Environment

David Attenborough voices mountain gorilla documentary

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 12:00pm

Broadcaster lends his support to conservation efforts to promote recovery of critically endangered ape

David Attenborough has lent his support to a fresh push to protect Rwanda's endangered mountain gorillas.

The naturalist and broadcaster has voiced a 15-minute documentary on conservation efforts by the charity that continues the work of Dian Fossey, the primatologist made widely known by the film adaptation of her book, Gorillas in the Mist.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

David Attenborough lends support to new campaign to save Rwanda gorilla video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 12:00pm
Exclusive: Naturalist and broadcaster has voices a 15-minute documentary on conservation efforts by the charity that continues the work of Dian Fossey, the primatologist made widely known by the film adaptation of her book, Gorillas in the Mist. 'Dian Fossey knew that the survival of mountain gorillas depended on the education and progress of communities around them,' Attenborough says in the film. 'Today in this densely populated country, communities still live and farm right up to he edges of the gorillas' habitat.' Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Carbon divestment activists claim victory as Harvard adopts green code

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 9:30am

Managers of university's $33bn endowment adopt UN-backed responsible investment rules

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

NASA Image Shows Volcanic Island Has Annexed Its Neighbor

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 9:28am

NASA says the Western Pacific island of Nishino-shima has merged with its newly created volcanic companion, forming one larger landmass.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

Baby meerkats in Botswana - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 9:20am

Photographer Will Burrard-Lucas got more help than he bargained for when he went to shoot a young family of meerkats in the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. The new arrivals used the photographer as a look out post before trying their hand at taking pictures.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Deep sea mining the gold rush on the ocean floor

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 6:45am

As resources on dry land are depleted, companies are turning their attention to the oceans, where vast reserves of precious metals lie untouched

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Fox News climate change coverage is now 28% accurate, up from 7% | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 6:00am
An analysis of cable news climate coverage finds Fox News 28% accurate, CNN 70%, and MSNBC 92%

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has just published an analysis of 2013 climate coverage by the three major American cable news networks. The report and data are available online, and the results are summarized in the figure below.

"Sometimes, it's like the networks are covering different planets. Unfortunately, too many politicians, interest groups, and pundits continue to dispute established climate science and cable shows sometimes give them a platform to do so."

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Wildlife cameraman Doug Allan: I like to get on an animal's wavelength

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 5:17am
Lauded by David Attenborough and famous for filming polar bears, the veteran explains his love of working in cold climates

Not many people go to Kong Karls Land, and even fewer return from these Arctic islands way north of Norway because it is a world of polar bears and is strictly off limits to all but the most intrepid or foolhardy. So when photographer Doug Allan got permission to film sequences there for David Attenborough's Planet Earth series, he did not expect an easy assignment it is usually -32C in April, the wind is vicious and hauling cameras in the deep snow is a nightmare.

After walking five or more hours a day and watching polar bear dens in the snow slopes for 23 days, however, Allan had seen just one mother bear and her cub. By day 24, he says, he was living "in bear world, at bear speed, with bear senses".

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Saddles Somme snow: tale of the toughest cycle race ever

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 5:00am

Across the battlefields of the first world war, nothing has ever tested riders more than 1919's Circuit de Champs de Bataille

Even as the guns all along the western front fell silent in November 1918, plans were being made to stage an extraordinary bicycle race around the battlefields in the spring of the following year. It was to become known as the toughest race in history, and the extraordinary efforts of the riders, who raced across the fields of Flanders and the Somme barely five months after the armistice, have been all but forgotten.

The Circuit Cycliste de Champs de Bataille (The Tour of The Battlefields) in April 1919 took the riders in seven 300km stages on a 2,000km loop anti-clockwise from Strasbourg to Luxembourg to Brussels to Paris and then back to Strasbourg via the Vosges mountains.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Conservatives give strongest sign yet they will halt windfarm expansion

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 2:28am
Tory chairman Grant Shapps says renewable energy sources 'blight countryside' and predicts clash with Lib Dems on issue

The Tory chairman, Grant Shapps, has given the first public signal that the Conservatives will seek a moratorium of onshore windfarms and will draw a dividing line with the Lib Dems, who he says love them.

The senior minister appeared to confirm Guardian reports that the Tories will pledge at the next election to cap the output of onshore wind farms from 2020.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

BT, Shell and corporates call for trillion tonnes of carbon to stay in the ground

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 2:06am

Trillion tonne communiqué signed by 70 companies calls for rapid response to rising emissions, reports BusinessGreen

Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change.

The companies, which have a combined turnover of $90bn, say the world needs a "rapid and focused response" to the threat of rising global carbon emissions and the "disruptive climate impacts" associated with their growth.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Washington Mudslide Creates Environmental Hazards

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 2:00am

The Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Ecology have moved in to monitor water pollution and hazardous materials. Residents living in the area have expressed concerns.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

Tasmanian forests set for logging as Liberals push ahead with repeal

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 12:55am

State government unveils plan to tear up historic deal between industry and greens protecting 400,000 hectares of forest

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of Tasmanian forest have been earmarked for logging after the newly elected state government pushed ahead with the repeal of a historic forestry deal.

The state government has unveiled its plans for undoing the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement - a deal reached in 2011 by industry groups and conservationists.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The Future Of Clean, Green Fish Farming Could Be Indoor Factories

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 2:45pm

Aquaculture in the U.S. has lagged because of opposition from environmentalists and people living on the coast. But entrepreneurs say they've found a way to produce fish on land with little pollution.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

Country diary: Cissbury Ring, West Sussex: The windhover takes full advantage of an easterly breeze

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 12:59pm
Cissbury Ring, West Sussex: Only the kestrel's slate-grey head remained still as it scanned the undergrowth

Heat haze hung over the earthworks as we hiked up the steep chalk bank to the summit of the hill fort. A sulphur-yellow male brimstone the "butter-coloured fly" from which the term butterfly is believed to originate basked on the sun-bathed path, while a duo of red admirals skimmed over the dog-violet-studded grass. We paused at the top of the hill to catch our breath and gazed down at the lambs scudding across the fields below like cotton wool clouds.

The sing-song call of a chiffchaff rang out from a patch of scrub growing in the centre of a neolithic flint mine, overlaid by the cascading warble of a skylark. I squinted into the sun and managed to pick out the diminutive form of the brown-streaked bird as it hovered in song flight. As the skylark parachuted to the ground, it was buffeted by a gust of wind, spiralling down like a wind-blown dandelion seed head.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Britain's honeybee colony deaths among worst in Europe, study reveals

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 9:06am
Landmark research shows 29% of honeybee colonies died in winter of 2012-13, with summer losses also high at 9.7%

A landmark study has revealed the UK is suffering one of the worst rates of honeybee colony deaths in Europe.

In the cold winter of 2012-13, 29% of honeybee colonies in the UK died, with only Belgium suffering a higher rate of losses (34%) of the 17 countries surveyed. By contrast, only 5% of colonies in Italy were lost. Summer losses of colonies were also high in the UK, at 9.7%, with only France (14%) exceeding this.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Lion killing in Tanzania reduced by installation of 'living wall' fences

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 7:20am
Conflict between endangered predators and cattle-owning Masai significantly helped by project using African myrrh trees

A new low-tech solution is helping eliminate an age-old problem in northern Tanzania the conflict between predators and farmers.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Leaked IPCC climate plan to worsen global warming - ecologists | Nafeez Ahmed

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 6:31am
Critics say bioenergy, carbon capture, among draft report's 'false solutions' to sustain business as usual economics

A British environmental organisation that has reviewed the draft of a forthcoming UN IPCC report on mitigating climate change has questioned many of the document's recommendations as deeply flawed.

Dr Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch, said that the report's embrace of "largely untested" and "very risky" technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS), will "exacerbate" climate change, agricultural problems, water scarcity, soil erosion and energy challenges, "rather than improving them."

"There are no published scenarios depicting a pathway returning to 450 CO2e [emissions] by century's end without a negative emissions option when delayed participation is imposed. The vast majority of published 450 CO2e scenarios involve overshoot during the century and include a negative emissions technology."

"... so far much of carbon captured from bioenergy and other processes is ultimately used for Enhanced Oil Recovery injected into depleted oil wells to create pressure enough to force remaining difficult to access oil out. This can hardly be considered 'sequestration' or an effective approach to solving the climate problem."

"Lands and ecosystems cannot at the same time both provide large quantities of biomass for bioenergy, and still securely act as 'carbon sinks.' It is not possible to have it both ways."

"Those working on geoengineering are largely doing so reluctantly. The concern is that we need to ensure technology is available in case events occur more quickly than expected. The IPCC has not fully accounted for certain feedbacks involving black carbon, methane release, and the rapid loss of the Arctic summer sea ice. A technique like marine cloud brightening by spraying seawater onto clouds to increase their reflectivity, could save the sea ice and help cool the climate with relatively little side-effects that can be controlled with careful application."

"Ultimately a full, immediate transition to renewables is the right imperative, but it cannot happen overnight due to the engineering costs and practicalities. So we must reduce our carbon emissions while we are still relying on fossil fuels. Our current emissions trajectory is heading for catastrophe. CCS would allow us to draw down emissions during the transition to renewables.

Every component of CCS has been practiced separately in the industry for decades, so putting them altogether to minimise our carbon footprint makes sense. Several large-scale commercial CCS enterprises will become operational this year, such as the coal-fired plant in Kemper County.

"We can't hope to simply run over a carbon precipice and pulls ourselves back. Government targets must be much more ambitious. Our research has shown that we can run modern societies without relying on fossil fuels, and that transitioning to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 is technologically and economically feasible with the right approach."

"Biomass does have the potential to be very destructive, but if used sparingly it has a place as part of a wider strategy involving renewables, to create synthetic fuels useful for industry and transport. Bioenergy is important as a flexible backup to address long-term energy storage due to the intermittency and variability of renewable sources - but its use must be sustainable, based on 'second generation' non-food crops [e.g. forest and crop residues, municipal and construction waste], not encroach on land-use for food, and combined with extensive reforestation."

"The underlying assumption appears to be that business as usual [BAU] economic growth must be sustained, and industry and corporate profits must be protected and maintained. But if we focus on 'BAU economics', seeking and accepting only bargain basement options for addressing global warming - the costs will be far more severe."

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

EU energy strategy must counter Putin's fossil fuel-fed autocracy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 3:17am

The role of climate and energy policy in the 'long game' that will play out between Russia and the west has been overlooked

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Endangered butterfly defies climate change with new diet and habitat

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2014/04/07 - 3:03am
Quino checkerspot, native to Mexico and California, shifts to higher altitude and chooses new species of plant for laying eggs

A butterfly species whose population collapsed because of climate change and habitat loss has defied predictions of extinction to rapidly move to cooler climes and change its food plant.

The quino checkerspot (Euphydryas editha quino), found in Mexico and California, has shifted to higher altitudes and surprisingly chosen a completely different species of plant on which to lay its eggs, according to research presented at the Butterfly Conservation's seventh international symposium in Southampton.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content