Tuesday 25 July 2017

Here’s how much Arctic sea ice has melted since the ‘80s
A new chart shows that with nearly two months still left in the melt season, sea ice area is already below what would have been a yearly low in the 1980s.

Climate change lawsuits face uphill battle, but could have radical implications.
Does a trio of new lawsuits aimed at forcing the world’s largest oil companies to pay for the projected effects of rising seas along California’s coast have a fighting chance?

What do 10,000 Europeans know about climate change and the sea?
An ambitious survey reveals that when it comes to marine issues, most Europeans show greater awareness of pollution and overfishing than the effects of specific climate change threats, such as ocean acidification.

Allowable ‘carbon budget’ most likely overestimated
While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define “pre-industrial” to be in the late 1800’s, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, according to an international team of researchers who are concerned because it affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed to in the Paris Conference of 2015.

Extreme El Nino events are shaping as double trouble

How Mongolia’s nomads are adapting to climate change.
Harsh winters and dry summers are threatening the livelihoods of Mongolia’s nomadic herders. Some are banding together to safeguard their herds – and communities – from the extreme conditions.

As the climate changes, Kenyan herders find centuries-old way of life in danger.
Nomadic herders have lived off the vast expanses of grass in the Rift Valley for centuries. But recently, as the climate has changed, the grass here has died and a way of life that has existed for centuries is in danger.

Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast pools efforts against climate change.
It is a recurring pattern among Central American countries and each country is seeking its solutions.

Could ‘cocktail geoengineering’ save the climate?
New research from an international team of atmospheric scientists published by Geophysical Research Lettersinvestigates for the first time the possibility of using a “cocktail” of geoengineering tools to reduce changes in both temperature and precipitation caused by atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Campaigning on climate science consensus may backfire, warn scholars
Climate change campaigns that focus on correcting public beliefs about scientific consensus are likely to backfire and undermine policy efforts, according to an expert commentary published today in Environmental Communication.

The scary stories get scarier
Don Aitkin
President Trump’s decision to pull the USA out of the Paris climate Accord seems to have had an outcome in the intensification of alarm.

A sea change that we can’t ignore
Peter Boyer
We need to prepare now for the impact of rising sea levels caused by man-made climate change.

Generator Reliability Obligation: Do wind and solar need to beat the tax?
Developers of wind and solar projects may try and accelerate their projects to get in in front of the proposed generator reliability obligation.

Law firm warns of companies seeking shortcuts
An Australian law firm has issued a warning, saying that some coal seam gas companies have been seeking shortcuts around the correct process required when negotiating with landholders over access rights to their properties

Gas industry warns Coalition that LNG restrictions would risk $50bn in investment
Matt Canavan says he will use domestic gas security mechanism to assess whether there will be supply shortfall in 2018

Who is benefitting from the billions spent on the Murray-Darling?
Almost five years on from a landmark agreement to save the river system, something is wrong.

RET ‘threat’ to small retailers
The Renewable Energy Target and other emissions reduction schemes are pushing up retail costs.

Power price surge hits users
The RET is having the unintended effect of reducing competition in electricity retailing, leading to higher power prices.

AGL to decide on gas terminal
AGL Energy says it is hoping to make a decision on a site for an east coast LNG import terminal “in the coming weeks”.

Generators push up prices: Rio
Rio Tinto says east coast electricity generators have too much market power and are using it to drive up prices.

Know your NEM: All aboard the Finkel clean energy train
David Leitch
The highlights of the Clean Energy Summit, the 1200MW wind and solar plan for Windlab, and energy futures in a holding pattern.

Australia’s new marine parks plan is a case of the Emperor’s new clothes
Jessica Meeuwig and David Booth

Energy to trigger political implosion
Jennifer Hewett
There was never much doubt that Resources Minister Matt Canavan would decide the government needs to act to deal with “a crisis situation for manufacturers and the electricity generation sector” in the gas market.

Old coal plant parts, going cheap, in Hazelwood fire sale
Engie to auction off old coal plant parts in series of online auctions starting in September. Get your bidding fingers ready.

Discrepancy in electricity retailers’ revenue
MAJOR electricity retailers have been grabbing almost $400 in gross margin per Victorian customer on average — the highest of any examined state — a report reveals.

Recycling set for tip after plant fire
TONNES of recycling could add to landfill as the company behind the Coolaroo fire refuses to accept waste from anywhere but 12 Victorian councils.

Boosting health just a walk in Victoria’s parks
OUR green parks, wilderness areas and varied coastline add to the state’s visual spectacle. They can also improve our mental and physical health. Here’s some of our top parks.

Will Melbourne run dry in a decade?
Alan Davies
The mainstream media likes to frame news to convey a sense of impending disaster – like Melbourne’s running out of water – but sometimes it gets out of its depth

The hidden cost of deregulation
Shaun Carney
UNSAFE cladding on our buildings potentially puts thousands of people in danger but there doesn’t seem to be the will to tackle the problem

Why CBD planning has hit fork in the road
Michael Buxton
MELBOURNE city’s urban planning has reached a defining moment and we must act to preserve what makes the city great.

Water bureaucrat offered confidential documents to irrigation lobbyists
The top water bureaucrat in NSW, Gavin Hanlon, is secretly recorded offering to share government information with irrigation lobbyists via a special Dropbox account to assist their lobbying against the contentious Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Tolarno Station: Robert McBride says lower Darling River is dying
THERE was a time on Tolarno Station, about 50km south of Menindee in Far West NSW, when you didn’t have to go far for a drink.

F6 freeway toll likely to be most expensive in Sydney
A trip from Sydney’s northern beaches to the south coast will cost about $20 each way in 2024, thanks to a likely $10 toll on the proposed F6 extension, according to leaked documents.

We live in the red zone and will fight until defence department clean up their mess
Phil Blanch
Residents kept in the dark since being told toxic chemicals used on nearby Williamtown airforce base had leached into waterways and soils

Transport access is good for new housing, but beware the pollution
Christine Cowie, UNSW and Guy Marks, UNSW
Many new housing developments are being built along busy roads and rail lines, but lack design features that would reduce occupants’ exposure to harmful traffic pollution.

Sunshine Coast opens 15MW solar farm that will save it $22 million
Sunshine Coast becomes first council to complete its own large scale solar farm, and expects it to deliver $22 million in savings over life of …

‘No scrutiny’ of reef funding
The government is set to spend more than $1bn on the Great Barrier Reef, but an academic queries research behind it.

Resort could lure millions to Queensland
AN ESTIMATED 200 million people will be tempted by the delights of Queensland through a huge media blitz to promote a $583 million six-star complex in the Whitsundays. All it needs now is the green light.

Dredged up spoil project rejected
A RESURFACED proposal to use dredge spoils to prepare East Trinity for development has been written off by environmentalists who are not convinced dredging will necessarily go ahead.

SA politicians call for inquiry over River Murray allegations
South Australia’s Water Minister Ian Hunter says he wants an independent review of the New South Wales Government’s handling of River Murray water, after serious doubts were raised about the effectiveness of the multi-billion-dollar Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Jay’s energy plan: Generators to boost city supply
THE State Government plans to build up to four temporary power generators in Adelaide suburbs and will spend $2.6 million to spruik its energy plan.

SA energy plan ads a ‘waste of money’, Opposition says
Spending $2.6 million to explain South Australia’s energy plan is an “outrageous waste of money”, the SA Opposition says, but the Government defends the move as helping to guide business investment decisions.

Tas devils’ tumours put under microscope
Scientists from the University of Tasmania have discovered two genetic types of deadly tumours grow at different rates in Tasmanian devils.

Hobart’s cable car worry
HOBART aldermen have raised concerns that the council could still be legally responsible for the land on kunanyi/Mt Wellington to be acquired by the State Government to pave the way for a cable car.

Query on big Greens surge in Franklin
FRANKLIN could be overtaking Denison as Tasmania’s “greenest electorate”, according to new ReachTEL polling for the Mercury.

Another town’s water alert lifted
LADY Barron on Flinders Island is the latest Tasmanian town to have its boil water alert lifted by TasWater.

TasWater plan a lesson in weasel words
Doug Chipman
The Upper House should reject the planned takeover of the state water authority.

Sharks play key role in reef health, researchers say
Reefs are healthier if more sharks are present, a University of Western Australia study suggests, with researchers also recording an unexpectedly high number of sharks off WA’s Kimberley — more than on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

Plan to ‘gut’ marine parks a threat to Ningaloo

Hawaii, California charge towards 100% renewable energy
Hawaii and California take major steps towards 100% renewable energy, showing it can be done on both big island grids, and in a major economy. In Hawaii, the local utility is so keen it says it can reach the target 5 years earlier than the mandate.

Fukushima: robot images show massive deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel
Robot spots suspected debris of melted fuel for first time since 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant

100% renewable energy is possible, practical, logical: setting the record straight
Karl Burkart
None of the 21 authors of a critique of a major 100 per cent renewable energy scenario for the US even bothered looking at the modelling.

Why apartment dwellers need indoor plants
Danica-Lea Larcombe, Edith Cowan University
Health benefits of being close to nature are well established, but the rise of apartment living means we can’t always be close to greenery.

So what if we’re doomed?
Brian Calvert High Country News
Climate chaos, mass extinction, the collapse of civilization: A guide to facing the ecocide

Vietnamese smallholders help end deforestation – photo essay
In the foothills of Vietnam’s Annamite mountains, hundreds of small forest owners are joining forces to produce sustainable acacia used in furniture around the world.

Inside China’s plan for a massive forest-covered city.
Architect Stefano Boeri designed tree-covered skyscrapers in Milan. Now he’s doing a lot more in Liuzhou, China.

The Way Rivers Function Reflects Their Ecological Status and Is Rarely Explored
A research project proposes going beyond the study of river ecosystems and incorporating into the studies routinely carried …

Restoring Estonian alvar grasslands to save unique species
A huge project to return one of Europe’s most biodiverse habitats to its former glory is already seeing success

Rainforest metropolis casts 1,000 km shadow on wildlife
Urban food demand in the Amazon could be hitting wildlife up to 1,000 km away from the city, according to new research

Rising carbon dioxide is making the world’s plants more water-wise
Pep Canadell et al

Plant hormone boost for New Zealand’s critically endangered night parrot
Janet Pitman

Enjoy cod’s revival, but the extent of our ruination of the sea remains unknown.
Mark Kurlansky The Guardian
Yes, stocks may have recovered in the North Sea, but overfishing is not the problem in sustaining marine health.