Bill Gates backs startup using sunlight to create 1,000C-plus heat

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/11/19 - 1:58am

Heliogen uses mirrors to concentrate solar energy that can power heavy industry

Bill Gates is backing a new venture which aims to turn sunlight into a source of heat exceeding 1,000C that could help replace fossil fuels.

The world’s richest man is joining investors behind Heliogen, the first company to concentrate sunlight to reach temperatures that are high enough to power heavy industry without carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Nearly all America's endangered species will struggle to adapt to climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/11/19 - 1:15am

All but one of 459 species have traits making them vulnerable to rising temperatures, study finds

The climate crisis is poised to deliver a severe blow to America’s most threatened animals, with a new study finding that almost every species considered endangered is vulnerable in some way to global heating.

Of the 459 animal species listed as endangered by the US government, researchers found that all but one, or 99.8%, have characteristics that will make it difficult for them to adapt to rising temperatures.

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Categories: Environment

After Venice Floods, Volunteers Wade In To Help Salvage What They Can

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 3:28pm

The Italian city is reeling from a week in which floodwaters damaged the city's cultural legacy, as well as homes and businesses. Volunteers are helping salvage precious books, among other items.

(Image credit: Marco Bertorello / AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The Challenges Scientists Face While Working In The Arctic Ocean

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 2:19pm

The Arctic Ocean is a stunning place that not many get the chance to see. But if you're a scientist there to do field work, that beauty comes with some pretty unique challenges.

Categories: Environment

Hunger strikers target Pelosi in push for Democrats to take action on climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 2:11pm

Activists occupy speaker’s office to mark start of hunger strike and to demand that she meet with them for an hour on camera

Young activists frustrated and frightened by Democrats’ inaction on the climate crisis occupied the office of the top Democrat in Congress on Monday to mark the beginning of a hunger strike.

Roughly a dozen strikers with Extinction Rebellion are taking part in a global climate hunger strike that nearly 300 people have pledged to join.

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Categories: Environment

Renewable energy: climate crisis 'may have triggered faster wind speeds'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 12:23pm

Windfarms could be able to generate more energy due to phenomenon, says report

The global climate crisis could lead to more renewable electricity being generated by spurring faster wind speeds for the world’s growing number of windfarms, according to research.

Scientists have discovered that the world’s shifting ocean circulation patterns may have triggered a rapid increase in wind speeds over the last 10 years.

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Categories: Environment

Amazon Rainforest Sees Biggest Spike In Deforestation In Over A Decade

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 12:03pm

Not since 2008 has the Amazon been destroyed at a faster rate, according to Brazilian authorities. They say an area more than 12 times the size of New York City was deforested in the span of a year.

(Image credit: João Laet/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Scientist says rightwing thinktank misrepresented her Great Barrier Reef study

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 10:00am

Tara Clark says the central claim of the Institute of Public Affairs’ YouTube film attacking her coral report is wrong

A coral scientist whose work is attacked in a mini-documentary from the Institute of Public Affairs says the rightwing thinktank has misrepresented her study.

The IPA says its YouTube film, Beige Reef, is a “must watch” because it shows healthy Acropora corals living at Stone Island, near Bowen. This, the film claims, is in a place where a study published in 2016 claimed all those corals had died.

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Categories: Environment

Amazon deforestation 'at highest level in a decade'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 9:13am

Almost 10,000 sq kms lost in year to August, according to Brazilian government data

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has hit the highest annual level in a decade, according to new government data which highlights the impact the president, Jair Bolsonaro, has made on the world’s biggest rainforest.

The new numbers, showing almost 10,000 sq kms were lost in the year to August, were released as emboldened farm owners scuffled with forest defenders in Altamira, the Amazonian city at the heart of the recent devastation.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists develop slippery toilet coating to stop poo sticking

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 9:11am

Spray-on surface could prevent bacteria building up and reduce household water use

The toilet brush need never leave its holder again. Scientists have created a super-slippery coating that helps usher excrement on its way without leaving traces behind.

The spray-on coating, which is slipperier than Teflon, reduces adhesion of even tenacious faeces by up to 90%, tests suggest, so far less water is needed to flush them away and leave the toilet clean.

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Categories: Environment

Wine Moguls Destroy Land And Pay Small Fines As Cost Of Business, Say Activists

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 5:00am

In California, fines are being levied against winemakers who violate environmental laws, but activists say they are a drop in the bucket compared to the damage.

(Image credit: George Rose/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

How Virtual Reality Can Help People Better Understand Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 3:01am

As communities plan for sea level rise, it can be hard to convince residents of the dramatic changes in store. A California scientist is testing one possible answer: virtual reality.

Categories: Environment

Many Native Americans Can't Get Clean Water, Report Finds

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/11/18 - 3:01am

A new report from DigDeep and the U.S. Water Alliance found race is the strongest predictor of water and sanitation access. This has implications for public health.

(Image credit: Laurel Morales/KJZZ)

Categories: Environment

Flooding chaos in northern England to continue until Tuesday

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/11/17 - 10:09am

70 warnings issued as rivers Severn and Avon burst banks, but drier weather forecast

Large parts of Britain remain flooded and experts are warning the chaos could continue until Tuesday.

There were 53 flood warnings from the Environment Agency (EA) in effect on Sunday evening, meaning flooding was expected and immediate action required. A further 89 flood alerts where possible flooding may occur had also been issued.

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Categories: Environment

How do the parties propose to tackle the climate crisis?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/11/17 - 9:07am

Election contenders have been setting out plans to win over voters concerned about the environment

Labour’s “green new deal” – or “green industrial revolution” – puts a radical environmental plan at the heart of the party’s election offer. It proposes a massive programme of state investment to rapidly decarbonise the economy, which it says would create hundreds of thousands of green jobs.

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Categories: Environment

Are the Tories' green commitments all talk and little action?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/11/17 - 9:00am

Conservative environmental policies since 2010 have been characterised by confusion and mixed messages

Just after calling the general election, Boris Johnson’s government made two almost simultaneous policy announcements that encapsulated the longstanding contradictions of environmental policy over the past decade.

His decision to announce a moratorium on fracking – which, as the Labour party pointed out, was a temporary commitment rather than a ban – made headlines and was heralded as a signal of green intentions, but the go-ahead for a new deep coalmine in Cumbria was slipped out to little fanfare.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists and climate advisers condemn Tory environmental record

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/11/17 - 9:00am

Party under pressure on climate crisis as Corbyn says Johnson can not be trusted

The Conservative party’s record on tackling the climate crisis was condemned by leading scientists and former government advisers on Sunday, as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned that the forthcoming election was the last chance to halt the escalating emergency.

Experts accused the Conservatives of copying rightwing politicians in the US by deliberately weakening environmental protections. Meanwhile, new analysis by Labour reveals that environmental policies put forward since 2017 and opposed by the Tories would have led to emissions reductions of over 70m tonnes a year by 2030 – more than the annual emissions of Portugal.

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Categories: Environment

Venice closes St Mark’s Square as floods hit for third time in week

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/11/17 - 8:16am

Italian city suffers worst series of high tides since 1872, with an estimated cost of €1bn

Venice has closed St Mark’s Square as the city suffered a third major flooding in less than a week, while rain lashed the rest of Italy and warnings were issued in Florence and Pisa.

Venice was hit with an “acqua alta”, or high water, of 150cm (5ft) on Sunday, lower than Tuesday’s 187cm – the highest level in half a century – but still dangerous.

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Categories: Environment

Living Near The Future Pipeline

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/11/17 - 5:52am

A Keystone pipeline spill is causing alarm among landowners who live in the proposed path of a new pipeline. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Jeanne Crumly of Page, Neb.

Categories: Environment

Connecticut Plane Crash Sparks Toxicity Fears Over Firefighting Foam

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/11/16 - 3:19pm

Last month, authorities in Connecticut extinguished a fire resulting from a plane crash with FAA-required foam. Now, other federal agencies are concerned the foam might pose health risks.

Categories: Environment
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