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News In Brief

Spiral of doom: hotter world increases cattle methane emissions

Oliver Tickell

27th March 2017

Cattle grazing in Maharashtra, India. With global warming, their forage will get tougher, and their methane emissions higher. Photo: Vijay Sonar via Flickr (CC BY). A vicious cycle of climate change, cattle diet and rising methane has been revealed in a new scientific study: as temperatures rise, forage plants get tougher and harder to digest, and cause more methane to be produced in bovine stomachs. And with cattle numbers rising and methane 85 times more powerful a greenhouse gas over 20 years, that spells trouble. more...

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

27th March, 2017


Warming sea waters - caused by climate change and extreme climatic events - threaten the stability of tropical coral reefs, with potentially devastating implications for many reef species and the human communities that reefs support warn scientists at Exeter University
more...

Scientists: protect vast Amazon peatland to avoid palm oil 'environmental disaster'

Joe Sandler Clarke /Greenpeace Energydesk

23rd March 2017

Victoria water lilies in Pucate Creek (Quebrada Pucate) off Rio Marañon, Peru. Photo: Mike LaBarbera via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). A recently discovered peatland in northeast Peru contains two years worth of US carbon emissions, writes Joe Sandler Clarke, but it's under threat from the rapidly advancing 'palm oil frontier'. Now scientists are calling for the wetland's immediate protection - before it's too late to save it. more...

Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought

Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog

22nd March 2017

Coyote Springs Natural Gas Plant, Oregon, USA. Photo: Portland General Electric via Flickr (CC BY-ND). Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions. more...

Fukushima court ruling holds 'reckless' Tepco and government liable

Shaun Burnie / Asia Times

2ist March 2017

Radiation hotspot in Kashiwa following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Abasaa via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). A Japanese court has found the government and Tepco culpable for the Fukushima nuclear disaster for failing to act on clear warnings of the dangers of seismic shocks, writes Shaun Burnie. The ruling is sending a shockwave through Japan's 'nuclear village' and may end all prospects of any mass restart of reactors. more...

Fukushima farmers grow traditional brown cotton

20th March, 2017

In 2011 the Fukushima region of Japan was devastated by an earthquake and nuclear disaster. Six years on, the residents have begun to rebuild their lives and are producing Japanese cotton. more...

UK exporting 67% of plastic waste amid 'illegal practices' warnings

The Ecologist

13th March 2017

Plastic waste being sorted by hand in Babakan, West Java, Indonesia. Photo: Ikhlasul Amal via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Britain's trade in waste plastic to the Far East is booming. But it's not good news. The exported plastic is meant to be recycled under UK conditions and standards, but often is not, undermining bona fide UK recycling firms who face falling prices, reduced turnover, collapsing profits, and all too often, closure. more...

Birdwatching helps beats depression

Ecologist Reporter

1st March, 2017


People living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, according to research by academics at the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland
more...

GMO golden rice trials fail: stunted plants, reduced grain yield

GMWatch

1st March 2017

Photographs showing the growth of plants and seed heads of the new golden rice crosses versus the non-GMO cultivar. The GMO golden rice is the abnormal and stunted one on the left. Photo: from PLOS One. The troubled project to develop GMO 'golden rice' cultivars has just hit a serious obstacle. An attempt to breed the 'event' responsible for carotenoid production into a commercial rice variety has produced widespread genomic instability, causing weak plants and poor grain production. Has the golden rice hype bubble finally burst? more...

Government tries to puts itself above environmental law

Oliver Tickell

28th February 2017

This smog, seen over London from Primrose Hill, is unlawful. But how to stop it if you can't take the government to court? Photo: Luton Anderson via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The UK government hates to be held accountable in court when it breaks environmental laws like those on air quality. So it has created new rules - coming into force today - that expose environmental litigants to unlimited financial liabilities. Now three leading NGOs have done to the High Court to argue that the rules themselves are in breach the UK's international obligations. more...

BP, Total oil drilling would endanger newly discovered Amazon coral reef

Lawrence Carter / Energydesk

23rd February 2017

The Amazonian manatee, considered 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, is among the species at risk if oil drilling goes ahead. Photo: susy freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC). A unique and pristine coral reef in the mouth of the Amazon is threatened by oil drilling planned by oil giants Total and BP, say the scientists who recently explored it. But the oil companies are determined to press ahead despite the risks, writes Lawrence Carter, and Brazil's environment ministry is set to give its approval. more...

UK researchers discover a new species of primate from Africa's Angolan rainforests

Ecologist Reporter

22nd February, 2017

Until now, civil unrest and the difficulty of working at night have stood in the way of understanding the true nocturnal diversity of the African rainforests but the recent discovery of a new species of primate hints at what lies in wait to be discovered more...

Rising Up! protest blockades Heathrow airport

The Ecologist

21st February 2017

The blockaded tunnel to Heathrow airport this morning, 21st February 2017. Photo: Rising Up! A direct action protest by Rising Up! today blocked access to three Heathrow terminals to press their demand for no third runway at the UK's biggest airport. The activists included both climate campaigners and local people fearful of increased pollution, loss of homes and green space and entire villages destroyed. more...

New protection of Canada's ‘Sea of Glass' bans fishing near the reefs

Ecologist Reporter

20th February, 2017

The last living remains of an ancient European species - the 9,000-year-old fragile glass sponge reefs off the coast of Canada - will now be offered further protection more...

Shell, Eni hit with Nigerian oil deal corruption charges

Joe Sandler Clarke / Energydesk

13th February 2017

Shell's Kora Kora oil field, Nigeria. Photo: Tim Lambon / Greenpeace. Weeks after a major legal victory in London's High Court over oil-polluted communities in Nigeria, writes Joe Sandler Clarke, Shell has suffered a dramatic reversal of fortunes as Italian prosecutors charge the company, and Italy's Eni, on corruption charges over a $1.3 billion oil deal. more...

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