Scientists project a drier Amazon and wetter Indonesia in the future
Climate models predict that an increase in greenhouse gases will dry out the Amazon rainforest in the future while causing wetter conditions in the woodlands of Africa and Indonesia. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and other institutions have identified an unexpected but major factor in this worldwide precipitation shift: the direct response of the forests themselves to higher levels of carbon dioxide.–spa042718.php

Our position on climate change is unconscionable for a wealthy country
David Shearman
For most of us climate change is of much less concern than the cost of living, taxes, schools and health services. It’s not good enough

Recovering a narrative of place – stories in the time of climate change
Tony Birch, Victoria University
At 14, writer Tony Birch had rarely travelled two miles out of the centre of Melbourne. Encountering a billabong on the Birrarung River was the first time that country spoke to him.

For the first time in Canberra, a car park has been replaced by a park
After an 18-month wait, parts of Canberra’s West Basin were thrown open to the public once again, with the unveiling of a new lakeside park on Saturday.

Vietnam veteran’s one-man war on waste helps him find peace
Defending FNQ beaches from plastic invasion is a never-ending mission for a Vietnam veteran who came to Cooktown to escape his demons.

State land at The Spit on Gold Coast in focus for development talks
A slice of state-owned land on the Gold Coast once earmarked for a $3 billion Chinese-backed casino is again at the centre of development discussions.

‘Bare minimum’ rehabilitation plan for mine – video
Aerial footage supplied by the Lock the Gate Alliance shows the site of the former Ebenezer coalmine near Ipswich – which will remain a cratered landscape after the Queensland government accepted a rehabilitation plan from the site’s current owner

Smaller cane toads signal build-up as larger toads head west  [PAYWALL]
Tiny cane toads are taking over Cairns as their long-legged family members push forward on the western front.

Healthy Tasmanian devils found in mission to save species from extinction
Scientists working to save the Tasmanian devil from extinction say they’ve found 14 of the animals free from the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease, after setting traps in the state’s remote south-west.

Fracking war sweeps Labor [PAYWALL]
An internal Labor war is set to ignite during the next fortnight as Queensland union heavyweights seek to overthrow the NT division’s secretary Kent Rowe, according to senior party sources

Population growth stalls in regional WA, only NT has lower rate
Regional WA had one of the worst population growth rates in the country in 2016-17, according to Australia Bureau of Statistics figures released this week.

‘Floating Chernobyl’: Greenpeace slams Russia’s Arctic-bound nuclear plant
The floating plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, is towed out of the St Petersburg shipyard where it was constructed for its first sea voyage.

Research gives new ray of hope for solar fuel
The quest to develop the ‘Holy Grail’ of affordable, viable and environmentally-friendly fuels using sunlight has taken an exciting new twist.

Bright future for solar cell technology
New all-inorganic perovskite solar cells tackle three key challenges in solar cell technology: efficiency, stability, and cost.

Designing the compassionate city to overcome built-in biases and help us live better
Jenny Donovan, La Trobe University
My book, Designing the Compassionate City, suggests a model of human needs and gathers together the stories of projects overseas and in Australia that explicitly sought to achieve this goal. These revealed that, in addition to the well-known spatial qualities readers will be familiar with, a number of key recurring themes are important in biasing places so that they favour people doing the things they need to do to meet their needs.

Health warning as toxic hairy caterpillars take over woodlands
Forestry Commission reports invasion of oak processionary moths in south-east England

Introduced species overlooked in biodiversity reporting
The reports on biodiversity are based on indicators that only take indigenous — i.e. ‘original’ — species into account for each region. Yet today modern environments are made up of indigenous and introduced species. The introductions are either deliberate or accidental. Although these introduced species play important roles, they are ignored by specialists, a fact that partly distorts the international nature reports. The study by UNIGE recommends that the contributions made by these species should be included.

Wild winds
Richard Ackland
Last week Gadfly referred to getting up at “sparrow’s” to attend the conversation with Mike Seccombe at Sydney’s Carriageworks. The “fart” part was missing, out of decorum and respect, but a reader picked up the reference and put us straight with a few facts. “For the record, of the nearly 10,000 species of bird, none of them fart. Snakes do, as do startled zebras. The beaded lacewing farts on termites it feeds on to stun and kill them. If interested, read more in the book entitled Does It Fart?: The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence, by Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti.”