Endangered bandicoot 'should never have been brought to South Australia'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 5:43pm

Researchers say the western barred bandicoot was actually five species and those ‘reintroduced’ would never have lived in SA

An endangered Australian bandicoot that was reintroduced to the Australian mainland is now believed to be one of five distinct species, and researchers say it may have been a mistake to introduce it to South Australia.

Scientists working for the Western Australian Museum have published research that concludes that what has been known as the western barred bandicoot is in fact five distinct species – four of which had become extinct by the 1940s as a result of agriculture and introduced predators. The species were closely related but occurred in different parts of Australia.

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Categories: Environment

Kilauea Lava Explosion Injures 23 Tourists

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 4:53pm

A basketball-sized lava bomb slammed through the roof of a tour boat near an active fissure of the Hawaiian volcano early Monday morning, showering the vessel with debris.

(Image credit: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources/AP)

Categories: Environment

Heatwave to bring hosepipe ban to north-east England

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 4:01pm

United Utilities says 7 million customers will be affected by first ban since 2012

Millions of households in the north-west of England will face the first hosepipe ban in the country since 2012 after the UK’s longest heatwave in more than 40 years.

The water company United Utilities said 7 million customers would be affected by the ban, which is due to come into force on 5 August.

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Categories: Environment

Surfing For Science: A New Way To Gather Data For Ocean And Coastal Research

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 2:09pm

Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography hope to turn surfers into citizen scientists by equipping them with a "smartfin" that gathers data as they surf.

Categories: Environment

Rising Seas Could Cause Problems For Internet Infrastructure

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 11:53am

The Internet relies on a network of cables, many buried underground along U.S. coastlines. A new analysis finds sea level rise could put thousands of miles of cable underwater in the next 15 years.

(Image credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Rights not “fortress conservation” key to save planet, says UN expert

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 8:00am

Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples calls for a new, rights-based approach to conservation

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has released a report highly critical of the global conservation movement and calling for indigenous peoples and other local communities to have a greater say in protecting the world’s forests. Titled Cornered by Protected Areas and co-authored with the US-based NGO Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), the report is an explicit condemnation of “fortress conservation.”

What exactly is meant by that? It is “the idea that to protect forests and biodiversity, ecosystems need to function in isolation, devoid of people,” the Rapporteur told the Guardian. “This model - favoured by governments for over a century - ignores the growing body of evidence that forests thrive when Indigenous Peoples remain on their customary lands and have legally recognised rights to manage and protect them.”

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Categories: Environment

UK politicians 'failing to rise to the challenge of climate change'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 4:45am

Government’s top climate adviser warns policymakers will be judged harshly by future generations if they don’t act now

The government’s official climate change adviser says politicians and policymakers are failing to rise to the challenge of a rapidly warming planet and will be judged harshly by future generations unless they act now.

Lord Deben, chair of the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC), said “anyone who read the news” could see mounting evidence of alarming trends – from melting polar ice to record heatwaves and rising sea levels. He called on politicians to “make the connections” between these events and act with more urgency.

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Categories: Environment

Comprehensive study: carbon taxes won't hamper the economy | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 3:00am

But global warming will.

Eleven teams participated in a recent Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) project, examining the economic and environmental impacts of a carbon tax. The studies included “revenue recycling,” in which the funds generated from a carbon tax are returned to taxpayers either through regular household rebate checks (similar to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby [CCL] and Climate Leadership Council [CLC] proposals) or by offsetting income taxes (similar to the approach in British Columbia).

Among the eleven modeling teams the key findings were consistent. First, a carbon tax is effective at reducing carbon pollution, although the structure of the tax (the price and the rate at which it rises) are important. Second, this type of revenue-neutral carbon tax would have a very modest impact on the economy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). In all likelihood it would slightly slow economic growth, but by an amount that would be more than offset by the benefits of cutting pollution and slowing global warming.

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Categories: Environment

Heat Making You Lethargic? Research Shows It Can Slow Your Brain, Too

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 2:09am

Hot weather can influence cognitive performance, according to new research. Young adults living in non-air-conditioned dorms during a heat wave performed worse on math and attention tests.

(Image credit: Marcus Butt / Ikon/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Two tarantulas may be on loose after babies found in Derbyshire car park

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 1:40am

Baby spiders were abandoned in pots and RSPCA says witness saw parents scuttling away

Two tarantulas may be on the loose in a village after three of their babies were found abandoned in a car park.

The RSPCA said it had rescued the baby Brazilian bird-eating spiders after they were found discarded in pots in Derbyshire.

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Categories: Environment

Is UK science and innovation up for the climate challenge?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/15 - 11:05pm

The government has shaken up the UK research system. But fossil fuels, not low-carbon technologies, still seem to be in the driving seat.

A new report by Richard Jones and James Wilsdon invites us to question the biomedical bubble - the slow but steady concentration of research and development (R&D) resources in the hands of biomedical science.

A provocative case, it’s already generated some discussion. Here, I want to pick up a point that might be easily missed amongst fights over the role of biomedicine: the all-too-small amount of resource being put towards decarbonising energy.

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Categories: Environment

Waste incineration set to overtake recycling in England, Greens warn

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/15 - 10:01pm

Amount of rubbish burned by local authorities triples while household recycling rates stall

England is on the brink of burning more of its rubbish in incinerators than it recycles for the first time, according to a new analysis.

The amount of waste managed by local authorities and sent to incinerators, or energy-from-waste plants, tripled between 2010-11 and 2016-17. By contrast, household recycling rates have stalled since 2013.

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Categories: Environment

Country diary: I looked into the eyes of Britain's most savage killer

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/15 - 9:30pm

Aigas, Highlands: The weasel may be tiny, but this fierce predator can dispatch and drag off a full-grown rabbit 25 times its size – and has a stare that even humans can find unnerving

If I asked you to name Britain’s most savage wildlife killer, you might say fox or peregrine or goshawk, or perhaps even the golden eagle or the Scottish wildcat if you knew about such exciting rarities. But I think you would be wrong. Savage and killers they all are, no question, but in my book none comes close to the smallest UK mustelid, the weasel, Mustela nivalis, so tiny that its skull can pass through a wedding ring.

A few days ago I watched one hunting. It vanished into a rockery and emerged a few seconds later with a vole dangling from its jaws. Voles, rats and mice, as well as small birds, are a weasel’s staple, but a male will take much larger prey such as a full-grown rabbit, up to 25 times its own weight, kill it, and, incredibly, drag it away into cover. No other British predator does that.

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Categories: Environment

'Buzz' Offers An Adoration For Bees Amid Continued Die-Offs

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/07/15 - 6:01am

The severity of the enormous reduction in bee numbers over the past decade is at the heart of a new book by conservation biologist Thor Hanson, whose appreciation for the pollinators shines through.

(Image credit: Samantha Clark/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Massive Iceberg Looms Over A Village In Greenland

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/07/14 - 3:04pm

The giant mountain of ice towers is threatening a tiny village, causing authorities to evacuate residents.

(Image credit: KARL PETERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Rethinking recycling: could a circular economy solve the problem?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/07/14 - 3:00pm

With more funding and product stewardship, the recycling crisis could turn into an opportunity

There’s nothing like a crisis to spur on the search for a solution.

Since January, when China stopped accepting our contaminated recycling, Australia has been struggling with a waste crisis. While some local councils have tried to adapt their processes, some have been stockpiling recycling while others are sending it straight to landfill. And there’s still no long-term solution in place.

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Categories: Environment

Developing new Galilee Basin coalmines will cost 12,500 jobs, analysis shows

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/07/14 - 7:01am

Exclusive: Australia Institute modelling reveals the best way to protect coal jobs in other regions is to stop Galilee developments

Developing new coalmines in the Galilee Basin would cost 12,500 jobs in existing coalmining regions and replace only two in three workers, modelling by the Australia Institute shows.

Job creation has long been an aggressive rallying call for supporters of Adani’s Carmichael megamine and other proposals in the untapped Galilee Basin, which combined would produce 150m tonnes of thermal coal each year.

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Categories: Environment

Huge iceberg threatens tiny Greenland village

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/07/14 - 5:45am

Residents of Innaarsuit fear the 100-metre high berg will break up and cause a tsunami

A 100-metre (330ft) high iceberg has drifted close to a tiny settlement on Greenland’s west coast, prompting fears of a tsunami if it breaks up.

Authorities have told residents of the Innaarsuit island settlement living near the shore to move to higher ground.

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Categories: Environment

'Boaty McBoatface' makes debut in Liverpool

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/07/13 - 11:30pm

Hull of research vessel officially known as RRS David Attenborough launches into the River Mersey

The vessel popularly known as Boaty McBoatface will make its debut on Saturday in Liverpool, where the hull will be launched into the River Mersey before shipbuilders get to work finishing the ship in wet basin.

RRS Sir David Attenborough – the boat was officially named after the naturalist after the internet poll’s top suggestion was rejected – will be used by the British Antarctic Survey for polar research from next year, when it is expected to be completed.

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Categories: Environment

In Ireland, Drought And A Drone Revealed The Outline Of An Ancient Henge

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/07/13 - 4:39pm

As crops get thirsty in Ireland, some plants are faring better than others. Aerial photos show a pattern in crop growth near Newgrange, believed to be the footprint of a previously unknown henge.

(Image credit: Anthony Murphy/Mythical Ireland)

Categories: Environment
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