Environment

Bringing oysters back home to Britain

Guardian Environment News - 15 hours 46 min ago

Overfishing, pollution and disease destroyed them, but Andy Woolmer – a former postman with a PhD in marine biology – is determined to put the shellfish back

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Shark attack victim remains in critical condition in Adelaide

Guardian Environment News - 16 hours 8 min ago

A surfer remains in a critical condition in Adelaide after being attacked by a shark on South Australia’s west coast

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Rare visitors that have stayed on to raise their young

Guardian Environment News - 18 hours 46 min ago

Glen Affric, Highlands Whoopers wintering in the Highlands normally fly back north to breed in Scandinavia and Siberia

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Australia 'public enemy number one' of UN climate talks, says Nobel laureate

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 3:41pm

Peter Doherty, Nobel laureate of medicine, says a clear message has emerged at an international symposium of experts in climate, economics and business

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What's That Smell? The Beautiful Tree That's Causing Quite A Stink

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 2:00pm

Once embraced by cities for its beautiful white flowers, disease resistance and ability to grow just about anywhere, the Callery pear is now considered a nuisance due to its smell and invasive nature.

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California Cities Struggle To Meet Water Conservation Targets

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 1:22pm

Early next month, California plans to finalize its emergency water conservation plan. Cities are under the gun to cut their water usage from anywhere between 15 and 40 percent.

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Scientists Discover Massive New Magma Chamber Under Yellowstone

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 1:05pm

The newly discovered chamber is 4.5 times larger than the shallow reservoir already known and contains enough partially molten rock to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times.

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Conservative thinktank seeks to change Pope Francis's mind on climate change

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 12:43pm

Heartland Institute wants to lobby Vatican before pope delivers a moral call to climate action this summer

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Green news roundup: Earth Day, Chernobyl and hungry killer whales

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 9:18am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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Killer whales are stealing fishermen's catch to make extra calves

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 8:35am

A population of orcas off the Crozet Islands in the Southern Ocean are taking advantage of toothfish caught on fishing lines to reproduce more successfully, reports Conservation Magazine

Killer whales (Orcinus orca) didn’t get their name because they’re gentle herbivores. They are top marine predators, and as a species they feed on a variety of critters from fish to seabirds to marine mammals — including other whales. They are highly intelligent, long-lived animals, with complex social dynamics and traditions that vary from group to group. In other words, they have culture. And each family – orca societies are organized according to maternal relatedness – has its own customs and ways of surviving. Those customs are passed from individual to individual, much like human culture.

Over the past 50 years, even as whaling itself has been banned in most of the world, overfishing has impacted killer whale populations. That’s because the availability of prey is a critical factor in determining the long-term population viability of apex predators like killer whales. In other words, more food means more babies. Most females begin reproducing around age 10, and when resources are abundant, give birth to a calf approximately every 5-6 years until they go through menopause. Even after they stop reproducing, it’s thought that female orcas can live to more than 90 years of age.

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 8:11am

City macaws, ring-tailed lemurs, and coyotes in New York are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Soas becomes first London university to divest from fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 7:27am

Campaigners hail success as Soas follows in footsteps of Glasgow and Bedfordshire universities, and calls on other universities to follow suit

Soas University of London has become the first university in the capital and the third in the UK to commit to pulling its investments out of fossil fuels, in what campaigners called a historic decision.

On Friday, the institution announced it would divest the £1.5m of its £32m endowment held in oil and gas companies over the next three years to show leadership on climate change. The university has no investments in coal.

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Columbia University faculty members call for divestment from fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 6:47am

In our latest update on Keep it in the Ground, staff at universities in the US join the call for divestment and we tell you how you can get involved

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Dear Wellcome Trust: the best of your letters on fossil fuel divestment

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 6:11am

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger asked Keep it in the Ground supporters to join him in writing letters to the Wellcome Trust’s board, asking them to divest from fossil fuels. Here are the best of those letters

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Why Don't Ants Need A Leader?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 6:11am

The world's largest ant colony stretches over 3,700 miles. It succeeds, biologist Deborah Gordon says, because no ant is in charge. They communicate with algorithmic patterns to survive and thrive.

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BP renewable energy archive still closed despite promise to open to public

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 5:00am

Critics call for BP to provide immediate access to Warwick University archive containing billions of pounds worth of scientific research by the oil group from the 80s and 90s

A BP archive containing scientific knowledge on renewable energy projects collected over decades as a result of a multi-billion-pound research programme is still closed to the public despite promises to the contrary.

Critics said BP’s integrity was at stake and the archive held next to the Modern Records Office at Warwick University must be opened immediately.

Related: BP dropped green energy projects worth billions to focus on fossil fuels

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Sweden's Vattenfall faces delay in German coal sale, sources say

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 4:26am

Proposed coal emissions levy may threaten sale of Swedish utility firm’s lignite-fired plants in eastern Germany

Swedish utility Vattenfall is facing delays in the planned sale of its brown coal assets in Germany, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said, pointing to concerns over a proposed coal levy that could threaten any deal.

Memos to potential buyers were originally meant to be sent out in April, the people said, adding this was now expected only later in the year and may take until the end of the European summer.

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Chernobyl arch faces €265m funding gap ahead of disaster's 29th anniversary

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 3:28am

World must plug funding gap for massive 100-metre steel arch being built to contain remaining radioactive waste at the site

Graphic: Containing Chernobyl’s deadly legacy

A massive engineering project to make the Chernobyl nuclear power plant safe is facing a €265m (£190m) funding shortfall.

Related: Containing Chernobyl's deadly legacy

Related: The long shadow of Chernobyl

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Containing Chernobyl's deadly legacy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/24 - 3:28am

As the 29th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster approaches, work continues to safely confine radioactive waste remaining at the site with the construction of the largest moveable structure ever created on land

Read more: Chernobyl arch faces €265m funding gap ahead of disaster’s 29th anniversary

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