Daily Links Jan 8

Fish kills in the Murray Darling are yet another consequence of very poor landscape management. Why do we have such thirsty crops as cotton? How can we have a political system so beholden to large donors who get the best policy money can buy? What will the S A Royal Commission into the Murray Darling find? 

Post of the Day

For more livable cities, landscape architect says answer the call of the wild

With urbanization and sprawl ongoing concerns in Texas cities, the question of how to build in ecological resilience grows more pressing.


Today’s Celebration

Christmas Holiday – Moldova

Commonwealth Day – Northern Marianas

Jackson Day – United States of America

National Takai Day – Niue

The King’s Birthday (ELVIS) – United States of America

Poetry At Work Day

Earth’s Rotation Day

Show & Tell At Work Day

Joy Germ Day

More about Jan 8


Climate Change

A rift between Germany and Brazil stalls work on carbon market

Nations diverge on strength of oversight needed for what could become a global market for pollution allowances.


Hollywood Foreign Press Association awards $1 million grant to InsideClimate News

The grant provides ICN critical support for its investigative journalism, national reporting network and student journalism program.


Climate model uncertainties ripe to be squeezed

The latest climate models and observations offer unprecedented opportunities to reduce the remaining uncertainties in future climate change, according to a paper published in Nature Climate Change by a team of 29 international authors.


A century and half of reconstructed ocean warming offers clues for the future

Due to a scarcity of data, most global estimates of ocean warming start only in the 1950s. However, a team of scientists at the University of Oxford has now succeeded in reconstructing ocean temperature change from 1871 to 2017.


‘Flipped’ metal oxide cage can sort CO2 from CO

A Japanese research team led by Kanazawa University studied host-guest interactions in vanadate clusters. V12 is a spherical bowl that hosts small molecules in its interior. The team created empty (guest-free) V12 for the first time. One of the 12 units of VO5 was found to flip inwards to fill the void vacated by the guest. Empty V12 could absorb CO2 but rejected CO, offering a way to separate these molecules for CO2 capture.


Future Wildfires and Flooding: Estimates of Increased Likelihood across the United States

Will climate change increase the likelihood of wildfires and inland flooding across the United States? If so, how many people might be affected?


Are we clear about climate change?

Bill Fletcher Jr.

In the last two months we have had two devastating hurricanes along with two devastating reports regarding climate change.


‘A thermometer is not liberal or conservative’

Katharine Hayhoe

The award-winning atmospheric scientist on the urgency of the climate crisis and why people are her biggest hope.



Energy and MPs in GetUp’s sights [$]

GetUp says its support for a revised nat­ional energy guarantee under a Labor government should not be taken for granted.



Firies keep battling persistent Vic blaze

Residents near a bushfire in Victoria’s Gippsland have been urged to remain vigilant as firefighting efforts stretch into a fifth day.


WorkSafe seizes control of toxic dump sites, takes over clean up

WorkSafe has seized control of eight toxic dump sites in the city’s north and will now spearhead the clean-up operation amid fresh public safety concerns.


Plans for Apollo Bay luxury resort stopped over ‘size and scale’

A controversial proposal to build a $70 million five-star hotel near one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, the Great Ocean Road, is rejected by the State Government.


New South Wales

Hundreds of thousands of native fish dead in second Murray-Darling incident

An estimated 10,000 were killed just weeks ago, and locals fear native stocks could be all but wiped out this time


‘Nature bites back’: Algal blooms trigger mass fish deaths in western NSW

The NSW government is investigating the cause and extent of ‘shocking’ algal bloom events in the state’s far west that may have killed a million or more fish.



SEQ’s bluebottle invasion set to continue

South-east Queensland’s bluebottle invasion shows no immediate sign of letting up, with Surf Life Saving Queensland urging beach-goers to take caution as they hit the water over the next few days.


South Australia

SA blackout inconvenience payments slashed, faulty light incentives remain

South Australian households are set to lose $100 “inconvenience” payments for extended blackouts, but financial incentives for people who call in faulty street lights will still be on offer.


A ruling from South Australia’s Essential Service Commission is expected to help keep a lid on power prices.

A ruling on reliability standards for South Australia’s electricity network will help keep a lid on power prices, the state’s peak welfare agency says.


Scrap fire at Port Adelaide recycling plant

MFS crews work to extinguish a fire at the One Steel scrap and recycling plant in Port Adelaide. Picture: 7 News A large fire burning in piles of scrap metal in Port Adelaide is sending smoke drifting over the surrounding suburbs.


Is your house in a bushfire hotspot? [$]

Bushfire season is intensifying, yet many buildings are being planned using out-of-date maps. See the map of all fires in the past two years and what the CFS says is at risk.


Sprinklers help spare ancient Tasmanian vegetation from large blaze

A fire in Tasmania’s wilderness world heritage area burning out of control for more than a week grows to a massive 20,000 hectares, but sprinklers being trialled to protect ancient vegetation are hailed a success.


Tas wilderness fire may burn for weeks

The Tasmania Fire Service says an uncontained bushfire in the state’s southwest wilderness could keep burning for weeks.


Northern Territory

Market-loving city’s ban on single-use plastics hasn’t quite gone to plan

Not much appeared to have changed at one of Darwin’s most popular markets at the weekend, despite a council ban on single-use plastic items coming into effect.


Western Australia

Watch-act alert for WA bushfire lifted

A bushfire is no longer considered a threat to lives in the Western Australian town of Esperance.


Energy from waste: Suez joins new WA plant

Many more such plants will be needed to put a dent in the growing waste crisis precipitated by China’s decision a year ago to place strict limits on imports of recycled waste.



More coal plants have closed under Trump than in Obama’s last term

Thanks largely to free-market forces, more coal-fired power plants have been deactivated in Trump’s first two years in office then in Obama’s entire first term.


For more livable cities, landscape architect says answer the call of the wild

With urbanization and sprawl ongoing concerns in Texas cities, the question of how to build in ecological resilience grows more pressing.


The Green New Deal, explained

An insurgent movement is pushing Democrats to back an ambitious climate change solution.


Why people reject city trees

Study explains why thousands of Detroit residents rejected city’s tree planting efforts


Seawater turns into freshwater through solar energy: A new low-cost technology

Engineers have developed an innovative, low-cost technology to turn seawater into drinking water, thanks to the use of solar energy alone.


Americans are happier in states that spend more on libraries, parks and highways

Americans are happier in states where governments spend more on public goods, among them libraries, parks, highways, natural resources and police protection, a Baylor University study has found.


Anti-pollution effort pays off along Yangtze

Zhang Liangcai used to be a fisherman on Taihu Lake in the 1990s, but now he works as a lake cleaner since the city government of Wuxi, Jiangsu province, started to restore the lake’s ecology in 2002.


Green catalysts with Earth-abundant metals accelerate production of bio-based plastic

How crystalline structure can affect the performance of MnO2 catalysts


More nuclear waste could come to New Mexico

In the final days of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, the state Environment Department approved a controversial change to how federal officials measure the amount of nuclear waste buried some 2,000 feet underground in Southern New Mexico salt beds.


Oil is at the mercy of financial markets

Nicholas Cunningham

In December, Saudi Arabia slashed oil exports by roughly 500,000 bpd, according to Bloomberg.


Private-public sector co-operation can tackle major challenges

Jim Chalmers

A decade ago, a solar and battery system that relies on machine learning to make intelligent decisions to optimise energy use in people’s homes might have seemed like something straight out of science fiction. But, as unlikely as it might have seemed, the mass-scale fusion of renewable energy and smart software is now a reality.


Nature Conservation

An elephant charges to protect its calf and is shot with rubber bullets

In a region where 6,000 elephants live among 30 million people, encounters like this are claiming dozens of lives a year. Now radical solutions are needed to restore the herds’ ancient migration corridors.


Climate refugia: finding safe havens for vulnerable species

As existing habitats become inhospitable, scientists are working to identify and protect stable areas where vulnerable species might thrive.


Study: Number of monarch butterflies in California declined by 86 percent in one year

The march toward extinction appears to be nearing an end for monarch butterflies in California, whose numbers have declined precipitously over the last two decades.


Insect biological control shields tropical forests

An international team of scientists, involving entomologists, conservation biologists, agro-ecologists and geographers, has just revealed how on-farm biological control can slow the pace of tropical deforestation and avert biodiversity loss on a macro-scale. The case study concerns biological control of the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus manihoti with the introduced host-specific parasitic wasp Anagyrus lopezi in Southeast Asia.



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