Five developments in space, time and fusion

The Gurdian Environment News - 6 hours 15 min ago
Projects from gravitational wave detection to viewing the Milky Way and generating thermonuclear power march ahead

Cern has announced plans for a Future Circular Collider. The £17.8bn machine would smash particles together inside a 62-mile tunnel – four times the size of the Large Hadron Collider. If funding can be secured, scientists hope the machine would be operational by the 2050s.

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Categories: Environment

The Observer view: the Hitachi fiasco confirms that our energy policy is in ruins | Observer editorial

The Gurdian Environment News - 7 hours 15 min ago
Ministers must act quickly to make up for the firm’s decision to axe its Wylfa nuclear power plant

By any standards, last week’s decision by Hitachi to end construction of its £20bn nuclear power plant at Wylfa in Wales was a major blow to Britain’s prospects of creating an effective energy policy for the 21st century. The move follows a withdrawal by Toshiba from the construction of a similar project in Cumbria last year and leaves Britain struggling to find ways to generate electricity for a low-carbon future.

Together, these nuclear plants would have generated 15% of Britain’s electricity – without emitting carbon dioxide. Now the government faces serious questions about how its electricity pricing policies scuppered these two key pieces of UK infrastructure. More importantly, the nation needs to know, very quickly, how ministers intend to make up for this lost capacity. Given the tepid nature of previous plans and continual changes made to energy policies, success is not guaranteed.

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Categories: Environment

Could flexitarianism save the planet?

The Gurdian Environment News - January 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Scientists say a drastic cut in meat consumption is needed, but this requires political will

It has been known for a while that the amount of animal products being eaten is bad for both the welfare of animals and the environment. People cannot consume 12.9bn eggs in the UK each year without breaking a few.

But the extent of the damage, and the amount by which people need to cut back, is now becoming clearer. On Wednesday, the Lancet medical journal published a study that calls for dramatic changes to food production and the human diet, in order to avoid “catastrophic damage to the planet”.

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Categories: Environment

North American glaciers melting much faster than 10 years ago – study

The Gurdian Environment News - January 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Satellite images show glaciers in US and Canada, excluding Alaska, are shrinking four times faster then in previous decade

Glaciers in western North America, excluding Alaska, are melting four times faster than in the previous decade, with changes in the jet stream exacerbating the longer-term effects of climate change, according to a new study.

The retreat hasn’t been equal in the US and Canada. The famous alpine ice masses in the Cascade Mountains in the north-west US have largely been spared from the trend.

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Categories: Environment

Video: Giant Great White Shark Frolics With Divers

NPR Environmental News - January 18, 2019 - 9:18pm

"What some don't realize is that sometimes sharks seek touch," Ocean Ramsey said after the unforgettable encounter in Oahu. She and her team swam beside a 20-foot-long shark they say is Deep Blue.

(Image credit: Juan Oliphant /One Ocean Diving)

Categories: Environment

Diver filmed with huge great white: sharks must be 'protected not feared'

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 6:39pm

Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher, came face-to-face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded

Two shark researchers who came face to face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.

Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist, told the Associated Press that she encountered the 20ft (6m) shark Tuesday near a dead sperm whale off Oahu. The event was documented and shared on social media by her fiance and business partner, Juan Oliphant.

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Categories: Environment

Central Wisconsin Residents Challenging Large-Scale Farms Over Water

WPR Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 4:39pm

Residents in Wisconsin's Central Sands region are suing large-scale farms over their water usage. They claim that these operations are using too much water and fertilizer runoff is having disastrous consequences in the area.

Categories: Environment

FRONTLINE And NPR Collaboration Investigates A Spike in Deadly Black Lung Disease

WPR Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 4:05pm

For the new special "Coal's Deadly Dust," FRONTLINE and NPR investigate why black lung disease is growing more common, and more deadly, among coal miners. NPR's Howard Berkes joins us to talk about what he uncovered and why regulators failed to keep miners safe.

Categories: Environment

Murray-Darling basin authority and NSW largely culpable for fish kill, report finds

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 1:00pm

Exclusive: Australia Institute calls for inquiry similar to royal commission and greater MDBA transparency

The crisis on the Lower Darling, which has seen up to 1 million fish die, is largely due to the decisions by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on instructions from the New South Wales government, a report by the Australia Institute finds.

It says the reasons for those decisions appear to be about building the case for the new Broken Hill pipeline and the Menindee Lakes project, which will see the lakes shrink and “save” water by reducing evaporation.

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Categories: Environment

State Capitol Report with Speaker Vos and Minority Leader Hintz

WPR Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 12:21pm

The Wisconsin Legislature has been gaveled in for two weeks. We talk with party leadership about their priorities for this session and what they hope to accomplish regarding healthcare, taxes and education.

Categories: Environment

Green turtle: The success of the reintroduction program in Cayman Islands

Science Daily Environmental news - January 18, 2019 - 11:30am
The reintroduction program for the green turtle in the Cayman Islands has been crucial in order to recover this species, which are threatened by the effects of human overexploitation, according to the first genetic study of the green turtle's reintroduction program in this area of the Atlantic ocean.
Categories: Environment

Air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems

Science Daily Environmental news - January 18, 2019 - 11:30am
As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest US study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients of all ages.
Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 10:53am

Puerto Rican parrots, a tufted duck and a giant panda feature in this week’s gallery

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Categories: Environment

Climate Advocates Underestimate Power of Fossil Fueled Misinformation Campaigns, Say Top Researchers

DeSmog Blog - January 18, 2019 - 10:51am
Read time: 4 mins

Climate action advocates have underestimated the strength and sophistication of decades-long fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns and need a coordinated set of strategies to fight back, say leading academics.

Among those strategies, say the three researchers from Yale and Brown University, are promoting financial transparency, suing misinformers and their funders, and researching the vast networks of think tanks and front groups.

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, Yale University’ professors Justin Farrell and Kathryn McConnell, together with Brown University’s Professor Robert Brulle, say people working on responses to climate change “cannot afford to underestimate the economic influence, institutional complexity, strategic sophistication, financial motivation, and societal impact of the networks” behind climate misinformation campaigns.

Brulle, who is also an academic at Drexel University, told DeSmog that after conversations with leaders of environment groups and foundations, he had concluded “there is virtually no understanding of the nature or extent of misinformation efforts and organized efforts to stop climate action.”

Tags: robert brulleJustin Farrellmyron ebellsteve milloyHeartland Institute
Categories: Environment

Windfarm industry urges UK to lift onshore subsidies ban

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 10:35am

Firms say 800 renewable projects ready to plug gap left after Wylfa nuclear plant scrapped

Ministers have been urged to drop their block on subsidies for onshore windfarms, as industry figures showed that nearly 800 renewable projects are ready to plug much of the power gap left by the abandonment of the Wylfa nuclear project.

Related: Hitachi scraps £16bn nuclear power station in Wales

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Categories: Environment

Scrapping of nuclear plant should see UK renewables filling the void | Letters

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 10:13am
Readers respond to news that Hitachi has pulled out of the proposed Wylva nuclear power plant in Anglesey

The pulling out of Hitachi from the proposed Wylva nuclear power plant is a good thing for energy policy – not a serious blow as said in the article (Hitachi scraps £16bn nuclear power station in Wales, 18 January). Nuclear power is now one of the most expensive form of electricity there is. But beyond the economics, it no longer fits with the digitalising world that we live in. The global energy system is undergoing change similar to that in telecoms and computers over the last few decades. The energy system is becoming smarter and more flexible and it is on the path to being operated in a completely different way than hitherto because of that.

Nuclear – with its huge, inflexible output – is the equivalent of a giant boulder in the middle of a motorway. We, the energy customers of Britain, would have ended up paying way over the odds for Wylva, which would have also undermined the UK’s move to a smart and flexible system – which really is the future. We are already going to do that for Hinkley Point C.

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Categories: Environment

Mediterranean freshwater fish species susceptible to climate change

Science Daily Environmental news - January 18, 2019 - 10:08am
Climate change will strongly affect many European freshwater fish species. This is particularly the case for species in the Mediterranean region.
Categories: Environment

Antarctica expedition yields remains of tiny, ancient 'water bears'

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 9:56am

Surprise haul of dead crustaceans and tardigrades made in Mercer subglacial lake

Scientists have found the remains of tiny, ancient animals in an Antarctic lake that has lain undisturbed for thousands of years beneath a kilometre-thick slab of ice.

The surprise haul of dead crustaceans and tardigrades, or “water bears”, was made by US researchers on a rare mission to drill into the Mercer subglacial lake which lies nearly 400 miles from the south pole.

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Categories: Environment

Police pick up penguins stolen from Nottingham zoo

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 7:01am

Two missing Humboldts were found this week in Strelley Village after a tipoff

Two penguins have been found by police officers two months after they were stolen.

The pair of Humboldt penguins were taken in November last year from a zoo in Nottinghamshire.

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Categories: Environment

Recalls of ‘potentially lethal’ US meat and poultry nearly double since 2013

The Gurdian Environment News - January 18, 2019 - 6:49am

Products withdrawn because of serious contamination are on the rise, report finds

The number of meat and poultry products recalled in the US for potentially life-threatening health hazards has nearly doubled since 2013, according to a report by a consumer watchdog group.

The US Department of Agriculture logged 97 meat recalls for serious health hazards in 2018, ranging from 12 million pounds of raw beef that made close to 250 people ill with salmonella to the withdrawal of 174,000 pounds of chicken wraps for possible contamination with listeria.

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Categories: Environment