One-Third Of Florida Residents Told To Evacuate Before Hurricane Irma Makes Landfall

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 2:36pm

Florida is bracing for the full impact of Hurricane Irma. The eye of the storm isn't expected to come ashore along the Florida Keys until early Sunday, but rain bands are already pummeling the area.

Categories: Environment

This is how your world could end

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 11:00am

In an extract from his book Ends of the World, Peter Brannen examines mass extinction events and the catastrophic outcome of rising temperatures for all the world’s population

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms and lethal heatwaves have become fixtures of the evening news – and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1C above preindustrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary.

If humanity burns through all its fossil fuel reserves, there is the potential to warm the planet by as much as 18C and raise sea levels by hundreds of feet. This is a warming spike of an even greater magnitude than that so far measured for the end-Permian mass extinction. If the worst-case scenarios come to pass, today’s modestly menacing ocean-climate system will seem quaint. Even warming to one-fourth of that amount would create a planet that would have nothing to do with the one on which humans evolved or on which civilisation has been built. The last time it was 4C warmer there was no ice at either pole and sea level was 80 metres higher than it is today.

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Categories: Environment

One of world's largest marine parks created off coast of Easter Island

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 8:49am

Rapa Nui protection area, about same size as Chilean mainland, will protect up to 142 species, including 27 threatened with extinction

One of the world’s largest marine protection areas has been created off the coast of Easter Island.

The 740,000 sq km Rapa Nui marine park is roughly the size of the Chilean mainland and will protect at least 142 endemic marine species, including 27 threatened with extinction.

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Categories: Environment

A tale of two Irmas: rich Miami ready for tumult as poor Miami waits and hopes

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 6:45am

As the hurricane approaches, the wealthy residents of Miami Beach can afford to play golf, their homes primed to withstand the wind and rain. In Liberty City, just a few miles away, they’re crossing their fingers

This is a tale of two Irmas. First, there’s the Hurricane Irma facing Max Borges as he practised his short iron on a Miami Beach golf course just hours before one of the most powerful and deadly storms in modern times was scheduled to make landfall on the US mainland.

Related: Millions flee from Hurricane Irma's path as Florida prepares for deadly hit

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Categories: Environment

Hurricane Specialists Caught In Irma's Path

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 5:06am

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Michael Brennan of the National Hurricane Center in Florida about the latest forecasts for Hurricane Irma.

Categories: Environment

How Climate Change Exacerbates Hurricanes

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 5:06am

As Irma approaches the U.S. and Jose spins in the Atlantic, many are wondering what hurricanes' connection to climate change might be.

Categories: Environment

How hurricanes and sea-level rise threaten Trump's Florida resorts

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/09/09 - 12:00am

A slew of Trump properties stand in the path of Hurricane Irma, and they could be underwater by the end of the century

Mar-a-Lago. Trump National Doral Miami. Trump Palace. Trump Royale. Trump International Beach Resort Miami. Trump Hollywood.

Related: Florida officials warn Irma will be 'storm wider than the state'

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Categories: Environment

Cuba lashed by category five winds as storm heads to US – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 11:59pm

7.59am BST

This live blog is closing. Follow the latest developments on our new live blog:

Related: Hurricane Irma live updates: Florida evacuates millions as superstorm makes landfall in Cuba

7.49am BST

If you are planning to leave and do not leave tonight, you will have to ride out this extremely dangerous storm at your own risk.

Related: Irma's destruction: island by island

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Categories: Environment

What Goes Into Hurricane Forecasting? Satellites, Supercomputers And More

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 12:32pm

The latest hurricane models are using lightning-fast supercomputers to crunch ever-more data. And they're getting better.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Environment

Hurricanes: A Science Primer

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 10:30am

We know how damaging and costly, in many ways, such natural phenomena can be — but the devastation is not surprising, once you know how much energy is involved, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.

(Image credit: NOAA)

Categories: Environment

Europe must step up action against spread of fatal plant disease, says Gove

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 9:24am

Environment secretary says EU must combat spread of Xylella fastidiosa by stopping high-risk species from crossing borders unchecked

Europe must implement greater protections against a disease that could threaten UK plants and trees, including oaks, the environment secretary Michael Gove has said.

The horticulture sector is also being urged to take action to prevent Xylella fastidiosa, which is having a devastating impact on plants such as olive trees in parts of mainland Europe, spreading to the UK.

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Categories: Environment

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 8:33am

Exclusive: New studies find microplastics in salt from the US, Europe and China, adding to evidence that plastic pollution is pervasive in the environment

Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets.

Following this week’s revelations in the Guardian about levels of plastic contamination in tap water, new studies have shown that tiny particles have been found in sea salt in the UK, France and Spain, as well as China and now the US.

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Categories: Environment

From Ocean To Potion: Kelp Finds A Niche In The Craft Beer Market

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 8:11am

Kelp isn't a new flavor enhancer for brewers. For hundreds of years, coastal farmers in Scotland grew grains in seaweed beds. But briny brews have been slow to catch on in the United States.

(Image credit: Courtesy of University of New Hampshire)

Categories: Environment

Q&A: our plastic addiction is out of control. How can we consume less?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 7:10am

Our air, water and salt are contaminated by plastic and the impact on our health is unknown. While we wait for the findings, here are ways to reduce plastic use

Tap water around the world is contaminated with tiny plastic fibres, the Guardian revealed this week, and other pilot studies have revealed microplastics in beer, sugar, salt and honey, as well as in seafood, in the air in cities and in homes. The impact on health of this apparently pervasive pollution is unknown, though microplastics do harm some marine life and scientists are calling for urgent research.

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Categories: Environment

Uber: London drivers must use hybrid or fully electric cars from 2020

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 4:27am

Ride-hailing service says it is aiming to tackle pollution by banning vehicles that do not have an electric motor

Uber drivers will be banned from using vehicles that are not a hybrid or fully electric in London from 2020, as part of a plan to help tackle illegal levels of air pollution in the capital.

While hybrids such as the Toyota Prius have become synonymous with the ride-hailing service, today just under half of its London UberX drivers have an electrified vehicle. The firm said that must rise to 100% by 2020.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricanes Are Sweeping The Atlantic. What's The Role Of Climate Change?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 4:19am

Warmer waters and air are playing a role in this year's monster storms.

(Image credit: NOAA/AP)

Categories: Environment

Solar industry says EU tariffs on Chinese imports will raise panel prices

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 4:16am

EU duties on Chinese solar modules are set to rise 30% above market levels signalling ‘huge negative effects’ for businesses

Europe’s solar industry has condemned an EU vote to impose another round of duties on Chinese imports, just weeks before a US trade panel is due to rule on similar tariffs.

A Brussels committee yesterday agreed to set minimum import duties for Chinese solar modules and cells that could price them up to 30% above market levels with “huge negative effects” for the industry, according to trade groups.

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Categories: Environment

Artist donates part of BP prize money to Greenpeace in oil sponsorship protest

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 3:00am

Exclusive: Winner of the BP young artist award at UK’s National Portrait Gallery says donation is a protest against his art being used to promote the oil company

A painter who won a prestigious British portrait award sponsored by BP has donated part of his winnings to Greenpeace in protest at his art being used to promote the image of the multinational oil company.

Henry Christian-Slane, an artist from New Zealand, won the BP young artist award at the National Portrait Gallery for a painting of his partner Gabi. The high profile prize, which was chosen out of 2,580 entries, came with £7,000 prize money, which was presented by BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley.

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Categories: Environment

Is it time for the arts to start saying no to oil money?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 3:00am

An artist has given away part of his winnings to protest against BP’s role in climate change. The company’s money has helped an unfashionable artform, but what’s at stake is far more important

We can’t stop looking at human faces. Can’t stop being interested in ourselves, our species. The BP Portrait Award, whose annual exhibition of winners and strong contenders can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery until 24 September, is full of humanity. It is, perhaps, the most humanist art prize in the world, an art award that specifically celebrates the painted human image and looks for modern heirs to the profoundly compassionate tradition of portraiture that includes Rembrandt, Velázquez and Lucian Freud.

Yet it may be time to get over ourselves. Has the moment come to put nature before portraiture, and abolish this oil-tainted oil painting prize?

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Categories: Environment

Study: mild floods are declining, but intense floods are on the rise | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/08 - 3:00am

Milder floods that refill reservoirs are decreasing as severe floods become more common

It is well known that humans are causing the Earth to warm. We also know that a warmer atmosphere has more water vapor. Just like the air is more humid when it is warm, and less humid when cold. The more humid air leads to more intense precipitation and potentially more flooding. But how much change we will see is an open scientific question.

This question is made complex by the fact that flooding isn’t just about rain. It reflects a dependence on evaporation, rain, the ability of land and water management to handle water surges, and other factors. Fortunately, a very recent study out of Science Advances has helped advance our understanding of the confluence of global warming, intense rain and flooding.

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Categories: Environment
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