Around The Web

Bolivia's lonely frog: Scientists race to find mate for Romeo

BBC - Sat, 2018-02-10 03:25
Romeo, a 10-year-old Sehuencas water frog, has been given a dating profile as part of the search.
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Federal penalties against polluters at lowest level in a decade under Trump

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-02-10 02:54

Figures released by the EPA show that 115 crime cases were opened in 2017, down from a peak of nearly 400 in 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement activity against polluters has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, with the first year of the Trump administration seeing a sharp drop in fines for companies that break environmental rules.

Figures released by the EPA show that 115 environmental crime cases were opened in the 2017 financial year, down from a peak of nearly 400 in the 2009 financial year, which was largely under the Obama administration.

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Lack of migrant workers left food rotting in UK fields last year, data reveals

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-02-10 00:46

Exclusive: Brexit fears and falling pound left fruit and vegetable farms short of more than 4,000 workers, with senior MPs warning of a ‘crisis’

Fruit and vegetable farms across the UK were left short of thousands of migrant workers in 2017, leaving some produce to rot in the fields and farmers suffering big losses.

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Ozone layer, farm antibiotics and mutant crayfish – green news roundup

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-02-10 00:17

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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Asteroid set for 'close' 43,300 mile flight past Earth on Friday

BBC - Sat, 2018-02-10 00:05
The asteroid, up to 40m in size and only discovered five days ago, passes by on Friday.
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Getting a grip

BBC - Sat, 2018-02-10 00:04
The Bloodhound supersonic car aims to run in South Africa this October, and there is a lot to prepare.
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The Guardian - Sat, 2018-02-10 00:00

Galápagos marine iguanas, feeding penguins and a camouflaged owl are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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War on the wildest places: US bill may open pristine lands to development

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-09 21:00

Wilderness study areas are more wild and untouched than national parks. But a Republican proposal threatens this unique terrain, environmentalists say

The Big Snowy Mountains wilderness study area in Montana represents 91,000 acres of the wildest land left in America. Viewed from a limestone bluff high in a timbered gulch, no houses are visible. No transmission lines or roads interrupting the expanse of green. No smoke curling up from cabin stovepipes.

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The bird market of Kabul – in pictures

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-09 18:33

A visit to the narrow lane of Ka Faroshi bird market brings comfort to war-weary Afghans

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Revealed: Trudeau government welcomed oil lobby help for US pipeline push

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-09 17:52

Canadian government viewed Trump’s election as “positive news” for Keystone XL and energy industry

The Trudeau government treated Donald Trump’s election as “positive news” for Canada’s energy industry and welcomed the help of Canada’s main corporate oil group in lobbying the US administration, documents show.

Meetings conducted by senior government officials with TransCanada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) reveal an one-sided approach more reminiscent of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s secret oil advocacy than Justin Trudeau’s green electoral promises.

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International Garden Photographer of the Year – in pictures

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-09 17:00

The International Garden Photographer of the Year is one of the world’s premier competitions specialising in botanical photography. There are 11 main categories and numerous special awards including Young Garden Photographer of the Year, and the mobile-only category Gardens on the Go. It is run in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where the winning pictures will be exhibited, followed by a rolling programme of touring exhibitions in the UK and abroad

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Country diary: rare encounter with a Dartford warbler

The Guardian - Fri, 2018-02-09 15:30

Sinah Common, Hayling Island, Hampshire: Despite years of dedicated gorse-scanning this was the first time I’d seen one of these secretive little birds on my patch

The gorse thicket was ablaze with flower, but the heady coconut-suncream scent of the golden blossom was at odds with the biting wind and overcast sky. As a shower began to fall like a haze of iron filings, I decided to take shelter behind one of the well-preserved anti-aircraft gun emplacements – a relic from the second world war, when decoy fires were set on Hayling Island to draw the Luftwaffe away from the important military targets on nearby Portsea Island.

As I hunkered down against the concrete wall, I noticed a small, dark-coloured bird flitting through the furze like a restless sprite. I followed at a discreet distance as it crept through the low branches, gleaning insects from the needle-like leaves with quick, jerky movements. At first glance I thought it was a wren, but as I raised my binoculars it turned and cocked a disproportionately long, slender tail – not the short, stubby appendage I was expecting to see. I realised that I was looking at a Dartford warbler, Sylvia undata.

While the species has recovered from the 1960s population crash, continuing to increase in numbers and expand its range in recent years, Dartford warblers are largely sedentary birds. They breed exclusively on lowland heath and rarely travel far from their natal habitat. When food is scarce they will range more widely and can occasionally be spotted in coastal scrub during the winter months, but despite years of dedicated gorse-scanning this was the first time I’d encountered one on my local patch.

I wasn’t content with this fleeting glimpse, but “Darties” are secretive, skulking birds. My fingers reddened with cold as I waited in the hope that this one would emerge from the dense, dark undergrowth. As the rain eased off, my patience was finally rewarded. The bird – a male – perched up on the crown of a bush and I was able to admire his slate-grey upper parts, ruddy breast and vermilion eye-rings.

The instant he caught sight of me, the feathers on his domed-shaped head began to rise in the suggestion of a crest. Tail wagging, he scolded me with a harsh nasal “dzurr”, before vanishing back into cover.

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Dispatchable wind and solar: They’ll be the death of coal and gas

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 13:38
It's been a year since the last South Australia blackout and when the Coalition brandished a lump of coal in parliament. And the progress since then has been remarkable – on the cost front, on storage, and the emergence of dispatchable renewables.
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Adani coal plans take another hit, as Aurizon withdraws loan request

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 13:09
Aurizon withdraws application for NAIF funding to build Gallilee rail line, in fresh vote of no confidence in the Adani-led mega coal project.
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CEFC invests $25m in Australia’s first residential housing green bond

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 12:45
The CEFC has made a $25 million cornerstone investment in the first ever green tranche of an Australian residential mortgage backed bond.
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GOP congressman powers his off-grid solar home with Tesla battery

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 12:15
Republican Congressman, a libertarian and a climate denier, lives off-grid with solar and storage, and even owns a Tesla Model S electric vehicle.
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High German power prices, low monthly bills?

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 12:12
German household power bills are badly exaggerated, and the Energiewende is not causing energy poverty.
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Hidden depths: why groundwater is our most important water source

The Conversation - Fri, 2018-02-09 11:44
Groundwater is out of sight, but it shouldn't be out of mind. As cities struggle to cope with drought, we should remember that our largest stocks of water are hidden deep underground. Emma Kathryn White, PhD Candidate, Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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CSIRO virtual power station trial cuts household power costs by 60%

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 11:37
Households taking part in a CSIRO designed Virtual Power Station trial have used solar, battery storage, energy monitoring to save up to 60% on electricity bills.
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Norway electric ferry cuts emissions by 95%, costs by 80%

RenewEconomy - Fri, 2018-02-09 11:02
Orders roll in for Norwegian made all-electric car ferry, after prototype cuts carbon emissions by 95% and operating cost by 80% compared to fuel-powered counterparts.
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