Daily Links Jan 22

The appeal of using flat coastal land for runways isn’t so great nowadays. And I’ve been told that there’s already been a runway extension in Brisbane because higher temperatures means that planes must move faster and hence further to provide the air pressure for lift-off that they need. With climate change, the effects don’t stop!


From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au>
Date: 22 January 2021 at 9:03:01 am AEDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links Jan 22

Post of the Day

Wetlands have saved Australia $27 billion in storm damage over the past five decades

Obadiah Mulder and Ida Kubiszewski

Australia is in the midst of tropical cyclone season. As we write, a cyclone is forming off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast, and earlier in the week Queenslanders were bracing for a cyclone in the state’s far north (which thankfully, didn’t hit).


On This Day

January 22


Climate Change

Climate change puts hundreds of coastal airports at risk of flooding

Newcastle University scientists have found that 269 airports are at risk of coastal flooding now. A temperature rise of 2C – consistent with the Paris Agreement – would lead to 100 airports being below mean sea level and 364 airports at risk of flooding. If global mean temperature rise exceeds this then as many as 572 airports will be at risk by 2100, leading to major disruptions without appropriate adaptation.


World’s largest lakes reveal climate change trends

Sixteen years of remote sensing data reveals that in Earth’s largest freshwater lakes, climate change influences carbon fixation trends.


Biden’s big climate plans face a big problem: conservative roadblocks from within

Ketan Joshi

Despite big wins for Democrats, the most conservative within the party have the power to hold back action. Just like Australia’s opposition.



‘More needs to be done’: Morrison’s gas deal fails to ignite manufacturers’ support

The federal government’s gas-fired recovery plan won’t deliver the cheaper gas manufacturers need to remain viable, industry warns, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison inks a new deal with liquefied natural gas exporters.


Scott Morrison rules out price control on gas [$]

Scott Morrison says achieving gas prices of $4 a gigajoule is a “great aspiration” but rejects the need for price controls in the sector, as former Dow Chemical chief executive Andrew Liveris warns new deals signed between the federal government and gas companies will do little to create local jobs.


It’s not too late to save them: 5 ways to improve the government’s plan to protect threatened wildlife

Euan Ritchie et al

Australia’s Threatened Species Strategy — a five-year plan for protecting our imperilled species and ecosystems — fizzled to an end last year. A new 10-year plan is being developed to take its place, likely from March.


Governments continue to ignore climate change as a cause of koala extinction

Sue Arnold

Bushfires caused by climate change had a significant impact on the survival of koalas while the Government continues to ignore warnings.


ScoMo’s Biden pivot will be on solid ground but against a change in the climate

Janine Perrett

Despite having sucked up to Donald Trump, Scott Morrison can expect Australia’s relationship with the US to remain (mostly) strong.


Confessions of a carbon emitter: Andrew Forrest on the promise of green hydrogen

Andrew Forrest

Green hydrogen gives Australia an opportunity to slash our emissions — and if we get this right, the impact could be nothing short of nation-building


Boosting gas supply at fair price [$]

Australian editorial

Major gas users, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission have warned for several years that most states, including the manufacturing hubs of NSW and Victoria, could suffer gas shortages on peak demand days in coming years.


Are we really going to let Scott Morrison cook the country?

Jenna Price

It was just about the first action the new President of the United States took – rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. And it was one quick way to signal exactly the path the Biden presidency will take on the biggest challenge of our times. Pandemics come and go, but climate change is a one-way ticket to a catastrophe no vaccine can help us avoid.


Wetlands have saved Australia $27 billion in storm damage over the past five decades

Obadiah Mulder and Ida Kubiszewski

Australia is in the midst of tropical cyclone season. As we write, a cyclone is forming off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast, and earlier in the week Queenslanders were bracing for a cyclone in the state’s far north (which thankfully, didn’t hit).



Why frogs sound different in Melbourne [$]

Melbourne’s worsening traffic isn’t just posing a problem for motorists — even frogs are being drowned out by the noise.


New South Wales

Tree planting program expanded as survey reveals impact of drought

Orange City Council is increasing the number of tree plantings in response to a recent survey that has revealed the impact of drought on the city’s street trees.


NSW fire crews on alert as scorching temperatures forecast

Four regions across southern NSW on high fire alert ahead of heatwave.


Forestry Corp facing massive revenue drop after record bushfire season

State-owned Forestry Corporation says last summer’s record bushfires scorched half of the native forest estate and a quarter of its softwood plantations, setting the agency on track for a sharp drop in revenue in coming years.



Solar, batteries and “EV revolution” targeted in ACT budget

The ACT government outlines a $307 million, five-year spend on new clean energy measures, including batteries, rooftop solar and electric vehicles.


The ACT will offer free rego and help finance your new car if you choose to go electric

Free registration for electric cars and interest-free loans of up to $15,000 are part of a suite of environmental policies to be funded in next month’s ACT Budget, with the goal of pushing Canberra towards a carbon-neutral future.


Canberra to measure the carbon cost of food, goods brought in to territory

The ACT will try to measure its indirect carbon emissions – such as those created in the production of food and goods used in Canberra – and set targets to reduce them.


Namadgi fire: Why Barr is wrong about Namadgi fire ‘witch hunt’

Dan Jervis-Bardy

When a fire scorches a third of your territory’s land mass, leaving a trail of environmental devastation in its blackened and sooty wake, you deserve answers.



Morrison government confirms $11m injection to fast-track CopperString 2.0

Federal government tips $11m in to CopperString 2.0 transmission network upgrade, that will open up new regions of northern Queensland for renewable energy investment.


Habitat Connections now a city-wide partnership

Suburban homeowners in the City of Logan are getting ready to roll out the welcome mat for local wildlife.


Coronado sees upside from China coal bans while South 32 kills off Eagle Downs

Coal producers who don’t sell to China have still been heavily hit by its coal bans, with prices in Australia falling by 27 per cent in December as the impact flowed through.


Men fined for lighting campfire that caused Fraser Island to burn for two months

Two men are fined for illegally lighting a campfire on Fraser Island (K’gari) which led to a major blaze that burnt through half of the World Heritage-listed island within two months.


Clive Palmer’s Queensland coal mine plan poses ‘significant risks’ to Great Barrier Reef

A committee of Commonwealth-appointed scientific experts has expressed “extreme concern” about businessman Clive Palmer’s proposed central Queensland coal mine, saying the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area just 10 kilometres away could not be safeguarded.


South Australia

Canadians pull plug on Strathalbyn energy storage project

The Canadian company behind a $30 million project to build Australia’s first compressed air renewable energy storage facility in a disused mine near Strathalbyn has abandoned its plans.



Game-changing “virtual storage” deal struck between Macquarie, Shell and Hydro Tas

A “virtual storage” contract between Hydro Tasmania and two buyers – Macquarie Group and Shell-owned ERM Power – heralds the arrival of game-changing digital energy market tools.


TasGas sign agreement with Woodside to explore hydrogen possibilities

The reality of hydrogen production in Tasmania has a face after the state government threw its support behind a pitch to produce 4.5 tonnes of hydrogen at a facility in Northern Tasmania’s own Bell Bay.


Tiny burrowing crayfish not seen in decades found alive and well in Tasmania

An extinct Tasmanian crayfish has been rediscovered on the West Coast near Queenstown.


Spring Bay Mill’s Sunflower Celebration 2021 returns to Triabunna on January 30

Spring Bay Mill’s Sunflower Celebration is back for its second year, with a lineup full of experiences and workshops centred around sustainable nature and wellbeing.


Another milestone in orange-bellied parrot conservation efforts

DPIPWE’s Orange-bellied Parrot Tasmanian Program has reached another milestone in the conservation of the critically endangered species.


Ragwort Raids in the Tamar Valley

The annual Ragwort Raid, run by Tamar NRM, is in its 22nd year, and aims to control the spread of the declared agricultural and environmental weed, ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris).


Northern Territory

As hydraulic fracturing gears up in the outback, scientists are monitoring potential earthquakes

The cause of tremors near fracking sites remains a mystery in Australia due to a lack of data. Now, as the Federal Government and gas companies target the NT’s Beetaloo Basin for fracking, scientists are preparing to answer some seismic questions.


NT has major role to play in nation’s critical minerals push: Resources Minister [$]

Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Keith Pitt says the Northern Territory’s mining and gas sectors will play a major role in creating new industry and thousands of new jobs in Australia.


Western Australia

Labor hopes lower fares will get Transperth back on the rails

Bus and train use has been hemorrhaging since the pandemic.

But transport experts say the plan for low fares is not a silver bullet to bring commuters back to rail.


‘Super majors’ in running for WA’s green hydrogen dream

Global energy groups have answered the State Government’s call to look over a plan to develop an export-based renewable hydrogen industry at Oakajee, north of Geraldton.


Chinese buyers back in talks for $16b Woodside LNG project

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman has declared momentum is returning for plans to green-light the $16 billion Scarborough gas field project in Western Australia as Chinese buyers resume talks, commodity prices recover and rival projects are shelved or abandoned.



Lessons from China: Can leasing accelerate the transition to EVs?

Moving from pilots to full electric deployments is not a trivial problem to solve, but US fleets don’t have to solve the problem alone. Shenzhen, China, is the first city in the world to electrify 100 percent of its taxis and municipal buses, and is rapidly electrifying its logistics fleets.


Almost all new US power plants built in 2021 will be carbon-free

Federal data reveals that natural gas will supply just 16 percent of new power plants this year as cheap wind and solar power take over the market.


Producing green hydrogen through the exposure of nanomaterials to sunlight

A research team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has joined forces with French researchers from the The Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES), a CNRS-University of Strasbourg joint research lab, to pave the way towards the production of green hydrogen.


New eco-friendly way to make ammonia could be boon for agriculture, hydrogen economy

Ammonia has sustained humanity since the early 20th century, but its production leaves a huge carbon footprint. Now researchers have found a way to make it 100 per cent renewable.


Amcor’s single-serve plastic bottles and flexible packaging reshape dairy industry

The evolution of the dairy segment and its packaging is here. Leading packaging suppliers like Amcor have the capabilities and expertise to shape, cultivate, and drive that change and deliver the milk bottle and flexible packaging of the future.


Abandoned cropland should produce biofuels

More biofuels are needed to counteract climate change. But producing them shouldn’t diminish food production or wilderness areas. The solution may be to grow more grass on recently abandoned cropland.


How clean money can fuel a green recovery

Most of us want to help create a more sustainable planet. Taking money away from harmful industries like fossil fuels is a powerful step towards a greener future.


New nuclear treaty will be ‘ineffective’: DFAT

Australia says a new United Nations nuclear treaty signed by more than 80 countries will be ineffective in eliminating nuclear weapons from the world.


‘Burned to death in front of us’: Hiroshima survivors outraged by Japan’s nuclear decision

Today, a new nuclear weapons treaty comes into force, but the US and Japan have both refused to sign it. For those who survived the bombing of Hiroshima, it’s a painful and baffling decision.


Methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells underestimated

Uncertainty about annual methane emissions from abandoned wells in US and Canada highlights need for better measurements


How to get more electric cars on the road

MIT researchers reveal the kinds of infrastructure improvements that would make the biggest difference in increasing the number of electric cars on the road, a key step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.


Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells

A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell. The required pressure is well within the reach of industrial manufacturing requirements.


An anode-free zinc battery that could someday store renewable energy

Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, could help decrease the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. But first, power companies need a safe, cost-effective way to store the energy for later use. Massive lithium-ion batteries can do the job, but they suffer from safety issues and limited lithium availability. Now, researchers have made a prototype of an anode-free, zinc-based battery that uses low-cost, naturally abundant materials.


China delivers a surprise 2020 renewable boom, but it may not last

Ketan Joshi

New data suggests a mind-boggling installation rate for wind power in China in 2020, but must be maintained for many more years to cut coal.


How long will coal remain king in India?

Julia Pyper

India isn’t ditching coal. But its use could plateau and even decline with the right blend of policies and technologies.


Crucial to sign up for a nuclear-free celebration

Kym Pfitzner

Today marks the day that the ban on nuclear weapons is enshrined in international law.


Nature Conservation

Indonesia has had 171 disasters this year. Environmentalists say it’s a ‘wake-up call’

While natural disasters are inevitable in Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, experts and environmentalists say the fatal fallout from floods is preventable if deforestation is discontinued.


California harbor porpoises rebound after coastal gillnetting stopped

Bycatch of protected marine mammals took greater toll than previously realized


The downward trend: Nature’s decline risks our quality of life

Scientists conducted a sweeping review of nature’s contributions to humans in order to present a clear breakdown of global trends since 1970. Not surprisingly, the results are grim


Indigenous lands: A haven for wildlife

Indigenous peoples’ lands may harbour a significant proportion of threatened and endangered species globally, according to University of Queensland-led research.


Climate-related species extinction possibly mitigated by newly discovered effect

Changes in climate that occur over short periods of time influence biodiversity. For a realistic assessment of these effects, it is necessary to also consider previous temperature trends going far back into Earth’s history.


Common pesticides stop bees and flies from getting a good night’s sleep

Researchers urge UK to keep EU ban on pesticide which has detrimental effect on pollinators

Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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