Land of milk and money: Qatar looks to farms to beat the Gulf boycott

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/20 - 3:30am

Emirate’s drive for food security is symbolic of its determination to make efforts to isolate it ‘a blessing inside a calamity’

John Dore is off to Doha’s vast and luxurious Hamad International airport to greet the 8pm flight from Los Angeles via Liège, Belgium.

Wearing a straw hat with a small metal shamrock badge in homage to his Irish roots, his imminent visitors are neither family nor friends. Nor are they human at all, but rather a herd of 120 cows.

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Categories: Environment

Tell your pollution story – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/20 - 2:37am

National Geographic’s #TellYourPollutionStory asks readers to share their images to shed light on new evidence that pollution – air, water, soil and workplace – is the leading cause of death in the world

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Categories: Environment

Delhi covered in toxic haze after night of Diwali fireworks

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/10/20 - 12:21am

Air pollution in Indian capital hits 18 times the healthy limit despite supreme court ban on sale of firecrackers

Air pollution in Delhi has hit 18 times the healthy limit and left the city under a thick, toxic haze after Diwali was celebrated with a night of fireworks – despite a court-ordered ban on their sales.

Residents of the Indian capital, which already ranks among the world’s most polluted cities, complained of watering eyes and aggravated coughs as levels of PM2.5, ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns, rose alarmingly on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Report: Pollution Kills 3 Times More than AIDS, TB And Malaria Combined

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/10/19 - 3:30pm

Researchers looked at the combined effects of air, water and soil pollution on global health to come up with an annual toll.

(Image credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

British birds evolve bigger beaks to use garden feeders

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/10/19 - 3:08pm

Researchers say UK’s enthusiasm for bird feeders compared with mainland Europe responsible for increase in beak length

The reason some birds in Britain have evolved bigger beaks over the past 40 years may be down to the country’s enthusiasm for feeding them in their gardens, researchers have said.

The report published on Thursday in the US journal Science compared beak length among great tits in Britain and the Netherlands, where bird feeders are less common.

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Categories: Environment

Your best pictures of insects around the world

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/10/19 - 6:30am

After a new study showed an alarming decline in insect populations we asked you to share your pictures of the creatures, in celebration of all they do for global ecosystems. Here are some of our favourites

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Categories: Environment

Wild in Walthamstow: Europe’s biggest urban wetlands opens

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/10/19 - 6:06am

Few locals know about Walthamstow Wetlands in north London, which opens on Friday. But now they, and nature lovers everywhere, can enjoy this amazing bird reserve for free

We’re strolling along Songbird Walk, beneath a row of waterside poplars very like ones Monet painted in Normandy. The October sky is grey but the footpath is lined with colourful wildflowers: yellow gorse, purple knapweed, white campion. With a liquid twittering, a flock of goldfinches swoop overhead, then a clear, penetrating song bursts from the bushes to one side. “Ooh, a Cetti’s warbler,” says wetlands director Veronica Chrisp.

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Categories: Environment

Share your pictures of insects around the world

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/10/19 - 1:50am

A new study finds alarming decline in insect numbers – we’d like your help celebrating what these creatures do for life on earth

A dramatic plunge in insect numbers reported in a new study has led scientists to predict what they are calling “ecological Armageddon”.

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, the study says, with serious implications for all life on Earth.

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Categories: Environment

Stonehenge builders feasted on animals brought from Scotland, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 11:00pm

Analysis for Feast! exhibition suggests workers ate hog roasts and beef stew made from animals taken to Wiltshire by boat

Prehistoric people brought animals to Stonehenge from as far afield as north-east Scotland, more than 500 miles away, to feed the engineers who built the monument and to take part in lavish midwinter feasts, an exhibition has claimed.

Related: What did neolithic man eat after a hard day at Stonehenge? Sweet pork and rich cheese

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Categories: Environment

World's deepest lake crippled by putrid algae, poaching and pollution

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 10:24pm

Lake Baikal in Siberia holds one fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, but its precious fish stocks are disappearing

Lake Baikal is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, experts say, as the government bans the catching of a signature fish that has lived in the world’s deepest lake for centuries but is now under threat.

Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia’s Siberia is a natural wonder of “exceptional value to evolutionary science” meriting its listing as a world heritage site by Unesco.

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Categories: Environment

Surge in eye injuries as Melbourne magpies go on attack spree

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 7:54pm

Hospital issues warning as ‘extraordinary’ spate of bird-inflicted injuries include a penetrated eye that required surgery

A penetrated eye that needed surgery is just one of an “extraordinary” spate of magpie-inflicted injuries in Melbourne, and one hospital has issued a warning about the swooping birds.

The number of eye injuries caused by the bird has risen significantly, according to the emergency director of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear hospital, Dr Carmel Crock.

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Categories: Environment

How Fire Forensics Investigators Approach The Aftermath Of Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 1:41pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Fire Captain Specialist Ron Eldridge of Cal Fire about fire forensics and what approaches investigators take when they're faced with many miles of scorched earth, like the situation in northern California now.

Categories: Environment

Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 11:00am

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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Categories: Environment

Coalition's energy plan hurts renewables more than no action – Greens

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 10:00am

Adam Bandt says sector could reach as little as 28% of the energy mix compared with 35% under business-as-usual

The Greens say the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee will be more detrimental to the renewables sector than if the Coalition did nothing.

The Greens’ climate spokesman, Adam Bandt, said a comparison of the analysis in the Finkel review of the national electricity market with the new advice provided by the Energy Security Board shows the policy the government has unveiled this week is detrimental to renewables.

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Categories: Environment

Astana's plan to stay warm in the winter? Build a ring of one million trees

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 9:00am

In 1997 the Kazakh president launched a plan to protect his new capital from the icy winds of the featureless steppes with a ring of trees. Twenty years on, his scientists are still struggling to grow forests in a spot where no trees stood

“Do you know why women in Astana don’t get expensive haircuts?” asked television presenter Dinara Tursunova. “Because no sooner do you leave the beauty salon, the wind blows away your hairdo, and with it all the money you spent.”

Looking good in the capital city of Kazakhstan is hard work. When Tursunova moved to Astana three years ago for a job with a local broadcaster, what first struck her was the cold and the wind. “In winter I go around the city in skiing outfits and fur-lined sneakers. It probably wouldn’t hurt to put spikes on my shoes. When the wind starts whipping up, you will see people on the ice literally flying away,” she says.

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Categories: Environment

Invasive 'Devil Fish' Plague Mexico's Waters. Can't Beat 'Em? Eat 'Em

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 8:35am

The armored catfish erodes shorelines and devastates marine plants — and its numbers have exploded. So researchers, chefs and fishermen are trying to rebrand it by promoting its flavor and nutrition.

(Image credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

National parks for all: that's a populist cry we need | Jimmy Tobias

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 6:36am

Our pine groves, canyons, parks and peaks are an incredible national asset. Let’s fund them properly, and make them truly accessible to everyone

When Bernie Sanders unveiled his “Medicare for All bill” last month, it sent bolts of electric excitement through a rising generation of progressive young people who crave an end to the austerity consensus that has dominated this country for at least a decade. The senator from Vermont offered a bold vision that has the potential to improve the wellbeing of millions and an army of millennials, with our affinity for social democracy and social media, loved him for it.

Healthcare, though, is just one realm of public life that needs an urgent infusion of idealism. From housing policy to public education, from police reform to environmental issues, the youth of the US are desperate for ambitious and populist ideas that can help revitalize this republic we’re inheriting. We are bent on upending the status quo, because the status quo, as we know, is all wrong.

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Categories: Environment

Replenish the swamp: 7,500 trafficked Turkish frogs returned to wild

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 6:00am

Five men arrested after police find minibus loaded with thousands of frogs in nets, allegedly part of lucrative export trade

Turkey’s gendarmerie has released 7,500 frogs into the wild after capturing five poachers involved in one of the largest frog trafficking operations in the country.

The country’s state news agency said the men were detained when their minibus was examined during a routine check as they travelled through the Cappadoccia region. Officers found dozens of nets with thousands of frogs inside. The men were allegedly destined for Adana, where they intended to sell them to an exporter.

The export of edible frogs is a lucrative trade, with large markets in France and China where the amphibians are a delicacy. Turkey issues licenses for frog hunters, but it is only permitted in certain seasons and some frog species cannot be legally traded.

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Categories: Environment

Tesco stocks green satsumas in drive to reduce food waste

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 4:51am

Supermarket says easy-peelers are ripe and edible but failed to turn usual orange colour due to hotter weather in Spain

Tesco has started selling “green” satsumas and clementines after relaxing its quality specifications in its latest attempt to reduce food waste.

The flesh inside is orange, ripe and edible, but as a result of recent warm weather in Spain the skins have failed to turn the normal colour.

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Categories: Environment

CliFi – A new way to talk about climate change | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/10/18 - 3:00am

If you’re not familiar with the new genre of climate fiction, you might be soon.

Cli-Fi refers to “climate fiction;” it is a term coined by journalist Dan Bloom. These are fictional books that somehow or someway bring real climate change science to the reader. What is really interesting is that Cli-Fi books often present real science in a credible way. They become fun teaching tools. There are some really well known authors such as Paolo Bacigalupi and Margaret Atwood among others. A list of other candidate Cli-Fi novels was provided by Sarah Holding in the Guardian.

What makes a Cli-Fi novel good? Well in my opinion, it has to have some real science in it. And it has to get the science right. Second, it has to be fun to read. When done correctly, Cli-Fi can connect people to their world; it can help us understand what future climate may be like, or what current climate effects are.

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Categories: Environment
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