NEWS – THURSDAY 26 MAY 2016


Climate Change
Current Atmospheric Models Underestimate the Dirtiness of Arctic Air
Black carbon aerosols are important for understanding climate change. Unfortunately, current simulation models consistently underestimate the amount of these aerosols in the ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160525083925.htm

Why Some Climate Processes Are More Effective at Warming Earth
A new paper explains why some climate processes are more effective than others at warming/cooling the Earth. By accounting for these differences we can more accurately …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160525084536.htm

Clouds provide clue to better climate predictions
A research group from the CERN Cloud experiment, including scientists from Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering and Mellon College of Science, have uncovered the processes behind the formation and evolution of small atmospheric particles free from the influence of pollution. Their findings are key to creating accurate models to understand and predict global climate change.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/cmu-cpc052516.php

Claudia Black-Kalinsky: My father warned Exxon about climate change in the 1970s. They didn’t listen.
Perhaps 2015 wouldn’t have broken all temperature records had they acted then – but it’s not too late to do something now
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3001660755380202984

National
Diesel rebate trouble for Shorten
Bill Shorten faces another policy revolt over the ­diesel fuel rebate to miners.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/federal-election-2016/federal-election-2016-diesel-fuel-rebate-signals-trouble-for-shorten/news-story/1d92bfa362d71e40eae7a4adbac768e0

AGL in $2bn renewables fund
AGL is expected to finalise its $2bn renewable energy investment fund by the end of June.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/agl-in-2bn-renewables-fund/news-story/005227eb2550bd162f75691d603a9a98

Election FactCheck: is Australia among the only major advanced economies where pollution levels are going up?
Labor’s shadow environment minister, Mark Butler, said Australia is now “pretty much the only major advanced economy where pollution levels are going up, not coming down.” Is that right?
http://theconversation.com/election-factcheck-is-australia-among-the-only-major-advanced-economies-where-pollution-levels-are-going-up-59731

Craig Froome: Without extra money, the Coalition’s low-emissions roadmap is a trip to nowhere
The Coalition has asked CSIRO to develop a “roadmap” towards commercialised clean energy. It’s a good idea as long as the plan is clear, and there’s enough money behind it.
http://theconversation.com/without-extra-money-the-coalitions-low-emissions-roadmap-is-a-trip-to-nowhere-59884

Victoria
La Trobe University Commits To Full Fossil Fuel Divestment
La Trobe University has become the first in Australia to commit to full divestment from fossil fuels, according to an email circulated to University staff earlier this morning and seen by New Matilda.
https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/25/la-trobe-university-commits-to-full-fossil-fuel-divestment/

Funding pledged for irrigation project
A RE-ELECTED Coalition Government will pitch in $20 million in long-sought-after federal funding for a Gippsland irrigation modernisation project.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/election/coalition-pledges-20-million-for-macalister-irrigation-district/news-story/6c0e17b3f4296468b853c3bf4e28d455

Victorian Auditor-General’s Office: Monitoring Victoria’s water resources
This audit examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the long-term water quality monitoring of Victoria’s waterways and bays.
http://apo.org.au/resource/monitoring-victorias-water-resources

Age Editorial: Running terribly late to get on track for repairs
6:00 PM It’s great to expand the rail network – but it has got to be maintained far better than in recent decades.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/running-terribly-late-to-get-on-track-for-repairs-to-melbournes-rail-system-20160525-gp3h7d.html

New South Wales
Tunnels And Toll-Roads – The Insider Emails That Shine A Whole New Light On WestConnex
New Matilda’s ongoing investigation into Leighton Contractors and AECOM – two key players in NSW’s controversial WestConnex project – reveals…
https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/18/tunnel-collapse-the-insider-emails-that-show-westconnex-in-a-new-light/

Miners plead for no new tax slug
Mining giants have urged the Baird government not to slug them with new taxes or levies in next month’s NSW budget.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/miners-plead-for-no-new-taxes-in-state-budget/news-story/fd4eeff80b3e831ecdc9b87e76b471f6

Labor candidates break ranks on fossil fuels
A sitting Labor MP and a Labor candidate on the NSW North Coast have split with their party to back a ban on political donations from miners and all fossil fuel subsidies.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/election-2016-two-labor-candidates-break-ranks-on-mining-donations-and-fuel-subsidies-20160525-gp3ads.html

Elizabeth Farrelly: Sydney will be unrecognisable
City planning used to be a thing – not a perfect thing, but real. Now, by contrast, with everything that you (or at least I) love about this town under threat, the city
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/sydney-will-be-unrecognisable-now-that-the-planners-have-gone-20160525-gp3cwb.html

Queensland
Slow progress on water quality improvements for Barrier Reef, says report
Water quality management in Great Barrier Reef catchments is plagued by “poor communication” along with confused and ineffective policies, a new report finds.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-25/great-barrier-reef-taskforce-report-90-million-state-funding/7444074

Great Barrier Reef – advisers call for cap on farm pollution
Taskforce head reportedly tells Queensland government ‘we’re stuffed with a capital S’ if water quality isn’t improved
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/25/great-barrier-reef-advisers-call-for-cap-on-farm-pollution

Hot spots targeted for Reef recovery
TWO pollution hotspots will be targeted as part of a $90 million plan to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/great-barrier-reef-pollution-hot-spots-targeted-in-90b-plan/news-story/fb3970422875b872c55aa108f8bd98ec

Brisbane Metro – Lord Mayor warns of ‘financial pain’
The Brisbane Metro, which formed the centrepiece of the Liberal National Party’s 2016 council election campaign, will cause “financial pain” for the city, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk told an industry briefing on
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-metro-lord-mayor-warns-of-financial-pain-20160525-gp3vhf.html

Sand mining on Straddie to end
Sand mining on North Stradbroke Island will come to an end by the end of 2019 after landmark legislation was passed in State Parliament overnight.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/sand-mining-on-stradbroke-island-to-end-in-2019/news-story/2008568442088d6383b0f7d0efea57fd

Turnbull’s plan – new dams for Qld
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull will splash $150 million on Queensland dams in a bid to massively boost investment in agriculture and drought-proof the state.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/federal-election/federal-election-2016-turnbull-to-splash-150-million-on-queensland-dams/news-story/fe3ef280ae094f2552bf3d1900937303

Want to get off the grid? This is how
THIS technology, considered the missing link in renewable energy, could help Queenslanders to thumb their noses at the big power companies once and for all.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/redflow-batteries-could-one-day-power-entire-towns/news-story/f6f77316442be91becfaf9cd32d7c269

Saving Nemo – Bleaching Threatens Clownfish
Clownfish became a household name over a decade ago when Disney released the movie ‘Finding Nemo.’ The colorful fish are now at risk due to bleaching of their sea anemone ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160525140545.htm

Karen Hussey et al: Queensland commits to fixing water quality in the Great Barrier Reef
Efforts to combat water pollution on the Great Barrier Reef aren’t working, according to a new government report.
http://theconversation.com/queensland-commits-to-fixing-water-quality-in-the-great-barrier-reef-59827

South Australia
Traditional owners call on resources minister to halt nuclear waste dump
Adnyamathanha traditional owners have travelled from remote South Australia to Melbourne to speak with Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg.
http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/05/25/traditional-owners-call-resources-minister-halt-nuclear-waste-dump

Tasmania
New fences installed to stop Tasmanian devils becoming roadkill
A new fencing program is rolled out in a bid to prevent Tasmanian devils ending up as roadkill, after it is revealed almost 40 per cent of the newly-released animals have been run over since late last year
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-25/new-fencing-to-stop-tasmanian-devils-becoming-road-kill/7446134

Devil of a time for Environment Minister
Federal and donated funds will help keep devils safe from roads.
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3929415/devil-of-a-time-for-environment-minister/?cs=95

Ancient Aboriginal cave art defiled
TASMANIA’S Aboriginal community is reeling after the desecration of 800-year-old artworks at the Nirmena Nala Cave site.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/ancient-aboriginal-cave-art-defiled/news-story/21ba6920aa36833f2c65830999ce2046

Time for Tasmania to come clean
MORE must be done to encourage solar and battery energy use in Tasmania to improve the state’s renewable energy credentials, the head of the independent Climate Council says.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/time-for-tasmania-to-come-clean-on-renewable-energy-climate-council-chief-says/news-story/38bfb2ee584ffce79bb681fccd24bd0c

Sustainability
UN expert calls for tax on meat production
People could be deterred from eating meat by increasing its price further up the supply chain, stemming rise in consumption and environmental damage
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/25/un-expert-calls-for-tax-on-meat-production

Universities of Newcastle and Southampton join fossil fuel divestment push
Newcastle University latest to announce it will pursue investment decisions that are compatible with its sustainability values
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/25/universities-of-newcastle-and-southampton-join-fossil-fuel-divestment-push

Global clean energy employment rose 5% in 2015, figures show
More than 8 million people were employed worldwide in the renewable energy sector last year as rapidly falling costs drove growth in the industry
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/25/global-clean-energy-renewable-employment-rose-5-in-2015-figures-show

Apple explores electric vehicle charging
Apple is reportedly exploring how it could build the charging infrastructure necessary for electric cars.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/apple-explores-electric-vehicle-charging/news-story/bf7af7b024906153279f3060a9ba65ab

Early exposure to traffic pollution may affect lungs later.
Infants exposed to higher levels of vehicular air pollution more often have problems later on in the small airways near the edges of their lungs, according to a new study.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3001660755380202969

Spent fuel fire on US soil could dwarf impact of Fukushima.
A fire from spent fuel stored at a U.S. nuclear power plant could have catastrophic consequences, according to new simulations of such an event.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3001660755380202963

Total aims to be 20 percent low-carbon by 2036.
Total’s chief executive wants the French oil and gas major to have a fifth of its assets invested in low carbon business within 20 years, as part of a radical reshaping of the group.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3001660755380203044

Crystal balls, hard truths confront bankrupt energy companies.
It’s a tough time to be in the fossil fuels business. Three of the four largest U.S. coal companies are bankrupt. More than 70 small oil and gas producers have folded since 2014, when oil prices began to collapse, and bigger drillers such as SandRidge Energy Inc. have started to join them.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3001660755380203074

UW-Madison team develops wind turbine for cell towers in rural India.
With the aim of helping make electricity more available in rural parts of India, a team of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has designed a wind turbine that could provide power to cellular phone towers
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3001660755380203711

Drugs and dung a bad mix for climate – antibiotics boost cattle methane emissions, study finds.
Scientists have discovered a potential threat to Earth’s climate lurking in a dark and smelly place: the dung of cattle treated with antibiotics, a study said Wednesday.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3001660755380202996

Living Near a Landfill Could Damage Your Health
Health is at risk for those who live within five kilometers of a landfill …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160524211817.htm

Rigid Water Pipes, Fit for the Future
Researchers have developed a modern, intelligent and sustainable water energy transition concept for urban areas. It will be implemented during the next three years in the city of Lünen, ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160525084752.htm

Using Solid-State Materials With Gold Nanoantennas for More Durable Solar Cells
Scientists are testing the development of solar cells made of solid materials to improve their ability to function under harsh environmental …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160525084541.htm

New concept turns battery technology upside-down
Pump-free design for liquid battery could offer advantages in cost and simplicity
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/miot-nct052516.php

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the ‘Internet of Things’
The “Internet of Things” could make cities “smarter” by connecting an extensive network of tiny communications devices to make life more efficient.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/acs-hsa052516.php

Ceres: Assets or liabilities? Fossil fuel investments of leading U.S. insurers
Examines the fossil fuel investment risks to insurance companies—the second-largest type of institutional investor after pension funds based on assets under management.
http://apo.org.au/resource/assets-or-liabilities-fossil-fuel-investments-leading-us-insurers

ABS: Increase in use of soil enhancers on Australian farms
The number of agricultural businesses applying lime, dolomite and other types of soil enhancers in Australia increased 19 per cent between 2013-2014 and 2014-15 figures, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/BA3F0BF7FE21AE60CA2575C40025E6F9?OpenDocument

Wei Sue: Reducing energy use is a big winner for business and the climate
Companies could improve their profits 2-10% each year by saving energy, according to a world-first attempt to assess energy performance.
http://theconversation.com/reducing-energy-use-is-a-big-winner-for-business-and-the-climate-59659

Robin Batterham: Reliable gas within our grasp
We don’t need gas reservation policies when we have a technological solution.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/underground-coal-gasification-reliable-gas-supplies-within-grasp/news-story/974bdc750696411303584a43bb312576

Australian Editorial: Historic meeting in Hiroshima
Seven decades without nuclear attack is a great achievement.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/historic-meeting-in-hiroshima/news-story/184037cc9d2e0bf413f59131f8209828

C. Ford Runge: The case against more ethanol – it’s simply bad for environment.
The revisionist effort to increase the percentage of ethanol blended with U.S. gasoline continues to ignore the major environmental impacts of growing corn for fuel and how it inevitably leads to higher prices for this staple food crop.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3001660755380202974

Timothy Wirth and C. Boyden Gray: The case for more ethanol – why green critics are wrong.
Thanks to improvements in farming techniques, increasing the amount of corn ethanol in U.S. gasoline would reduce air pollution, provide significant health benefits, and lower greenhouse gas emissions
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3001660755380202975

David J. Unger: America now produces 27.2 gigawatts of solar energy – what does that mean?
Even with solar installations surpassing 1 million, the road to a carbon-zero energy economy is still long and daunting
http://www.dailyclimate.org/t/-3001660755380203031

Nature Conservation
Indonesia refuses palm oil permits in anti-haze push
Indonesia rejects applications from scores of companies for new palm oil operations, an official says, as it cracks down on an industry whose expansion has been blamed for fuelling haze-belching forest fires.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-25/indonesia-refuses-palm-oil-permits-in-anti-haze-push/7446552

Indonesian birds face extinction due to pet trade – study
Indonesia’s national bird, the Javan hawk-eagle, is among 13 species threatened by illegal trade, warns a wildlife watchdog
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/25/indonesian-birds-face-extinction-due-to-pet-trade-study

Major fishing deal offers protection to Arctic waters
Leading seafood suppliers, including McDonald’s, Tesco and Birds Eye, say suppliers won’t expand cod fisheries into pristine Arctic region
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/25/major-fishing-deal-offers-protection-to-arctic-cod-mcdonalds-tesco

Do you know your wild species at risk? – in pictures
New research by WWF as part of the Wear it Wild campaign has revealed that millions of Britons are unaware of how many of the world’s animals are vulnerable, endangered or even critically endangered
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2016/may/25/do-you-know-your-wild-species-at-risk-in-pictures

Canada’s economy to shrink on wildfires
Wildfires, which tore through the Canadian province of Alberta, will do further damage causing the national economy to shrink, the central bank says.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/canadas-economy-to-shrink-on-wildfires/news-story/aed3b2a452f19a0006aa188687fc9132

Clearcut city? Rise of condos in Vancouver means razed trees, bird evictions.
Vancouver has lost hundreds of hectares of canopy in just two decades
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-3001660755380203033

Many unknown chemicals in the Baltic Sea
The researchers examined data from research and monitoring reports from the years 2000-2012, to see what chemicals have been analysed in Baltic Sea fish.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/su-muc052516.php

World War III will be fought over water.
Rajendra Singh, known as the “water man of India,” believes that critically depleted aquifers around the world can be revived with community effort
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/-2507006425367903162

Ecosystems with many and similar species can handle tougher environmental disturbances
How sensitive an ecosystem is to unforeseen environmental stress can be determined, according to Daniel Bruno, previous visiting researcher at Umeå University.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/uu-ewm052516.php

Spring comes sooner to urban heat islands, with potential consequences for wildlife
With spring now fully sprung, a new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers shows that buds burst earlier in dense urban areas than in their suburban and rural surroundings.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/uow-scs052516.php

Peter C. Doherty: Living with complexity – evolution, ecology, viruses and climate change
Diverse threads of the vast interrogation of nature we call science are coming together in a rich and mutually informative intellectual tapestry.
http://theconversation.com/living-with-complexity-evolution-ecology-viruses-and-climate-change-59750

Paula Kahumbu: Together we can end wildlife crime
A global alliance to end wildlife crime is within reach. Let’s start talking about how it can be made to work
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/africa-wild/2016/may/25/together-we-can-end-wildlife

Richard Honour and Steven R. Vincent: We’re making a mess in our forests with our sewage sludge.
The spreading of sewage sludge carries considerable risk and should be stopped. As scientists, we are increasingly concerned with this reckless practice
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2016/may/opinion-were-making-a-mess-in-our-forests-with-our-sewage-sludge