Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 11:04am

The best wildlife pictures from around the world, from golden frogs to homebound birds

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Categories: Environment

A Firefighter Is Killed In California Wildfire Sparked By Gender Reveal Party

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 10:22am

The firefighter died on Thursday in the El Dorado Fire some 70 miles east of Los Angeles. The blaze began two weeks ago after an expectant couple set off fireworks to reveal the sex of their child.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment

Climate campaigners condemn 'joy flights' for travellers who miss flying

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 8:35am

Rise in scenic round-trips by air in Australia and Asia is ‘insanity,’ say environmentalists

Environmental campaigners have condemned the rise of scenic “joy flights” aimed at passengers “missing the excitement of travel”.

Tickets for a seven-hour round trip from Sydney with Qantas sold out within 10 minutes, making it one of the airline’s fastest selling flights ever. Seat prices on the 10 October flight range from A$787 (£607) economy to $3,787 for business class.

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Categories: Environment

'Shocking': wilderness the size of Mexico lost worldwide in just 13 years, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 8:00am

Researchers say loss of 1.9m square kilometres of intact ecosystems will have ‘profound implications’ for biodiversity

Wilderness across the planet is disappearing on a huge scale, according to a new study that found human activities had converted an area the size of Mexico from virtually intact natural landscapes to heavily modified ones in just 13 years.

The loss of 1.9m square kilometres (735,000 sq miles) of intact ecosystems would have “profound implications” for the planet’s biodiversity, the study’s authors said.

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Categories: Environment

English vineyards introduce new grapes due to global heating

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 5:00am

Warming temperatures make pinot noir a staple of English winemakers although unpredictable weather threatens quaffability

On a hot morning in Devon, a single field stands as a barometer of climate change. Charlie Brown, 30, an assistant winemaker at Sandridge Barton vineyard, explains that the site in which they will soon start planting pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunièr wine grapes would once have been considered unsuitable for growth.

“The climate has changed. When you are the top of that brow the wind does rip through it a bit but we can plant here now,” he says.

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Categories: Environment

Don't look away now: are viewers finally ready for the truth about nature?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 4:30am

For decades David Attenborough delighted millions with tales of life on Earth. But now the broadcaster wants us to face up to the state of the planet

Sir David Attenborough’s soothing, matter-of-fact narrations have brought the natural world to our living rooms for nearly seven decades and counting. From Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the jungles of central Africa, the 94-year-old broadcaster has dazzled and delighted millions with tales of life on Earth – mostly pristine and untouched, according to the images on our screens. But this autumn Attenborough has returned with a different message: nature is collapsing around us.

“We are facing a crisis. One that has consequences for us all. It threatens our ability to feed ourselves, to control our climate. It even puts us at greater risk of pandemic diseases such as Covid-19,” he warned in Extinction: The Facts on BBC One primetime, receiving five-star reviews.

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Categories: Environment

Why some US cities are plotting a ‘green recovery’ after the pandemic

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 2:30am

Cities like Los Angeles, Seattle and New Orleans are aiming to tackle another, longer-term emergency – the climate crisis

The cars that typically throng the huge highways weaving through Los Angeles are such an established part of the city’s fabric that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, their sudden absence felt bizarre to locals even eerie. But many Angelenos have now discovered a new sort of relationship with their streets.

“People have felt they own their neighborhood again, they feel connected to it again,” Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’s mayor, told the Guardian in reference to streets that have reduced traffic, or even had it closed off, as offices, retailers and restaurants shut down.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's stinging trees: if the snakes and spiders don't get you, the plants might | Irina Vetter, Edward Kalani Gilding and Thomas Durek

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 11:58pm

Noxious nettles with venom similar to that of scorpions are helping scientists understand pain and how to control it

Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous wildlife. Anyone who spends time outdoors in eastern Australia is wise to keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, swooping birds, crocodiles, deadly cone snails and tiny toxic jellyfish.

But what not everybody knows is that even some of the trees will get you.

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Categories: Environment

How did a 'cocktail of violence' engulf Mozambique’s gemstone El Dorado?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 11:15pm

Clashes between Isis-linked militants, government troops and mercenaries have displaced 200,000 in mineral-rich Cabo Delgado

For decades a forgotten corner of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado has now become the country’s El Dorado, promising billions in natural gas and gemstones but delivering its population only violence and displacement.

An insurgency in the province now threatens to become further entrenched – 50,000 people have fled their homes since March and Mozambique’s neighbours are currently debating sending in regional forces to help defeat militants who seized a strategic port in the town of Mocímboa da Praia last month.

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Categories: Environment

Toyota reveals plan to turn trucks into emissions-free 'power plants'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 11:05am

Carmaker is to begin testing proposal to fit its Dyna vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells

Portable emissions-free “power plants” could soon hit the road under plans by Toyota to fit some of the company’s light-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cells that can generate electricity.

The world’s second-largest carmaker will begin testing the plan to fit a Toyota Dyna with hydrogen fuel cells in Japan later this month, a move that could create fleets of temporary, mobile electricity sources worldwide.

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Categories: Environment

Water insecurity causes psychological distress for Americans, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 10:33am

Mental health impact was greatest among people who recently received a shutoff notice, researchers found

Unaffordable water bills and the threat of disconnection causes significant psychological distress for Americans, according to a new study.

A Guardian investigation into 12 American cities found the price of water and sewage increased by an average of 80% between 2010 and 2018, with more than two-fifths of residents in some cities living in neighborhoods with unaffordable bills.

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Categories: Environment

NSW government ordered to revisit world heritage assessments for Warragamba Dam expansion

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 10:30am

A leaked report has found WaterNSW did not adequately assess how the project could affect iconic species such as the platypus and echidna

The New South Wales government has been ordered to redo world heritage assessments for its proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall after a federal analysis found it had failed to consider the impact on iconic species including the platypus.

A leaked report by federal environment bureaucrats found government agency WaterNSW did not adequately assess how its plan to raise the dam wall by 17m could affect the world heritage values of the Blue Mountains.

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Categories: Environment

BlackRock votes against 49 companies for lack of climate crisis progress

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 10:04am

World’s largest asset manager reveals votes against directors on environment issues

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has disclosed that in the past year it has voted 55 times against directors at 49 companies for failing to make progress on tackling the climate crisis.

The firm announced its sustainability focus in January, when it said it would be getting tough on companies that did not meet its expectations on dealing with climate risk, and would vote against them at annual shareholder meetings.

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Categories: Environment

'Unfathomable destruction': thousands of rare wildflowers wiped out in Nevada

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 9:24am

About 40% of the Tiehm’s buckwheat population destroyed, amid fierce dispute over proposed lithium and boron mine nearby

Nestled among the slopes of Nevada’s Silver Peak Range are six patches of Tiehm’s buckwheat, a rare flowering plant found nowhere else in the world. Only an estimated 42,000 plants remain on 10 acres. But over the weekend, conservationists discovered that 40% of the total population had been destroyed.

Related: Chinese fishing armada plundered waters around Galápagos, data shows

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 9:22am

Confidential Chinese report seen by the Guardian intensifies concerns about possible weapons programme

Saudi Arabia likely has enough mineable uranium ore reserves to pave the way for the domestic production of nuclear fuel, according to confidential documents seen by the Guardian.

Details of the stocks are contained in reports prepared for the kingdom by Chinese geologists, who have been scrambling to help Riyadh map its uranium reserves at breakneck speed as part of their nuclear energy cooperation agreement.

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Categories: Environment

EU Belarus sanctions in doubt as Cyprus demands action against Turkey

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 9:20am

Veto threat from EU member threatens to derail plans to sanction Belarusian officials

Cyprus is threatening to block European Union sanctions on Belarus because the bloc has declined to levy similar measures against Turkey over a long-simmering dispute about maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

The collision between two unrelated foreign policy crises on the EU’s doorstep – the standoff between Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko and the people, and rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean over Turkish drilling – has dismayed EU diplomats.

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Categories: Environment

Chinese fishing armada plundered waters around Galápagos, data shows

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 4:21am

Hundreds of vessels caught logging 73,000 hours of fishing in just one month in new analysis

A vast fishing armada of Chinese vessels just off the Galápagos Islands logged an astounding 73,000 hours of fishing during just one month as it pulled up thousands of tonnes of squid and fish, a new report based on data analysis has found.

The discovery of the giant flotilla off the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution stirred controversy and outrage in Ecuador and abroad.

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Categories: Environment

Shoots and leaves: the shotgun scientist who hunts moving trees

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 3:00am

As forests evolve in the face of climate crisis, some surprising methods are being used to track how species migrate

Angelica Patterson is on the lookout, shotgun in hand, as she hikes through New York state’s Black Rock Forest. She focuses on her target high up in the canopy, then bang – a branch falls to the ground. “I can’t climb trees, building scaffolding is expensive, and using a slingshot requires a lot of skill,” she says. “A shotgun is an efficient, cheap and effective way to collect the high-up leaves that have full exposure to the sun.”

Patterson puts the northern red oak branch into a bucket of water, cutting the submerged stem to ensure that its leaves continue to function, before walking back to her laboratory in the forest.

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Categories: Environment

Lithium find in Cornwall spurs hopes of regeneration

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 2:41am

Discovery of high-grade metal used for electric car batteries ‘could be enough to meet total future UK demand’

The hills and woods around the town of Redruth are dotted with reminders of Cornwall’s proud mining history – lovely old engine houses, terraces of workers’ cottages, memorials and statues.

So rich were the reserves of tin and copper in the region that one site near the village of Gwennap was once nicknamed “the richest square mile on Earth”.

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Categories: Environment

Coronavirus Australia live update: unemployment rate falls as Victoria records 28 new Covid cases and NSW five

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/09/16 - 8:54pm

Queensland registers one new case of Covid as Scott Morrison announces new energy plan that diverts funding away from renewables. Follow all today’s news

4.54am BST

In Victoria at the current time:

4.54am BST

Victoria’s official data is out:

Victoria has recorded 28 new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, with the total number of cases now at 19,970.

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Categories: Environment
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