THURSDAY 26 APRIL 2018

Russian Arctic glacier loss doubles as temps warm
Ice mass loss in the Russian Arctic has nearly doubled over the last decade according to Cornell University research published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/cu-rag042518.php

Many low-lying atoll islands could be uninhabitable by mid-21st century
Sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding will negatively impact freshwater resources on many low-lying atoll islands in such a way that many could be uninhabitable in just a few decades.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/ugs-ml042318.php

Farmers along the 100th meridian stand to be hard hit by climate change
New research from Columbia University has found that the arid-humid boundary at the 100th Meridian has shifted 140 miles, expanding the drier lands to the east with significant implications for agriculture.
https://civileats.com/2018/04/25/farmers-along-the-100th-meridian-stand-to-be-hard-hit-by-climate-change/

MPs call for urgent investigation into $180m in water buybacks
Cross-party group asks auditor general to seek information about three 2017 purchases
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/26/mps-call-for-urgent-investigation-into-180m-in-water-buybacks

Warning on fuel credit threat [PAYWALL]
Australia’s biggest export industries have warned against government tampering with the fuel tax credit scheme.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/big-business-makes-prebudget-issue-out-of-fuel-tax-credit-cuts/news-story/c7549d0932817e923515992520b60d62

The problem with an outright ban on plastic straws
Eden Faithfull
Plastic straws are an environmental menace, but the push to ban this simple product could have unintended consequences for people with disabilities who rely on them
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-25/the-problem-with-banning-plastic-straws/9689346

Melbourne by numbers: Five ways the city’s population is increasing
Melbourne’s population is surging. Here are five interesting facts about the city’s population growth, gathered from the most recent population projections.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/melbourne-by-numbers-five-ways-the-city-s-population-is-increasing-20180424-p4zbf6.html

Fire danger mounts as huge stockpile of recycling builds
200-plus dangerous mounds found in state, 10 months after China announced it would no longer take ‘foreign garbage’.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/recycling-crisis-more-than-200-dangerous-stockpiles-found-in-victoria-20180425-p4zblc.html

Students bask in the light of cost savings after a year of going solar
A solar energy battery system installed by a student cooperative cuts power bills by more than half for its tenants a year after installation.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/stucco-student-solar-power-energy-battery-cost-savings/9688892

Far North Queensland “bitterly disappointed” with controversial vegetation management legislation
Far North Queensland farmers fear the regions potential to further develop has been threatened following the State Government Parliamentary committees recommendation to pass controversial vegetation management legislation without any changes.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/fnq-bitterly-disappointed-with-controversial-vegetation-management-legislation/news-story/01f8fa5311edfea3d695785e9cd6212d

Consumers sceptical about falling power costs [PAYWALL]
Only one in five Queenslanders believe power bills will fall, despite improving technology, new research shows.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/origin-energy-research-reveals-only-22-per-cent-of-consumers-expect-to-pay-less-in-five-years/news-story/4e974382c5bef0d13cfe56e03e3da9bf

$100m plan to transform pollution hotspot [PAYWALL]
One of Brisbane’s most polluted waterways is set to be transformed, with the council today revealing a plan to make it a part of the city’s biggest parkland.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbane-city-council-unveils-master-plan-to-transform-city-waterway/news-story/dcb19935d20059299dac95e90d55f383

Anti-Adani activists target Labor MP Terri Butler in Anzac Day protest[PAYWALL]
Anti-Adani activists have hijacked Anzac Day by putting up posters targeting a Labor MP before a Dawn Service in Brisbane.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/antiadani-activists-target-labour-mp-terri-butler-in-anzac-day-protest/news-story/0845672269d8a306a6ff161eb5eb965c

KI plan to be world’s largest cat-free island [PAYWALL]
Kangaroo Island aims to be the world’s largest island free of feral cats as environment officers launch phase two of a groundbreaking project to eradicate some 5000 feline pests.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/sa-business-journal/worldleading-plan-to-eradicate-feral-cats-from-kangaroo-island/news-story/e9c5c66b280b542549218cbf88adb41a

Radioactive waste dump in SA could be stalled unless indigenous people are properly consulted
THE construction of a radioactive waste dump in South Australia could be stalled by court challenges unless local indigenous people are consulted properly, the Australian Human Rights Commission has warned.
http://online.isentialink.com/adelaidenow.com.au/2018/04/25/f9f91b2f-2a18-4c89-9ae8-29cf3ea972a5.html

Scaffold plan for cable car building preview [PAYWALL]
As architects work on the design for a cable-car centre on Mt Wellington, the proponent hopes to show Tasmanians how high the proposed Pinnacle Centre would be.
http://www.themercury.com.au/business/cable-car-proponents-scaffolding-plan-to-show-the-size-of-the-pinnacle-centre/news-story/46d15bbc1cda90a77478b1a2159e089a

Boil water alert after E. coli detection [PAYWALL]
Residents of a Hobart suburb are being told to boil their water before consumption after E. coli bacteria was discovered in the water supply.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/boil-water-alert-for-south-hobart-residents-after-e-coli-detection/news-story/f6725f96567a1db0e78e7e509c9f8611

Underground power plan [PAYWALL]
The destruction caused by Cyclone Marcus will have a silver lining with plans to start undergrounding power in Darwin to be announced as part of Tuesday’s Budget
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/underground-power-plan-to-be-announced-in-nt-budget/news-story/c2e654a7a2afdabe9cae9397b1ae8946

Chevron cuts gas to Burrup plant [PAYWALL]
A new $1.3bn-plus petrochemical plant proposed for WA’s Burrup Peninsula is facing a major gas hurdle.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/burrup-peninsula-petrochemical-plant-hits-chevron-gas-hurdle/news-story/91f7006430bfa0a7ac51dfb2a6351f8e

Blaze at illegal oil well in Indonesia kills 18, dozens hurt
A fire erupted at an illegal oil well in Indonesia on Wednesday killing least 18 people and injuring 41 as they scrambled to collect oil after the well overflowed, authorities said.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-fire/blaze-at-illegal-oil-well-in-indonesia-kills-18-dozens-hurt-idUSKBN1HW06E

Mount Mantap: Is North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site still  functional?
Experts disagree on whether North Korea’s nuclear test site is still functional amid Kim’s pledge to close it.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/25/north-koreas-mountain-mystery-is-punggye-ri-nuclear-test-site-still-functional/?noredirect=on

Pro-mining party doubles support in Greenland vote, coalition talks near
A pro-business party that promised to champion Greenland’s nascent mining industry almost doubled its support in elections, results showed on Wednesday, raising the prospect of a shift in the coalition government.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greenland-election/pro-mining-party-doubles-support-in-greenland-vote-coalition-talks-near-idUSKBN1HW0MD

China stakes claim on electric car market with 100 new models
More than two-thirds of the hybrid and fully electric plug-in cars on display at the country’s annual auto show are from local brands, as Chinese automakers race to dominate the electric vehicle market.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/china-goes-electric-as-trade-tensions-reshape-auto-industry/9697974

Thyroid cancer link to Chernobyl radiation
A UN study has found a quarter of thyroid cancer cases reported around the Chernobyl region following the 1986 nuclear disaster was linked to radiation.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/thyroid-cancer-link-to-chernobyl-radiation/news-story/6aadbe9fd05273859a6d216449e38d32

Feds bash Hanford nuclear waste plant troubles, question DOE priorities
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds continuing problems with the Hanford nuclear reservation’s vitrification plant quality assurance.
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article209749064.html

Balancing nuclear and renewable energy
Argonne researchers explore the benefits of adjusting the output of nuclear power plants according to the changing supply of renewable energy such as wind and solar power.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/dnl-bna042518.php

SCE&G wants to keep nuclear documents secret
Environmentalists have used the legal process to “gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements or release trade secrets,” SCE&G says.
http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article209742139.html

How much are you ‘smoking’ by breathing urban air?
A new app converts the air-pollution data from your city into the number of cigarettes per day it’s equivalent to smoking.
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2018/04/how-much-are-you-smoking-by-breathing-urban-air/558827/

As tellurium demands rise, so do contamination concerns
As technology advances, demands for tellurium, a rare element, are on the rise. Some forms of tellurium are toxic, so as the element finds applications in solar panels, rubber production, electronics and more, researchers are becoming concerned about possible environmental contamination. Now, one group reports in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology that by studying lake sediments they can construct a history of tellurium as it was deposited in the environment.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/acs-atd042018.php

Nanowires could make lithium ion batteries safer
From cell phones and laptops to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are the power source that fuels everyday life. But in recent years, they have also drawn attention for catching fire. In an effort to develop a safer battery, scientists report in the ACS journal Nano Letters that the addition of nanowires can not only enhance the battery’s fire-resistant capabilities, but also its other properties.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/acs-ncm042018.php

Pioneers of carbon dioxide removal see boon for renewables
Three companies—Climeworks AG, Global Thermostat LLC, and Carbon Engineering Ltd.—are betting that a puzzling paradox underlying international climate goals is a business opportunity that can help curb global warming and expand renewable power worldwide.
https://www.bna.com/pioneers-carbon-dioxide-n57982091436/

Pastoralists struggling to cope with climate change
Alternating severe droughts and heavy rains kill their animals, their main source of livelihood.
https://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/dn2/Pastoralists-struggling-to-cope-with-climate-change/957860-4521404-qxeu4/

Fight grows over who owns real estate drowned by climate change
A brand-new crisis caused by underwater real estate.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-25/fight-grows-over-who-owns-real-estate-drowned-by-climate-change

Flint crisis, four years on: what little trust is left continues to wash away
Since 2014, Flint has received millions of dollars in aid, and the state of the water is improving – but residents are still left with physical ailments and lifelong fears.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/25/flint-water-crisis-four-years-later

Monsanto develops product to deactivate controversial farm chemical
Its latest attempt to prevent unintended crop damage associated with the herbicide.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pesticides-monsanto/monsanto-develops-product-to-deactivate-controversial-farm-chemical-idUSKBN1HV2R8

The EPA ousted science advisers. Now it’s going after the science itself.
Administrator Scott Pruitt just proposed new restrictions on research used in rulemaking.
https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/3/23/17147330/epa-scott-pruitt-science-regulations

Analysis: Pessimism on the food front
Virtually all trends, biophysical and socioeconomic, suggest that levels of hunger, already high, will only increase as the human population grows and its life-support systems are degraded. Steps that might ameliorate the situation are, unhappily, nowhere in sight.
http://www.ehn.org/what-are-the-threats-to-future-food-security-2562981347.html

World Population Balance Podcast: Teaching students about overshoot
College students grieve when presented the facts about overshoot. World Population Balance Executive Director Dave Gardner picks the brain of a professor teaching a college course on human population.
https://soundcloud.com/overpopulationpodcast/teaching-students-about-overshoot

Podcast: Planetary Health
Steve Osofsky, Professor of Wildlife Health & Health Policy, explores the complex relationships between health and human interaction with the environment.
https://soundcloud.com/cornellcas/planetary-health

Cars are ruining our cities
Justin Gillis, Hal Harvey
That’s why more and more towns are deciding to wrest control of their streets from the tyranny of the automobile.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/opinion/cars-ruining-cities.html

Will warm-water events in the Gulf of California reduce seabird populations?
Oceanic warm-water events in the Gulf of California have increased in frequency during the last three decades, passing from a historic mean of one or two warm anomalies per decade to five events in the 2007-2016 period. This can lead to massive failures in seabird nesting, as anomalously warm waters accumulate in the ocean’s surface, preventing the upwelling of colder, nutrient-rich waters from the ocean bottom, which in turn deprives seabirds of their food.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/aosp-wwe042518.php

Protect forest elephants to conserve ecosystems, not DNA
New University of Illinois research has found that forest elephant populations across Central Africa are genetically quite similar to one another. Conserving this critically endangered species across its range is crucial to preserving local plant diversity in Central and West African Afrotropical forests — meaning conservationists could save many species by protecting one.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/crwi-pfe042418.php

‘Mountains and mountains of plastic’: Life on Cambodia’s polluted coast
Photographs from Sihanouk in the country’s south west reveal locals living amid a staggering tide of plastic pollution.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/25/mountains-and-mountains-of-plastic-life-on-cambodias-polluted-coast

Human Impact on Sea Urchin Abundance
In a 50-year study, researchers record the dynamics of three common species of sea urchins in Hatakejima …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180425093834.htm

Scientists: Record abundance of underwater grasses shows Chesapeake Bay initiatives are working
Underwater grasses that provide vital places for fish and crabs to live and hide covered more than 100,000 acres of the Chesapeake Bay in 2017, the greatest abundance ever recorded in an annual aerial survey, scientists said Tuesday.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/environment/bs-md-chesapeake-grasses-record-20180424-story.html