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The Science Of Wildfires May Be Up In Smoke

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 2:06pm

With wildfire becoming more prevalent in the U.S. and the Forest Service increasingly looking to let some wildfires burn, there's a need to better understand the smoke that billows from those fires.

Categories: Environment

Big Battles Over Farm And Food Policies May Be Brewing As Trump Era Begins

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 1:00pm

President-elect Donald Trump hasn't said much about food and farm policy or named his choices for top food-related jobs. But the coming years will likely see profound battles over food and nutrition.

(Image credit: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Climate change driving birds to migrate early, research reveals

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 10:58am

A University of Edinburgh study finds birds are arriving at breeding grounds too soon, causing some to miss out on food

Migrating birds are responding to the effects of climate change by arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise, research has found.

The University of Edinburgh study, which looked at hundreds of species across five continents, found that birds are reaching their summer breeding grounds on average about one day earlier per degree of increasing global temperature.

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Categories: Environment

The Stories NPR One Listeners Loved The Most In 2016

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 7:29am

Listeners of our NPR One app rated these 10 stories as the most liked, recommended and shared in 2016.

(Image credit: NPR)

Categories: Environment

Sellafield unrest could dent Tory byelection chances, unions warn

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 6:46am

Unions say industrial unrest cannot be ruled out by nuclear workers in Copeland amid row over changes to pension scheme

“Serious industrial unrest” at Europe’s biggest nuclear site could threaten the Conservatives’ chances of winning a forthcoming byelection, unions have warned.

The byelection in the marginal Cumbrian seat of Copeland has been described as “Theresa May’s to lose”.

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Categories: Environment

Russia opens inquiry into men who crushed bear to death

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 4:57am

Investigation comes after video was posted on YouTube showing men running over bear with off-road vehicles

A criminal investigation has been opened into a group of men who filmed themselves killing a bear in Siberia by running over it with off-road vehicles.

A video posted on YouTube on Monday and apparently filmed on a mobile phone showed a brown bear being crushed to death in the snow by two heavy duty trucks, of the kind used by oil and mining workers. The video has since been removed.

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Categories: Environment

Bob Hawke blames decline in quality of politicians on intrusiveness of media

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 12:41am

Former prime minister says the ‘poor quality of representatives’ is a worldwide phenomenon partly caused by media focus on politicians’ private lives

Bob Hawke has blamed “the increasing intrusiveness of the media into private lives of politicians” for what he sees as a decline in quality of MPs and leaders in Australia and abroad.

In a wide-ranging address at the Woodford Folk festival in Queensland, where the 87-year-old has spoken for eight years in a row, the former prime minister said “poor quality of representatives … is not a purely Australian phenomenon – it’s a worldwide phenomenon”.

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Categories: Environment

Grass was greener but wildlife struggled in muggy 2016

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/12/28 - 12:00am

Brambles and birds did well, but bees dipped and butterflies were hindered, according to a review of the year’s wildlife and weather by the National Trust

Farmers made hay but rampant grass growth in 2016 made life hard for butterflies and even puffin chicks, according to a review of the year’s wildlife and weather by the National Trust.

The nation’s ever more variable weather brought both booms and busts, with brambles and birds doing well, and slugs flourishing. But bumblebees dipped and owls found field voles hard to find.

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Categories: Environment

Rusty limes frozen in an arrested autumn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 10:30pm

Wenlock Edge, Shropshire On a closer look, the trees are not still holding leaves at all but are full of bracts and seeds

From a distance, the common lime trees are a rich orangey colour. This looks wrong. The autumn leaves of these trees are buttery and the last of them blew down a month ago. The limes have a curious russet foliage, just like the coating of rust on the fallen leaves in a spring issuing from ironstone under the Short Woods a few miles north of here. The rusty limes look oddly out of time, as if frozen in an arrested autumn when all about them winter trees stand darkly naked.

On a closer look, the limes are not still holding leaves at all but are full of bracts and seeds. The bracts are small, oblong, modified leaves, pale and almost transparent when they open in spring, like solar panels on a satellite above the dangling cyme of two to seven flowers.

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Categories: Environment

artifact

The Field Lab - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 5:07pm
Finished up the airfield today.  Only a couple of spots that have some drag resistant sprouts still holding fast.  Looks like I will have to do a little hand weeding.  Slowly driving around out there took me back to the good ol' days of lawn mowing.  I loved my riding mower back in upstate NY.  I used to mow about 2 acres once a week.  Came across this interesting photo artifact just as I was finishing up.  Any previous visitors missing a Nikon lens cap?  64,69,44,0,C  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 3:18pm

Cropland losses will have consequences especially for Asia and Africa, which will experience growing food insecurity as cities expand

Our future crops will face threats not only from climate change, but also from the massive expansion of cities, a new study warns. By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change.

Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe.

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Categories: Environment

Russia shocked by video of bear being crushed to death

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 7:49am

Russian investigators are examining footage to determine whether it constitutes an animal cruelty criminal offence

Russian investigators are looking into a disturbing video of a bear being crushed to death by a group of men riding in off-road vehicles over Siberian tundra.

In the video, apparently shot by one of the assailants, two trucks normally used by Russian oil and mining workers in off-road conditions repeatedly drive over a brown bear sitting in the snow.

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Categories: Environment

Facts matter, and on climate change, Trump's picks get them wrong | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 4:00am

The President-elect’s nominees to key positions deny the existence, threats, and solutions to human-caused global warming

When speaking about climate change, President-elect Trump has flip-flopped between acceptance and denial, which suggests that he hasn’t put much thought into one of humanity’s greatest threats. However, what his administration does is far more important than what he thinks. Unfortunately, Trump has nominated individuals to several critical climate leadership positions who reject inconvenient scientific and economic evidence.

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Categories: Environment

Cheetah 'more vulnerable to extinction than previously thought'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 3:34am

Urgent action is needed to stop the world’s fastest land animal becoming extinct, experts have warned

Urgent action is needed to stop the cheetah – the world’s fastest land animal – becoming extinct, experts have warned.

Scientists estimate that only 7,100 of the fleet-footed cats remain in the wild, occupying 9% of the territory they once lived in. Asiatic populations have been hit the hardest, with fewer than 50 surviving in Iran, according to an investigation led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

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Categories: Environment

The funniest and most unusual animal photos of 2016

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/12/27 - 2:00am

A selection of images captured by photographers over the past 12 months, including a Donald Trump lookalike pheasant, kissing parakeets, and a lost sloth

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Categories: Environment

Northern lights illuminate the Pennine skies

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/12/26 - 10:30pm

Allendale, Northumberland The lights dance and shift, fading or intensifying, undulating in curtains of colour

As I open the back door, the path shows up in a rectangle of light, the gravel sparkling like golden sugar. My breath shows in pale mists that billow and dissipate in the air. The owls that called repeatedly at dusk are now silent, hunting for voles across the frozen haugh. There’s the sharp smell of cold, and the river seems much louder than it does by day.

Here, in the frost hollow of the valley, it is a couple of degrees lower than the surrounding hills. Cooler air, being denser, flows down into the bowl of the land. The grasses and seedheads of the garden become outlined in hoar frost, coated in spiky crystals, the shrunken browns and greys of dying foliage enlarged into something magical.

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Categories: Environment

Solar energy and rethinking geothermal: Arena's hits and misses

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/12/26 - 10:17pm

As demand for sustainable energy increases, Australia’s independent renewable energy agency has to choose to fund some projects over others – to varying degrees of success

As any punter will know, backing winners isn’t easy. There’s a little bit of science, a little bit of art and a whole lot of luck.

Australia’s independent renewable energy agency came into being in 2012 though an act of parliament, with a $2.5bn, 10-year mission to improve the affordability of renewable energy and increase its supply in Australia. It hasn’t been smooth sailing; this year Arena was facing a $1.3bn budget cut but this was commuted to a smaller but still significant $500m.

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Categories: Environment

Australian man bitten by taipan snake dies after six days in hospital

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/12/26 - 5:00pm

David Pitt, 77, went into cardiac arrest after highly venomous reptile bit him on the foot in his home in far north Queensland

An elderly man bitten by a taipan at his home in Queensland has died after spending nearly a week in hospital.

David Pitt, 77, went into cardiac arrest after the highly venomous snake bit him on the foot at his home in Yorkeys Knob, Cairns, on 20 December.

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Categories: Environment

weeding the airfield

The Field Lab - Mon, 2016/12/26 - 4:32pm
Started dragging about half of the airfield today.  Worked out better than I hoped.  Nature had reclaimed the patch since I first cleared it almost 3 years ago.  62,71,37,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Welcome to crocodile country: the remarkable comeback of Australia's Jaws of the north

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/12/26 - 12:12pm

Calls for culls always surge after attacks by ‘salties’ but it’s their habitat not humans that will decide their numbers

For the people of Australia’s tropical north, a wary coexistence with crocodiles is a fact of life.

Protected for more than four decades after being hunted to near extinction, the ancient reptile – on the credible numbers that are available – has staged a remarkable recovery.

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Categories: Environment
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