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Tree loss due to fire is worst in far northern latitudes, data shows

Guardian Environment News - 4 hours 40 min ago

Forests in Russia are most affected, as scientists warn of escape of huge quantities of buried carbon dioxide

The boreal forests in the far northern latitudes have suffered more tree cover loss owing to fire in the last decade than any other place on Earth, with Russia losing more trees to fire than any other country, data has shown.

The boreal region is a huge stretch of coniferous forests that encircles the northern hemisphere taking in parts of Scandinavia, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Alaska and Canada, among other countries.

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Categories: Environment

At a glance: key recommendations of the NSW flood inquiry report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/08/16 - 7:41pm

Independent inquiry into the 2022 floods finds existing agencies failed, and calls for conversion of flood plain land

The New South Wales premier, Dominic Perrottet, on Wednesday handed down the report of the independent inquiry into the 2022 floods.

The inquiry found several failures and made 28 recommendations for change, which it said were “intended to provide practical, proactive and sustained mechanisms to ensure readiness for and resilience” ahead of future floods.

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Categories: Environment

US issues western water cuts as drought leaves Colorado River near ‘tipping point’

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/08/16 - 5:59pm

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico affected as federal government steps in after states failed to reach agreement

After western US states failed to reach agreements to reduce water use from the beleaguered Colorado River, the federal government stepped in on Tuesday, issuing cuts that will affect two states and Mexico.

Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation declared a “tier 2” shortage in the river basin as the drought continues to pummel the American west, pushing its largest reservoirs to new lows. The waning water levels, which have left dramatic bathtub rings in reservoirs and unearthed buried bodies and other artifacts, continue to threaten hydroelectric power production, drinking water, and agricultural production.

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Categories: Environment

Poland pulls 100 tonnes of dead fish from Oder river after mystery mass die-off

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/08/16 - 5:06pm

More than 500 firefighters deployed to haul in dead fish, using dams, boats, quad bikes and even a drone

Polish firefighters have recovered 100 tonnes of dead fish from the Oder river running through Germany and Poland, deepening concerns of an environmental disaster for which no cause has yet been identified.

“We’d never had an operation of this scope on a river before,” said Monika Nowakowska-Drynda from the national firefighter press office on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Ants can beat pesticides at helping farmers grow healthy crops, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/08/16 - 4:01pm

Harnessing natural insect power can, with proper management, have higher efficacy than resorting to harmful chemicals

Ants can be more effective than pesticides at helping farmers produce food, according to new research. They are better at killing pests, reducing plant damage and increasing crop yields, according to the first systematic review of ants’ contributions to crop production.

Ants are generalist predators and hunt pests that damage fruits, seeds and leaves, leading to a drop in crop yields. A greater diversity of ants generally provides more protection against a wider range of pests, the study found.

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Categories: Environment

Over the river from a Russian-occupied nuclear plant, a Ukrainian town fears a spill

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2022/08/16 - 8:24am

The small town of Nikopol, Ukraine, sits across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Attacks are causing serious alarm for the community.

(Image credit: Dmytro Smolyenko/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

How can the UK reduce meat consumption and cut emissions?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/08/16 - 5:27am

There’s a slight downward trend in meat-eating but figures are still high. So what more can be done?

The future of farming is in the spotlight as we try to shift our relationship with the natural world. Globally, 83% of farmland is taken up by livestock, and many scientists and campaigners are arguing for an overhaul of meat and dairy consumption to free up more land for nature and reduce emissions.

What’s the trend on meat consumption in the UK?

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Categories: Environment

U.S. says drought-stricken Arizona and Nevada will get less water from Colorado River

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 11:29pm

U.S. officials announced Tuesday that the two states, which rely on water from the Colorado River, will face more water cuts as they endure extreme drought.

(Image credit: John Locher/AP)

Categories: Environment

‘It’s much easier to stop someone lighting a match than to put out a 1,000-acre fire’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 11:15pm

In Peru’s Sacred Valley, a community-led initiative is creating fire prevention brigades to stop devastating wildfires before they even begin

Peru’s Sacred Valley, the breathtaking landscape between Cusco and Machu Picchu, has always had a few conventional fire brigades, but anyone who has ever witnessed a bushfire will know there is little you can do once it takes hold.

While there is a place for carefully managed burning – at the right time of year and in the right weather conditions it can clear land of brush and understory – reckless burns can be catastrophic. “Years of hard work can be undone in a single day,” says Joaquín Randall, who has set up the NGO Valle Sagrado Verde, a reforestation project planting native trees such as huaranhuay, chachacomo, molle and tara in the Sacred Valley. “2020 was a really bad year. One fire burned 20,000 replanted trees in one go. Another killed eight people.”

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Categories: Environment

14 years

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 3:55pm

Today marks 14 years of blog posts.  Glad I made the switch all those years ago from keeping a written diary to blogging.  My time here in the desert would all be a blur if I hadn't posted daily (with just a few days missed).  Instead of searching through handwritten notebooks, I can quickly see what I was up to on any given day by searching my blog.   A quick scan and here are some of the benchmarks for each year: 2008-Building TFL/Shipping Containers. 2009-Greenhouse/Pepino Swamp Cooler.  2010-Benita/Solar Ovens. 2011-Guns/Mr. Floppy. 2012- Christ/Ben. 2013-Sterling Silver Casting/Carl. 2014-Paramotor/Chupa. 2015-Broken Leg/Silver Ingots. 2016-Solar Oven/Javier. 2017-Goats/Drone. 2018-Solar Oven Baking/Silver AA Chips. 2019-Casita/Tomato Plants. 2020-Pandemic/Pocket Watches. 2021-Bronze Casting/Sober & Tobacco Free. 2022-Wyze Cams/Rover.  

I've done a lot of different things in this life because I have a bit of attention deficit disorder and in constant need of new things to keep me amused.  My parents used to refer to it as "losing interest as soon as the novelty wears off".  I can't imagine going through life with one job or career.  When I was in college, I used to freak out occasionally (usually during my morning shower) and think to myself..."what if I invest 4 years of education into a future I'm no longer interested in?"  Needless to say, I was not a very good student.  Five years of college and no degree, changing majors 4 times and flunking out twice. Oddly enough, I did make dean's list one semester.   But somehow I've been able to earn a living while staying amused in spite of myself. 

First person to comment with the correct number of blog posts that I have done since moving here wins some bronze...or something else if I lose interest in casting bronze which could happen at any moment...  79,91,72,?,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Esso secures interim injunction against disruptors of aviation fuel pipeline

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 12:33pm

Oil firm wins decision against environmental protesters blocking 105km-long Southampton-to-London pipeline project

The oil company Esso has secured an interim high court injunction to prevent environmental protesters disrupting construction work on a 105km-long aviation fuel pipeline.

Activists have targeted efforts to replace most of the underground Southampton to London pipeline by interfering with equipment and “attacking” it with angle grinders, a judge was told.

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Categories: Environment

Grenadian minister Simon Stiell to be next UN climate chief

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 11:53am

Grenada’s environment minister faces task of getting countries back on track to meet climate goals ahead of Cop27

The next UN climate chief will be Simon Stiell, the environment minister of Grenada, a surprise appointment that will cement the importance of holding global temperature rises to 1.5C.

Stiell will face the task of putting countries back on track to meet international climate goals at a time of rising geopolitical tensions and a global energy price crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Weeks of heat above 100F will be the norm in much of US by 2053, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 10:13am

As many as 100 million Americans will be living in ‘extreme’ zones that will see heat index exceed 125F, according to new study

Vast swaths of the continental US will be experiencing prolonged and dangerous heatwaves by the middle of the century, with the heat index in some areas above 100F (38C) for weeks on end, according to an alarming new study published on Monday.

Almost two-thirds of Americans, who live in mostly southern and central states, will be at risk from the critical temperature increases, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the non-profit First Street Foundation, which used current trends to predict the number of extreme heat days 30 years into the future.

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Categories: Environment

Hotter summers may fuel increase in skin cancers, doctors warn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 9:51am

Higher summer temperatures caused by climate crisis may lead to more cases of melanoma, say medics

Experts have said higher summer temperatures caused by the climate crisis may fuel an increase in cases of potentially deadly skin cancers such as melanoma.

The UK recorded its highest ever temperature of 40.2C last month, as climate scientists stressed the heatwave was not a one-off and high temperatures were likely to become more frequent.

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Categories: Environment

Oder river: mystery of mass die-off of fish lingers as no toxic substances found

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 9:47am

Polish scientists only found elevated salt levels after thousands of dead fish were found floating in the central European waterway

Mystery continues to surround the cause behind a “catastrophic” mass die-off of fish in the Oder River, after Polish scientists said laboratory tests found elevated salt levels but no other toxic substances in the central European waterway.

German municipalities have banned bathing and fishing in the Oder after thousands of dead fish were found floating in the 520 mile (840km) river, which runs from the Czech Republic to the Baltic Sea along the border between Germany and Poland.

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Categories: Environment

‘Gross negligence’: popular Michigan river hit with second chemical spill in four years

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 6:32am

Spill is yet another example of how contamination from corporate polluters can endanger entire communities, critics say

The FBI and local officials are investigating the recent release of dangerous chemicals into Michigan’s Huron River, a 130-mile-long waterway that is popular for fishing and recreation and supplies drinking water for more than 100,000 people in Ann Arbor as well as other south-eastern Michigan communities.

On 29 July, Tribar Manufacturing, a maker of exterior trim components for vehicles located in a western suburb of Detroit, discharged up to 10,000 gallons of waste containing hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen, into a local sewer system on, according to Michigan’s department of environment, Great Lakes and energy, the state’s environmental regulatory agency.

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Categories: Environment

Drought is driving elephants closer to people. The consequences can be deadly

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 2:00am

Zimbabwe's elephant population is growing, but climate change makes rainfall unpredictable. Animals travel farther in search of water now and often end up clashing with villagers for scarce resources

(Image credit: Tendai Marima for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Why scientists have pumped a potent greenhouse gas into streams on public lands

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 2:00am

A 30-year, nationwide study of ecological changes — including the effects of climate warming — has been releasing a powerful greenhouse gas, and critics want it to stop.

(Image credit: NEON)

Categories: Environment

On the hunt with New York’s spotted lanternfly squishers: ‘I came to kill’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/08/15 - 2:00am

Local officials have instructed residents to destroy the insects – and some New Yorkers are taking it very seriously

Michael Thomas, a maintenance worker, was inspecting the base of 3 World Trade Center in late June of last year when he started to notice groups of heart-shaped bugs, three or four at a time, “crawling up on the walls” of the thousand-foot skyscraper in lower Manhattan. He went to sweep them up, hoping to keep them from entering through the revolving doors, or flying into the lobby. Then, he said, “they just started to multiply”.

What Thomas saw were spotted lanternflies, a visually arresting, fast-spreading invasive species – that New Yorkers are under strict instructions to kill. In the age of overlapping viral outbreaks (Covid, monkeypox, the return, in some places, of polio), this kind of clear government communication is a gift. The New York state department of agriculture is very direct: “If you see a Spotted Lanternfly in New York City, kill it immediately by stepping on it or crushing it.”

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Categories: Environment

Wind, hydrogen, no demolitions: how next PM can put UK on net zero path

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/08/14 - 10:00pm

Boris Johnson’s plans are behind schedule and the CBI says Britain is falling behind Europe and the US

There is little mention of Boris Johnson’s “green industrial revolution” on the campaign trail of the two Conservative party leadership candidates.

Maybe it’s not surprising when Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are focused on formulating plans to deal with the more immediate energy crisis. That said, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are pressing ahead with announcing the investments they would make to achieve net zero by 2050.

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Categories: Environment
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