Daily Links May 26

The dusty rainfall records that reveal a new understanding of the long-term climate may be quite significant, but at least as significant is what they tell us about the scientific process. The science of climate change is always under review, which is not to say that what we know now can be discarded, for that is a misunderstanding of how science works. Pay heed, Bolter and fellow travellers. 

Top Post
‘Deforestation-free’ palm oil not as simple as it sounds
Genuinely ‘deforestation-free’ palm oil products are problematic to guarantee, according to a new study.

Today’s Celebration
Independence Day – Georgia, Guyana
Mother’s Day – Poland
Prince Fredrik’s Birthday – Denmark
Dracula Day – https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/dracula-day/
Paper Airplane Day – https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/paper-airplane-day/
Sorry Day – http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/sorry-day-stolen-generations
National Reconciliation Week – http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/what-is-nrw/
More about May 26 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_26

Climate Change
Dusty rainfall records reveal new understanding of Earth’s long-term climate
Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists’ understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth’s long-term climate. Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world’s climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods. The new work turns Milankovitch in its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth’s tropical and subtropical regions.

Wasps bred as biological warfare agents
Australian scientists are working to breed a strike force of introduced wasps to unleash on another pest.

How EVs will fast-track Australia’s shift to 100% renewables
Ten million electric vehicles in Australia will provide enough storage to power the country for a day – helping fast-track the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Frydenberg again delays giving protection to threatened woodlands
Minister accused of letting political lobbying interfere with listing a year after recommendation by independent committee

Spark lashes out at gouging claim [$]
Spark Infrastructure has lashed out at Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s ‘unwarranted’ allegations of gouging.

Snowy gum graveyard: Earth alert [$]
Scientists fear the dieback of gums in the Cooma-Monaro region and Tasmania may signal a climate-driven, worldwide disaster.

Are feral donkeys in Australia a pest to be culled or a profit to be captured?
Wild donkeys are known as environmental pests in Australia, causing erosion and damaging vegetation, but there is growing interest in turning that pest into a profit.

Australia unplugged: why we’re still lagging behind on electric cars
For Brigid Niall and her daughter Queenie it was quite a road trip. People kept looking, pointing and asking about their “futuristic” car.

Can the rooftop solar boom keep going?
Tristan Edis
One-third through 2018 and we’ve chalked up 100MW+ new rooftop solar every single month. But how long can the solar boom last?

Could ‘Uber for buses’ be the solution to Melbourne’s transport woes?
Where buses provide direct, frequent and quick connections to jobs or services, people use them in droves.

New South Wales
Our role in the death of a river
Elizabeth Farrelly
We feel the temptation of universal cheap goods as a right, but the environment pays the cost.

How the Great Barrier Reef won over corporate Australia
Great Barrier Reef Foundation chairman and businessman John Schubert always considered himself an environmentalist, but it was only when he snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef for the first time in 2003 that he was truly won over by one of the natural wonders of the world.

Who is the group awarded $443m to save the reef? [$]
Andrew Stafford
The largest government grant for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef has been awarded, without tender, to a tiny foundation with no details on why.

What will it take to stop Adani?
Margaret Gleeson
While the proposed Carmichael mine in central Queensland is often deemed “a stranded asset”, as Adani has not succeeded in securing finance for the $16.5 billion project, it will not just walk away.

Adani’s desperate bid to sell Carmichael coal to Vietnam
Bob Burton
Adani’s attendance at a Hanoi “energy roundtable,” facilitated by the Australian government, signifies the desperate challenge it faces getting Carmichael coal project off the ground.

South Australia
Powering up the state with energetic plan [$]
Advertiser editorial
The audacious scale of Whyalla steelworks’ saviour Sanjeev Gupta’s ambition to develop vast amounts of renewable energy poses a challenge to the state’s collective mindset.

Tasmania’s biggest solar farm wins council approval
Tasmania is one step closer to building what will be the Apple Isle’s largest solar farm, after the Latrobe Council gave the green light to a 12.5MW project proposed for the state’s north west.

TasWater completes $5 million upgrade of Conglomerate Dam
A $5 million upgrade of Conglomerate Dam has been completed as TasWater continues to address legacy issues at the hundreds of dams it operates across the state.

Missing link faces more delays [$]
Tasmanians are being reassured the state’s energy supply is secure despite another repair delay for the power connection to the mainland.

Western Australia
ClearVue solar glass developer closes $5m IPO
Perth-based building-integrated solar PV company has debuted on the ASX after successful $A5m initial public offering.

Synergy accused of abusing market power on solar
The electricity provider has been accused of poaching applicants who want to purchase solar panels off private installers.

How greener grids can stay lit
Without careful management, distributed energy resources have the potential to cause unreliable power delivery, or even outages, and lead utility companies to overcharge customers. A new index will help ISOs and utilities account for uncertainties introduced by both the electricity market and DERs so utility companies can balance the distribution grid and find the fairest customer rates.

Fukushima radioactive particle release was significant says new research
Scientists say there was a significant release of radioactive particles during the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident. The researchers identified the contamination using a new method and say if the particles are inhaled they could pose long-term health risks to humans.

Wood to supercapacitors
Carbon aerogels are ultralight, conductive materials, which are extensively investigated for applications in supercapacitor electrodes in electrical cars and cell phones. Chinese scientists have now found a way to make these electrodes sustainably.

Top Nitrogen Researchers Imagine World Beyond Fossil Fuels
At the invitation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, 17 top experts in nitrogen research gathered to discuss nitrogen activation chemistry and the field’s …

Nature Conservation
‘Deforestation-free’ palm oil not as simple as it sounds
Genuinely ‘deforestation-free’ palm oil products are problematic to guarantee, according to a new study.

Some like it hot!
Ecologists have no doubt that climate change will affect the earth’s animals and plants. But how exactly? This is often hard to predict. There are already indications that some species are shifting their distribution range. But it is much less clear how individual animals and populations are responding to the changes. Scientists at the UFZ have been studying nocturnal desert geckos to see how they are adapting to climatic changes.

New study highlights opportunity to restore abundance to Hawaiian reef fisheries
A recently published study, led by researchers at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, identified areas in the Hawaiian Islands that would provide the greatest increase in coastal fishery stocks, if effectively managed.

Imminent extinction of northern white rhinoceros motivates genetic recovery efforts
Earlier this year, the last remaining male northern white rhinoceros (NWR) died in captivity, nearly cementing the fate of this subspecies for extinction. In the wild, continuing threats of poaching, habitat destruction, and small population size have contributed to the rhinos’ status as critically endangered. Yet, novel conservation efforts that make use of cryopreserved genetic material could save the NWR, and other threatened species, from extinction.

Better together: How ecosystem services and adaptive decision-making can improve land management
An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the US Geological Survey and Resources for the Future.

Maelor Himbury