Category: The Planet

Canary Wharf’s Overnight Energy Waste Could Power 4,500 Homes a Year

Canary Wharf is hard to miss. Even in the middle of the night, long after workers and cleaners have clocked off for the day, the lights in London's financial district are left firmly on. At the time of writing we're...

/ July 2, 2020
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Climate change: why farmers are among our best guides for making sense of topsy-turvy weather

May 2020 was the driest on record in England and the second driest in Wales. Rainfall was about 17% of the average for May, and it was also the sunniest calendar month on record, with 266 hours of sunshine, surpassing...

/ July 2, 2020
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UniSuper take note: there’s no retirement on a dead planet

ShutterstockHESTA, the industry super fund for health and community workers, plans to dump its shares in thermal coal mining companies. Beyond that, its Net Zero by 2050 program announced on Friday commits it to cutting the carbon emissions in its...

/ July 1, 2020
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Today, the Kyoto climate deal ends and Australia’s Paris cop-out begins. That’s nothing to be proud of, Mr Taylor

Mick Tsikas/AAP Today marks the end of the Kyoto climate deal and the start of its successor, the Paris Agreement. Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor on Wednesday was quick to hail Australia’s success in smashing the Kyoto emissions targets. But...

/ July 1, 2020
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Their fate isn’t sealed: Pacific nations can survive climate change – if locals take the lead

They contribute only 0.03% of global carbon emissions, but small island developing states, particularly in the Pacific, are at extreme risk to the threats of climate change. Our study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, provides the first...

/ June 29, 2020
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Anger is all the rage on Twitter when it’s cold outside (and on Mondays)

ShutterstockThe link between hot weather and aggressive crime is well established. But can the same be said for online aggression, such as angry tweets? And is online anger a predictor of assaults? Our study just published suggests the answer is...

/ June 29, 2020
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Arctic heatwave: what warmer summers mean for the region’s wildlife

Snowshoe hares are moving further into the Arctic. Dee Carpenter Originals / shutterstockThe current heatwave in the Arctic, with temperatures reaching 38℃ in some parts of northern Siberia, is symptomatic of a region experiencing more than twice the global average...

/ June 26, 2020
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Renovation rescue: 6 ways to ensure HomeBuilder helps consumers, the climate and the economy

Dan Peled/AAPThe federal government’s new HomeBuilder scheme offers eligible Australians money to renovate or build a home. While it’s attracted controversy, HomeBuilder does offer a much-needed opportunity to make old homes more energy-efficient. Research released in March showed the energy...

/ June 26, 2020
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100 degrees in Siberia? 5 ways the extreme Arctic heat wave follows a disturbing pattern

This Arctic heat wave has been unusually long-lived. The darkest reds on this map of the Arctic are areas that were more than 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer in the spring of 2020 compared to the recent 15-year average. Joshua Stevens/NASA...

/ June 25, 2020
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Why we need the opposite of a carbon tax to reduce emissions

EPA/DAVE HUNTFor the last few decades, the consensus among leading economists has been that putting a price on carbon is the most efficient way to reduce emissions. The idea behind it is simple. If we make activities that emit carbon...

/ June 24, 2020
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Climate Explained: what Earth would be like if we hadn’t pumped greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

OSORIOartist/Shutterstock CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it...

/ June 23, 2020
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If we could design JobKeeper within weeks, we can exit coal by 2030. Here’s how to do it

As we emerge from the lockdown phase of the pandemic, there are many lessons to learn. One is that when given credible warning of an existential threat, it is better to act early and risk doing too much than to...

/ June 22, 2020
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Australia’s devotion to coal has come at a huge cost. We need the government to change course, urgently

AAP/Lukas CochBecause we are rich in coal and gas, Australia has been plagued with two decades of wars over climate policy. The wars have claimed three prime ministers: Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull. They have also, in the...

/ June 21, 2020
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Sierra Leone faces coronavirus as rainy season hits – local disaster planning will be key

Local coroanvirus awareness raising in Funkia Market, Sierra Leone. Trocaire/Flickr, CC BYThe government of Sierra Leone called a state of emergency on March 25, seven days before the first case of COVID-19 was even confirmed. The virus has spread steadily...

/ June 19, 2020
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Despite clear skies during the pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions are still rising

Strict physical distancing restrictions have resulted in cleaner air, but atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. PeteLinforth/PixabayPhysical distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus has resulted in reports of reduced air pollution in some countries. However, this is not...

/ June 19, 2020
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COVID-19 shutdowns will give wildlife only short-term relief from climate change and other threats

Wildflowers proliferating in overgrown roadsides during the coronavirus pandemic are providing habitat for pollinators. (Shutterstock)There had to be a silver lining to the nearly universal lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the small benefits has been a temporarily lighter...

/ June 18, 2020
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How investing in green infrastructure can jump-start the post-coronavirus economy

Investing in natural assets like ponds can help prevent cities from flooding — and save municipalities money. (Shutterstock)COVID-19 has turned the world on its head. Many socio-economic benefits Canadians took for granted are now under threat, and the economic, infrastructure...

/ June 17, 2020
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How much do people around the world care about climate change? We surveyed 80,000 people in 40 countries to find out

ra2 studio / shutterstockNew survey results from 40 countries shows that climate change matters to most people. In the vast majority of countries, fewer than 3% said climate change was not serious at all. We carried out this research as...

/ June 16, 2020
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The number of climate deniers in Australia is more than double the global average, new survey finds

ShutterstockAustralian news consumers are far more likely to believe climate change is “not at all” serious compared to news users in other countries. That’s according to new research that surveyed 2,131 Australians about their news consumption in relation to climate...

/ June 15, 2020
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An El Niño hit this banana prawn fishery hard. Here’s what we can learn from their experience

Shutterstock Prawns are a staple of many Australian barbecues, and we’re fortunate to have wild-caught prawns from sustainably-managed fisheries that boast best management practice. You’ve probably heard of the tiger and white banana prawns caught in the Gulf of Carpentaria....

/ June 11, 2020