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Country diary: these little birds do bang on

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-04-12 14:30

Sandy, Bedfordshire: While some birds plunder the scales for melody, the house sparrows strike a percussive note

The most familiar and enigmatic garden birds have been feeding on nothing again. Six beaks probed the branches of the winter-bare rose bush, four beaks descended to peck at the ground beneath, one beak washed her meal down with a sip from the pond. Every day they return and every day I scan the soil, and interrogate the impervious hide of the rose, for anything edible, in vain. Do the birds milk the thorns?

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ANU takes lead role in next global climate assessment

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-04-12 13:26
The ANU is taking a lead role in preparing the next international climate assessment, which will be vital in informing nations about the need to strengthen their actions in order to avoid dangerous global warming.
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Ocean heat waves and weaker winds will keep Australia warm for a while yet

The Conversation - Thu, 2018-04-12 10:52
Record-breaking April heat is likely to continue for at least another month. Jonathan Pollock, Climatologist, Australian Bureau of Meteorology Andrew B. Watkins, Manager of Long-range Forecast Services, Australian Bureau of Meteorology Catherine Ganter, Senior Climatologist, Australian Bureau of Meteorology Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Poverty of vision is holding back Australia’s energy transition

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-04-12 10:50
There is broad and consistent support for renewable energy both globally and in Australia, but our policies need to wake up to 21st Century.
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CEFC and IFM Investors work together to cut carbon emissions in infrastructure assets

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-04-12 10:31
Australia’s largest infrastructure fund, the $12 billion IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, is working with the CEFC to reduce carbon emissions at some of the nation’s leading infrastructure assets across ports, airports and electricity infrastructure.
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Goulburn abattoir powering itself using bioenergy

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-04-12 09:50
A Goulburn abattoir has teamed up with a Queensland energy provider to turn its waste into energy, thanks to funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
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Rolls-Royce and Boeing invest in UK space engine

BBC - Thu, 2018-04-12 09:25
Boeing and Rolls-Royce are to invest in the UK company developing a revolutionary propulsion system.
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Secrets of the sea bed: Hunt for Stone Age site in North Sea

BBC - Thu, 2018-04-12 09:23
UK and Belgian scientists explore the seabed off Norfolk after prehistoric finds.
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Isolated lakes found beneath Canadian ice sheet

BBC - Thu, 2018-04-12 09:05
Two lakes discovered beneath an Arctic ice sheet may help us to learn about Europa's subsurface ocean.
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Conservationists plan a food drop to save migratory shorebirds from starvation

ABC Environment - Thu, 2018-04-12 07:52
One of the coldest northern winters in decades has wiped out the clam population in a nature reserve in eastern China, the major food source for the critically endangered Great Knot.
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CP Daily: Wednesday April 11, 2018

Carbon Pulse - Thu, 2018-04-12 07:50
A daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world.
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No California offsets issued for first time in over two years

Carbon Pulse - Thu, 2018-04-12 06:40
California regulator ARB did not hand out any California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) on Wednesday, the first issuance round since June 2015 where no new offsets were distributed.
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Australia's 2017 environment scorecard: like a broken record, high temperatures further stress our ecosystems

The Conversation - Thu, 2018-04-12 06:08
An annual assessment of the health of Australia's environment shows mostly stable conditions in 2017, but ecosystems on land and at sea suffered ever higher temperatures. Albert Van Dijk, Professor, Water and Landscape Dynamics, Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University Madeleine Cahill, Oceanographer, CSIRO Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Cotton v wetlands: three options for ambitious rehabilitation project

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-04-12 05:23

The Nimmie-Caira project could mean the restoration of one of the largest wetlands in the Murray-Darling basin
Murray-Darling: when the river runs dry

The New South Wales government is close to deciding who will run one of most ambitious environmental projects that have come out of the Murray-Darling basin plan.

If successful, the rehabilitation of the Nimmie-Caira property could result in the restoration of the largest wetlands on the Murrumbidgee river. It will create a sanctuary for water birds, extend vital wetland habitats and preserve a unique area rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage – all under private sector ownership.

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Wild-caught Queensland prawns off the sustainable seafood menu

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-04-12 05:23

Non-farmed bugs and scallops also listed as red in latest conservation guide

Wild-caught Queensland prawns, bugs and scallops will be off the menu if consumers heed warnings about unsustainable fishing practices from conservationists.

The shellfish varieties have all been downgraded to a red rating in the latest sustainable seafood guide published by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

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Finland opts for €100/tCO2 coal phase-out branded “cosmetic” by industry

Carbon Pulse - Thu, 2018-04-12 05:14
Finland’s government has opted to ban coal in energy production from 2029, a move that the power sector branded "cosmetic" for reducing a tiny amount of residual emissions for €100 per tonne of CO2.
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Environmental concerns arise as US Senate committee hears CCUS bill

Carbon Pulse - Thu, 2018-04-12 05:07
Several US senators expressed their concerns that a new bill to support the development of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies could undermine environmental regulations during a committee hearing on Tuesday.
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Green-haired turtle that breathes through its genitals added to endangered list

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-04-12 04:00

With its punky green mohican the striking Mary river turtle joins a new ZSL list of the world’s most vulnerable reptiles

It sports a green mohican, fleshy finger-like growths under its chin and can breathe through its genitals.

The Mary river turtle is one of the most striking creatures on the planet, and it is also one of the most endangered.

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Climate change dials down Atlantic Ocean heating system

BBC - Thu, 2018-04-12 03:01
An Atlantic Ocean circulation system that warms Europe's climate is weaker today than it has been in 1,000 years, say scientists.
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Gulf Stream current at its weakest in 1,600 years, studies show

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-04-12 03:00

Warm current that has historically caused dramatic changes in climate is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown and may be less stable than thought - with potentially severe consequences

The warm Atlantic current linked to severe and abrupt changes in the climate in the past is now at its weakest in at least 1,600 years, new research shows. The findings, based on multiple lines of scientific evidence, throw into question previous predictions that a catastrophic collapse of the Gulf Stream would take centuries to occur.

Such a collapse would see western Europe suffer far more extreme winters, sea levels rise fast on the eastern seaboard of the US and would disrupt vital tropical rains. The new research shows the current is now 15% weaker than around 400AD, an exceptionally large deviation, and that human-caused global warming is responsible for at least a significant part of the weakening.

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