Thursday 2 November 2017

Where do 50 million tons a year of toxic e-waste go?
Baher Kamal
Each year, the electronics industry generates up to 41 million tons of e-waste, but as the number of consumers rises, and the lifespan of devices shrinks in response to demand for the newest and best, that figure could reach 50 million tons this year.

New Greenland maps show more glaciers at risk
UCI-created high-resolution charts will inform future ice and sea level forecasts–ngm110117.php

The fingerprints of coastal carbon sinks
Improved technique measures carbon storage in wet mangroves

Intensifying winds could increase east Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise
Totten Glacier, the largest glacier in East Antarctica, is being melted from below by warm water that reaches the ice when winds over the ocean are strong — a cause for concern because the glacier holds more than 11 feet of sea level rise and acts as a plug that helps lock in the ice of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

To close climate goals gap: drop coal, ramp up renewables — fast, UN says
A new UNEP report shows that the gap between the climate promises countries made at Paris and the emissions cuts needed is larger than previously thought.

Could the Neolithic Revolution offer evidence of best ways to adapt to climate change?
Human behaviour during the last intense period of global warming might offer an insight into how best to adapt to current climate change, a study suggests.

Fossil fuel companies undermining Paris agreement negotiations – report
Report says outcomes of climate negotiations have been skewed to favour biggest corporate polluters

Extreme weather leads to public health crises – so health and climate experts must work together
Aparna Lal, Australian National University and Rebecca Colvin, Australian National University
Extreme weather events are inevitably followed by disease outbreaks. So why not team health professionals with climate experts?

Jump in shipping costs could hit Australia solar and wind projects
Sudden jump in shipping rates from China to Australia is adding 20-30% to costs of suppliers to Australian wind and solar developments.

Network Opportunity Maps to pave way to smart, renewable grid
A web-based interactive map – dubbed the Uber of the electricity market – will help pave the way for a smart and renewable grid.

The tough choice Australia has to make about coal
A new report has highlighted why Australia needs to change but is this precarious outlook enough to make the country alter its course?

‘Toxic intervention’: Turnbull slammed over energy crisis

Calls for NEM 2.0 as Finkel defends his review

Nuke ban at UN riles miners
The Minerals Council of Australia has slammed the UN for blocking the nuclear ­industry from a clean energy forum.

Time for Australia to wake up to scale and pace of clean energy transition
Giles Parkinson
Billionaires get it. A million households get it. And so do thousands of businesses. So why does Australia’s government – and its principal regulators – fail to understand that the way to a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable grid is with more renewables, not less.

Why do shark bites seem to be more deadly in Australia than elsewhere?
Blake Chapman, The University of Queensland
Fatal shark bites are very rare. But the stats do suggest that the likelihood of an attack proving fatal is higher in Australia – probably because our waters are home to the “big three” dangerous species.

Minister sparks furore for warning public to close door on people with Irish accents
Victoria’s Premier defends a Minister who encouraged people to avoid scammers by “automatically” telling anyone with an Irish accent to leave their property.

Major tennis centre ‘threatened by North East Link’

Supreme Court shuts down plan to log untouched forest

Alinta set for Loy Yang B victory
Speculation is mounting that Alinta Energy has ousted China Resources in the competition for the power station.

Hurrah, these turbines won’t be blowing in the wind
Terry McCrann
IT’S one small step for the people living around Penshurst in western Victoria, it’s one giant leap for sane people right across Victoria and indeed Australia. The otherwise useless landscape-polluting and bird-slaughtering wind farm proposed for that area has been abandoned.

Monitoring of wholesale and retail markets for fuel ethanol 2016-17: draft report
Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (NSW)
This report presents IPART’s draft findings on the retail market for E10, along with the draft findings on the wholesale ethanol market and the form of price regulation needed in that market…

Lucy Turnbull’s three-city vision conflicts with the reasoning behind WestConnex
Chris Johnson
We need to question whether the three-city, 30-minute commute approach promoted by the GSC aligns with the concept of connecting the west to the jobs-rich east that is the essence of WestConnex.

Hume plastics-to-fuel plant axed, planned site sold

Reef and tourism spending promised by Premier amid ongoing Adani protest
Dogged by anti-Adani protesters, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pledges to reinvest $134 million into Great Barrier Reef resorts and other tourism projects, as LNP leader Tim Nicholls again vows to duplicate the Sunshine Coast rail line.

Greens pledge flat $1 fare for Queensland public transport
Adults should pay only a flat $1 fare for public transport in Queensland and people under the age of 18 should travel free, the Greens say, under their state election transport policy.

Greens plan to make mines and developers pay for $1 transport fares

Firms fear LNP will dump Cross River Rail, damage investor confidence

Farmers’ fury at plans to re-introduce land clearing bill
Labor has promised to reintroduce land clearing laws if it wins the next election but farming groups were unimpressed.

‘It doesn’t make sense’: Council under fire for pumping $19m into Adani airstrip
Townsville’s Mayor says ratepayers will get value for money when the council funds an airstrip for the proposed Adani coal mine. But the decision has come under fire from locals, who say the company could “afford at least two dozen of them and then gold plate them”.

Downer faces prickly AGM as activists protest Adani
Downer’s AGM will be disrupted by protests against its involvement in Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

Palaszczuk refutes claim report backs case for new coal-fired power
Queensland premier refuses to be drawn on reports a Labor candidate said Carmichael coalmine would not proceed

North Queensland coal plant: What the report really says about prices

‘I’m not ashamed’: Adani exec defends controversial mine

Queensland election 2017: Labor candidate ‘undermines’ Adani
A Labor candidate has been caught red-handed unwittingly telling a journalist the Adani coalmine would not go ahead.

Nervous wait for reef weather forecasts
Scientists are nervously awaiting weather forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef, fearing a third consecutive mass coral bleaching event could devastate the natural wonder in coming months.

New Vintage eyes Galilee gas
Beach Energy alumni Reg Nelson and Neil Gibbins’s Vintage Energy has inked a $8.5m deal to tap into Galilee Basin gas.

Premier’s $134m tourism announcement
Luring cruise ships, direct international flights and the revival of cyclone-damaged Great Barrier Reef resorts are at the heart of a $134 million tourism pledge by the Premier.

How you can make your dead body environmentally friendly
A Brisbane-based mathematician is hoping Australians with an eco-friendly approach in life will continue that stance into death, by donating traditional funeral costs, to conservation efforts.

The Adani problem will haunt Palaszczuk’s election campaign
John Quiggin
Queensland Labor sits in the uncomfortable position of pleasing neither the pro- nor anti-Adani camps

Toxins found in soil at Edinburgh RAAF Base after contamination inquiry
More than 60 per cent of samples collected as part of an inquiry into contamination on and near the Edinburgh RAAF base have tested positive for potentially dangerous toxins.

Foul water causes political stink in Risdon Vale as by-election looms
With the Pembroke by-election three days away, an E. coli outbreak in Risdon Vale stirs up debate over who is fit to control Tasmania’s water supply.

The pulp mill is over: State Growth Minister Peter Gutwein

Tassie devils get smart – and buffed
Tasmanian devils have finally developed some road sense — but they have also proven you can run 700km and still gain weight.

Deadline looms on takeover of water and sewerage
Tony Foster
Tasmanians will pay more under State Government plan to take over TasWater

‘It’s not Disneyland’: Climbing Uluru to be banned from October 2019
Scaling the iconic landmark and sacred site is set to be a thing of the past after the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board decided unanimously to ban the activity, starting in 2019.

A history of disrespect atop the rock
Three Australians are currently facing charges relating to their climb of Uluru last year, and the case is not the only one that has stirred controversy at the sacred site.

Thousands of turtles victims of plastic fishing nets polluting Gulf of Carpentaria
Plastic fishing nets, some the size of football fields, are washing up on Australia’s northern coastline, slowly killing endangered turtles and creating a “global hotspot” for plastic pollution.

Feral animals pose major threat to Outback, climate change study finds
Australia has lost about 30 mammal species since European arrival

Closing Uluru to climbers the right move
Jill Poulsen
Finally, Uluru has been closed to climbers. Every Territorian, and indeed Australian should be jumping for joy

NREL Research Yields Significant Thermoelectric Performance
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reported significant advances in the thermoelectric performance of organic semiconductors based on carbon nanotube thin films that could be integrated into fabrics to convert waste heat into electricity or serve as a small power source.

Air Pollution is Associated with Cancer Mortality Beyond Lung Cancer
In a new large-scale prospective study led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), researchers observed an association between some air pollutants and mortality from kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer.

Birmingham And East African Partners Lead The Battle On Air Pollution: Urban Africa’s Silent Killer
An alliance of African and British experts are studying the growth of cities in East Africa in a bid to understand how to save lives at risk from air pollution – one of the biggest killers in urban Africa.

Rutgers-led research could revolutionize nuclear waste reprocessing and save money
A ‘molecular trap’ for capturing radioactive iodides in nuclear waste

Discarded Cigarette Butts: The Next High Performing Hydrogen Storage Material?
Discarded cigarette butts are a major waste disposal and environmental pollution hazard. But chemists have discovered that cigarette butt-derived …

Exxon will pay $2.5 million for pollution at Gulf Coast plants
In a settlement with the Justice Department and the E.P.A., the company also agreed to spend $300 million to upgrade technology at eight facilities.

How Monsanto captured the EPA—and twisted science—to keep glyphosate on the market
This must read, two-year investigation by Valerie Brown and the late Elizabeth Grossman found “incontrovertible evidence that Monsanto has exerted deep influence over EPA decisions since glyphosate first came on the market—via Roundup—more than 40 years ago.”

11-year old girl creates a device to test for water contamination—wins America’s Top Young Scientist  Challenge
Inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Rao created an easier and speedy way to test water for lead.

Pesticide residue on fruits and veggies tied to infertility
Women who eat more fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue may be less likely to get pregnant.

Losses from Northern California wildfires top $3 billion; 14,000 homes destroyed or damaged
California’s insurance commissioner said the wildfires that ravaged wine country this month caused at least $3 billion in insured losses and warned the figure will likely grow as more claims are reported by insurers.

US federal trade panel calls for restrictions on imported solar cells — which Trump could soon implement
The ruling advances restrictions on foreign solar panels, and could soon leave the decision in Trump’s hands.

Nobel laureates demand justice for slain Honduran activist Berta Caceres
Caceres led a decades-long campaign against the construction of the a hydroelectric dam that she said threatened to destroy the livelihoods of indigenous people.

Where do 50 million tons a year of toxic e-waste go?
Baher Kamal
Each year, the electronics industry generates up to 41 million tons of e-waste, but as the number of consumers rises, and the lifespan of devices shrinks in response to demand for the newest and best, that figure could reach 50 million tons this year.

Higher density in a flood zone? Here’s a way to do it and reduce the risks
Rob Roggema, University of Technology Sydney
A massive residential development in a flood-prone inner-city suburb sounds like a recipe for disaster. But good urban design can deliver higher density and reduce the flood risk.

Pike in a pinch sparks angler’s appeal to litterbugs
A Canadian angler’s appeal for people to clean up after themselves goes global after he shares photographs of a wild fish deformed by a plastic ring from a bottle of sports drink.

Climate change could decrease Sun’s ability to disinfect lakes
An increase in extreme rainfall makes it more difficult for UV light to kill pathogens

An early Christmas present: Scientists have unwrapped the reindeer genome

Zebra ‘poo science’ improves conservation efforts
How can Zebra poo tell us what an animal’s response to climate change and habitat destruction will be?
That is what scientists from The University of Manchester and Chester Zoo have been investigating in South Africa.

U of G researchers provide fisheries a solution to overharvesting
U of G researchers have developed a model that allows fisheries to net enough to meet rising consumer demand while ensuring adequate income and replenishment of natural stocks.

Can corals adapt to climate change?
Cool-water corals can adapt to a slightly warmer ocean, but only if global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. That’s according to a study published November 1 in the journal Science Advances of genetic adaptation and the likely effects of future warming on tabletop corals in the Cook Islands.–cca102717.php

Sea change
The Arctic Ocean is beginning to look and act more like the Atlantic. It’s a shift that threatens to upend an entire food web built on frigid waters.

Corals eat plastic because we’ve made it tasty, study suggests
Plastic trash contains chemicals that trick animals into thinking junk is food, laboratory trials reveal.

Climate change could reduce number of valuable Maritime trees, ecologist says
Some of the most lucrative trees in the Acadian forest will start to disappear if nothing is done to halt climate change, says a forest ecologist with Natural Resources Canada.

Colombia’s land battles shatter the peace in Cauca Valley
As the peace deal opens up new areas to extractive industries, a long-running fight for land and the environment has erupted anew as indigenous communities try to reclaim their territory

In the wake of disaster, we must keep nature in mind
Anita van Breda
To minimize future harm, protecting nature and the services it provides should be at the top of our post-disaster to-do list.