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Words are not enough

Words are not enough | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The political inertia that characterizes the world’s response to global warming cannot continue. Politicians and policy-makers must follow the climate’s lead — and change.

The past week saw a number of pronouncements on the subject of climate change. Not surprising given that, in Doha, the United Nations was wrapping up the latest round of its annual political negotiations on a global agreement to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. But the words, and the bundle of small practical actions, that emerged from the meeting had a familiar ring.

“There has been, yet again, a very big mismatch between the scale and urgency of action required to effectively manage the huge risks of climate change, and the political will and ambition that has been displayed,” said Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
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UK dormice might be about to go extinct

UK dormice might be about to go extinct | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The number of dormice in the UK – described as one of the country’s “most endearing woodland mammals” – has fallen by more than 70 per cent in just two decades and they are now at risk of extinction, researchers have warned. The hazel dormouse, the only kind native to Britain, is a protected species and efforts are already underway to boost its numbers. However a survey of 26,000 nest boxes in 400 forests found that its population fell by 72 per cent between 1993 and 2014.
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How do you put a price on trucks’ impact on society?

How do you put a price on trucks’ impact on society? | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Hauliers claim that trucks are overpaying in taxes and charges compared to their impact on the environment and society. But the reality is that road transport is now Europe’s biggest climate problem, writes Samuel Kenny.
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Noise pollution is drowning out nature even in protected areas – study

Noise pollution is drowning out nature even in protected areas – study | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The sounds of the natural world are being overwhelmed by the blare of human activity, even in protected wildlife areas, new research has revealed.


The racket is not only harming people’s enjoyment of natural havens, which are known to have significant benefits for both physical and mental health, but it is also affecting wildlife, with animals less able to escape predators and birds less able to find mates.


Scientists used over one million hours of sound recordings from 492 locations in protected areas in the US to calculate that in about two-thirds of places, the noise pollution from human activities was double the background sound levels. A fifth of the protected areas suffered human noise levels that were 10 times background levels, the researchers found.

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Full tilt: giant offshore wind farm opens in North Sea

Full tilt: giant offshore wind farm opens in North Sea | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Dutch officials have opened what is being billed as one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, with 150 turbines spinning far out in the North Sea.


Over the next 15 years the Gemini windpark, which lies some 85km (53 miles) off the northern coast of the Netherlands, will meet the energy needs of about 1.5 million people.

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Most sea salt contains microplastics, study finds

Most sea salt contains microplastics, study finds | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Salt samples from 8 different countries revealed the presence of plastic contaminants from ocean pollution.


... Once plastic's short use for our needs is complete, we allow ourselves to let 13 million metric tons of the stuff find its way into the oceans each year. According to a 2014 study, there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the sea, 92 percent of which are microplastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in size.

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Every penguin, ranked: which species are we most at risk of losing? | BirdLife

Every penguin, ranked: which species are we most at risk of losing? | BirdLife | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Over the course of their existence, these remarkable birds have evolved numerous incredible adaptions that allow them to thrive in some of the world's most challenging marine environments. They can drink seawater, survive in temperatures as low -60°C (-76°F), and they are amazingly agile swimmers. Many can swim faster than we can run.


But they are also under threat. While the penguins are heavily adapted for their environments, it has taken them millions of years to evolve these features, and human impact is hitting the penguins' environments too hard and too fast for them to cope. This is why over half of the world's penguins are now in real danger of going extinct.

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Daily chart: The decline of Arctic sea ice | The Economist

Daily chart: The decline of Arctic sea ice | The Economist | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
OVER the past three decades the area of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen by more than half and its volume has plummeted by three-quarters. So says a report “Snow, Water, Ice, Permafrost in the Arctic” (SWIPA), produced under the auspices of the Arctic Council, a scientific-policy club for the eight countries with territory in the Arctic Circle, as well as observers including China and India.
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We are wasting the beautiful world we have been given

We are wasting the beautiful world we have been given | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
... now it is time to look around at the countryside and wilderness we are so lucky to have – often just an hour away – and start making changes to ensure it will not soon disappear. It has been a long time since anyone wrote poems like Wordsworth, but his words are still there for us to read. They are a reminder to us that sticking up for Nature is surely a moral duty. After all, if we do not clean up our messes, who will?
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Moth-eaten: Plastic-eating caterpillars could save the planet | The Economist

Moth-eaten: Plastic-eating caterpillars could save the planet | The Economist | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
MOST scientific research follows a logical progression, with one experiment following up on the findings of another. Every now and then, however, serendipity plays a part. Such is the case with a paper just published in Current Biology, which reveals to the world a moth that is capable of chewing up plastic.
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How to save the world’s most trafficked mammal

How to save the world’s most trafficked mammal | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
Many people in the West have never even heard of the pangolin, yet this “scaly anteater” is the source of a billion-dollar criminal industry that threatens to push it to extinction. BBC Future met a team of Hong Kong’s ecologists and activists trying to save these creatures from extinction.
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World is home to '60,000 tree species' - BBC News

World is home to '60,000 tree species' - BBC News | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

There are 60,065 species of trees in the world, according to a comprehensive study of the world's plants.


Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) compiled the tree list by using data gathered from its network of 500 member organisations.


It hopes the list will be used as a tool to identify rare and threatened species in need of immediate action to prevent them becoming extinct.

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Wildlife crime 'threatens nearly half the world's heritage sites' - BBC News

Wildlife crime 'threatens nearly half the world's heritage sites' - BBC News | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
"WWF looked at the threats to species that are already protected under the Convention on the International Trades in Endangered Species (Cites). The authors found that these threatened animals and plants are poached or illegally harvested in 45% of natural World Heritage sites."
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Another side to food waste - Sustainable Food Trust

Another side to food waste - Sustainable Food Trust | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
The food waste debate has gone mainstream. People at every level from individual consumers to national governments are beginning to pay attention to the issues which lead to a third of food produced for human consumption being wasted every year. However, there is one side to the story that is often overlooked: the impact of food waste in the Global South.
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Dans la mer Noire, une collection de produits toxiques

Dans la mer Noire, une collection de produits toxiques | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Pas moins de 145 substances polluantes ont été détectées dans un seul échantillon d’eau de mer.


Elle n’a jamais aussi bien porté son nom. Enclavée entre l’Europe, le Caucase et la Turquie, accueillant les eaux usées de seize pays d’Europe centrale et orientale, la mer Noire est l’une des plus polluées du monde.


Elle compterait deux fois plus de déchets plastiques que n’importe quelle autre mer en Europe, selon une étude publiée en mai 2017 par l’Environmental Monitoring of the Black Sea (surveillance environnementale du bassin de la mer Noire, Emblas), un programme financé par l’Union européenne et le Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD).

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Denmark gets its first wild wolf pack in 200 years

Denmark gets its first wild wolf pack in 200 years | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
A wolf pack is roaming wild in Denmark for the first time in more than 200 years after a young female wolf journeyed 500km from Germany.

Male wolves have been seen in Denmark since 2012 and the new female could produce cubs this spring in farmland in west Jutland after two wolves were filmed together last autumn.

It is further evidence that the wolf is returning to well-peopled landscapes after centuries of persecution, with wolf packs also re-establishing themselves in France and Germany and individuals sighted in Holland and even Luxembourg. Before the new population, Denmark’s last wolf was killed in 1813.
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
A Sumatran tiger, an alligator and a humpback whale are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world
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US Glacier national park losing its glaciers with just 26 of 150 left

US Glacier national park losing its glaciers with just 26 of 150 left | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Warming temperatures have rapidly reduced the size of 39 named glaciers in Montana since 1966, according to comparisons released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Portland State University. Some have lost as much as 85% of their expanse over the past 50 years, with Glacier national park, site of 37 of the surveyed glaciers, set to lose all of its eponymous ice formations within the next few decades. Of the 150 glaciers that existed in the park in the late 19th century, only 26 remain.

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'Shocking' levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu - BBC News

'Shocking' levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu - BBC News | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

The animal, called Lulu, was found dead on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland last year after becoming entangled in fishing lines. But tests now reveal her body contained among the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, ever recorded. The chemicals were banned from the 1970s but are still in the environment.

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it
A hellbender salamander, a red kite in flight and a hawksbill turtle are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world
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The Death of the Frog | Vision

The Death of the Frog | Vision | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

In the 1990s researchers in Spain, Australia and Central America discovered that amphibians in rainforests and mountain lakes were dying in increasingly large numbers. The killer, it turned out, was chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the hitherto unknown fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has since been found around the world.


Biologists were stumped and wondered whether something so sudden and so widespread could be the result of human action. It turns out that they were right, providing further proof that we’re truly living in the Anthropocene.

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Climate change: The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone | The Economist

Climate change: The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone | The Economist | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

THOSE who doubt the power of human beings to change Earth’s climate should look to the Arctic, and shiver. There is no need to pore over records of temperatures and atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations. The process is starkly visible in the shrinkage of the ice that covers the Arctic ocean. In the past 30 years, the minimum coverage of summer ice has fallen by half; its volume has fallen by three-quarters. On current trends, the Arctic ocean will be largely ice-free in summer by 2040.

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Road verges 'last refuge' for plants - conservation charity - BBC News

Road verges 'last refuge' for plants - conservation charity - BBC News | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

Roadside verges are becoming the last refuge for some of the the rarest wild flowers and plants in the UK, according to a conservation charity.


Plantlife is calling for better management of grassy verges to preserve a wealth of different flowering plants. It says road margins are a haven for wild plants that have been lost from the countryside.

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Wind Power Overtakes Coal For The First Time Ever In The UK

Wind Power Overtakes Coal For The First Time Ever In The UK | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

For the first time ever, wind farms in the UK are now providing more energy than burning coal, and not just by a fraction either.

... In fact, coal-fuelled production plummeted to only 9.2% in 2016, down a huge 13.4% from 22.6% in 2015. And let’s not forget that in 2014, a huge 30% of Britain’s energy was still sourced from coal.

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The couple who coaxed 300 acres of barren farmland back into lush forest

The couple who coaxed 300 acres of barren farmland back into lush forest | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

"After 25 years of collecting land farmers no longer wanted, the husband and wife now play host to elephants, monkeys and creatures of all stripes. While in all too many places on the planet we’re bearing witness to distressing levels of habitat destruction, it’s beyond heartening to know that in a very special spot in India, the scene is happening in reverse."

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The enormous threat to America’s last grasslands

The enormous threat to America’s last grasslands | The Glory of the Garden | Scoop.it

North Dakota has seen significant losses of its CRP acres — a program where the federal government leases tracts of privately owned farmland to be repurposed into conservation acres, thus trying to create incentives for preserving ecosystems. Not only does single-crop agriculture bring in more money than CRP during market booms, but the last Farm Bill also capped the number of CRP acres at 24 million acres nationwide.


“Losing CRP or lowering the cap will reduce the amount of habitat for grassland birds or other species,” said Larry Igl, an ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, N.D. “It’s the equivalent to removing grass from the landscape.”

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