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After Calf's Death, Orca Mother Carries It For Days In 'Tragic Tour Of Grief'

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 2:54pm

What began as a moment of joy ended in tragedy when the infant died last week. Since then its mother has refused to let go, holding her child tightly in what experts call a moving expression of grief.

(Image credit: Michael Weiss/Center for Whale Research via AP)

Categories: Environment

To Combat Rhino Poaching, Dogs Are Giving South African Park Rangers A Crucial Assist

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 2:53pm

Anti-poaching rangers have sophisticated resources at their command. But one of the most effective is strikingly low-tech. "Since we use dogs, the guys can't hide from us anymore," says a trainer.

(Image credit: David Fuchs )

Categories: Environment

Wildfires More Common in Western U.S.

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 1:40pm

A century's worth of fire suppression in forests, drought and heat from climate change, and the "suburbanization" of the woods mean that fires like the Carr Fire in Redding, Calif., are the new norm.

Categories: Environment

Grieving Mother Orca Carries Dead Calf For More Than A Week, Over Hundreds Of Miles

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 1:19pm

The calf was the first to be born in the endangered pod of Pacific Northwest killer whales in three years.

(Image credit: Taylor Shedd/Soundwatch, taken under NMFS MMPA permit #21114)

Categories: Environment

Eight of 18 water firms fail to meet targets on tackling leaks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 12:38pm

UK’s driest start to summer and freeze-thaw after cold snap in February and March blamed for problems

Water companies have been urged to “raise the bar” on tackling leaks during talks with Michael Gove, the environment secretary, after once again failing to meet targets.

The firms insisted they would do more and are planning “ambitious” new goals to reduce leakage by at least a further 15%.

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Categories: Environment

Adani lodges slimmed-down plan to expand Abbot Point coal terminal

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 11:00am

Company says revamped plans would still allow Carmichael coalmine to go ahead but delay ‘significant capital expense’

Adani has applied to increase the export capacity at its Abbot Point coal terminal, allowing it to expand the port relatively quickly without the “significant capital expense” of its long-term expansion plans.

Plans lodged with the Queensland state development department on Tuesday show Adani wants to build a conveyor and transfer tower at Abbot Point “terminal one” to expand throughput by 10m tonnes a year.

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Categories: Environment

Unsurvivable heatwaves could strike heart of China by end of century

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 8:28am

The most populous region of the biggest polluter on Earth – China’s northern plain – will become uninhabitable in places if climate change is not curbed

The deadliest place on the planet for extreme future heatwaves will be the north China plain, one of the most densely populated regions in the world and the most important food-producing area in the huge nation.

New scientific research shows that humid heatwaves that kill even healthy people within hours will strike the area repeatedly towards the end of the century thanks to climate change, unless there are heavy cuts in carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Gulf Of Alaska Cod Are Disappearing. Blame 'The Blob'

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 7:24am

The cod population in the Gulf of Alaska is at its lowest level on record. Scientists say the culprit is a warm-water mass known as "the blob."

(Image credit: Annie Feidt for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Climate change denial won’t even benefit oil companies soon | Phil McDuff

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 1:00am
The damage caused by our addiction to burning fossil fuels will be so widespread that nobody stands to gain

The year 2018 is on track to be the fourth warmest on record, beaten only by 2016, 2015 and 2017. In other words, we have had the warmest four-year run since we started measuring. According to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), June 2018 is the 402nd consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average. The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee has warned that we could see summer temperatures reaching 38C by the 2040s, leading to a potential 7,000 heat-related deaths a year.

One hot summer does not a changing climate make, but the trend in the global data is now irrefutable. When Michael Mann published the “hockey stick” graph back in 1998, there was vociferous public pushback, yet the observed temperature rises match what Mann had predicted. Today’s hockey stick graph isn’t a forward projection but a historical record. The world has been getting hotter, and it will continue to do so. The only question now is how much hotter it gets.

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Categories: Environment

A piece of Alaskan paradise is at risk. Here's why we must save it | Kim Heacox

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 12:57am

The Tongass national forest is America’s premier temperate rainforest, but Sonny Perdue wants it open for business

Over the years, I’ve walked many visitors into the Tongass national forest in Alaska, and watched the city tinsel drop from their eyes. They often sit quietly and look around, and for the first time in a long time breathe from the bottom of their lungs.

I live here, I tell them.

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Categories: Environment

Allow nuclear waste disposal under national parks, say MPs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 10:01pm

Safest site should be chosen regardless of location, committee says – but opponents call idea ‘outrageous’

Highly radioactive nuclear waste could be permanently buried under national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs), under government plans backed by a committee of MPs.

Deep geological burial is seen as the only permanent solution for nuclear waste that will remain radioactive for many thousands of years and is currently stored at surface sites across the UK. Ministers’ attempts to choose a site in Cumbria for the £12bn facility were foiled in 2013 when the county council rejected the proposal.

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Categories: Environment

As California burns, many fear the future of extreme fire has arrived

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 10:00pm

Experts say the state’s increasingly ferocious wildfires are not an aberration – they are the new reality

Roger Gray has lived in his suburban subdivision in a quiet California city for 30 years. On Thursday, it was struck by a jaw-dropping geophysical phenomenon.

Gray had defied orders to evacuate Redding, in the far north of the state, which was threatened by the fast-growing Carr fire outside town. He and his neighbors wanted to defend their homes. A navy veteran, Gray worked 10 hours preparing his house and was already exhausted when he saw plumes of smoke in the distance. “Then they started to swirl together, and I’m going, ‘Oh, we’re in trouble,’” he said.

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Categories: Environment

Timor-Leste a mecca for whales, but they face threats | Johnny Langenheim

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 9:00pm

One third of all cetacean species are found in the waters off Timor-Leste, but measures are needed to protect them

Olive Andrews believes Timor Leste could be one of the best destinations in the world for whale watching. The research scientist with a particular interest in cetaceans drew this conclusion when she joined a survey team assessing the coastal waters north of Timor-Leste in October 2016. “I’ve never seen such a biomass of cetaceans in such a small geography,” she says. “We encountered 2287 cetaceans from 11 species, including superpods of up to 600 individuals.”

There are 90 distinct species of cetacean – and at least 30 of them occur in Timor-Leste. These include both local populations like melon-headed whales and spinner dolphins, and migratory species such as humpbacks and pygmy blue whales. Managed properly, whale tourism could generate significant income for Timor-Leste, one of the world’s youngest – and poorest – nations.

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Categories: Environment

Livestock treatment may offer solution to antibiotics crisis, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 5:01pm

Dosing animals with antibodies from their own immune systems could prevent illness and reduce the need for antibiotics

Using animals’ own immune systems may provide a way to reduce the overuse of antibiotics in farming, replacing the drugs with cheap farm byproducts and cutting the growing risk of resistance to common medicines, new research has suggested.

Natural antibodies, produced by the immune system without previous infection, in animals and humans, can protect the body against harmful bacteria. They are present in some usually unconsidered farm byproducts, such as the whey left over from milk production, and they could be administered to animals easily in feed.

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Categories: Environment

San Francisco Is Poised To Ban Plastic Straws. That's Got Bubble Tea Shops Worried

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 2:41pm

Over 200 city shops sell the drink, also known as boba tea, which features large tapioca balls meant to be sucked through a straw. Boba shops say paper straws are much pricier and don't work as well.

(Image credit: Samantha Shanahan/KQED)

Categories: Environment

As Ban On Plastic Straws Spreads, Demand For Paper Alternatives Increases

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 2:12pm

Orders for paper straws are skyrocketing as bans for the plastic ones multiply. David Rhodes of Aardvark Straws tells NPR's Ailsa Chang his paper straw business is booming.

Categories: Environment

California Allocates $3 Billion For New Water Storage Projects

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 2:07pm

California is putting almost $3 billion toward new water storage projects to help preserve its crops during droughts. Some say that money should go to dams and reservoirs, but others want a less environmentally problematic approach.

Categories: Environment

World's largest king penguin colony has declined by 90%

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 1:50pm

Number of king penguins on the remote Île aux Cochons has fallen from 2m to 200,000, warn scientists

The planet’s largest colony of king penguins has declined by nearly 90% in three decades, researchers have warned.

The last time scientists set foot on France’s remote Île aux Cochons – roughly half way between the tip of Africa and Antarctica – the island was blanketed by 2m of the penguins, which stand about a metre tall.

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Categories: Environment

Deadly Carr Wildfire Testing Resources Of Local Officials In Northern California

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 1:48pm

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Kristen Schreder, mayor of Redding, Calif., for the latest on the deadly Carr wildfire raging through Northern California.

Categories: Environment

Victoria's ‘major’ concerns may prevent it signing national energy guarantee

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/30 - 1:00pm

‘Turnbull is trying to get us to sign something that hasn’t gone to his own party room – a place full of climate sceptics,’ says Victoria’s energy minister

Victoria is continuing to express “major” concerns about the federal government’s national energy guarantee before make-or-break discussions on the proposal in August.

The state’s energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio argues it would be a leap of faith to sign up when the Coalition party room is yet to formally tick off on the emissions reduction component of the Neg, and when federal government MPs are acting like “coal ideologues”.

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Categories: Environment
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