Environment

Sea life in 'peril' as ocean temperatures hit all-time high in San Diego

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 12:51pm

Between 1982 and 2016, the number of ‘marine heatwaves’ doubled, and likely will become more common and intense as the planet warms, study finds

Even the oceans are breaking temperature records in this summer of heatwaves. Off the California coast near San Diego, scientists in early August recorded all-time high seawater temperatures since daily measurements began in 1916.

“Just like we have heatwaves on land, we also have heatwaves in the ocean,” said Art Miller of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Categories: Environment

2018 Revealed Just How Ill-Prepared We Are For Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 10:59am

Somini Sengupta, international climate reporter for The New York Times, discusses the dire consequences of rising temperatures, such as drought, famine, disease, war and increased migration.

Categories: Environment

Wisconsin Reservation Offers A Climate Success Story And A Warning

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 8:07am

Climate change is causing more severe flooding around the country, and a disproportionate number of Native American communities are on the front lines.

(Image credit: Joe Proudman/UC Davis)

Categories: Environment

Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 3:00am

A new study examines potential climate feedbacks that could push Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state

A new paper, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has received a lot of media attention. The attention is justified because the paper paints a very grim picture of the climate and what humans may be doing to it. In particular, the authors of this study tried to determine the trajectory that the Earth is on so we can predict what the future climate will be.

There are many really important insights from this paper. The authors wanted to know how feedbacks in the Earth’s climate will play a role in shaping the climate in the future. By feedbacks, we mean a change in one part of the climate that then causes another change, which in turn may cause another change, and so on, potentially setting up chain reactions.

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Categories: Environment

Nutria: the rodent wreaking havoc on California's landscape – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 2:25am

The rapid influx of these beaver-like rodents has decimated parts of the Californian wetlands. They were introduced to the US for the fur trade and now share wetland areas with some of the west coast’s most endangered species. The California department of fish and wildlife has compared the threat of their presence to that of wildfires

California v nutria: state seeks to eradicate scourge of giant rodents

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Categories: Environment

California v nutria: state seeks to eradicate scourge of giant rodents

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 2:00am

As the dog-sized creatures destroy wetlands and dig through levees, officials have a goal: total extermination

The call came from a wildlife trapper working in the wetlands of central California.

“I think I caught a nutria,” the man said.

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Categories: Environment

Josh Frydenberg under pressure over $444m reef foundation grant – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/15 - 1:47am

Labor pursues environment minister over grant to private foundation and fallout continues from Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. All the day’s events, live

Fraser Anning calls for ‘final solution’ on immigration
Exclusive: Centrelink trial bypasses safeguard for mentally ill

10.11am BST

Postscript

The Senate has voted on David Leyonhjelm’s bill to restore the territories’ rights to legislate for euthanasia and it has been voted down:

9.47am BST

I’ve had a good and proper scrounge around and all has gone quiet up here on the hill.

To be honest, I think the last 24 hours has left most MPs exhausted. I don’t blame them.

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Categories: Environment

Sanjeev Gupta: $1bn South Australia renewable energy plan will mean cheaper power

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 10:21pm

UK industrialist’s plan features 780,000 solar panels, generating enough electricity for 96,000 homes

Billionaire UK industrialist Sanjeev Gupta has launched a $1bn, one-gigawatt renewable energy plan based in South Australia’s mid-north that he says will lead Australian industry’s transition to more competitive power.

In the first of a number of projects slated for the upper Spencer Gulf region, which will also include a lithium-ion battery bigger than Elon Musk’s, Gupta’s energy company Simec Zen has released details of its Cultana Solar Farm.

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Categories: Environment

Florida's Gulf Coast Battles Deadly And Smelly Red Tide

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 2:04pm

A toxic algae bloom is killing fish, turtles and dolphins and discouraging tourists from visiting Florida's Gulf Coast. It's not the first such event, but it is especially intense.

(Image credit: Greg Allen/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Claimed power price cuts from energy guarantee are 'virtually meaningless'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 11:00am

Coal-fired power subsidies mean the projections relied on by Coalition are not credible, study says

The Turnbull government is trumpeting power price reductions as a consequence of its national energy guarantee – but a new analysis says subsidies for coal-fired power stations will render those forecasts “virtually meaningless”.

The government has failed to rule out the building of new coal plants as a consequence of its underwriting of new power generation, and Labor declaring that development a deal breaker.

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Categories: Environment

Calls for environmental water entitlements to be sold to drought-affected farmers

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 11:00am

Politicians and farmers say water should be diverted to crops to keep herds alive

There are growing calls for the federal and state governments to start selling government-owned environmental water entitlements to farmers to alleviate the drought and to keep livestock alive.

But the proposals would see wetlands and river courses starved of water with potential environmental stress from the drought exacerbated by the diversion of water onto farmland.

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Categories: Environment

Stop climate change, don’t ‘adapt’ to it | Letters:

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 10:04am
Judy Hindley says we must increase the price of fossil fuels, and Iain Climie raises the issue of climate change refugees

While I appreciate your work in keeping the spotlight on the global heatwave (World on fire: the rise of the 50C city, G2, 13 August), I’m scared by the emphasis of your correspondents and leader writers on “adapting” to climate change (Letters, 11 July). You don’t “adapt” to a raging fire, do you? You have to stop it. And the first thing you need to do is stop pouring fuel on it.

Leading scientists worldwide now agree that the main cause of the climate crisis is the burning of fossil fuels, and leading economists agree that the solution is to price fossil fuels out of the market. Until that happens, we will be paying – with our health, our lives and our children’s future.

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Categories: Environment

Extreme temperatures 'especially likely for next four years'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 8:00am

Cyclical natural phenomena that affect planet’s climate will amplify effect of manmade global warming, scientists warn

The world is likely to see more extreme temperatures in the coming four years as natural warming reinforces manmade climate change, according to a new global forecasting system.

Following a summer of heatwaves and forest fires in the northern hemisphere, the study in the journal Nature Communications suggests there will be little respite for the planet until at least 2022, and possibly not even then.

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Categories: Environment

Watch This Native Pollinator Build Her Bee-Jeweled Nest

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 6:00am

Research shows that 400 female blue orchard bees are as effective at pollinating almonds as the more than 10,000 bees in a honeybee hive. But they reproduce slowly and are prone to wandering.

(Image credit: Josh Cassidy/KQED)

Categories: Environment

'It can’t get much hotter ... can it?' How heat became a national US problem

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 3:59am

Heat now kills more Americans than floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters – but cities are facing it almost entirely alone

On yet another day of roasting heat in Phoenix, elderly and homeless people scurry between shards of shade in search of respite at the Marcos De Niza Senior Center. Along with several dozen other institutions in the city, it has been set up as a cooling centre: a free public refuge, with air conditioning, chilled bottled water, boardgames and books. Last summer a record 155 people died in Phoenix from excess heat, and the city is straining to avoid a repeat.

James Sanders, an 83-year-old who goes by King, has lived in the city for 60 years and considers himself acclimatised to the baking south Arizona sun. “It does seem hotter than it used to be, though,” he says as he picks at his lunch, the temperature having climbed to 42C (107F) outside. “Maybe it’s my age. Maybe the wind isn’t blowing. It can’t get much hotter than this though. Can it?”

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Categories: Environment

Venezuela crisis: Maduro to raise fuel prices to combat smuggling

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/08/14 - 12:53am

President vows to curb fuel subsidies to prevent reselling in neighbouring countries

Venezuela’s heavily subsidised domestic fuel prices should rise to international levels to avoid billions of dollars in annual losses as a result of smuggling, Nicolás Maduro has said in a televised address.

“Gasoline must be sold at an international price to stop smuggling to Colombia and the Caribbean,” the president said.

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Categories: Environment

Don't blame wildfires on climate change – it's environmentalists' fault, says Zinke

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/08/13 - 1:34pm

US interior secretary Ryan Zinke blames environmentalists for the devastation in California and calls for an increase in logging

The US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, has blamed environmentalists for California’s ferocious wildfires and claimed, contrary to scientific research, that climate change had “nothing to do” with them. Instead, he said the fires were worsened because of limits on logging.

“America is better than letting these radical groups control the dialogue about climate change,” Zinke told KCRA, a TV station in northern California, on Sunday. “Extreme environmentalists have shut down public access. They talk about habitat and yet they are willing to burn it up.”

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Categories: Environment

Dirty coal: health fears of a town covered in dust from disused power station

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/08/13 - 11:00am

Senate inquiry to visit Port Augusta to investigate mistakes made after the closure of the Northern power plant

For the residents living near the site of South Australia’s demolished coal-fired power plant, the coming months could be their third straight summer of dust.

A flawed rehabilitation of an ash dam has led to potentially hazardous particles being blown across Port Augusta and its 14,000 residents for the last two years.

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Categories: Environment

CSIRO unaware of $444m reef grant before announcement

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/08/13 - 11:00am

Staff at government scientific agency will likely be seconded to help administer funds, documents show

The CSIRO was not aware a $443.8 m grant would be offered to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and staff at the agency are likely to be seconded to the charity to help administer the funds, according to documents tabled in the Senate.

The documents, tabled on Monday, show the agency “didn’t have visibility” before the government announced the grant on 29 April, with correspondence from senior staff noting the prime minister’s office appeared to be involved.

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Categories: Environment

Tax havens shielding companies responsible for deforestation and overfishing

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/08/13 - 8:00am

70% of vessels implicated in illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing are registered in tax havens, report finds

Money channelled through secretive tax havens has been used to fuel deforestation in the Amazon and illegal fishing around the world, racking up a heavy environmental toll but leaving few ways for businesses to be held to account.

Billions of pounds worth of finance has travelled through countries internationally recognised as tax havens, and has been traced by researchers to activities that contribute to environmental destruction, such as growing soy and beef in deforested areas of the Amazon, and expanding a network of largely unregulated fishing vessels operating under “flags of convenience”.

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Categories: Environment
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