THURSDAY 15 MARCH 2018

IPCC cities conference tackles gaps between science and climate action on the ground
https://theconversation.com/ipcc-cities-conference-tackles-gaps-between-science-and-climate-action-on-the-ground-93287

Eastern Mediterranean summer will be two months longer by end of 21st century
The eastern Mediterranean is experiencing monumental climate changes poised to significantly affect regional ecosystems and human health. According to a new Tel Aviv University study, these changes will drastically alter the duration of summer and winter in the region by the end of this century.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/afot-ems031418.php

Global warming increases the risk of avalanches
The impacts of global warming are felt especially in mountainous regions, where the rise in temperatures is above average. The repercussions of these changes are manifold and varied, from retreating glaciers to an increase in the frequency and intensity of snow avalanches
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/udg-gwi031218.php

China shake-up gives climate change responsibility to environment ministry
Move to beef up the environmental ministry aims to coordinate protection of air, water, soil and the country’s ecology, official says.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180313074802-4nsrh

U.S. government sued after failing to submit climate change report
An environmental advocacy group sued the U.S. government on Tuesday for failing to release records that could show why it has not filed a report required under a global climate compact.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180313151706-4alot

Ocean sensors can track progress on climate goals
Uncertainties around carbon emissions will make climate agreements tough to enforce. The answer floats in the seas
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03068-w?utm_source=twt_nnc&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=naturenews&sf184398457=1

Models assume we’ll cover Earth in trees. That’s a problem
The farmland of central Illinois might rarely be at the forefront of controversial climate action — but its moment arrived last spring when a Decatur-based ethanol plant became one of the first of its kind to launch an ambitious strategy to combat global warming.
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060076159

Geoengineer polar glaciers to slow sea-level rise
Stalling the fastest flows of ice into the oceans would buy us a few centuries to deal with climate change and protect coasts, argue John C. Moore and colleagues.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03036-4

The world’s happiest country also has no carbon emissions
The small kingdom of Bhutan could be a model for countries on the front lines of climate change.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2018/march/bhutan-gross-domestic-happiness-sustainability-environment-mountains/

Stephen Hawking’s final warnings urged world to halt climate change
In his last years, Hawking used his platform to warn that human activity is causing irreversible planetary damage and that we must take action to halt climate change.
https://www.ecowatch.com/stephen-hawking-climate-change-2547368270.html

Biofuels can help solve climate change, especially with a carbon tax
John Abraham
We’re not yet optimizing biofuel production for both economic and environmental factors
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/mar/14/biofuels-can-help-solve-climate-change-especially-with-a-carbon-tax

Jeff Kennett Says Foreign Donations Bill Will “Stifle Australian Philanthropy”
Former Victorian premier and Equity Trustees’ chairman Jeff Kennett has warned that the federal government’s proposed foreign donations bill “has gone too far” and “threatens to stifle Australian philanthropy”.
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/03/jeff-kennett-says-foreign-donations-bill-will-stifle-australian-philanthropy/

MCA cedes climate ground to BHP, Rio
The Minerals Council has ceded ground to BHP and Rio Tinto by ramping up its rhetoric on climate change and revising its stance on energy policy.
http://www.afr.com/business/mining/minerals-council-cedes-climate-ground-to-bhp-rio-20180314-h0xgk4

ExxonMobil won’t pay corporate tax until 2021
The global gas company says it expects to go eight years without paying corporate tax in Australia.
http://www.afr.com/news/exxonmobil-wont-pay-corporate-tax-until-at-least-2021-20180314-h0xgfq

Clean Energy fund powers Mirvac housing
http://www.afr.com/real-estate/clean-energy-fund-powers-mirvac-housing-20180313-h0xfvk

Canavan compares Tesla Big Battery to Kim Kardashian
Matt Canavan uses global “energy future” stage to poke fun at the Tesla Big Battery, embarrassingly for Australia. In other news, Coalition MPs also hate EVs.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/canavan-compares-tesla-big-battery-to-kim-kardashian-83955/

Climate wars have cost us the chance to lead
John Hewson
The main tragedy of the carbon wars has been the opportunities we have lost as a nation in not capitalising on our world-class natural assets in wind, sunshine and land.
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/climate-wars-have-cost-us-the-chance-to-lead-20180314-p4z4ck.html

Why duck shooting season still isn’t on the endangered list
Siobhan O’Sullivan, UNSW
Despite it’s unpopularity with the public and ongoing reports of endangered and non-game birds being killed – duck shooting season commences this month in Victoria, Tasmania and SA.
https://theconversation.com/why-duck-shooting-season-still-isnt-on-the-endangered-list-92926

New cities? It’s an idea worth thinking about for Australia
Robert Freestone et al
Is there a case for revisiting the idea of new cities for Australia in the light of recent population projections and resurgent debate about the implications of a big Australia?
https://theconversation.com/new-cities-its-an-idea-worth-thinking-about-for-australia-92990

The good oil on soils
US soil biologist Jill Clapperton has been in Victoria sharing the latest insights into the complex relationships between soil and plants.
https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/cropping/introducing-diversity-is-key-to-healthy-farming-systems/news-story/6510334e89f302572a8b6e55cd36bc86

Lakes Oil takes Vic gov to court over gas ban
https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/lakes-oil-takes-vic-gov-to-court-over-gas-ban-20180314-p4z4br.html

Berejiklian Government allows open slather on wildlife
Sue Arnold
The latest efforts by the Berejiklian Government allow open slather on the environment and wildlife.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/berejiklian-government-allows-open-slather-on-wildlife,11293

Hardened Adani supporters questioning whether mine will go ahead
Adani announced it had the green light to build Australia’s largest coal mine last June, but after setbacks and uncertainty over its financial viability, even its local supporters are starting to become weary.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/adani-supporters-questioning-whether-mine-will-go-ahead/9548394

QLD firm slams tree clearing laws as a power grab
A Brisbane-based firm has taken aim at the Queensland government, arguing against the reintroduction of laws to limit tree clearing across the Sunshin…
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22892-qld-firm-slams-tree-clearing-laws-as-a-power-grab

Cape York property with tree-clearing plans given part of $4m reef funding
Conservationists say proposal would make sediment problems on the reef – which funding is designed to prevent – much worse
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/14/cape-york-property-with-tree-clearing-plans-given-part-of-4m-reef-funding

Renewables must be low-cost: Adani
Embattled coal developer Adani is examining pumped hydro and wind power opportunities across Australia as it targets an ambitious expansion in renewable energy that could see its investment in the sector run past $1 billion within five years.
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/adani-winds-up-renewables-ambitions-to-include-wind-pumped-hydro-20180313-h0xfbu

Shorten silent on Adani doubts
Bill Shorten is unable to say why he is sceptical the Adani Carmichael mine doesn’t stack up environmentally.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/bill-shorten-silent-on-doubts-over-adanis-carmichael-mine/news-story/85066e8a8e8f54a3f400b07269b6f2e3

Jabalbina rangers to monitor reef 
Jabalbina rangers will have the authority to monitor and protect the Great Barrier Reef and support marine conservation efforts
http://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/fishing/jabalbina-rangers-to-monitor-reef/news-story/841f4bf2702dbb321633563bfec58e2d

‘Cabinet can appoint anyone … at any time’ 
Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to explain why ministers signed off on the appointment of Mark Algie to Energy Queensland’s board just days after his CV was spruiked by ETU boss Peter Simpson.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/premier-happy-with-cabinets-job-selection-process/news-story/f13d91c21f274d8b46bfa1329340cac1

Gupta lifts planned solar rollout to more than 1GW, advances own big battery
Gupta expands solar rollout to more than 1GW in South Australia alone, advances plans for his own big battery and pumped hydro storage, and makes offer to 6,000 employees in Australia to install solar and batteries in their homes.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/gupta-lifts-planned-solar-rollout-to-more-than-1gw-advances-own-big-battery-98652/

Marshall doubles down on energy claims as Electoral Commissioner flexes muscles
The State Liberals’ inflated claims of household savings from the Opposition’s energy plan have come back to bite them just three days from polling, as the Electoral Commissioner today slapped all three marquee parties with adverse findings over electoral advertising.
https://indaily.com.au/news/2018/03/14/marshall-doubles-energy-claims-electoral-commissioner-flexes-muscles/

Council dumps Adelaide Free Bikes, but allows nine-month reprieve
The Adelaide Free Bikes scheme has nine months to find new money to sustain it after the city council confirmed it would stop funding the program at the end of this year.
https://indaily.com.au/news/local/2018/03/14/council-dumps-adelaide-free-bikes-allows-nine-month-reprieve/

Aboriginal rangers a welcome relief for patrol area larger than Switzerland
Previously with just one vehicle covering more than five million hectares near the junction of WA, SA and the NT, the addition of six new rangers is more than welcome.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-14/aboriginal-rangers-a-welcome-relief-for-katiti-petermann-lands/9546132

Scientists deliver warning as coral bleaching observed off NT
Top End rangers filmed large patches of bleached coral from the air this year in the same area where they filmed healthy coral three years ago, and scientists are warning that more bleaching events are expected.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/coral-bleaching-sign-nt-marine-ecosystem-under-threat-scientists/9544956

New town centre and ‘croc-proof’ lake planned to transform mining town into tourist destination
The town of Jabiru at the heart of world-famous Kakadu National Park is fast approaching a crossroads that will either see it revived to a “tourism destination in its own right” or demolished completely.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/kakadu-national-parks-jabiru-set-for-revival-traditional-owners/9507466

‘Playing the long game’: Roe 8 proceeding ‘by stealth’
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/playing-the-long-game-roe-8-proceeding-by-stealth-20180314-p4z4dq.html

Toast bread straight from the freezer to avoid waste, campaign urges
UK households throw away 24m slices of bread each day, says anti-food waste campaign
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/14/toast-bread-straight-from-the-freezer-to-avoid-waste-campaign-urges

Turbocharging fuel cells with a multifunctional catalyst
Zero-emissions cars zipping into a sustainable energy future are just one dream powered by fuel cells. But cell technology has been a little sluggish and fuel prohibitively pricey. This new catalyst could offer a game changer. And there are more developments to come.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/giot-tfc031418.php

Research gets closer to producing revolutionary battery to power renewable energy industry
Trung Van Nguyen has headed research that today verges on development of a commercial hydrogen-bromine flow battery, an advanced industrial-scale battery design engineers have strived to develop since the 1960s.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uok-rgc031418.php

Removing Heavy Metals from Water in a Matter of Seconds
Chemists have developed a new material that can remove heavy metals from water and make it drinkable ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180314092258.htm

Digging Deep: Harnessing the Power of Soil Microbes for More Sustainable Farming
How will the farms of the future feed a projected 9.8 billion people by 2050? A ‘smart farm’ project marries microbiology and machine learning in an effort to reduce the need for chemical ..
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180314102016.htm

Air pollution exposure during fetal development linked with brain abnormalities & cognitive impairment in new study
Exposure to common levels of residential air pollution during fetal development is linked with cognitive impairment and the presence of brain abnormalities, a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry has found.
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/14/air-pollution-exposure-fetal-development-linked-brain-abnormalities-cognitive-impairment-new-study/

World’s Largest Cities Depend on Evaporated Water from Surrounding Lands
A study found that 19 of the 29 largest cities in the world depend on evaporation from surrounding lands for more than one-third of their water
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180313225508.htm

Researchers tap problematic e-waste surplus to recover high-quality polymers
Mixed-plastic electronics waste could be a valuable source of reusable polymers, a new study led by Illinois Sustainability Technology Center scientists suggests. The team has developed the first energy-efficient and environmentally friendly process that separates mixed polymers so that they can be recycled into new, high-quality plastic products.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uoia-rtp031418.php

With bottle walls and a recycled ship, Kenya’s coast takes on plastic waste
Waste plastic is being collected on the beaches, and turned into everything from furniture to houses to a sailing ship.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180312021642-zzpry/

Please stop building houses exactly where wildfires start
Every fire scientist knows the place where houses meet the wild is dangerous. But people keep putting more houses there.
https://www.wired.com/story/please-stop-building-houses-exactly-where-wildfires-start/

With great horsepower comes great responsibility
Eben Weiss
Drivers need to start owning up to how dangerous they are.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2288206/great-horsepower-comes-great-responsibility

World’s great forests could lose half of all wildlife as planet warms – report
From the Amazon to Africa, WWF report predicts catastrophic losses of as much as 60% of plants and 50% of animals by the end of the century
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/14/worlds-great-forests-could-lose-half-of-all-wildlife-as-planet-warms-report

Acidic oceans could slow coral reef growth by a third
Ocean acidification will have a much more serious effect on the ability of coral reefs to rebuild themselves than previously thought, research suggests.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-03-15/acidic-oceans-could-slow-coral-reef-growth-by-a-third/9547184

Cash payments prompt tropical forest users to harvest less
An experiment conducted with 1,200 villagers in five developing countries found that when people are given cash to conserve, they cut down fewer trees both while they are being paid and after payments cease.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uoca-cpp031418.php

Growing Need for Urban Forests as Urban Land Expands
New research projecting urban land growth and updating urban forest values suggests that urbanization and urban forests are likely to be one the most important forest …
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180314101954.htm

Decreased oxygen levels could present hidden threat to marine species
In research published in Scientific Reports, scientists from the University of Plymouth have shown that creatures which develop in hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions in the marine environment could experience previously unseen hindered development, and become compromised as adults.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uop-dol031318.php

‘Lazy Lawn Mowers’ Can Help Support Suburban Bee Populations and Diversity
Homeowners concerned about the decline of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects need look no further than their own back yards.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180314101957.htm

Mountains Become Islands: Ecological Dangers of Increasing Land Use in East Africa
The mountains of East Africa are a treasure trove of biodiversity. However, their ecosystems may be at a higher risk than previously realized.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180314092807.htm

Floods can flush microplastic pollution from rivers into the sea
The largest survey ever of microplastics in freshwater suggests that scientists underestimate levels of the pollutants.
https://cen.acs.org/articles/96/i12/Floods-flush-microplastic-pollution-rivers.html

Climate change threatens survival of thousands of species in our lifetime
An alarming study finds at 4.5 degrees warming, the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems could witness extinction of half their plant and animal species.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13032018/climate-change-species-at-risk-biodiversity-plants-animal-migration-global-warming

Curtains, clothes and ice
Scientists exploring one of the last remaining pristine areas of Antarctica to bolster case for creating sanctuary area.
https://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/americas/2018/03/curtains-clothes-ice-180313112432539.html

Krill fishing poses serious threat to Antarctic ecosystem, report warns
Greenpeace finds industrial fishing taking place in the feeding grounds of whales and penguins, with vessels involved in oil spills and accidents.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/13/krill-fishing-poses-serious-threat-to-antarctic-ecosystem-report-warns

Krill found to break down microplastics – but it won’t save the oceans
Digestion of plastic into much smaller fragments ‘doesn’t necessarily help pollution’, Australian researchers say.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/12/krill-can-turn-microplastics-into-nanoplastics-study

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