How Houses Themselves Become Fuel For Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 2:06pm

Wildfires destroyed thousands of homes across California this year. Fire scientists are discovering that most homes burn down from blowing embers, sometimes long after the the fire has passed.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment

Rescue Efforts Underway After Tsunami Hit Indonesia Without Warning

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 8:44am

Warning systems failed to alert residents of danger when volcanic activity triggered a tsunami on Saturday. Hundreds died, and more than 11,000 people have been displaced on Java and Sumatra islands.

(Image credit: Achmad Ibrahim/AP)

Categories: Environment

Fears of health crisis as Delhi suffers worst air pollution this year

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 3:45am

Authorities in Indian capital rate conditions as ‘severe to emergency’

Pollution in Delhi has reached its worst level this year in the past two days, prompting authorities to rate conditions as “severe to emergency”, which indicates the potential for a public health crisis.

Senior government officials said the main reasons for the increase in smog were unusually cold air, fog and a lack of wind.

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Categories: Environment

Father Christmas’s winter wonderland homes are hotting up

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 12:00am

Many towns claiming to be the birthplace of Santa Claus have seen unseasonal temperatures

After a year in which the climate has been far more naughty than nice, even Father Christmas – in his various guises – is feeling the heat, according to the towns that claim to be his birthplace.

From Alaska to Finland, half a dozen Arctic towns have staked a claim to be the home of Santa Claus or whatever other name he is locally known as. And almost without exception, these winter wonderlands are hotting up.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland considers continental wildcats to save native species from extinction

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 12:00am

Releasing ‘pure’ animals could counter interbreeding with domestic cats, experts say

Conservationists could release wildcats captured from other European countries in the Scottish Highlands in a final effort to protect Scotland’s population from extinction.

Recent genetic testing by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland of 276 Scottish wildcat samples found those in the wild are so heavily interbred with domestic cats that they are close to becoming functionally extinct.

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Categories: Environment

Locked doors, cancelled tours: US national parks suffer amid shutdown

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 12:50pm

Visitors face ‘disruption and disappointment’ as states scramble to keep key sites open

The doors remained locked at Fort McHenry National Monument in Maryland, the birthplace of the US national anthem. In Georgia, the Fort Pulaski National monument announced it would be closed except for one boat ramp. At Washington’s Mount Rainier national park, ranger-led snowshoe walks were cancelled.

And at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, a scheduled talk by the nation’s oldest park ranger, 97-year-old Betty Reid Soskin, had to be called off.

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Categories: Environment

The fuel tax wars can’t be won without a greener alternative

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 10:00am

The major international agencies should devise a progressive tax regime that penalises the biggest carbon emitters and offsets costs for the poorest

President Macron needs to win the war on fuel tax. Every country does. It is an issue on which the governments in Paris and Nairobi have been forced to make U-turns. It is rising up the political agenda in other countries, including the UK and Germany, where the rebirth of the Greens and the rise of the rightwing AfD has paralysed the Bundestag.

Without some kind of resolution to how much consumers and business pay for burning fossil fuels – a deal that most agree gets near being fair and addresses the problem of climate change – the battle will not be fought politely inside parliamentary debating chambers, but on the streets.

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Categories: Environment

The Secret Fishing Habits Of Northwoods' Wolves

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 6:17am

Researchers in northern Minnesota have discovered that wolves have a much more varied diet than previously thought. They hunt deer, but also eat fish, beaver and blueberries.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Voyageurs Wolf Project)

Categories: Environment

On the real Watership Down, rabbits are hard to come by

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 1:00am

Numbers may be at an all time low as a new adaptation of the novel hits our TV screens

The real Watership Down is not hard to find.

In the introduction to his book, Richard Adams helpfully gives the Ordnance Survey map reference – sheet 174. Once located on paper, long-remembered names jump from the map: Nuthanger Farm, Ashley Warren and Honeycomb are all there. It was the multitude of rabbits found on this little square of England that inspired Adams to write Watership Down.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt never gave up EPA plans to debate climate science, records show

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 12:00am
  • White House denied administrator’s ‘red team, blue team’ idea
  • Emails: staff considered questioning greenhouse gases finding

In Scott Pruitt’s final weeks as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, his political advisers were still considering ways to formally raise doubts about climate change science, agency records show.

Related: Deadly weather: the human cost of 2018's climate disasters – visual guide

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Categories: Environment
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