Daily Links May 17

The motive makes little difference, whether it is sentiment over the ‘pretty horses’ or spurious claims of ‘cultural heritage’. If feral horses aren’t culled, the Alps keep suffering. When data and the evidence-base gets ignored, the environment comes a poor second. You could apply this statement to so much of our poor environmental management.

Post of the Day

The end of plastic? New plant-based bottles will degrade in a year

Carlsberg and Coca-Cola back pioneering project to make ‘all-plant’ drinks bottles


On This Day

May 17


Ecological Observance

Pack Rat Day


Coronavirus Watch

Confirmed cases: 7,036. Deaths: 98


Tim Costello on COVID-19: A wake-up call for fathers, a reprieve for gamblers

In the ongoing search for a silver lining in the age of COVID-19, The New Daily sat down this week with the Reverend Tim Costello, social justice campaigner and National Living Treasure.


Australian scientists say a COVID-19 vaccine will be found, and sooner than we think

Why Australian scientists may have the solution to the coronavirus puzzle.


The costs of the shutdown are overestimated – they’re outweighed by its $1 trillion benefit

Richard Holden and Bruce Preston

A realistic estimate of the economic costs of a two-year lockdown amounts to $90 billion. The benefit in lives saved amounts to at $1.1 trillion.


Climate Change

Commercial airliners monitoring CO2 emissions from cities worldwide

Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from cities is important in order to support climate mitigation activities in response to the Paris Agreement. An international research team examined carbon dioxide (CO2) data collected over 34 global cities by Japan’s commercial airliners. Their study revealed a relationship between urban atmospheric CO2 signals and emissions from cities for the first time. The relationship suggests that global observations by commercial airlines could provide an opportunity for urban CO2 emissions monitoring.


Gauging water loss from northern peatlands, a likely accelerant of climate change

A team of 59 international scientists, including at McMaster University and the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, pooled their data and discovered boreal peatlands lose more water than do forests in response to drying air. This has important implications not only for projections of water availability in the boreal biome but for global carbon-climate feedbacks.


The revolt of the plants: The Arctic melts when plants stop breathing

Researchers have identifies a physiologic mechanism in vegetation as cause for Arctic warming.


Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

The proverbs related to environmental issues traditionally used by the local population in rural areas of Spain are currently considered imprecise and unreliable due to climate change impacts. This is the result of a study carried out by the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) that presents a novel way of using the local knowledge embodied in popular proverbs to explore climate change impacts at local scales.


Modern sea-level rise linked to human activities, Rutgers research reaffirms

New research by Rutgers scientists reaffirms that modern sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not to changes in Earth’s orbit. Surprisingly, the Earth had nearly ice-free conditions with carbon dioxide levels not much higher than today and had glacial periods in times previously believed to be ice-free over the last 66 million years, according to a paper published in the journal Science Advances.


New Zealand’s COVID-19 budget delivers on one crisis, but largely leaves climate change for another day

David Hall

This 2020 budget is not the pivot to a green rebuild many had hoped for. But its short-term focus on caring for people’s health leaves the door open to stronger climate action down the track.


For decades we’ve been all talk, no action on climate change. I want to know why

Richard Aedy

If we don’t make changes, climate change will make much of our planet uninhabitable. We’ve known this for decades but we’ve done very little. I want to know why



All the pretty horses and all the damage done

Victoria and NSW are now sharply divided about what should be done to control wild horse numbers in alpine regions.


New South Wales

Flowing river lifts mood in outback NSW as the pubs get ready to reopen

With water in the Lower Darling river for the first time in over 18 months and recent rainfall, an outback publican says “it’ll be exciting times” when restrictions are fully lifted.



Coronavirus: Canberra commute times fall as traffic volume decreases

The time needed to commute across Canberra during the morning peak at the height of coronavirus restrictions fell dramatically, with travel time on the Barton Highway dropping by 14 minutes in March.



How cycling and walking could change in Brisbane post-pandemic

With thousands of people turning to cycling and walking to get around Brisbane, how long will the change last – forever, or until “normal life” resumes?


South Australia

Ocean legends slam sanctuary fishing plan [$]

Two highly respected seafarers have joined a growing outcry against a state government plan to allow amateur and professional anglers to take more fish from SA’s marine sanctuaries.


Bush key to breaking SA’s concentration problem [$]

There are new calls to build up SA’s regional capitals to boost their communities and the state’s economy. But what do you build for a population that isn’t there yet?


‘It’s time for a poll on road tolls in SA’ [$]

Road tolls aren’t as unpopular as politicians think according to SA infrastructure bosses who says it’s time for the government to consider road deals with private corporations.



NSW Poison Information Centre says people shouldn’t eat wild mushrooms

Tasmanians are being warned not to eat wild mushrooms with incidents of people consuming wild mushrooms increasing dramatically this year.


Climate advocates on Tasmania draft renewables goals

Tasmania’s goal to double renewable energy production by 2040 is a move that has been welcomed by climate change advocates, although some wish the plan was more concrete.



‘A way to add an income’: COVID-19 makes tiny homes more popular than ever

Tiny homes are often seen as an alternative option for affordable housing but the industry is now being swamped by a new breed of enthusiasts looking for a second income or an isolated post-pandemic life.


Using big data to design gas separation membranes, reduce CO2

Researchers have developed a method that combines big data and machine learning to selectively design gas-filtering polymer membranes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their study is the first to apply an experimentally validated machine learning method to rapidly design and develop advanced gas separation membranes.


Iran brings in military to battle locusts threatening crops worth billions

The locust invasion, seen as the worst in decades, compounds problems facing Iran, already hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak at home and seeing its oil exports sink to a record low as the crisis sharpens the impact of US sanctions.


The end of plastic? New plant-based bottles will degrade in a year

Carlsberg and Coca-Cola back pioneering project to make ‘all-plant’ drinks bottles


How particulate matter arises from pollutant gases

International research project observes ultrafast particle growth through ammonia and nitric acid


Nature Conservation

Shrub Encroachment on Grasslands Can Increase Groundwater Recharge

A new study modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and reached a startling conclusion: Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage.


Ocean ‘breathability’ key to past, future habitat of West Coast marine species

Ocean breathability, which combines the oxygen levels, a species’ oxygen needs and the water temperature, matches the shifts in northern anchovy populations from the 1950s to today. Under climate change, this key forage fish may no longer be able to survive in the southern part of its range, off Mexico and southern California.



Maelor Himbury

6 Florence St Niddrie 3042



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