Daily Links Feb 27

Teachers know that adolescents will test and test to find the boundaries they must work within, and if those boundaries aren’t set and held, they’ll just keep testing. Is Putin stuck in adolescence? He, and every other world leader, needed their science teachers to set the boundaries for behaviour and learning  so they might have understood the existential threat that is climate change.

Post of the Day

Noise pollution is becoming a public health menace

Noise can have a major impact on people’s well-being, according to the new Frontiers Report published in the United Nations Environment Program.

 

On This Day

February 27

 

Ecological Observance

International Polar Bear Day

World NGO Day

 

Climate Change

African countries spending billions to cope with climate crisis

Report says average 4% of GDP will be spent on adapting to climate breakdown, risking deeper poverty

 

As climate catastrophe nears, Russia focuses on futile war

George Grundy

Internecine wars while the climate threatens to collapse around us is the height of folly.

 

National

Russian invasion drives up energy costs, and Australians won’t be immune from the fallout

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts a rocket underneath already high global energy costs, Australian households and businesses could be hit by a bump in the costs of heating, cooking, power and transport.

 

Farmers urged to save carbon credits for themselves

Farmers thinking their soil will be the new frontier of the carbon economy should think again according to one of Australia’s leading agricultural scientists.

 

Humpback whales removed from Australia’s threatened species list but feeding grounds still at risk

Sussan Ley says number of humpback whales in Australian waters has grown from 1,500 at height of the commercial whaling industry to estimated 40,000

 

1 in 5 fossil fuel projects overshoot their original estimations for emissions. Why are there such significant errors?

Samantha Hepburn

When estimating the amount of greenhouse gases a project – such as a new mine or power station – would release, it’s important to be as accurate as possible. This is not only because of the impact an approved project will have on the climate, but because the data are used to determine Australia’s national emission targets.

 

Victoria

Backlash over ‘unforgivable’ duck shooting call [$]

Wildlife advocates are furious at this year’s extended duck shooting season, while a Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP says one “strange” rule will anger shooters.

 

Feds blast Andrews govt over roads ‘disgrace’ [$]

A federal minister has hit out at the Andrews government saying he is “deeply disturbed by the complete lack of action” in upgrading two dangerous Victorian roads.

 

New South Wales

Threatened bilbies and bandicoots flourish far away from cats and foxes

Feral-free enclosures set among the rolling sand dunes and green sea of scrubs in far north-west NSW let bandicoots and bilbies roam without fear of introduced predators.

 

Mammoth Snowy Hydro power setback revealed [$]

Electricity from Snowy 2.0 could be wasted for up to a decade because critical pieces of its infrastructure may be built years after the project comes online.

 

Revealed: How Sydney’s ‘Garden Shire’ has transformed [$]

Once a green region, The Hills is now more than ever an urbanised centre. Aerial photographs reveal the massive developments that are changing the face of the Garden Shire.

 

ACT

Parking apps and the need for a COVID-safe commuting environment has people heading back to the car

In the wake of COVID outbreaks, lockdowns and widespread disruption, the future of office work as we once knew it is now the subject of robust debate here, and in cities and towns across the world.

 

Push on to grow local food systems in Canberra

For Ainslie Urban Farm owner Fiona Buining, growing and harvesting local produce has long been part of her life.

 

ACT government to release new planning act for consultation

The ACT’s proposed new planning act is expected to be revealed imminently, with a new bill being considered by the territory government’s cabinet.

 

Queensland

Once destined for landfill, these dresses are now turning heads — thanks to upcycling seamstress Wendy

There isn’t a dated wedding dress or bland blouse Wendy Mylrea can’t transform into something fabulous. The seamstress is all about upcycling: either rescuing clothes from landfill or turning customers’ tired frocks into something new and eye-catching.

 

Humans are the winners in battle of bull ants and echidnas

UQ researchers have found bull ants have venom that makes echidnas hypersensitive to pain, giving a clue about how to manage chronic pain in humans.

 

Explained: Why at-capacity Wivenhoe Dam not a threat [$]

Releases from Wivenhoe a decade ago were blamed for contributing greatly to the flooding that inundated Brisbane and other parts of the South East in 2011. This is what is different this time around.

 

Land handed back to Traditional Owners in Far North Queensland

After years of negotiations, Traditional Owners in Cape York will now be able to enjoy the cultural and economic benefits of their ancestral lands.

 

South Australia

SA Liberals push to turn quarry and River Torrens into ‘oasis’ as poll shows Labor ahead

Premier Steven Marshall promises a 350-hectare “water oasis” in Adelaide’s north-east and a rejuvenation of the River Torrens if he is re-elected, a task made more difficult by a poll showing Labor ahead by six points leading into the state election.

 

Plastic still sucks! Deafening call to ban even more [$]

More than 95 per cent of people who gave their opinions on the state’s single-use plastics ban say the disposable cutlery crackdown hasn’t gone far enough.

 

Tasmania

City of Launceston reaches single-use plastic free goal

The City of Launceston have announced the implementation of its single-use plastics policy as a significant success.

 

Clean Up Australia Day 2022 to tackle Covid litter

This Clean Up Australia Day, participants will be asked to take up an extra challenge and help inform Australia’s scientific community.

 

Northern Territory

‘Historic’ deal to help NT Traditional Owners latch on to business at sea

The Northern Land Council has reached a major milestone in the historic Blue Mud Bay settlement with incorporation of the Aboriginal Sea Company last Friday.

 

Western Australia

Thermal-imaging drones are changing the conservation game for one of our rarest wallabies

Walking up and down rocky outcrops can be gruelling work for rangers protecting one of Australia’s rarest and most secretive wallabies, but drones are giving access to some of their best hiding spots.

 

No tolerance for rock art impact as World Heritage bid progresses: Murujuga boss

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation has played down reports it sought a stake in Woodside’s Scarborough Gas project while confirming nomination of Murujuga National Park’s rock art for World Heritage listing is on track.

 

Sustainability

Noise pollution is becoming a public health menace

Noise can have a major impact on people’s well-being, according to the new Frontiers Report published in the United Nations Environment Program.

 

When China banished cryptocurrencies, ‘mining’ them got dirtier

Bitcoin mining may be responsible for about 65 megatons of carbon dioxide a year, comparable with the emissions of Greece.

 

A new, inexpensive catalyst speeds the production of oxygen from water

The material could replace rare metals and lead to more economical production of carbon-neutral fuels

 

Nanocarrier spray: Better crops without genetic modification

Researchers have developed a way to improve crop quality without needing to create special genetically modified plants. The new technique relies on a spray that introduces bioactive molecules into plant cells through their leaves and could be used to help crops resist pests or become more resistant to drought — in less time and at less cost than genetically modifying crops.

 

Farms following soil-friendly practices grow healthier food, study suggests

An experiment conducted on 10 farms across the U.S. suggests that crops from farms following soil-friendly practices for at least five years have a healthier nutritional profile than the same crops grown on neighboring, conventional farms. Researchers believe soil microbes and fungi boost certain beneficial minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in the crops.

 

Interaction with lung cells transforms asbestos particles

To better understand what happens once asbestos enters a human body, researchers took a nanoscale look at the mineral

 

Feeling connected to nature linked to lower risk of snake and spider phobias

A study of over a thousand people in Hungary has found for the first time that people who feel more connected to nature are less likely to be affected by snake and spider fears or phobias.

 

Fossil fuel companies are trying to exploit this war for their gain. We can’t let them

Jamie Henn

Without fossil fuel, and Europe’s dependence on it, Putin wouldn’t have so much power. We need clean energy now, but big oil has other plans

 

Nature Conservation

Machine learning helps to identify climatic thresholds that shape the distribution of natural vegetation

A new study explores large-scale relationships between vegetation and climatic characteristics using machine learning. The findings highlight the importance of climatic extremes in shaping the distribution of several major vegetation types.

 

Swiss rivers on track to overheat by the end of the century

According to a new study, if we take immediate measures to reduce CO2 emissions, we could limit the rise in the temperature of Swiss rivers to 1°C between now and 2090 without drastically affecting their discharge.

 

Earth’s coldest forests are shifting northward with climate change

New research shows rising temperatures are causing Earth’s coldest forests to shift northward, raising concerns about biodiversity, an increased risk of wildfires and mounting impacts of climate change on northern communities.

 

Ultrasounds for abalone

The world’s abalone are threatened, endangered or otherwise vulnerable in nearly every corner of the planet. If only we could wave a magic wand to know when abalone are ready to reproduce, without even touching them. Scientists from the University of California, Davis, found that wand — although it isn’t magic, and it only looks like a wand.



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