environment

Patagonia pulls out of Utah trade show in protest of state's public land grab

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 12:29pm

Company founder has urged Utah governor to stop trying to undo the decision by former president Obama to create the Bears Ears National Monument

Patagonia has just become the first retailer to pull out of a big industry trade show in Utah to protest state leaders’ efforts to strip federal protection of public land.

The company’s announcement Tuesday came after its founder, Yvon Chouinard, wrote an open letter last month urging Utah governor Gary Herbert to stop trying to undo the decision by former president Obama to create the Bears Ears National Monument.

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Categories: Environment

You can do your bit to support hedgehogs | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 11:50am

We were saddened, though not surprised, to hear that fewer gardeners are spotting hedgehogs (Report, 6 February). We have long known hedgehog numbers are in decline. Since the turn of the century numbers have dropped by about a third in urban areas and a half in rural ones. A major factor in their decline is loss and fragmentation of habitat. We have joined forces with People’s Trust for Endangered Species on a project called Hedgehog Street, designed to help tackle the habitat crisis. We ask people to create 13cm square gaps in the bottom of their boundary fences and walls to join up usable habitat, and to ask their neighbours, and their neighbours’ neighbours, to do the same, until the whole street is accessible to hedgehogs. To date we have had over 42,000 people sign up as “hedgehog champions”. There are lots of simple things we can all do to help hedgehogs that could make a big difference. To find out more (or to sign up as a champion) see hedgehogstreet.org
Fay Vass
Chief executive, British Hedgehog Preservation Society

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Categories: Environment

如果你是一头大象……

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 10:26am

拥有超乎人类理解范围的敏锐感官、清晰的“自我”意识、严格的母系社会……大象的世界看起来比人类的精彩得多!《化身为兽》的作者写道。(翻译:金艳/chinadialogue)

如果你一觉醒来,发现自己变成了一头大象,那会是什么画风?

首先,你会发现自己的脸上多出了一只甩来甩去的,仅有两根指头的手。这条手像生殖器一样敏感,却能推倒一堵墙或捡起一颗樱桃。你会发现,好友们纷纷用它们的“手”在你的嘴里探来探去,只是为了增进友谊。你也可以用这只手“闻”到数英里外的水源和脚下的野花。这只手可以带给你五种讯息:一,迫在眉睫的危险;二,潜在的威胁;三,食物和水;四,短期及长期的天气预报;五,愉快。

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Categories: Environment

Power to the EV: Norway spearheads Europe's electric vehicle surge

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 8:04am

With ambitious emissions-reduction targets, support from government and the car industry, electromobility is on the verge of major expansion in Europe, reports Yale Environment 360

Oslo, Norway’s capital, like most of the Scandinavian country’s cities and towns, boasts bus-lane access for electric vehicles (EVs), recharging stations aplenty, privileged parking, and toll-free travel for electric cars. The initiative began in the 1990s as an effort to cut pollution, congestion, and noise in urban centres; now its primary rationale is combating climate change. Today, Norway has the highest per capita number of all-electric [battery only] cars in the world: more than 100,000 in a country of 5.2 million people. Last year, EVs constituted nearly 40% of the nation’s newly registered passenger cars.

And the Norwegian experiment shows every sign of accelerating. Earlier this year, Norway opened the world’s largest fast-charging station, which can charge up to 28 vehicles in about half an hour. The country, joined by Europe’s No 2 in electromobility, the Netherlands, intends to phase out all fossil fuel-powered automobiles by 2025. Elon Musk, CEO of the US electric car company Tesla Motors, responded to Norway’s goal by tweeting: “What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!”

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Categories: Environment

Extraordinary migration of giant Amazon catfish revealed

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/02/07 - 7:46am

The dorado catfish travels 11,600km from the Andes to the mouth of the Amazon and back, but is threatened by dams and mining

A giant silvery-gold catfish undertakes the longest freshwater migration of any fish, according to new research, travelling 11,600km from the Andes to the mouth of the Amazon and back.

The dorado catfish, which can grow up to 2 metres long, is an important source of food for people along the world’s longest river. It was suspected of making a spectacular journey, but a careful new analysis of the distribution of larvae and juvenile and mature adults has confirmed the mammoth migration.

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Categories: Environment
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