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'Stable' Antarctic ice sheet may have started collapsing, scientists say

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-05-22 04:00

Southern Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet losing ice 8,500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza every year, satellite data shows

A vast slab of Antarctic ice that was previously stable may have started to collapse, according to new analysis of satellite data.

Research published in the journal Science on Thursday found the Southern Antarctic Peninsula (SAP) ice sheet is losing ice into the ocean at a rate of 56 gigatons each year – about 8,500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza. This adds around 0.16mm per year to the global sea level.

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A climate change poem for today: Doggerland by Jo Bell

The Guardian - Thu, 2015-05-21 18:34

UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy curates a series of 20 original poems by various authors on the theme of climate change

The land bridge connecting Great Britain to mainland Europe during the last Ice Age was gradually flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500 BC. It was discovered in 1931 when a Norfolk trawler dredged up an unexpected artefact.

Out from Cromer in an easy sea, Pilgrim Lockwood
cast his nets and fetched up a harpoon.
Twelve thousand years had blunted not one barb.
An antler sharpened to a spike, a bony bread knife
from a time of glassy uplands and no bread:
Greetings from Doggerland, it said.

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Harlequin ladybirds declared UK's fastest invading species

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 21:33

World’s most invasive ladybird is consolidating its presence in the country and is responsible for the decline of seven native species, scientists say

Harlequin ladybirds have been declared the UK’s fastest invading species after reaching almost every corner of the country in just a decade.

The cannibalistic ladybirds were first realised to have reached the UK in 2004 when they were seen in Essex and have since spread as far afield as the tip of Cornwall and the Shetland Islands, making it the fastest alien invasion of the UK on record. Grey squirrels, American mink, ring-necked parakeets and muntjac deer are advancing at a rate far behind them.

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The Svalbard seed vault: safeguarding the world's crop varieties – video

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 17:20
The Svalbard seed vault, which opened in 2008, has been entrusted by the world's governments with the safekeeping of the most prized varieties of crops on which human civilisation was raised. It contains the seeds of around 4,000 plant species – more than 720,000 individual samples. The site was built to be disaster-proof – it lies 130 metres up a mountain in Norway in case of sea-level rise and is earthquake-resistant Continue reading...
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Wales launches £25m underwater kite-turbine scheme

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 16:01

Anglesey renewable energy project to generate enough electricity to power 8,000 homes

A unique renewable energy scheme involving underwater “kite-turbines” is being launched off the coast of north Wales.

As part of the £25m project, 20 turbines will be anchored off Anglesey and when fully operational should generate enough electricity to power 8,000 homes.

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Icelandic plan to ship whale meat to Japan angers environmentalists

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 03:41

Campaigners say scheduled export of 1,700 tonnes of fin whale meat, set to be eaten by Japanese diners, flouts conservation agreements

Environmentalists have reacted angrily to a controversial planned shipment of fin whale meat to Japan by an Icelandic whaling company, saying it flouted international conservation agreements.

The Icelandic whaling company Hvalur HF plans to ship 1,700 tonnes of whale meat via Luanda in Angola, repeating a similar controversial delivery of 2,000 tonnes last year which sparked protests along its route.

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Chairs’ Update 19 May 2015 | Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-05-19 17:21
Find out the latest updates on the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review.
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Eucalypt woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt ecological community

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-05-19 16:25
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee is seeking comments on the proposal to list this as a critically endangered ecological community. The public consultation period will be open until 30 June 2015.
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Where there is oil and gas there is Schlumberger

The Guardian - Tue, 2015-05-19 07:00

It’s ubiquitous in fossil fuel operations across the world, has more staff than Google, turns over more than Goldman Sachs, and is worth more than McDonald’s – yet you won’t have heard of it. Meet the oil world’s most secretive operator

In the dying hours of a high-level conference on the banks of the Thames late in April, two oil executives are sitting patiently waiting on faded leather chairs in the lobby of a five-star Tower Bridge hotel, briefcases, architects’ plans and a folded flipchart pad at their feet.

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Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-18 23:30

‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3tn subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments

Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.

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The real story behind Shell's climate change rhetoric

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-18 07:00

In the first of an investigative series into the fossil fuel giants from which we are calling on Gates and Wellcome Trust to divest, we reveal Shell’s pursuit of ever riskier reserves is at odds with its own forecasts for dangerous global warming

A man of Ben van Beurden’s power and reputation for blunt speaking is capable of silencing a ballroom packed with his boisterous peers. When the chief executive of Shell rose to address an industry gathering in a London hotel, a respectful hush descended.

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Disappearing Lake Powell underlines drought crisis facing Colorado river

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-18 00:11

As water levels plummet to 45% in America’s second-largest reservoir, new islands appear – and fears grow for a waterway that serves 40 million people

The Colorado river and its tributaries took a hundred million years or two to carve the Glen Canyon out of the pink and scarlet sandstone which marks out the American southwest.

Its myriad gorges, sheer cliffs and towering spires remained a largely hidden secret. Prehistoric peoples farmed part of the canyon and Navajo Indian communities built camps close to the river, but few modern Americans ventured there besides explorers until the canyon disappeared under a man-made wonder, the vast Lake Powell, with the construction of Glen Canyon dam half a century ago.

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Antarctic ice shelf will fall apart, says Nasa – video

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-05-15 19:35
Video footage released by Nasa explains why it believes the Antarctic ice shelf known as Larsen B will completely disintegrate over the next few years. The shelf has existed for 10,000 years, but began collapsing in 2002. The shelf now consists of about 625 square miles of ice Continue reading...
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A climate change poem for today: Extinction by Jackie Kay

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-05-15 18:25

UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy curates a series of 20 original poems by various authors on the theme of climate change

We closed the borders, folks, we nailed it.

No trees, no plants, no immigrants.

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Sellafield nuclear waste storage safety limit relaxed following accident

The Guardian - Thu, 2015-05-14 20:58

Amount of radioactive waste that can be kept in tanks allowed to breach legal limits to help cope with backlog caused by an accident in November 2013

Safety limits on the storage of some of the world’s most dangerous nuclear wastes at Sellafield in Cumbria have been relaxed after an accident knocked out a treatment plant.

The government’s safety watchdog, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), has permitted the private company that runs Sellafield to breach legal restrictions on the amount of hot, high-level radioactive waste that can be kept in tanks. The limits are likely to be exceeded by up to 350 tonnes between April 2014 and July 2016.

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Don’t panic! How to escape a swarm of bees

The Guardian - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:00

Towns in southern England are being beset by noisy hordes of honeybees in search of new homes. Here’s what to do if you get caught by the buzz

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams,” said Henry David Thoreau, who clearly knew what he was talking about. Swarms of honeybees have appeared in Salisbury, Marlborough and Chichester, and the growing fashion for amateur beekeeping may be to blame. So, are middle-class novices not looking after their hives properly, causing their bees to go rogue?

A swarm happens when a hive becomes overcrowded, a new queen appears and the old queen and a gang of around 20,000 go on the run. They head for temporary lodgings while scout bees look for somewhere safe to settle.

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England's water voles in desperate decline

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-11 22:52

Invasive American mink is wiping out species once found abundant in English waterways, analysis by Canal and River Trust show

English waterways could lose one of their most charismatic and once widespread residents as water voles succumb to the invasive American mink, records released by the Canal and River Trust show.

Between 1970 and 1999, water voles were found on 269 of the 2,000 miles of waterways managed by the trust. But since the turn of the century, their range dropped by almost 50% to 141 miles.

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India's Asiatic lion population rising

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-11 22:20

Census finds 27% increase in number of endangered lions found in their only habitat in the world – the Gir forest of Gujarat

Wildlife experts have welcomed census figures showing India’s population of endangered Asiatic lions has increased in the last five years in the western state of Gujarat.

Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel said officials counted 523 lions, up 27% from the last census conducted in 2010 in Gir sanctuary, the last habitat for the big cats globally.

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The Joinery - Watch This Space.

The Joinery, the new community environment space located at the old bus station at 111 Franklin Street, is already starting to feel like home for the groups based there, but every good home needs a great outdoor space!

Adelaide Sustainable Building Network ran a one day design/build workshop to activate and beautify the area outside our Bowen Street entrance.

Over the last few months, working with lots of volunteers and groups, the vision for The Joinery’s outdoor space has gone from aspirational to feasible, and now we are ready to turn it into reality.

This practical, outcomes focused day will begin to creatively transform the outside space into a green oasis in the heart of the city.

Event Official Title: 'The Joinery Design Jam and Construction Workshop'

Special Acknowledgements: 

Conservation Council - Craig Wilkins and Kathryn Warhurst

Adelaide Sustainable Building Network - Ken Long and Kerry Reed
Can be found on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn

Event Volunteer Organiser - Christy Spier

Adelaide City Council Placemaking Committee - Michael Fisher

Video Sponsors: 
WAX Design - waxdesign.com.au
dsquared Consulting - dsquaredconsulting.com.au

Special Thanks All Participants (Big and Small) Collaborating to Make The Joinery a Great Urban Space!

Cast: AdelaideSBN and ESM

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Lowbidgee floodplain proves to be a migratory bird haven

Department of the Environment - Fri, 2015-05-08 15:42
Scientists monitoring the effectiveness of Commonwealth environmental water in the Murrumbidgee wetlands have recently recorded several important migratory birds in the Lowbidgee floodplain including the sharp-tailed sandpiper and common...
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