Environment

Why beetles are the most important organisms on the planet | Richard Jones

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 11:45pm

From the minuscule to the mighty, tree-dwellers to pond-swimmers, millions of beetle species reveal a wealth of information about the world we live in


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Categories: Environment

Paris on flooding alert as rising Seine causes travel disruption

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 7:05pm

Part of the Louvre museum is closed as the river is forecast to reach 6.1 metres by Saturday – three times its normal height

Parisians have been warned to stay away from the river Seine as it continues to rise, flooding surrounding roads and causing disruption to the city’s transport network.

As water levels touched 5.2 metres on Wednesday, the capital’s authorities said the river was expected to reach 6.1 metres (20ft) by Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

Official Who Allowed Tree Cutting By NFL Owner Is Named National Parks Director

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 3:25pm

Interior Department Sec. Ryan Zinke announced the promotion of Paul Daniel Smith, who was reprimanded in 2006 for inappropriately using his position on behalf of Dan Snyder, who wanted a better view.

(Image credit: National Park Service)

Categories: Environment

Are There Zombie Viruses In The Thawing Permafrost?

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 3:19pm

There's a new fear from climate change: bacteria and viruses buried in frozen ground coming back to life as the Arctic warms up. We went digging in permafrost to find out how worried we should be.

(Image credit: Varham Muradyan for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Hundreds of wildflower species found blooming in midwinter

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 12:07pm

UK survey finds 532 types – far more than older textbooks suggest should be out

It’s been said that spring is coloured by flowers, while the colour of winter is only in the imagination.

Not so for intrepid botanists who discovered 532 species of wildflowers in bloom across Britain and Ireland around New Year’s Day.

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Categories: Environment

Exposing UK government folly of investment in new nuclear | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 11:23am
A new-build programme would create an intolerable burden on communities into the far future, writes Andrew Blowers; while Rose Heaney wonders why our abundant renewable energy sources are being overlooked

In 1976, Lord Flowers pronounced that there should be no further commitment to nuclear energy unless it could be demonstrated that long-lived highly radioactive wastes could be safely contained for the indefinite future. Ever since, efforts to find a suitable site for a geological disposal facility have been rejected by communities (Wanted: community willing to host a highly radioactive waste dump in their district, 22 January).

There is, therefore, little evidence to support the government’s claim that “it is satisfied that effective arrangements will exist to manage and dispose of the waste that will be produced from new nuclear power stations”. Deep disposal may be the eventual long-term solution but demonstrating a safety case, finding suitable geology and a willing community are tough challenges and likely to take a long time. The search for a disposal site diverts attention from the real solution for the foreseeable future, which is to ensure the safe and secure management of the unavoidable legacy wastes that have to be managed. It is perverse to compound the problem by a new-build programme that will result in vastly increased radioactivity from spent fuel and other highly radioactive wastes which will have to be stored indefinitely at vulnerable sites scattered around our coasts.

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Categories: Environment

Stuck in first gear: how Australia's electric car revolution stalled

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 10:00am

As sceptics fretted over price, range and lack of charging stations, Australia was overtaken by the rest of the world. Now policymakers are being urged to jumpstart the industry

In Elizabeth in South Australia, they stood in a huge line, only three months ago, and spelled out HOLDEN for the helicopters. Thirteen weeks later, after the plant closed and the last car rolled away, the talk began of rejuvenation, a new owner and the promise of the electric.

The proposal, from the British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, to refit the old Holden plant to make electric cars is still just a suggestion, but it has captured the imagination of a country suddenly keen to talk. On Monday, the idea was backed to the hilt by the premier, Jay Weatherill, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. On Tuesday, the federal energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, said the electric car would do to Australia “what the iPhone did to the communications sector”.

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Categories: Environment

Scottish railway lines hit by flooding and landslides

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 9:55am

Glasgow to Edinburgh route among those affected as Met Office forecasts winds of up to 90mph

The Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line and five others in Scotland have been affected by landslides and flooding, leading to delays and cancellations.

Landslides took place on Wednesday along two commuter lines, including the main route between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh, plus Glasgow Central to Carlisle and the Newcastle line via Dumfries.

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Categories: Environment

Local people tackle tide of beach plastic in Mumbai

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 9:54am

Clean-up has collected more than 12,000 tonnes of plastic since 2015

A beach in Mumbai is looking much cleaner thanks to the efforts of local people to remove a tide of plastic waste that appears on the shore.

A regular group of people, including children, use equipment donated by Bollywood stars to scour a 3km stretch of Versova beach every weekend, and have collected more than 12,000 tonnes of plastic since 2015.

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Categories: Environment

Python owner was killed by his 8ft-long pet, coroner rules

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 5:57am

Dan Brandon kept 10 snakes and 12 tarantulas in his bedroom and was said to be responsible owner

A lover of exotic animals died of asphyxia after his 2.4-metre (8ft) pet African rock python called Tiny wrapped itself around him, a coroner has ruled.

Dan Brandon was found dead by his mother, Babs, in his bedroom in Hampshire, with the python concealed close by.

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Categories: Environment

World's first electric container barges to sail from European ports this summer

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 4:56am

Dubbed the ‘Tesla of the canals’, the unmanned vessels will operate on Dutch and Belgian waterways, vastly reducing diesel vehicles and emissions

The world’s first fully electric, emission-free and potentially crewless container barges are to operate from the ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam from this summer.

The vessels, designed to fit beneath bridges as they transport their goods around the inland waterways of Belgium and the Netherlands, are expected to vastly reduce the use of diesel-powered trucks for moving freight.

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Categories: Environment

Remote Amazon tribe hit by mercury crisis, leaked report says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 3:09am

Peru’s Health Ministry found shocking contamination among the Nahua, but hasn’t published its full report

An indigenous people living in one of the remotest parts of the Peruvian Amazon has been struck by a mystery mercury epidemic, according to an unpublished Health Ministry report dated 2015 and 2017 seen by the Guardian.

The Nahua only entered into sustained contact with “outsiders” in the mid-1980s, which led to almost 50% of the population dying mainly from respiratory and infectious diseases. Today, numbering less than 500 people, the vast majority live in a village in the Kugapakori, Nahua, Nanti and Others Reserve established for indigenous peoples in “voluntary isolation” and “initial contact” in south-east Peru.

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Categories: Environment

Is There A Ticking Time Bomb Under The Arctic?

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 2:37am

Just what exactly is permafrost? And what is happening now that it's warming up? To find out, we enter the Arctic Circle's secret world of ice and frozen history.

(Image credit: Kate Ramsayer/NASA)

Categories: Environment

Donald Trump's tariffs on panels will cost US solar industry thousands of jobs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/01/24 - 12:33am

Trump’s decision to impose a 30% tariff will cost the US around 23,000 jobs and risks slowing the growth of clean energy, advocates warn

Donald Trump’s decision to impose a tariff on imported solar panels will cost the US solar industry about 23,000 jobs this year and risks slowing the growth of clean energy that would help address climate change, renewable energy advocates warned.

Trump has imposed a 30% tariff on foreign-made solar cells and modules, with the White House expressing alarm at a huge rise in imported components “spurred on by artificially low-priced solar cells and modules from China”.

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Tasmania: new find of extremely rare red handfish doubles population to 80

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/23 - 11:27pm

Team of divers spent two days searching a reef, and hope more red handfish will be found

Divers in Tasmania have discovered a new population of red handfish, doubling the known population of the elusive and extremely rare fish and raising hopes that more may be found.

Until last week the remaining population of red handfish, Thymichthys politus, was believed to be confined to one 50m long reef in Frederick Henry Bay near Hobart in south-east Tasmania.

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Categories: Environment

UK opposes strong EU recycling targets despite plastics pledge

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/23 - 11:01pm

Exclusive: government accused of hypocrisy as documents show opposition to urban waste plan

The UK government is opposing strong new recycling targets across the EU despite its recent pledge to develop “ambitious new future targets and milestones”, confidential documents have revealed.

A 25-year environment plan was launched earlier in January by the prime minister, Theresa May, who particularly focused on cutting plastic pollution. The plan, aimed partly at wooing younger voters, says “recycling plastics is critical”.

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Categories: Environment

Cape Town to run out of water by 12 April amid worst drought in a century

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/23 - 6:15pm

Residents will have to queue at standpipes for daily rations unless they drastically reduce consumption

As Cape Town suffers its worst drought in a century, residents have been warned that they face losing piped water to their homes on 12 April – nine days earlier than predicted.

If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by “Day Zero”, people will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons), residents were told on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Murky world of 'science' journals a new frontier for climate deniers | Graham Readfearn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/23 - 5:38pm

Deniers have found a platform in emerging publications that publish without rigorous review

There’s a new scientific journal you might not have heard of called the International Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences. It says it “supports scientist who sweats for the real innovation & discovery”.

If that’s a little too sweaty for you, then how about another new journal, also called the International Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences?

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Categories: Environment

National Trust to create UK sanctuary for endangered butterfly

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/01/23 - 5:01pm

Heddon Valley in Devon to be haven for high brown fritillary, supported by lottery funding

A beautiful wooded valley on the Devon coast is to be the focus of a project to save the UK’s most endangered butterfly – the high brown fritillary.

Conservationists believe changes to woodland management, such as the abandonment of coppicing, and climate change have contributed to the steep decline of the large, powerful, fast-flying butterfly over the last 50 years.

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Categories: Environment

Trash Is Literally Making a Big Stink Outside Of Moscow

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/01/23 - 2:18pm

Residents of some suburbs complain their lives are being ruined by the giant garbage dumps that ring the city. With no recycling in the capital, all trash goes into the expanding landfills.

Categories: Environment
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