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Heatwave temperatures may top 45C in southern Europe

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/08/04 - 6:34am

Alerts issued in Portugal and Spain as Met Office forecasts 31C for southern England

Much of southern Europe is sweltering in near record-breaking temperatures with the mercury expected to exceed 45C (113F).

A scorching 46C was forecast for Setúbal, near Lisbon, on Saturday, as emergency services in Portugal issued a red alert until Sunday and urged people to avoid picnics and outdoor activities.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration lifts ban on pesticides linked to declining bee numbers

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 8:03pm

Environmentalists say lifting the restriction poses a grave threat to pollinating insects

The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era ban on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in dozens of national wildlife refuges where farming is permitted.

Environmentalists, who had sued to bring about the two-year-old ban, said on Friday that lifting the restriction poses a grave threat to pollinating insects and other sensitive creatures relying on toxic-free habitats afforded by wildlife refuges.

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Categories: Environment

San Diego Researchers Measure The Highest Ocean Surface Temperature In A Century

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 4:50pm

The water, collected by scientists with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, measured 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit. "It really is weird," a research scientist said. It all started with the blob.

(Image credit: Tim Buss/Flickr)

Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 3:11pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Harvard Research Fellow Estimates Puerto Rico's Death Toll Following Hurricane Maria

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 1:38pm

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Satchit Balsari, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health about his estimate of Puerto Rico's death toll following Hurricane Maria and recommendations for preparedness.

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 6:12am

A quarter of a million roosting gannets in Yorkshire, an orca whale mother keeps her dead calf afloat and Norwegian reindeer seek cool in busy road tunnels – it’s the week in wildlife

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Categories: Environment

Which Vision Of Farming Is Better For The Planet?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 5:03am

Should we concentrate farming in a small area, or spread it out to reduce the environmental impact? It's a dilemma farmers face as they feed a growing planet. A new study weighs in.

(Image credit: Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center)

Categories: Environment

The future of smart cities is up for grabs: Chips with Everything podcast

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 4:00am

What happens when our smart toaster and smart fridge tech is scaled up to create entire smart cities – and what are the limits to this expansion?

Subscribe and review: Acast, Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud, AudioBoom,Mixcloud. Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or email us at chipspodcast@theguardian.com.

The term “smart city” is widely used and recognised – but there’s some disagreement over what exactly makes a city smart. If you take the core concept of a city that is made more efficient, sustainable, or just more enjoyable based on information gathered, most are cities smart already. When it comes to gathering the data that enables these improvements, what are the limits?

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Categories: Environment

Chimp sanctuary created by World Bank threatened by World Bank-backed dam

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 3:45am

Bank helped create reserve for endangered primates, but has since funded studies used to approve dam that would flood newly created habitat

Less than a year after it helped to create one of the planet’s most important chimpanzee sanctuaries, the World Bank is accused of backing a dam project that could flood the newly protected habitat.

The 6,426 square-kilomet re Moyen-Bafing national park was established by the government of Guinea last November with the support of the International Finance Corporation , the private sector lending arm of the World Bank.

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Categories: Environment

North Korea warns of natural disaster as heatwave sears crops

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 3:37am

Citizens urged to wage all-out battle to preserve food stocks amid ‘unprecedented’ drought

The North Korean government has called on its people to wage an “all-out battle” against a record heatwave as the country’s already fragile crops face drought and the authorities struggle to respond.

The drought represented an “unprecedented natural disaster”, reported the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ party. It urged citizens to “join the struggle” to save food production in a country that is no stranger to famine. Temperatures have reached more than 40C (104F) in some regions since late July and there have been sporadic reports of deaths from the heat.

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Categories: Environment

Pollution is slowing the melting of Arctic sea ice, for now | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 3:00am

Human carbon pollution is melting the Arctic, but aerosol pollution is slowing it down

The Arctic is one of the “canaries in the coal mine” for climate change. Long ago, scientists predicted it would warm quicker than other parts of the planet, and they were right. Currently, the Arctic is among the fastest-warming places on the planet. Part of the reason is that as the Arctic warms, ice melts and ocean water is uncovered. The ocean is darker than ice so it in turn absorbs more sunlight and increases its warming. This is a feedback loop.

Another reason is that the Arctic doesn’t get that much sunlight so increased energy from the atmosphere has a bigger influence there than it would have elsewhere.

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Categories: Environment

Administration Proposes Rolling Back Fuel Economy Standards

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/08/03 - 2:03am

Rachel Martin talks to Margo Oge, who helped develop the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards, about the Trump administration's decision to weaken efficiency requirements.

Categories: Environment

5,500 UK churches switch to renewable energy

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 4:01pm

Churches estimated to have diverted £5m from fossil fuels to clean energy providers

More than 5,500 churches including some of the UK’s most famous cathedrals have converted to renewable power to help tackle climate change.

Church of England places of worship, along with Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and Salvation Army congregations, have made the switch to 100% renewable electricity, and faith leaders are urging more to follow suit.

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Categories: Environment

Work on Caribbean island airport halted by court ruling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 12:09pm

Critics say airport and resort would do more ecological harm to Barbuda than Hurricane Irma

A high court has suspended all construction work on a controversial airport development on the unspoilt Caribbean island of Barbuda that residents say will devastate its fragile ecosystem.

Antigua and Barbuda high court of justice granted an interim injunction to prevent building work on the airport from continuing during a legal challenge against the territory’s government over the international airport development.

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Categories: Environment

California vows to 'fight this stupidity' as EPA moves to scrap clean car rules

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 10:19am

Governor Jerry Brown calls administration’s proposal to weaken Obama-era emissions rules ‘reckless’ and a ‘betrayal’

The Trump administration has moved to weaken US vehicle emissions standards and has set up a major confrontation with California by scrapping its ability to enact stricter pollution standards and mandate the sale of electric cars.

Related: Elon Musk: the volatile visionary at risk of steering Tesla off the road

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Categories: Environment

throwback thursday...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 9:32am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Buried UK government report finds fracking increases air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 9:00am

Report was with ministers in 2015 but only published three years later, days after a key fracking permit was awarded

A UK government report concluding that shale gas extraction increases air pollution was left unpublished for three years and only released four days after ministers approved fracking in Lancashire, it has emerged.

The report, written by the government’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), was given to ministers in 2015, but was published quietly on 27 July. Fracking firm Cuadrilla was given the first permit under a new regulatory regime on 24 July, the final day of the parliamentary year.

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Categories: Environment

North-west England's hosepipe ban rained off

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 6:26am

United Utilities announces U-turn on controversial ban due to rainfall and cooler weather

A controversial hosepipe ban affecting millions of people in the north-west of England has been called off three days before it was to start because of the “recent deluge and a drop in temperatures”.

United Utilities had said on Tuesday that there would be no U-turn on the decision to start the ban on Sunday, but it has now announced that the demand for water has eased.

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Categories: Environment

'A lot of transparency': Frydenberg defends $444m grant to small reef charity

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 4:44am

Environment minister says unsolicited grant complied with guidelines, and questions about it are a distraction

The environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, has dismissed concerns about the Turnbull government’s decision to hand an unsolicited grant of $444m to a small Great Barrier Reef not-for-profit without a tender process.

He has also rejected claims that the grant process lacked transparency, saying the process complied with governance guidelines on grants and the Australian Audit Office would be able to follow how the money was being spent.

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Categories: Environment

'You're the naive one': youth activist's open letter to a candidate for governor

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 4:00am

Scott Wagner called a climate campaigner ‘young and naive’. But it’s the young who will pay for his mistakes

Victoria Barrett is one of the 21 plaintiffs, aged 10 to 21, in the high-profile Juliana v the United States lawsuit, which faulted the US government for failing to protect its citizens from climate change.

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Categories: Environment
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