WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL 2018

Carbon consumers
A team of researchers, led by Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Peter Girguis and Suni Shah Walter, then a post-doctoral fellow in Girguis’ lab, has shown that underground aquifers along the mid-ocean ridge act like natural biological reactors, pulling in cold, oxygenated seawater, and allowing microbes to break down more — perhaps much more — refractory carbon than scientists ever believed.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/hu-cc042418.php

Climate change not the key driver of human conflict and displacement in East Africa
Over the last 50 years climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research by UCL.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/ucl-ccn042318.php

One of the most worrisome predictions about climate change may be coming true
Fresh water from melting glaciers could upend the circulation of the oceans, leading to a world of fast-rising seas and even superstorms.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/23/one-of-the-most-worrisome-predictions-about-climate-change-may-be-coming-true/?utm_term=.164bec9b6731

The world needs to store billions of tons of carbon. It could start in a surprising place.
The ethanol industry is environmentally controversial, but now it may have a big opportunity to cut its emissions.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/23/the-world-needs-to-store-billions-of-tons-of-carbon-it-could-start-off-in-a-surprising-place/?utm_term=.7dedb7b609a4

How windmills as wide as jumbo jets are making clean energy mainstream
The global wind turbine industry has transformed from a collection of small companies in Denmark to corporations pulling off enormous feats of engineering.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/04/23/business/energy-environment/big-windmills.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness-energy-environment&action=click&contentCollection=energy-environment&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront

Collapse of the Atlantic Ocean heat transport might lead to hot European summers
Severe winters combined with heat waves and droughts during summer in Europe. Those were the consequences as the Atlantic Ocean heat transport nearly collapsed 12,000 years ago. The same situation might occur today, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/su-cot042418.php

Which U.S. industries are setting the strongest climate goals?
An analysis of more than 600 top U.S. companies finds that those seeing the effects of global warming first-hand are taking the most concrete actions.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24042018/american-companies-leaders-greenhouse-gas-targets-renewable-energy-ceres-study

The case for climate reparations
Who should pay the costs for climate-change-related disasters?
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2018-3-may-june/feature/the-case-for-climate-reparations

Should scientists advocate on the issue of climate change?
Ingfei Chen
Views differ on what, exactly, is the best way for scientists to advocate for societal action against climate change.
https://undark.org/article/dilemma-climate-scientist-advocate/

A tale of three cities: Populations soar in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
Melbourne boasts the fastest growing suburb in the country and the city’s population is now just 200,000 below that of Sydney’s, which itself saw a record an annual increase of more than 100,000 people.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-24/melbourne-sydney-brisbane-populations-soar-growth-drivers-differ/9693470

What’s driving population growth in Australia’s cities?
For the first time on record, Sydney’s population grew by more than 100,000 people in one year, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/3218.0Media%20Release12016-17?OpenDocument

Water demand hits a record [PAYWALL]
Irrigation water trade records are being broken as dairy farmers attempt to establish pastures without any sign of rain.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/dairy/irrigation-water-demand-hits-a-record/news-story/f19e0c1241ac679b433a66dee9016e67

Angry and frustrated, more customers are quitting the grid
Industry reports suggest more and more Australian households are choosing to quit the grid, and they’re doing so for a mixed bag of reasons.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/angry-and-frustrated-more-customers-are-quitting-the-grid-81552/

Solar panels ‘a big disrupter’ [PAYWALL]
The rising use of rooftop solar panels has created problems for the management of energy demand in Australia.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/aemo-chief-audrey-zibelman-solar-panels-a-big-disrupter/news-story/0f22b1eee3cb643f4ac1d7f87cbc6915

Murray plan working, just look at all the birds [PAYWALL]
Spawning fish and breeding birds are proof that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is working, according to the head of the authority managing the river system, as Parliament prepares to vote on critical changes to the plan.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/murray-darling-basin-authority-boss-says-proof-plan-is-working-is-in-the-river/news-story/2d7b88550dc0283614b27782a1dd593c

Banks score $1b in federal green scheme cash [PAYWALL]
Big banks accused in the financial services royal commission of ripping off customers have raked in more than $1 billion in taxpayer money to fund green energy schemes
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/australias-biggest-banks-pocket-1b-in-taxpayer-money-to-fund-green-energy-schemes/news-story/d5fba8444d28c204b5ae0ccd9e08b5c5

Pay up fossil fuel industry – your free ride to pollute is over
Bill McKibben
One of the largest environmental campaigns in history is unfolding in Australia.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/fossil-fuel-industry-free-ride-pollution-mckibben-20180424-p4zbbl.html

Native fish have been forgotten in Basin plan [PAYWALL]
Craig Copeland
Governments, communities and fishers need to work together to rehabilitate numbers
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/opinion/native-fish-have-been-forgotten-in-the-murray-darling-basin-plan/news-story/036cd2888460fdfbee81824537fd6492

Nuclear necessity
David Leyonhjelm
The problem with any discussion on nuclear power is that it is fraught with misinformation promoted by hysterical nuclearphobes.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19697

Households can hold grid together when big coal units fail
Mike Leonard
Last week, Australia’s largest generation unit tripped, sending frequency out of its normal band. What happened next explains why the smart grid has arrived.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/households-can-hold-grid-together-when-big-coal-units-fail-69737/

Relief for green groups, locals after court puts Noojee logging on hold
Logging was due to start around Noojee on Thursday. Photo: Jason South. Plans to log six areas of Victoria’s Central Highlands were put on hold by the Federal Court in Melbourne on Tuesday.
https://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/relief-for-green-groups-locals-after-court-puts-noojee-logging-on-hold-20180424-p4zbfu.html

Melbourne’s hyper-growth continues, as nation’s east coast booms
Melbourne is on track to pass 5 million residents this year, rocketing up by more than 125,000 extra people for the second year in a row.
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/melbourne-s-hyper-growth-continues-as-nation-s-east-coast-booms-20180424-p4zbcv.html

Time to clean up our liveable city [PAYWALL]
Sally Capp
Melbourne’s ever-growing mounds of rubbish are not in keeping with its status as one of the world’s most liveable cities
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/sally-capp-time-to-clean-up-our-liveable-city/news-story/9b119538cdc8ab0358b2dc074f249abe

Much more work needed to ease Melbourne’s growing pains
Age editorial
Melbourne’s huge population growth is a testament to its strengths, but maintaining its liveability must be a priority.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/much-more-work-needed-to-ease-melbourne-s-growing-pains-20180424-p4zbeb.html

Shane Rattenbury hits back at claims he nipped out during energy talks
ACT Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury has refuted claims he left last Friday’s COAG meeting during critical energy discussions to do a doorstop with his federal party colleagues.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/shane-rattenbury-hits-back-at-claims-he-nipped-out-during-energy-talks-20180424-p4zbgd.html

Brisbane business slapped with 56 environmental charges over tyre stockpile fire risk
The Department of Environment and Science charges businessman Tony Di Carlo and his company with 56 environmental breaches over the fire risk at a used tyre stockpile in Logan, south of Brisbane.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-24/tony-di-carlo-tyremil-charged-tyre-stockpile-fire-risk/9692088

Lizard Island Reef Expedition tour: meet the scientists trying to save the Great Barrier Reef
The northern Great Barrier Reef experienced coral bleaching on an unprecedented scale in 2016 and 2017. But right now the marine scientists working hard to save whatever remains have more pressing concerns.
http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/travel/world/lizard-island-reef-expedition-tour-meet-the-scientists-trying-to-save-the-reef-20180418-h0yx4g#ixzz5DcYd72Vu

Queensland accounts for up to 65 per cent of tree clearing: report
The Queensland government’s controversial vegetation management legislation could be debated as early as next week.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-accounts-for-up-to-65-per-cent-of-tree-clearing-report-20180423-p4zb5q.html

Flying fox warning comes true as conservationists bemoan ‘death by a thousand cuts’ [PAYWALL]
Environmental Defenders Office of North Queensland spokesman Brynn Mathews said conservationists would continue to lobby federal and state governments. “At the moment, it’s the death of a thousand cuts for that flying fox colony,” he said.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/flying-fox-warning-comes-true-as-conservationists-bemoan-death-by-a-thousand-cuts/news-story/7fd31fdc68564a98bd4d59b31f5f0086

Funding for Great Barrier Reef water quality falls despite ‘crisis’
WWF Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation say $475 million a year is needed to address the reef’s water quality.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/funding-for-great-barrier-reef-water-quality-falls-despite-crisis-20180423-p4zb6r.html

Tree clearing stance slammed despite climate claims [PAYWALL]
The federal government has hit out at Queensland’s proposed laws to restrict tree-clearing, despite a new report saying the laws are urgently needed to address climate change.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/queensland-tree-clearing-proposed-laws-slammed-by-federal-government/news-story/95f6164a3a3b3d50cb924661eea2bc69

Land clearing and climate change: risks and opportunities in the Sunshine State
Climate Council of Australia
This report outlines how more than one million hectares of woody vegetation, an area more than seven times larger than the size of Queensland’s capital, has been cleared between 2012-13 and 2015-16.
http://apo.org.au/node/142531

Iluka Resources slapped with class action over 2012 disclosures [PAYWALL]
Iluka Resources has been served with a class action, alleging the mineral sands miner misled the market six years ago.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/iluka-resources-slapped-with-class-action-over-2012-disclosures/news-story/0326f80e19f7a1a924c6e0926365cc4b

SA coal demolition near finished [PAYWALL]
Little remains of SA’s last coal-fired power station after a coal bunker was destroyed in a controlled explosion
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/demolition-of-south-australias-last-coalfired-power-station-nears-completion/news-story/16a61f2667e94a46cb53e8de2931123b

Help us save the Port River dolphins [PAYWALL]
Speeding boats are killing our Port River dolphins — the world’s only wild tailwalkers. Today we call on you to help Protect Our Dolphins (POD) and sign the petition calling for a blanket 10 knot speed limit throughout their sanctuary.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/west-beaches/join-our-pod-and-help-save-the-port-river-dolphins/news-story/137b8576fe2a84b6a384ddcba6dbb156

Hobart backs ban on takeaway plastic [PAYWALL]
Tasmania’s largest council will urge the Local Government Association to lobby the state to ban single-use plastic food containers and cutlery used by takeaway stores.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/hobart-city-council-have-backed-a-ban-on-plastic-takeaway-containers/news-story/ad698753cbbe5dc785c2e39eb155c058

Thousands seek help to pay water bills
More than 2800 water consumers applied for a hardship utilities grant between July 2017 and last month.
https://thewest.com.au/business/water/more-wa-families-seek-help-to-pay-water-bills-ng-b88814250z

Hawaii could save billions by fast-tracking shift to 100% renewables
In the transition to renewable energy, the US state of Hawaii is already punching above its weight, with a plan to reach 40 per cent by 2030, and a mandated goal of 100 per cent by 2045. But a new report from the Rhodium Group and Smart Growth America has found that it would be cheaper and better for the economy of the Aloha State to double down on that trajectory, and shoot for as much as 84 per cent renewables by as early as 2030.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/hawaii-save-billions-fast-tracking-shift-100-renewables-94545/

From Australia to El Salvador to Vietnam, the environment is finally getting its day in court
Specialized environmental courts are now operating on every continent except Antarctica. What’s behind the boom?
https://ensia.com/features/environment-finally-getting-day-court/

How soon till we all fly in electric planes?
It might not be long before we’re zooming around in electric planes — at least for short distances, says a German Aerospace Center expert in a DW interview.
http://www.dw.com/en/how-soon-till-we-all-fly-in-electric-planes/a-43473916

Lockheed says ‘flow’ battery will boost use of renewable power
Lockheed Martin Corp hopes to launch a new “flow” battery made of inexpensive, nontoxic materials that can help utilities save money and use more renewable energy, company officials said on Monday.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lockheed-battery/lockheed-says-flow-battery-will-boost-use-of-renewable-power-idUSKBN1HU2SM

Are GMO foods safe?
In the decades since the first genetically modified foods reached the market, no adverse health effects among consumers have been found.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/23/well/eat/are-gmo-foods-safe.html

Shutting down nuclear plants would erase decades of clean energy progress, report warns
The looming retirements of four nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio would set back regional attempts to cut emissions of planet-warming …
http://www.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2018/04/23/Pennsylvania-Ohio-nuclear-power-closings-solar-wind-climate-clean-energy-carbon/stories/201804190090

Packaging made from crop waste could curb India’s pollution
A company that makes packaging out of plant fibers hopes to address two problems at once: air pollution from the burning of crop stubble, and landfills and waterways clogged with plastic.
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2018/04/making-products-with-crop-waste-could-improve-indias-air-and-water/558338/

You’ll probably never save as many lives as this guy who got the Philippines to stop using lead paint
Actually, you definitely won’t.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/04/youll-probably-never-save-as-many-lives-as-this-guy-who-got-the-philippines-to-stop-using-lead-paint/

These are the cities with the worst air pollution
More than 4 in 10 Americans live with unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a new report.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-are-worst-cities-air-pollution-180968871/

Cities can still grow without getting us stuck in traffic
Vladimir Vinokurov
Governments have a long history of spending billions to knowingly build ‘roads to nowhere’ when they could have built efficient infrastructure instead.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19687

While Mexico plays politics with its water, some cities flood and others go dry
Veronica Herrera
In many Mexican cities, water is treated as a political bargaining chip – a favor that public officials can trade for votes, bribes or power.
http://therevelator.org/mexico-politics-water/

More recycling can’t fix the fundamental flaws with fast fashion
Michael Shank, Maxine Bédat
Everyone in fashion is talking about “circularity,” but just focusing on reuse isn’t enough to lower the industry’s massive carbon footprint.
https://www.fastcompany.com/40562305/more-recycling-cant-fix-the-fundamental-flaws-with-fast-fashion

Corals build ‘cloud umbrellas’ to protect themselves from scorching sun
Australian researchers find corals build “cloud umbrellas” to help keep cool and their decline could have wider implications for climate and agricultural production.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-24/coral-build-cloud-umbrellas-to-protect-themselves-from-sun/9685306

New model could help build communities of climate change-defying trees
Researchers in Australia have developed a model to help build plant communities that are more resilient to climate change.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/e-nmc042418.php

Record levels of plastic discovered in Arctic sea ice
Samples taken from five locations found concentrations of more than 12,000 microplastic particles per litre of sea ice
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/24/record-levels-of-plastic-discovered-in-arctic-sea-ice

Mass penguin deaths a climate change ‘wake-up call’
Unusual sea conditions likely caused scores of little blue penguins to starve to death.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12038574

NASA can’t explain these bizarre circular formations
NASA is at a loss to explain mysterious circular formations appearing in Arctic ice.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/nasa-cant-explain-bizarre-circular-formations-132803665.html

Billions of gallons of water saved by thinning forests
There are too many trees in Sierra Nevada forests, say scientists affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (CZO). That may come as a surprise to those who see dense, verdant forests as signs of a healthy environment. After all, green is good, right? Not necessarily. When it comes to the number of trees in California forests, bigger isn’t always better.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/nsf-bog042418.php

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