Environment

No plan to protect Queensland's green-haired turtle from extinction

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 11:00am

The Mary river turtle is just one of many endangered Australian reptile species which have fallen between the conservation cracks

The Australian government does not have a plan to save an endangered Australian turtle species that received global attention on Thursday for its green mohawk and its ability to breathe through its genitals.

The Mary river turtle, found only in that one river in Queensland, attracted worldwide headlines as one of the standout species on a new list of the most vulnerable reptile species compiled by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

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Categories: Environment

'Cash-for-ash' inquiry: Arlene Foster says she regrets spiralling costs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 9:45am

DUP leader says she believes Sinn Féin protests over RHI costs were an excuse to bring down power-sharing executive

Northern Ireland’s former first minister Arlene Foster has told the inquiry into the green energy scheme that resulted in the collapse of the power-sharing government that she deeply regretted its spiralling costs.

The renewable heat incentive (RHI) programme was championed by Foster when she was the devolved enterprise minister but its costs ran into hundreds of millions of pounds.

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Categories: Environment

World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 8:55am

Stretch of road outside Stockholm transfers energy from two tracks of rail in the road, recharging the batteries of electric cars and trucks

The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.

About 2km (1.2 miles) of electric rail has been embedded in a public road near Stockholm, but the government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map for future expansion.

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Categories: Environment

How world's first electrified road charges moving vehicles – video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 8:54am

Sweden has opened the world's first electrified road. The 1.2-mile route, between Stockholm Arlanda airport and a logistics site, will now actively charge cars and lorries as they travel along it using an innovative energy transfer system 

World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden

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Categories: Environment

New satellite to spot planet-warming industrial methane leaks

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 8:15am

Multimillion dollar project will scan and make public methane leaks from oil and gas plants that are a major contributor to global warming

Methane leaking from oil and gas facilities around the world – a major contributor to global warming – is set to be spotted from space.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has announced it aims to launch a satellite called MethaneSAT by 2021 to scan the globe and make major leaks public. That information will then enable governments to force action, EDF hopes. Building and launching the satellite will cost tens of millions of dollars, but EDF says it has already raised most of the money.

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Categories: Environment

A Thank You To NPR's Science Commentary Readers

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 5:27am

For 6 1/2 years, Barbara J. King has written commentaries for NPR on everything from animals and anthropology to gender and higher education. Here, she offers up some of her favorite pieces.

(Image credit: Mark Mawson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Unforgettable underwater photography - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/04/12 - 2:36am

A new book published by the Natural History Museum showcases some of the most memorable underwater photographs taken over the last few decades in its annual wildlife photographer of the year competition. The stories behind the pictures - about both the behaviour and the photographers’ experiences - are often as interesting as the pictures themselves

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Categories: Environment

Court rejects challenge to salmon farm near Tasmanian world heritage area

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 8:03pm

Environmentalists plan to appeal decision as fish farm on Tasmania’s east coast gets green light

Legal action by environmentalists against a controversial salmon farm on Tasmania’s east coast has been dismissed in the federal court.

In 2017 the Bob Brown Foundation and tourism businesses owned by the millionaire environmentalist Graeme Wood challenged the decision by the federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, to approve Tassal’s 28-pen fish farm in Okehampton bay, near a world heritage area.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand bans all new offshore oil exploration as part of 'carbon-neutral future'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 6:17pm

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern says move ‘will essentially take effect in 30 or more years’ time’

The New Zealand government will grant no new offshore oil exploration permits in a move that is being hailed by conservation and environmental groups as a historic victory in the battle against climate change.

Related: Jacinda Ardern on life as a leader, Trump and selfies in the lingerie department

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Categories: Environment

Environmental Group Plans Methane-Tracking Satellite

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 4:30pm

Scientists hope MethaneSAT will show where the potent greenhouse gas is coming from. Tracking methane in the air is difficult because it rises and spreads from the source.

(Image credit: Environmental Defense Fund)

Categories: Environment

Cotton v wetlands: three options for ambitious rehabilitation project

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 12:23pm

The Nimmie-Caira project could mean the restoration of one of the largest wetlands in the Murray-Darling basin
Murray-Darling: when the river runs dry

The New South Wales government is close to deciding who will run one of most ambitious environmental projects that have come out of the Murray-Darling basin plan.

If successful, the rehabilitation of the Nimmie-Caira property could result in the restoration of the largest wetlands on the Murrumbidgee river. It will create a sanctuary for water birds, extend vital wetland habitats and preserve a unique area rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage – all under private sector ownership.

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Categories: Environment

Wild-caught Queensland prawns off the sustainable seafood menu

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 12:23pm

Non-farmed bugs and scallops also listed as red in latest conservation guide

Wild-caught Queensland prawns, bugs and scallops will be off the menu if consumers heed warnings about unsustainable fishing practices from conservationists.

The shellfish varieties have all been downgraded to a red rating in the latest sustainable seafood guide published by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

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Categories: Environment

Clean energy financier invests $150m in infrastructure fund to lower emissions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 11:00am

Move by CEFC designed to drive emissions reductions across Australia’s airports, ports and electricity infrastructure assets

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is investing $150m in Australia’s largest infrastructure fund to drive emissions reduction across some of Australia’s biggest airports, ports and electricity infrastructure assets.

It is the first time the CEFC has invested in an infrastructure fund, and it is using the investment to target emissions reduction at Melbourne and Brisbane airports, Sydney’s Port Botany, the Port of Brisbane and Ausgrid.

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Categories: Environment

Green-haired turtle that breathes through its genitals added to endangered list

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 11:00am

With its punky green mohican the striking Mary river turtle joins a new ZSL list of the world’s most vulnerable reptiles

It sports a green mohican, fleshy finger-like growths under its chin and can breathe through its genitals.

The Mary river turtle is one of the most striking creatures on the planet, and it is also one of the most endangered.

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Categories: Environment

Gulf Stream current at its weakest in 1,600 years, studies show

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 10:00am

Warm current that has historically caused dramatic changes in climate is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown and may be less stable than thought - with potentially severe consequences

The warm Atlantic current linked to severe and abrupt changes in the climate in the past is now at its weakest in at least 1,600 years, new research shows. The findings, based on multiple lines of scientific evidence, throw into question previous predictions that a catastrophic collapse of the Gulf Stream would take centuries to occur.

Such a collapse would see western Europe suffer far more extreme winters, sea levels rise fast on the eastern seaboard of the US and would disrupt vital tropical rains. The new research shows the current is now 15% weaker than around 400AD, an exceptionally large deviation, and that human-caused global warming is responsible for at least a significant part of the weakening.

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Categories: Environment

'Day zero' water crises: Spain, Morocco, India and Iraq at risk as reservoirs shrink

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/04/11 - 5:00am

A new early warning satellite system reveals countries where shrinking reservoirs could lead to the taps completely drying up

Shrinking reservoirs in Morocco, India, Iraq and Spain could spark the next “day zero” water crisis, according to the developers of a satellite early warning system for the world’s 500,000 dams.

Cape Town recently grabbed global headlines by launching a countdown to the day when taps would be cut off to millions of residents as a result of a three-year drought. Drastic conservation measures have forestalled that moment in South Africa, but dozens of other countries face similar risks from rising demand, mismanagement and climate change, say the World Resources Institute (WRI).

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Categories: Environment

Sydney waste incinerator should be binned, department says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/10 - 8:56pm

Dial A Dump’s waste-to-energy generation project likely to be put on hold until after NSW election due to pollution fears

A planned major waste incinerator and energy plant for western Sydney – the largest in the southern hemisphere – is likely to be put on ice until after the New South Wales election next March after the Department of Planning recommended against the project.

The director-general of the department is about to issue a negative assessment, saying that on the advice of Environmental Protection Authority, NSW Health and independent experts, the department had concluded it was inconsistent with the NSW EPA’s energy from waste policy statement (2015), and the air quality impacts and risk to human health were unknown.

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Categories: Environment

Drug waste clogs rivers around the world, scientists say

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/10 - 5:27pm

Large numbers of pharmaceuticals found at levels dangerous for wildlife and the environment

River systems around the world are coursing with over-the-counter and prescription drugs waste which harms the environment, researchers have found.

If trends persist, the amount of pharmaceutical effluence leaching into waterways could increase by two-thirds before 2050, scientists told the European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

No credible deaths threats against EPA chief Scott Pruitt, Senate Democrats say

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/10 - 3:11pm
  • Democrats urge investigation into Pruitt’s security precautions
  • Pruitt’s spokesman claims ‘unprecedented’ number of death threats

Confidential security assessments in the Environmental Protection Agency show no evidence of specific, credible, physical threats against administrator Scott Pruitt, despite claims that an “unprecedented” number of death threats justify his outsized security spending, according to a review by Senate Democrats.

Democrats on the Senate environment and public works committee wrote in a letter on Tuesday that they have reviewed security assessments describing 16 purported threats against Pruitt. They include public protests, criticism of Pruitt’s policies and other activities protected by the first amendment.

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Categories: Environment

Greater glider hotspot logged against Victorian government's own advice

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/04/10 - 3:00pm

Exclusive: State government-commissioned survey shows Strathbogie forest has very high densities of threatened species

A nationally significant hotspot for the greater glider, a federally listed threatened species, is being logged by the Victorian forest agency, VicForests.

The logging started at Barjarg Flat in the Strathbogie forest in north-east Victoria in February. This was two months after a preliminary update of a government fauna survey conducted by the Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) documented what are claimed to be the highest-ever densities of greater gliders in the state in that area.

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Categories: Environment
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