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- Thu Jul 9, 2020 - Why more great white sharks are showing up in Atlantic Canada
Climate change, a supply of seals to eat and effective conservation in the United States are all possible explanations for the apparent increase in great white sharks in Atlantic Canada, according to a newly published paper in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
The peer-reviewed report, led by authors from the University of Windsor in Ontario, speculates on why more of the apex (top-of-the-food-chain) predators are being seen in the summer months, especially off Nova Scotia.
One hypothesis is that the great white shark's range has shifted, bringing them into an area where they were rarely seen in the past.
\'A northward range expansion could be related to multiple factors, including warming Canadian waters due to climate change, population recovery and/or increased regional prey abundance,\' the authors state.
Or maybe they've been here all along and we didn't notice.
\'A large, highly mobile, predatory shark may have been historically abundant in Canad
- Thu Jul 9, 2020 - It's been an awful week for the fossil-fuel industry
It's been a truly awful few days for the fossil-fuel industry, which is another way of saying that it's been an unexpectedly good few days for planet Earth: a trio of sweeping and unlikely victories have demonstrated the depth of great organizing and the increasing weakness of the industry's hold on our political system.
First, on Sunday, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy---enormous Southeast utilities---announced that they were scrapping plans for the Atlantic Coast natural-gas pipeline, despite having invested $3.4 billion in the project. They'd actually won a big Supreme Court ruling just weeks earlier, giving them the right to lay the pipeline beneath the Appalachian Trail---but that, executives from the two companies said in a joint statement, wasn't going to be enough. \'This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States. Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisf
- Thu Jul 9, 2020 - The plan meant to unite Biden and Bernie voters on climate is finally here
Once upon a time, many moons ago --- i.e., back in April --- Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders agreed to exit the race and join forces with his mortal frenemy Joe Biden to help the former vice president take the White House. The two announced they were putting together a series of joint \'unity\' task forces with experts from each of their camps to shape the Democratic platform, including a task force on climate change.
After a few months of weekly Zoom meetings and conference calls, the task forces sent their final recommendations to the Democratic National Committee for its consideration on Wednesday.
On climate change, the two candidates and their supporters had some serious divides to bridge. Over the course of nine months of primary debates, Biden touted his plan to build 500,000 electric vehicle chargers and put his faith in American exceptionalism while Sanders bashed fossil fuel executives and promoted the Green New Deal. To try to find a middle groun
- Thu Jul 9, 2020 - Is this the end of oil and gas pipelines?
They are among the nation's most significant infrastructure projects: More than 9,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines in the United States are currently being built or expanded, and another 12,500 miles have been approved or announced --- together, almost enough to circle the Earth.
Now, however, pipeline projects like these are being challenged as never before as protests spread, economics shift, environmentalists mount increasingly sophisticated legal attacks and more states seek to reduce their use of fossil fuels to address climate change.
On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil route from North Dakota to Illinois that has triggered intense protests from Native American groups, must shut down pending a new environmental review. That same day, the Supreme Court rejected a request by the Trump administration to allow construction of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would carry crude from Canada to Nebraska and has faced challenges
- Wed Jul 8, 2020 - Arctic shipments to Asia grow as LNG carriers shuttle to eastern markets
Shipments on the Northern Sea Route continues to increase despite of pandemic and world economic meltdown. In the first half of 2020, goods volumes on the Russian Arctic shipping route amounted to 14,5 million tons.
That is an increase of 1,1 percent compared with the same period in 2019, the federal sea and river agency Rosmorrechflot informs on its Instagram page.
LNG shipments from Sabetta constitute a lion's share of the goods, and since May a significant goods volume has been shipped also eastwards to Asian markets.
On the 19th May, tanker \'Christophe de Margerie\' set out from Sabetta and on the 9th June arrived in Chinese port of Jiangsu.
It was the earliest east-bound shipment on the route ever for this kind of vessel.
The \'Christophe de Margerie\' was followed by the \'Vladimir Voronin\', another natural gas carrier that sailed across parts of the route without icebreaker escorts.
In late June, also the \'Georgiy Ushakov\' and \'Vladimir R
- Wed Jul 8, 2020 - On knowing the winged whale
In the middle of Johnstone Strait, close to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a calm June day has dialed up a plate-flat sea. But that won't last long.
\'Humpback,\' says Jackie Hildering from the cockpit of her runabout, Fluke. She turns her head to a distant sound and a vertical cloud rising off the water.
There it is. Or he, or she; gender indeterminate. Hildering, a humpback whale researcher, angles the boat toward the humpback and throttles the engine way back. She's just close enough to try---with a telephoto lens---to identify this individual by its unique tail flukes. Humpbacks are fairly slow swimmers, but this one's moving quickly enough to make her job hard. A mobbing is going down. A half-dozen or so Pacific white-sided dolphins are swarming the whale Hildering will later identify from photographs as an adult named Squall.
The dolphins juke around Squall's head and flanks. Why are they messing with the whale?
\'Dolphins can be mystical and com
- Wed Jul 8, 2020 - Brazil prosecutors target minister over Amazon destruction
Brazilian prosecutors on Monday called for the dismissal of the country's environment minister, alleging \'countless initiatives that violate the duty to protect the environment.\'
At the heart of the allegations is that Ricardo Salles, 45, played a fundamental role in increasing deforestation in the Amazon by removing measures designed to protect the rainforest.
The charge sheet also includes \'administrative dishonesty,\' in promoting interests unrelated to his role in government, echoing suggestions from other sectors that claim Salles supported the legalization of mining activities in protected areas.
Read more: As coronavirus and deforestation soar in Brazil, groups take Bolsonaro to court
The minister oversaw a 25% reduction in environmental funding, as well as the freezing of an international financial package to combat deforestation. This in turn \'directly contributed\' to an upsurge in the permanent removal of trees, according to a statement by 12 public prosecutors.
- Wed Jul 8, 2020 - Even if we start to fix climate change, the proof may not show up for 30 years
The young climate activists clamoring today for rapid cuts to the world's fossil fuel emissions could be well into their 30s or 40s before the impact of those changes becomes apparent, scientists said in a study published Tuesday.
As if curbing climate change wasn't tough enough already, the new research finds that even if humans sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions now --- cutting carbon dioxide, methane and other pollutants by at least 5 percent or more a year --- it could still take decades before it's clear those actions are beginning to slow the rate of the Earth's warming.
In short, because of the massive amount of fossil fuels burned since the Industrial Revolution, and the complexity of the Earth's climate, there's no quick payoff from changing our fossil fuel habits, researchers found.
The results lend added perspective to the relatively minor drop in emissions that occurred due to worldwide shutdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic --- a drop that appears
- Tue Jul 7, 2020 - It's go time for Canada's green recovery
The shock to Canada's economy by the coronavirus arrived at a critical moment for the planet. The next six months, warns the International Energy Agency, will be pivotal to avoiding nightmare outcomes on climate change.
Will the Trudeau government, as it pours billions into a recovery plan still taking shape, shift one of the world's most emissions-intensive societies towards a greener economy? Climate advocates say that question should be top of mind for Canadians, and they say time is running out for a hopeful answer.
Since late April, the federal government had been asking for advice on how to recover from a lockdown that's caused millions of job losses while potentially knocking 12 per cent off the country's GDP. But as a June 19 deadline for public submissions approached, activist groups like 350 Canada argued that \'most of the submissions are coming from fossil fuel companies, banks and corporations who only care about protecting their bottom line.\'
350 urged its support
- Tue Jul 7, 2020 - The next energy battle: Renewables vs. natural gas
Dominion Energy, one of the nation's largest utilities, in late June erected wind turbines off the Virginia coast --- only the second such installation in the United States --- as part of a big bet on renewable energy.
The company is also planning to build new power plants that burn natural gas.
Utilities around the country are promoting their growing use of renewable energy like hydroelectric dams, wind turbines and solar panels, which collectively provided more power than coal-fired power plants for the first time last year. But even as they add more green sources of power, the industry remains deeply dependent on natural gas, a fossil fuel that emits greenhouse gases and is likely to remain a cornerstone of the electric grid for years or even decades.
Utilities maintain that they need to keep using natural gas because the wind and the sun are too unreliable. They are also reluctant to invest in energy storage, arguing that it would cost too much to buy batteries that can po