Vital ecosystems in tidal flats lost to development and rising sea levels

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/28 - 2:07pm

First global coastline survey shows 16% of tidal flats lost between 1984 and 2016

Coastal development and sea level rise are causing the decline of tidal flats along the world’s coastlines, according to research that has mapped the ecosystems for the first time.

Scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Queensland used machine-learning to analyse more than 700,000 satellite images to map the extent of and change in tidal flats around the globe.

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Categories: Environment

Trump EPA Says Mercury Limits On Coal Plants Too Costly, Not 'Necessary'

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/12/28 - 12:13pm

The EPA says it will keep limits on toxic mercury emissions from coal plants but now deems them not cost-effective. Environmental groups worry the move could hinder future regulations.

(Image credit: Matt Brown/AP)

Categories: Environment

Plan to dump 15m tonnes of salt waste in Murray-Darling headwaters hits roadblock

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/28 - 12:00pm

Opponents of plan to dump waste from coal seam gas mining celebrate court decision

Controversial plans to dump up to 15m tonnes of salt and other waste near a creek in drought-stricken Queensland have hit an unexpected roadblock after a court ruled that planning approvals do not allow for trucks to park at the site.

Guardian Australia reported in October that a study had found that the dump, near the town of Chinchilla, north-west of Brisbane, carried a “considerable” risk of water contamination. Salt waste from coal seam gas operations is planned to be stored fewer than 100 metres from Stockyard Creek, in the headwaters of the Murray-Darling basin.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration to consider changes to Obama-era mercury rule

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/28 - 8:46am

Move is part of a series of rollbacks pursued on behalf of coal interests, decisions scientists say are detrimental to public health

The Trump administration will reconsider the reasoning for restrictions on toxic mercury pollution from coal plants that is linked to developmental delays in children, it was announced on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Safely Evacuating The Elderly In Any Emergency Takes Planning And Practice

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/12/28 - 3:00am

After three hurricanes, a big snow storm and an ice storm, residents and staff of a retirement community in Charleston are starting to view evacuations as the reality of growing old on the coast.

(Image credit: Mic Smith/AP)

Categories: Environment

Stolen, burned, tossed in the lake: e-scooters face vandals wrath

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 11:00pm

Environmentalists raise concern as Lime and Bird vehicles pile up in California lake

It was a sight as common at Oakland’s Lake Merritt as the ducks paddling on the water or the seagulls fighting over scraps: a bright green motorized Lime scooter was submerged just feet off the murky shore.

“Aw man, the Lime person just came by this morning,” James Robinson, executive director of the Lake Merritt Institute, said when he found out about the latest scooter deposit.

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Categories: Environment

Indonesia tsunami: volunteers rescue dozens of stranded turtles

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 9:10pm

After a harrowing week of human tragedy, rescuers find a moment of hope as they return more than 30 turtles to the sea

For the officials and volunteers aiding rescue efforts after the tsunami that killed at least 430 people in Indonesia, it has been a grim week.

After deadly waves hit the coasts of Java and Sumatra in the Sunda Strait, they know they are more likely to find bodies than survivors. Amidst the horror, volunteers are clinging to any victories, however small, to keep them going.

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Categories: Environment

Discover the Familiar: The plastic backlash – podcast

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 9:00pm

Decades after it became part of the fabric of our lives, a worldwide revolt against plastic is under way

Read the text version here

Clare Longrigg, deputy editor of the Guardian’s Long Read section, introduces three of her favourite long reads from 2018. They’re all on the theme of “Discovering the Familiar” – things we use every day without considering the extraordinary impact they can have on us.

Today: plastic. Decades after it became part of the fabric of our lives, a worldwide revolt against plastic is under way.

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Categories: Environment

UK wildlife audit shows rollercoaster 2018 due to extreme weather

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 5:01pm

‘Beast from the east’ to summer heatwave resulted in record years for some species while others struggled

A year of extreme weather ranging from the snowy bitterness of the beast from the east” to a baking hot summer has resulted in a rollercoaster year for wildlife, according to an annual audit of the UK’s flora and fauna.

The prolonged, harsh end to the winter followed by a mild May and sunny weather in June and July meant some species had record years while others struggled to cope.

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Categories: Environment

Irukandji warning: deadly jellyfish will be 'fired up' by north Queensland's big wet

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 4:40pm

Tiny creatures prefer calm, warm waters – with risk of stings increasing after rainfall

Irukandji jellyfish may be elusive during far north Queensland’s big wet but they’re set to come back in big numbers when the sun comes out.

After they forced the closure of two northern Queensland beaches last weekend, including Ellis Beach near Cairns when a teenage girl was admitted to hospital with stings to her upper body, no irukandji have been spotted in swimming areas since.

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Categories: Environment

2018 Was A Milestone Year For Climate Science (If Not Politics)

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 3:24pm

2018 saw a string of more precise — and dire — assessments that a warming climate is affecting the weather. That didn't keep President Trump and others from questioning those scientific conclusions.

(Image credit: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Categories: Environment

Colorado Governor-Elect Pushes For 100 Percent Renewable Energy

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 2:29pm

Colorado's incoming governor Jared Polis is among a number of state Democratic leaders pledging more action on climate as the Trump administration pulls back.

Categories: Environment

Examining The Link Between Climate And Weather

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/12/27 - 3:00am

It was this year when scientists ratcheted up their warnings about the effects of a warming climate on weather. And the weather itself showed that scientists' predictions are getting better.

Categories: Environment

Schools urged to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 5:01pm

Education secretary asks headteachers to consider using sustainable alternatives

Schools are being encouraged to set themselves the target of eliminating their reliance on single-use plastics by 2022.

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has urged headteachers in England to consider using sustainable alternatives instead of non-recyclable plastic for items such as straws, bottles, bags and food packaging.

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Categories: Environment

Sicily Is Shaken By Earthquake As Mount Etna Erupts Once Again

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 3:37pm

The volcano erupted two days ago, triggering 1,000 mostly small tremors. At least 10 people were injured and a number of buildings were damaged in Wednesday's quake.

(Image credit: Marco Restivo/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Woodside seeks approval for gas project near WA's Dampier marine reserves

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 1:00pm

Federal environment department publishes proposal on Christmas Eve and public has only 10 business days to comment

The oil and gas company Woodside Energy has applied for federal approval for dredging and pipeline construction in waters near the Western Australian Dampier Archipelago marine reserves.

The company has sought the approval as part of its proposed Scarborough gas project, an offshore development about 380km from the Burrup peninsula that would use a 430km pipeline to transport gas to its existing Pluto liquefied natural gas facility on the peninsula.

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Categories: Environment

Executives In Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Deserve 5-Year Prison Terms, Prosecutors Say

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 9:50am

Japanese prosecutors say three top TEPCO executives didn't do enough to protect the nuclear plant, despite being told in 2002 that the Fukushima facility was vulnerable to a tsunami.

(Image credit: Kimimasa Mayama /AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

There's A Lot At Stake In The Weekly U.S. Drought Map

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 8:00am

As drought has deepened across the West, much attention is paid to a colorful map that shows the hardest-hit areas. The scientists who update the map each week face enormous pressure to get it right.

(Image credit: Kami Engstrom/Courtesy of Matt Isgar)

Categories: Environment

Japan Embraces Commercial Whaling, Pulls Out Of Global Alliance That Banned It

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 6:41am

Japan is leaving the International Whaling Commission, which put a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s. The country will allow commercial hunts for the first time in 30 years next July.

(Image credit: Kyodo/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Beyond Garnish: How Science Helps An Indoor Farm Amp Up Flower Flavor

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 6:02am

Chefs are turning to Fresh Impact Farms, located in an unassuming strip mall outside of Washington, D.C., when they want edible flowers, herbs, and greens that do more than just make a pretty plate.

(Image credit: Brian McBride/RWRestaurant Group)

Categories: Environment
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