Around The Web

How flowering plants conquered the world

BBC - Sun, 2018-01-14 10:12
Scientists solve Darwin's "abominable mystery": How flowers rapidly evolved and spread across the globe.
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Cruising the Antarctic

ABC Environment - Sun, 2018-01-14 07:35
Polar tourism is a booming business but sea-ice experts have warned conditions in the Antarctic are becoming more unstable and unpredictable for shipping.
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Hot topic

BBC - Sun, 2018-01-14 02:28
Can a series of scorching summers be blamed on climate change, and what do they tell us?
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Baby Panda Yuan Meng makes debut in France

BBC - Sun, 2018-01-14 01:45
The first panda ever born in France has gone on display to the public.
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Cloned Newmarket dachshund expecting puppies

BBC - Sat, 2018-01-13 20:45
Minnie Winnie was created by science after her owner won a competition.
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World's biggest wildlife reserve planned for Antarctica in global campaign

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-01-13 18:01

Vast 1.8m sq km fishing-free zone would protect species, such as penguins, leopard seals and whales, and help mitigate the effects of climate change

A global campaign is being launched to turn a huge tract of the seas around the Antarctic into the world’s biggest sanctuary, protecting wildlife and helping the fight against climate change.

The huge 1.8m sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would ban all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and around the Antarctic Peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.

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Animal welfare groups call for higher standards for farmed chickens

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-01-13 17:01

Retailers and restaurants urged to sign up to new cross-European guidelines amid growing concerns over cruelty in intensive meat production

New welfare standards for farmed chickens have been demanded by a large coalition of European animal protection groups, including the RSPCA, in a bid to address growing concerns about inhumane conditions in the intensive and large-scale production of meat.

Supermarkets and restaurants are being urged to sign up to the new blueprint, which represents the first time a single set of requirements has been agreed on across the continent.

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Dreaming big

BBC - Sat, 2018-01-13 10:57
The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%.
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Smallest cat in world: Footage of rare animal

BBC - Sat, 2018-01-13 10:11
They weigh about 1kg and their eyes are six times more powerful than humans.
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War on Waste revisited: Recycling in Geelong

ABC Environment - Sat, 2018-01-13 05:20
Last year the ABC launched its War on Waste series. It was a campaign to make us stop and think about how we live, look at how we could re-use and recycle items in our homes, and cut down on unnecessary waste. Today we visit the Geelong Disabled People Industry warehouse, in south-west Victoria, where they prevent 50 tonnes of waste going into landfill every month.
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Best of A Big Country 13 January 2018

ABC Environment - Sat, 2018-01-13 05:05
Citizen scientists are put to work at a fauna reserve in north-west Victoria; Natimuk pre-schoolers ditch the classroom for an outdoor bush kinder session; and we're off to an alpaca handling school.
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Great Barrier Reef tourism spokesman attacks scientist over slump in visitors

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-01-13 05:00

Col McKenzie calls on government to stop funding work of Terry Hughes, saying tourists ‘won’t do long-haul trips when they think the reef is dead’

A Queensland tourism representative has called one of the Great Barrier Reef’s leading researchers “a dick”, blaming the professor for a downturn in tourism growth at the state’s greatest natural asset.

Col McKenzie, the head of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, a group that represents more than 100 businesses in the Great Barrier Reef, has written to the federal government asking it to stop funding the work of Professor Terry Hughes, claiming his comments were “misleading” and damaging the tourism industry.

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A hollow ring to Theresa May’s pledge on plastics | Letters

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-01-13 04:25
Theresa May’s new green strategy lacks regulatory bite, says Ray Georgeson, and, according to Maureen Evershed, is short on humility. Stephen Sibbald reckons an important problem has been ignored, while Peter Hames and Ros Cayton suggest ways to stamp out non-biodegradable coffee cups

Ian Paul (Letters, 12 January), referring to plastics recycling, asks: “Surely we should urge government and private industry to build and develop plants to deal with the problem now, before we are knee-deep in bottles?” He is right, but we had started on this more than a decade ago, with world-leading recycling technology investment in plastic bottle recycling at Closed Loop in Dagenham, part funded by the government’s Wrap (Waste and Resources Action Programme) organisation, which produced the material to include recycled content in plastic milk bottles.

This was a world first, establishing the use of recycled material in food-grade packaging. It foundered when the voluntary agreement between the dairies, brands, retailers and bottle-makers to use recycled content collapsed when the oil price fell and virgin material became much cheaper. Government failed to intervene to save the plant and the investment, for the sake of a price differential representing 0.1p on the cost of a two-litre milk bottle. All those responsible blamed each other, and the nation lost significant recycling capacity.

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Theresa May's green plan, New York divests and insect decline – green news roundup

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-01-13 00:29

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-01-13 00:00

Rockhopper penguins, bleeding heart baboons and a flying fox are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Citizen science bags five-planet haul

BBC - Fri, 2018-01-12 23:51
Astronomy enthusiasts help to confirm the existence of a five-planet system orbiting a far-off star.
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Norway backs EU fishing policies remaining during Brexit transition

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-01-12 23:38

North Sea curbs to last at least 21 months despite Michael Gove’s suggestion Britain would take back control of its waters

The EU’s insistence that quotas under the common fisheries policy for the seas around the UK will remain in force during a Brexit transition period has been backed up by the Norwegian government, dealing a fresh blow for Downing Street.

Pers Sandberg, the Norwegian fisheries minister, said he expected talks between the EU, UK and Norway over fishing rights to be complex and likely to conclude at the end of a transition period.

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UK satellite to make movies from space

BBC - Fri, 2018-01-12 17:21
The spacecraft paves the way to a constellation collecting full-colour, hi-def video of Earth.
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Country diary: a marsh harrier causes havoc among the wildfowl

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-01-12 15:30

Farlington Marshes, Hampshire: Thousands of waders and other birds exploded into flight, blossoming across the sky like fireworks

As I raised my binoculars to scan the reed bed for bearded tits, a stocky, chocolate-brown bird of prey lazily flapped across my field of vision. “Marsh harrier!” I exclaimed as it drifted a few metres above the fronded stems, its wings held in a characteristic shallow V. The harrier was silhouetted against the setting sun but, as it pirouetted around, its pale-coloured crown flared gold in the late afternoon light.

Marsh harriers were once widespread in Britain but, by the early 1970s, persecution and habitat loss saw the population dwindle to a single breeding pair. Thanks to a reduction in pesticide use and efforts to improve and expand their preferred wetland habitat, this number has risen to about 400 pairs.

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Home biogas: turning food waste into renewable energy

The Conversation - Fri, 2018-01-12 12:48
Australians love cooking with gas, but what if you could make your own supply, using leftover food waste? It may be time for more households to embrace home biogas – and stop paying gas bills. Samuel Alexander, Research fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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