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Visitors rush to the Great Barrier Reef to catch it before it’s gone

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 3:22am

Survey finds that 69% of visitors to the world’s largest coral reef system are motivated by the fear that it might disappear, reports Climate Home

In a reversal of the normal travel bucket list, tourists are rushing to see the Great Barrier Reef before it dies.

Half of the reef’s coral has disappeared in the past three decades due to a combination of warming ocean temperatures, coastal development, invasive starfish and agricultural runoff.

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Categories: Environment

A deep sea dive into Bermuda’s hidden depths – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 3:00am

Guardian environment reporter Oliver Milman joins a group of scientists on an underwater expedition off the Bermuda coast to help chart its hidden depths and gauge the general health of the area’s reef and coral. Travelling in a two-man submersible, Milman and submarine pilot Kelvin Magee go on a journey 500ft below the surface

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Categories: Environment

The deep ocean: plunging to new depths to discover the largest migration on Earth

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 3:00am

The deep ocean makes up 95% of habitable Earth, yet only 0.0001% has been explored. The Guardian joined a mission off Bermuda that is looking to unlock the secrets of the deep

Video: a dive into Bermuda’s hidden depths

The largest migration on Earth is very rarely seen by human eyes, yet it happens every day. Billions of marine creatures ascend from as far as 2km below the surface of the water to the upper reaches of the ocean at night, only to then float back down once the sun rises.

This huge movement of organisms – ranging from tiny cockatoo squids to microscopic crustaceans, shifting for food or favourable temperatures – was little known to science until relatively recently.

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Categories: Environment

How the fossil fuel industry's new pitch is more like an epitaph than a life lesson

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 12:08am

New fossil fuel advocacy group launched to celebrate an industry that’s driving dangerous climate change

Bright and glistening with all the glory of youth and promise, her eyes glance upwards. A jet crosses a cloudless sky.

A field of wheat sways in the breeze. She opens her arms in a wide embrace, open to the horizon.

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Categories: Environment

The Queen and David Attenborough urged to cut ties with charity linked to Finland mining plans

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 11:00pm

Flora and Fauna International has been hired by a British mining firm to assess the environmental value of a national park in the Arctic circle

Environmentalists and indigenous reindeer herders are calling on the Queen, Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Fry to disassociate themselves from a charity contracted to help a mining operation in a national park in Finland.

Fauna and Flora International (FFI), whose patron is the Queen, has been hired by the British-listed mining company Anglo American to assess the environmental value of Viiankiaapa, a stunning 65 sq km (25 sq mile) habitat for 21 endangered bird species in the Arctic circle.

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Categories: Environment

'We have to stop the bulldozers': swaths of koala habitat lost, say activists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:48pm

Queensland’s relaxed land-clearing laws have allowed 84,000ha of habitat to be destroyed and must be rolled back, say WWF and Australian Koala Foundation

A relaxation in Queensland’s tree clearing laws led to the destruction of 84,000 hectares of critical koala habitat in the two years after the national icon was listed as vulnerable, according to new mapping by conservationists.

That koala habitat made up about 14% of all land cleared between mid-2013 and mid-2015 was an alarming revelation, WWF and the Australian Koala Foundation said.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland's rare mountain plants disappearing as climate warms, botanists find

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:00pm

Research by the National Trust for Scotland shows rare mountain plants in the Highlands and islands are retreating higher or disappearing entirely

There is clear evidence that some of Britain’s rarest mountain plants are disappearing due to a steadily warming climate, botanists working in the Scottish Highlands have found.

The tiny but fragile Arctic plants, such as Iceland purslaine, snow pearlwort and Highland saxifrage, are found only in a handful of locations in the Highlands and islands, clustered in north-facing gullies, coires and crevices, frequently protected by the last pockets of late-lying winter snow.

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Categories: Environment

half spin

The Field Lab - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 6:28pm
Did a little work on the go kart this afternoon.  Decided to take it for a test spin over to Jim's campsite for cocktails.  Started right up after about an hour of beer and bull then conked out before I got 100 yards.  Seems the vacuum line could use a replacement hose now - it wasn't sucking gas out of the petcock and by the time I figured that out, I had run the battery down trying to get it restarted.  The rule still holds until I get all the kinks worked out - never drive it farther that you are willing to walk home. (Grammar note: I wasn't sure about the difference between further and farther so I looked it up - in the US, farther is more often used to refer to physical distances and further more often refers to figurative and non physical distances.)  Good news is I was only a half mile from home and I can use the exercise.  Will head back on my morning walk with jumper cables so Jim can get me started.  Other than that, I had no further issues with the day.  84,90,67,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Alaskan village votes on whether to relocate because of climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 3:43pm

Coastal village of Shishmaref, which is losing ground to rising sea levels, could become the first in the US to move over the threat of climate change

The residents of an Alaskan coastal village have begun voting on whether to relocate because of rising sea levels.

Related: 'There was just no snow': climate change puts Iditarod future in doubt

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Categories: Environment

Alberta weighs ban on spear hunting after man films 'humane' bear killing

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

Environment ministry describes video of Josh Bowmar fatally spearing a bear ‘archaic’ and ‘unacceptable’ as Bowmar defends killing as ethical

Authorities in the Canadian province of Alberta have vowed to ban spear hunting and are weighing whether to lay charges against an American hunter after a video surfaced showing him killing a black bear with a spear.

The video – one of several hunting videos posted to the YouTube account of Josh Bowmar – shows Bowmar holding a long spear with a GoPro camera attached to it as a mature bear repeatedly approaches a bait bin set up to lure it to the site.

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Categories: Environment

What do America's national parks mean to you? Share your stories and photos

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 1:34pm

The National Parks Service celebrates its 100th birthday in August. How have America’s natural wonders impacted your life? Share your stories and photos

For 100 years, the National Parks Service has been providing Americans and international visitors alike with unspoiled vistas – and vacations to match.

Ahead of the centennial on 25 August, we want to hear from you. Do you have a particularly memorable hiking adventure to tell us about? Or an undeniably beautiful shot of a waterfall or mountain range? Share your stories and photographs with us. We’ll feature a selection in our coverage.

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Categories: 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
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