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Sunday July 24th 2016

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

ASEAN deadlocked on South China Sea after Cambodia blocks statement

Still image from United States Navy video purportedly shows Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly IslandsBy Manuel Mogato and Simon Webb VIENTIANE (Reuters) – Southeast Asian nations failed to find common ground on maritime disputes in the South China Sea on Sunday after Cambodia stuck to its demand the group make no reference to an international court ruling against Beijing in a statement, diplomats said. Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met for the first time since the U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague handed an emphatic legal victory to the Philippines in the maritime dispute earlier this month. The ruling denied China's sweeping claims in the strategic seaway, through which more than $5 trillion (3.81 trillion pound) in global trade passes each year.

Posted on 24 July 2016 | 11:32 am

Oil dives four percent on the week on U.S. rigs rise, glut threat

An abandoned oil platform is seen near tourists at Organos beach in Piura, PeruBy Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices settled lower on Friday, losing 4 percent on the week, after the fourth weekly rise in the U.S. oil rig count added to worries about a global crude glut. Crude futures were already down, with Brent at two-month lows, on fears of more Iraqi supply before a report by energy services firm Baker Hughes showed U.S. oil drillers added 14 rigs this week to bring the total rig count to 371.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 7:11 pm

Powered by Google, UN flexes tech muscle to fight climate change

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaBy Magdalena Mis ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – New Google-powered software will help the world tackle problems related to climate change, deforestation and food production, a United Nations agency said on Friday, as it presented its revamped online platform. Open Foris, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) software, uses high-resolution satellite images to monitor the environment and changes in land use and forest cover. "We make maps that used to take three years in a week," Erik Lindquist, forestry officer at FAO, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 5:22 pm

Powered by Google, U.N. flexes tech muscle to fight climate change

By Magdalena Mis ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – New Google-powered software will help the world tackle problems related to climate change, deforestation and food production, a United Nations agency said on Friday, as it presented its revamped online platform. Open Foris, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) software, uses high-resolution satellite images to monitor the environment and changes in land use and forest cover. “We make maps that used to take three years in a week,” Erik Lindquist, forestry officer at FAO, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 4:56 pm

Food for Thought: Americans Just Can’t Stop Throwing Out Food

Food waste is piling up in America, and although the vast majority of Americans feel bad about throwing out food, most of us also think it would be hard to reduce the amount of food we throw away, a new survey finds. The survey of 500 people in the U.S. found that 77 percent of respondents said they felt guilty about throwing away food. In addition to being a waste of resources, throwing away food has a negative impact on the environment, according to the study, published today (July 21) in the journal PLOS ONE.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 3:11 pm

Exclusive – Top Obama aide to take call for South China Sea calm to Beijing

Still image from United States Navy video purportedly shows Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly IslandsBy Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice will urge Beijing next week to avoid escalation in the South China Sea when she makes the highest-level U.S. visit to China since an international court rejected its sweeping claims to the strategic waterway. Beijing has angrily rejected the verdict and pledged to pursue claims that conflict with those of several smaller neighbors.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 10:07 am

Nippon Steel, Sumitomo renew contract to supply line pipes to BP

Storm clouds form near a BP station in Alexandria, VirginiaJapan's biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and trading firm Sumitomo Corp have renewed their contract with Britain's BP to supply line pipes. The new contract is effective for five years from July 1, with an option to extend the contract for another five years, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Corp said on Friday. A plunge in global oil prices since mid-2014 has forced a number of oil and gas companies to scale back capital spending plans, hurting companies like Nippon Steel that saw orders for its seamless pipes, including line pipes, falling about 30 percent in the financial year ended March.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 8:01 am

Philippines’ oil still in troubled waters after South China Sea ruling

Workers deliver LPG tanks to a retailer in ManilaBy Enrico Dela Cruz MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines, eager to resume development of vital oil and gas reserves off its coast, will likely need to reach an accord with a Chinese government infuriated by last week's ruling that granted Manila a big victory in the South China Sea. The Philippines relies overwhelmingly on imports to fuel its fast-growing economy. Beijing has refused to recognise the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that granted the Philippines sovereign rights to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, a shallow tablemount some 85 nautical miles off its coast.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 7:37 am

Papua New Guinea PM survives no-confidence vote but strikes remain

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill makes an address to the Lowy Institute in SydneyBy Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill survived a no-confidence vote on Friday, EMTV reported, an outcome unlikely to end upheaval in a country developing lucrative projects with energy majors ExxonMobil Corp and French giant Total SA. The Supreme Court last week ordered parliament to reconvene, for the first time since June protests between students and police boiled over into violent clashes, for the express purpose of allowing the opposition to lodge a no-confidence motion against O'Neill. Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil moved the motion at the opening of the session on Friday, detailing numerous accusations of corruption against O'Neill since he took office in 2010. Australia's Oil Search Ltd on Thursday cleared the way for ExxonMobil to take over InterOil Corp for $2.2 billion, giving the U.S. giant access to a rich new gas field to expand its exports from Papua New Guinea.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 4:41 am

Oil down 2 percent as record U.S. stockpiles heighten glut worry

Oil and gas tankers are anchored off the Marseille harbourBy Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell 2 percent on Thursday, as the market took a closer look at U.S. government data that showed growing inventories of gasoline and other oil products pushed total petroleum supplies in the No. 1 oil consumer to record highs. In the previous session, Brent and U.S. crude futures rose by up to 1 percent after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories dropped 2.3 million barrels last week, versus forecasts for a 2.1 million-barrel decline. Also, total U.S. crude and oil product stocks rose 2.62 million barrels to an all-time high of 2.08 billion barrels as gasoline stocks posted a surprise build of 911,000 barrels during summer driving season.

Posted on 21 July 2016 | 6:55 pm

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

Why do consumers participate in ‘green’ programs?

From recycling to reusing hotel towels, consumers who participate in a company’s ‘green’ program are more satisfied with its service, finds a new study.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 3:22 pm

U. S. land capacity for feeding people could expand with dietary changes

A new “food-print” model that measures the per-person land requirements of different diets suggests that, with dietary changes, the U.S. could feed significantly more people from existing agricultural land.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 2:45 pm

Scientists release recommendations for building land in coastal Louisiana

A team of leading scientists and community experts with decades of experience released key recommendations to maintain and build land in coastal Louisiana. Their recommendations focus on operating Mississippi River sediment diversions and consider the needs of communities, wildlife and fisheries.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 2:43 pm

Pathogenic bacteria hitchhiking on tiny plastic particles to North and Baltic Seas?

With increasing water temperatures comes an increasing likelihood of potentially pathogenic bacteria appearing in the North and Baltic Seas. Scientists have now demonstrated that a group of such bacteria known as vibrios can survive on microplastic particles.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 2:41 pm

A ‘smart dress’ for oil-degrading bacteria

The modified polyelectrolyte-magnetite nanocoating was applied to functionalize the cell walls of oil decomposing bacteria Alcanivorax borkumensis.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 2:41 pm

Can’t see the wood for the climbers: Vines threatening tropical forests

Woody climbing vines, known as lianas, are preventing tropical forests from recovering and are hampering the ability of forests to store carbon, scientists are warning. Instead of taking decades to recover, tropical forests are at risk of taking hundreds of years to re-grow because of lianas, which spread rapidly following extensive tree-felling.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 1:32 pm

Collective hum: Buzzing midges inspire new swarm theory

A team of researchers based in Israel and the US has found a mathematical resemblance between swarm dynamics and gravitational interactions. The study could provide a big leap forward in understanding the mass movement of flying insects.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 1:09 am

Historical records miss a fifth of global warming: NASA

A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming than predictions from climate models.

Posted on 21 July 2016 | 8:42 pm

Trees’ surprising role in the boreal water cycle quantified

This is the first study to show that deciduous tree water uptake of snowmelt water represents a large but overlooked aspect of the water balance in boreal watersheds. For the boreal forest of Alaska and Western Canada, this equates to about 17-20 billion cubic meters of water per year. That is roughly equivalent to 8-10 percent of the Yukon River’s annual discharge.

Posted on 21 July 2016 | 7:15 pm

Researchers reveal cost-effective path to drought resiliency

California needs to better prepare for droughts. A new study highlights the costs, benefits and obstacles of a possible solution — managed aquifer recharge.

Posted on 21 July 2016 | 7:12 pm