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A glacier baby is born: Mating glaciers to replace water lost to climate change

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2023/09/03 - 4:33am

Residents of Pakistan's Himalayan region turn to science and folklore, with backing from the U.N. They're erecting ice towers, harvesting avalanches and performing an ancient glacier ritual.

(Image credit: Diaa Hadid/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Nearly 120 million people in US exposed to unhealthy levels of soot and smog – report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/18 - 9:01pm

American Lung Association’s study also found great disparity between coasts, with 10 of 11 most polluted counties in California

The climate crisis has upended progress on improving air quality, with one in three Americans currently living in areas with harmful levels of pollutants known to increase the risk of medical emergencies, pregnancy complications and premature death, new research reveals.

Almost 120 million people in the US are still exposed to unhealthy levels of soot and smog, according to the annual report by the American Lung Association (ALA), which found that people of color are almost four times more likely to live in the most polluted places than white Americans.

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Categories: Environment

Beetaloo Basin inquiry calls for national plan to offset vast emissions expected from gas projects

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/18 - 8:54pm

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young says Labor support for recommendations is a ‘huge blow’ to companies trying to frack in the NT

An inquiry into major plans to exploit gas in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin has recommended the federal government commit to a national plan to offset the vast emissions the project is expected to release.

The former government made gas exploration in the Beetaloo Basin a central tenet of its plans for recovering from the Covid pandemic, using grants and tax breaks to incentivise gas corporates to begin work in the region. The basin covers about 28,000 sq km south-east of Katherine and is thought to contain huge reserves of shale gas.

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Categories: Environment

Humpbacks spotted having whale of a time at underwater ‘day spa’ off Gold Coast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/18 - 6:35pm

Griffith University researcher captures video of five whales doing ‘bizarre rolls’ on the sea floor as they exfoliate and socialise

Whales have been caught on camera enjoying a marine version of a day spa, returning to their favourite spot off the Gold Coast to scratch off itchy skin and parasites, and catch up with their cetacean buddies.

Griffith University whale researcher Dr Olaf Meynecke and his colleagues were trying to shed light on the behaviour of competing pods of humpbacks that use Gold Coast waters to rest, breed and socialise.

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Categories: Environment

'Full of life': scientists discover pristine deep-sea Galapagos coral reefs – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/18 - 10:11am

Scientists operating a submersible have discovered deep-sea coral reefs in pristine condition in a previously unexplored part of the Galapagos marine reserve. Diving to depths of 600 metres (1,970ft), to the summit of a previously unmapped seamount in the central part of the archipelago, the scientists witnessed a breathtaking mix of deep marine life. This has raised hopes that healthy reefs can still thrive at a time when coral is in crisis due to record sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification

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Categories: Environment

Campaigners urge action over carbon footprint of disposable nappies

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/18 - 9:00am

Reusables have 25% less global heating potential, finds UK government report, but overall picture is mixed

Environmental campaigners are calling on the UK government to take action after new analysis found a significant difference between the carbon footprints of washable and disposable nappies.

Reusable nappies have 25% less global heating potential compared with single-use nappies, according to a report commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

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Categories: Environment

Scientists discover pristine deep-sea Galápagos reef ‘teeming with life’

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/04/18 - 4:54am

Diving to 600m, researchers find reefs full of octopus, lobster and fish, raising hopes for corals’ survival amid rising sea temperatures

Scientists operating a submersible have discovered deep-sea coral reefs in pristine condition in a previously unexplored part of the Galápagos marine reserve.

Diving to depths of 600 metres (1,970ft), to the summit of a previously unmapped seamount in the central part of the archipelago, the scientists witnessed a breathtaking mix of deep marine life. This has raised hopes that healthy reefs can still thrive at a time when coral is in crisis due to record sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification. It also showed the effectiveness of conservation actions and effective management, they said.

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Categories: Environment

Dig in: how to build a forest from scratch – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 11:30pm

The Bristol-based charity Forest of Avon Trust has recently acquired 100 acres of grazed farmland near the village of Pensford in Somerset, to create the Great Avon Wood. Alongside charity partners Avon Needs Trees, the aim is to plant more than 40,000 trees supplied by the Woodland Trust over the next three years, resulting in a green corridor of three linked woodland sites. The first step is an army of volunteers …

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Categories: Environment

Colorado River snaking through Grand Canyon most endangered US waterway – report

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 9:01pm

Unique ecosystem on the brink of collapse due to climate crisis and mismanagement, says conservation group American Rivers

A 277-mile stretch of the Colorado River that snakes through the iconic Grand Canyon is America’s most endangered waterway, a new report has found.

The unique ecosystem and cultural heritage of the Grand Canyon is on the brink of collapse due to prolonged drought, rising temperatures and outdated river management, according to American Rivers, the conservation group that compiles the annual endangered list.

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Categories: Environment

Japan’s ‘toxic’ dolphin meat contains mercury up to 100 times safe level, test shows

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 6:17pm

Exclusive: Conservation group Action for Dolphins has lodged a complaint with police, demanding the meat be removed from sale

Marine conservation campaigners have lodged a complaint with police demanding that “toxic” dolphin meat be removed from sale in Japan, after a test showed a sample contained levels of mercury up to 100 times higher than the government’s recommended safe level.

Action for Dolphins (AFD), a nonprofit based in Australia, filed the complaint with police in central Japan this month, amid expert warnings that regular consumption of dolphin meat could threaten the health of consumers.

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Categories: Environment

Lords amendment to energy bill may stop new coalmines in England

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 1:00pm

Change to bill says opening and licensing of new coalmines by the Coal Authority to be prohibited

An amendment to the energy bill currently going through the House of Lords means that it will not be possible to open a new coalmine in England.

The amendment may still be reversed in the House of Commons, but it marks the growing frustration of politicians as they press the government to move faster and harder on the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

World snooker championship disrupted by Just Stop Oil protesters in Sheffield

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 12:02pm
  • First-round matches held up by graphic powder protest
  • Government urged to ‘stop all new UK fossil fuel projects’

The World Snooker Championship is the latest high-profile sporting event to be disrupted by protestors after a Just Stop Oil activist poured a packet of orange powder paint over a table on Monday evening, forcing a 24-hour suspension in the match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry.

Milkins was 11-0 up in the early stages of the opening frame when a man suddenly ran out of the crowd, jumped on to the table and began emptying the powder. It took 12 seconds for two security guards to get down the stairs of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, and bundle the activist away, but the damage had long been done.

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Categories: Environment

Hundreds of firefighters tackle wildfire on French-Spanish border – video

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 10:01am

Footage released by Catalonia's fire brigade showed firefighters tackling a large wildfire on the French-Spanish border. The blaze spread around the French villages of Cerbère and Banyuls-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean coast before advancing into Spain, fire services said. Hundreds of firefighters were mobilised on both sides of the border to stem the blaze, which destroyed almost 1,000 hectares of land. An unusually dry winter and spring have raised fears of a repeat of last summer's fires and droughts across Europe. One firefighter was being treated with minor injures.

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Categories: Environment

An earthworm: when you are a child, these are an enormous part of your world | Helen Sullivan

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 8:00am

To get earthworms for fishing, people do a thing called ‘worm grunting’

An article on earthworms published in the New York Times in 1881 – “Habits of earth-worms: The curious work which they accomplish” – describes a helminth British empire. “In England they abound in the fields, in the paved courts of houses, though they are rarer in bog fields,” the author writes. “Worm castings have been found as high as 1,500 feet in the Scotch hills and at great altitudes in south India, and on the Himalaya mountains. Both in the extremes of a climate like England and in very hot weather, worms cease their work.”

Earthworms are hermaphrodites, which the journalist, all the way back in 1881, expresses in a glittering sentence: “Two sexes unite in one individual but two individuals pair”.

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Categories: Environment

Toxic PFAS chemicals used in packaging can end up in food, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 1:00am

Compostable packaging is popular for environmental reasons, but it can be treated with ‘forever chemicals’ linked to health problems

A group of toxic PFAS chemicals that industry has claimed is safe to use in food packaging are concerning and present a health threat because they can break off and end up in food and drinks, a new peer-reviewed study finds.

The subgroup of PFAS, called “fluorotelomers”, have been billed as a safe replacement for a first generation of PFAS compounds now largely phased out of production in the US, Canada and the EU because of their high toxicity.

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Categories: Environment

What happened after US police teargassed protesters – a visual investigation

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/04/17 - 12:00am

A groundbreaking analysis reveals how Portland, Oregon, was blanketed with toxic chemicals, raising concerns about global teargas use: ‘This was a disaster’

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Categories: Environment

How to tag a rhino? Use tech, tact … and plenty of caution – a photo essay

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/04/16 - 11:00pm

Fewer than 2,000 rhino remain in Kenya, and the country’s wildlife service needs to keep tabs on them to make sure they thrive. It’s a major undertaking, involving a helicopter, 4x4s and a lot of rangers

Words and photographs by Peter Muiruri

Kenya has the world’s third largest rhinoceros population: a total of 1,890 including 966 black rhinos, 922 southern white and two northern white. But how to keep track of them and ensure the species are thriving? Every two or three years, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) carries out an ear-notching exercise in all rhino sanctuaries in the country to ensure that at least 60% of the animals are uniquely identifiable.

An ear-notch is a pattern unique to an individual rhino within a specific ecosystem that helps rangers and researchers keep accurate records and monitor the rhino’s health.

Here comes a chopper … a helicopter is used to dart the highly aggressive black rhino

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Categories: Environment

Discovered in the deep: the squid that sees both ways at once

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/04/16 - 10:00pm

Living in the twilight zone, cockeye squid float between two worlds and have adapted to keep an eye on both

Cockeye squid face a conundrum. Living hundreds of metres underwater, they float in between two worlds. Above them is the surface ocean, where a dim blue fraction of sunlight filters down. Below them is the deep sea, sunless and black. Which way to look?

Their mismatched eyes solve the problem – by letting them gaze into both worlds at once.

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Categories: Environment

Labor’s ‘quite ambitious’ electric vehicle strategy expected to be released this week

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/04/15 - 5:00pm

Chris Bowen is expected to introduce an EV and vehicle fuel efficiency standards policy this week

Australia’s long-awaited national electric vehicle strategy is expected to be released this week, finally detailing the introduction of pollution standards that should accelerate the uptake of electric cars.

Industry sources say the federal climate change and energy minister, Chris Bowen, will release the strategy ahead of an event in western Sydney on Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

Avian superhighway: UK’s ‘pitstop’ for migrating birds seeks Unesco status

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/04/15 - 4:00am

East Atlantic Flyway in England takes first step to becoming world heritage site alongside global wonders including the Galápagos and Kilimanjaro

High over the Essex coast, an ancient battle of life and death is playing out: a peregrine falcon scans the ground at Old Hall Marshes nature reserve where lapwings guard their nests. A “deceit” (the collective noun for lapwings), bolts into the air to chase away the bird of prey. The furious group of expecting parents nip at the falcon’s feathers until it loses interest.

“This is probably the wildest part of Essex,” says Kieren Alexander, the RSPB site manager, scanning the wetlands with his binoculars for more skirmishes after the lapwings settle.

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Categories: Environment
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