Australian cities are lagging behind in greening up their buildings

Green rooftops give a backyard feel to smaller housing units in Sydney, Author provided Covering roofs and walls of buildings with vegetation is a good way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And these green roofs and walls make cities look nicer. Toronto’s central business district adopted a policy of establishing green roofs on around half of all city buildings in 2009. Research...

Lowy Institute Poll shows Australians’ support for climate action at its highest level in a decade

The survey revealed 84% support for renewable energy among the Australian public. AAP Image/Lukas Coch The annual Lowy Institute Poll on Australian attitudes to the world and global issues for 2018 has been released. Among a series of interesting findings, one thing is clear: support for climate action and renewable energy continue to grow. In response to the survey’s questions on climate and energy,...

Bees get stressed at work too (and it might be causing colony collapse)

A new study shows foraging for pollen and nectar causes stress in bees. Ralf Hirschberger/AAP Images Ever been overworked, tired and felt muddle-headed? Research now shows honey bees suffer from the same thing – and we understand why. A honey bee’s life is hardly relaxing. Every day forager bees make many trips, travelling long distances, to gather vital resources of...

Mass slaughter of wedge-tailed eagles could have Australia-wide consequences

Wedge-tailed eagles have been found poisoned in East Gippsland. Simon Cherriman, Author provided (No reuse) Last week it was revealed that at least 136 wedge-tailed eagles have been intentionally poisoned in East Gippsland, with concerns that more are yet to be found. In the past five years I have used satellite tracking devices to research wedge-tailed eagles’ movements across Australia, and I’ve never encountered...

Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years. Time is running out for the frozen continent

As the world prevaricates over climate action, Antarctica’s future is shrouded in uncertainty. Hamish Pritchard/British Antarctic Survey Antarctica lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, according to a new analysis of satellite observations. In vulnerable West Antarctica, the annual rate of ice loss has tripled during that period, reaching 159 billion tonnes a year. Overall, enough ice...

Seaweed, Indonesia’s answer to the global plastic crisis

The most dangerous element from discarded plastic waste is microplastics. www.shutterstock.com The impacts of global plastic use have reached an alarming level. Based on the latest data, 9 billion tonnes of plastics have been produced since the 1950s, creating 7 billion tonnes of waste. Plastic waste not only damages the environment and threaten animal life but also harms human populations. One of the most dangerous elements...

Mountain ash has a regal presence: the tallest flowering plant in the world

Picture from the CSIRO via Wikipedia The Indigenous people of Victoria and Tasmania have long known of the giant trees to be found in some of the wetter and cooler forests of these parts of Australia. The first Europeans were amazed to see trees of such stature growing in what they regarded as a dry and hostile environment. The trees are...

Is your dog happy? Ten common misconceptions about dog behaviour

Yes Niles, but are you really happy? (main picture) Molly Glassey/Staff dog It is difficult to refer to what dogs, as a collective, like and dislike and how they behave. Just as humans do, dogs all have their own personalities and learned preferences and so can differ dramatically in how they approach life and what they take from it. In...

Winter is coming, and it’s looking mighty mild

Brrr! It’s cold in here! Alpha/Flickr, After an exceptionally warm and dry autumn, it’s time to look ahead to see what’s in store for winter. The Bureau of Meteorology’s climate outlooks for winter, issued yesterday, shows above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall are likely across southern Australia. While some of us will relish the prospect of a mild winter, the dry...

Plain sailing: how traditional methods could deliver zero-emission shipping

The Avontuur recently completed a sail-powered transatlantic cargo voyage. Timbercoast On May 10, the 43.5-metre schooner Avontuur arrived in the port of Hamburg. This traditional sailing vessel, built in 1920, transported some 70 tonnes of coffee, cacao and rum across the Atlantic. The shipping company Timbercoast, which owns and operates Avontuur, says it aims to prove that sailing ships can offer an environmentally...

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