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Thursday August 21st 2014

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

Brazil’s Silva launches bid, threatens Rousseff re-election

File photo of former Senator Silva attending a plenary voting session of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in BrasiliaBy Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) – Environmentalist Marina Silva officially launched a bid for president on Wednesday, upending Brazil's October elections and threatening the ruling Workers' Party's 12-year hold on power. Silva, until now a vice-presidential candidate for the Brazilian Socialist Party, accepted its nomination to top the ticket after candidate Eduardo Campos, a former governor and rising political star, was killed in a plane crash last week. Viewed as an outsider with no links to traditional elites, Silva is a former environment minister whose ironclad environmental and religious beliefs prompt critics to call her inflexible but supporters to praise her as Brazil's most principled politician. Silva, a rubber tapper in her youth who was illiterate until adolescence, appeals mostly to young voters disgusted with Brazil's political establishment.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 11:36 pm

Our life with the Neanderthals was no brief affair

An exhibit shows the life of a neanderthal family in a cave in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern town of KrapinaBy Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) – Far from wiping out Neanderthals overnight, modern humans rubbed along with their shorter and stockier cousins for thousands of years, giving plenty of time for the two groups to share ideas – and have sex. The most accurate timeline yet for the demise of our closest relatives, published on Wednesday, shows Neanderthals overlapped with present-day humans in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years before disappearing about 40,000 years ago. Pinpointing how and when the Neanderthals became extinct has been tough because the mainstay process of radiocarbon dating is unreliable for samples that are more than 30,000 years old, due to contamination. The data showed that Neanderthals vanished from Europe between 39,000 and 41,000 years ago – but rather than being replaced rapidly by modern humans, their disappearance occurred at different times across sites from the Black Sea to the Atlantic.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 5:11 pm

BP hires head of U.S. shale unit before spin-off

Signage for a BP petrol station is pictured in LondonOil major BP has appointed a chief executive to look after its U.S. SandRidge Energy Inc's former Chief Operating Officer David Lawler will take on the Houston-based role on Sept. 15. Lower 48 Onshore – which includes unconventional resources of around 7.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent across 20,000 wells.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 4:39 pm

Hamas says fired rockets at off-shore Israeli gas well

The Palestinian militant group Hamas said it fired two rockets at an Israeli gas installation about 30 km (19 miles) off the coast of Gaza on Wednesday in the first apparent attack of its kind. The Israeli military said no missiles had struck any gas platforms at sea. The armed wing of Hamas, engaged in a six-week war with Israel, said on its website it had fired two rockets at Noa, a gas well owned by Noble Energy and Delek. Noa lies northwest of the Gaza Strip in Yam Tethys, a largely depleted gas field.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 3:15 pm

Tanker carrying Kurdish oil reappears unladen off Israel

By Julia Payne LONDON (Reuters) – A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan reappeared unladen on Aug. 19 about 30 kilometres off the coast of Israel, ship tracking data on Reuters showed. This is the second time the Kamari has appeared in the area in the last two weeks carrying Kurdish oil. The tanker Kamari was partly laden north of Egypt’s Sinai on Aug. 17, tracking showed, before it turned off its satellite transponder until early on Aug. 19. A spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Natural Resources did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on Wednesday.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 2:17 pm

UPDATE 1-Acting Libya oil minister to be replaced by NOC chairman

(Adds details, quotes, background) By Ahmed Elumami and Feras Bosalum BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Libya’s acting oil minister Omar Shakmak will resign and be replaced by the chairman of the state oil firm National Oil Corp (NOC), Mustafa Sanallah. Shakmak, a technocrat, told Reuters Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni had informed him he would be replaced. “I will abide by the decision because it is not a matter of job but it is Libya. We can serve Libya in different jobs,” he told Reuters by phone.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 1:01 pm

Tanker carrying Kurdish oil appears unladen off Israel

LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – A tanker carrying crude oil fromIraqi Kurdistan reappeared on Reuters AIS Live tanker trackingunladen on Aug. 19 about 30 kilometres off the coast of Israel. The tanker Kamari was partly laden north of Egypt’s Sinai onAug 17, tracking showed, before it turned off its satellitetransponder until early on Aug 19. The tanker loaded the Kurdish crude at the Turkish port ofCeyhan around Aug 8, and made a partial delivery to Croatia viaa ship-to-ship transfer last week. (Reporting by Julia Payne; editing by Jason Neely)

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 12:18 pm

China rejects Manila protest on ships, complains of detentions

China rejected Philippine complaints on Wednesday about Chinese survey vessels operating in a gas-rich area of Manila’s exclusive economic zone, and has lodged a separate complaint about the detention of Chinese workers, as tensions persist. Philippine President Benigno Aquino said over the weekend that two Chinese survey vessels had been sighted in part of the disputed South China Sea also claimed by the Philippines called Reed Bank. In a statement faxed to Reuters, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Reed Bank was Chinese territory. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in deposits of oil and gas resources.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 8:12 am

China presses South Sudan over renewed violence

China’s foreign minister pressed his South Sudan counterpart over renewed violence in the oil-rich state, demanding an immediate ceasefire and political dialogue in the country which is heavily reliant on Chinese investment. Government troops clashed with South Sudan rebels last week near the capital of Unity State, days after a U.N. Security Council delegation warned of sanctions if either side violated a ceasefire signed in May. China has played an unusually active diplomatic role in South Sudan and is the biggest investor in its key oil industry. “An immediate ceasefire is a precondition for a return to peace and stability in South Sudan,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told South Sudan Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin during a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 2:35 am

Libyan militia fire rockets into affluent Tripoli residential district

By Heba al-Shibani and Ahmed Elumami TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) – Libyan militiamen fired rockets into an affluent district of Tripoli early on Tuesday, moving a battle with a rival armed faction closer to the centre of the capital after fighters on one side came under air attack. Rebel groups who united to topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 have since turned their guns on each other, spreading anarchy in oil-producing Libya and raising fears it may become a failed state destabilising the wider North and West African region. An air force controlled by renegade General Khalifa Haftar were responsible for strikes on Islamist-leaning militia in Tripoli on Monday, one of his commanders said, after weeks of fighting for control of the capital and its airport.

Posted on 19 August 2014 | 8:46 pm

Green News – Environment and climate change news

Earth news from Telegraph Earth – your source for environment and green news and environment and green issues, with information on farming, climate change, global warming, pollution, green living and recycling, and all other environment issues.

Barn owls ‘threatened’ by new legislation

Barn owls, red kites and corncrakes could be killed as invasive species under the Infrastructure Bill, claim experts from the Zoological Society of London






Posted on 20 August 2014 | 5:00 pm

Pictures of the day: 20 August 2014

A cheeky cheetah, a baby gorilla and the world’s oldest man






Posted on 20 August 2014 | 2:12 pm

Great crested grebes by wildlife photographer Bertie Gregory

Bertie Gregory waits patiently to photograph beautiful water birds






Posted on 19 August 2014 | 2:55 pm

Lemon sharks hand-fed by diving tourists off Florida coast by John Chapa

John Chapa photographs divers hand-feeding lemon sharks






Posted on 19 August 2014 | 2:44 pm

Pictures of the day: 19 August 2014

A surfer rides a big wave, Randy the guinea pig and a running blue man






Posted on 19 August 2014 | 12:56 pm

Anti-fracking protesters target sites around the UK

Police searching for protesters over alleged “aggravated trespass” after occupation of fracking supporters’ offices in Blackpool






Posted on 18 August 2014 | 7:11 pm

Watch Victor the polar bear’s epic journey across Europe

Victor the polar bear has become the UK’s only captive polar bear after enduring a lengthy 350 mile journey from Holland

Posted on 18 August 2014 | 4:50 pm

Crowded Cornwall beach favoured by the Camerons is ‘disaster waiting to happen’

A health and safety lawyer believes the number of swimmers and surfers at David Cameron’s favourite Cornish beach should be limited to ensure everyone using the water is safe






Posted on 18 August 2014 | 2:40 pm

England’s only captive polar bear arrives

The only captive polar bear in England has arrived at a wildlife park which is set to become the largest in the world for the animal






Posted on 18 August 2014 | 12:30 pm

Pictures of the day: 18 August 2014

Big Ben gets a wash, a train derailment and Kim Jong-un






Posted on 18 August 2014 | 11:58 am

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

How the sun caused an aurora this week

On the evening of Aug. 20, 2014, the International Space Station was flying past North America when it flew over the dazzling, green blue lights of an aurora. On board, astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of the aurora, seen from above.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 10:17 pm

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA research shows Earth’s atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 9:35 pm

New satellite data will help farmers facing drought

NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite mission, scheduled to launch this winter, will collect the kind of local data agricultural and water managers worldwide need. SMAP uses two microwave instruments to monitor the top 2 inches (5 centimeters) of soil on Earth’s surface. Together, the instruments create soil moisture estimates with a resolution of about 6 miles (9 kilometers), mapping the entire globe every two or three days.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 9:25 pm

Water leads to chemical that gunks up biofuels production

Trying to understand the chemistry that turns plant material into the same energy-rich gasoline and diesel we put in our vehicles, researchers have discovered that water in the conversion process helps form an impurity which, in turn, slows down key chemical reactions.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 8:43 pm

Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans

Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins. New research shows that tuberculosis likely spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions that brought the disease to South America and transmitted it to Native people there before Europeans landed on the continent.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 6:00 pm

Life can persist in cold, dark world: Life under Antarctic ice explored

The first breakthrough article to come out of a massive U.S. expedition to one of Earth’s final frontiers shows that there’s life and an active ecosystem one-half mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, specifically in a lake that hasn’t seen sunlight or felt a breath of wind for millions of years. The life is in the form of microorganisms that live beneath the enormous Antarctic ice sheet and convert ammonium and methane into the energy required for growth.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 6:00 pm

The power of salt: Power generation from where river water and seawater meet

Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane. Through osmosis, water from the less-salty stream would cross the membrane to a pre-pressurized saltier side, creating a flow that can be sent through a turbine to recover power.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 3:05 pm

Turning waste from rice, parsley and other foods into biodegradable plastic

Your chairs, synthetic rugs and plastic bags could one day be made out of cocoa, rice and vegetable waste rather than petroleum, scientists are now reporting. The novel process they developed and their results could help the world deal with its agricultural and plastic waste problems.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 3:05 pm

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life

The sweet and salty aroma of sunscreen and seawater signals a relaxing trip to the shore. But scientists are now reporting that the idyllic beach vacation comes with an environmental hitch. When certain sunblock ingredients wash off skin and into the sea, they can become toxic to some of the ocean’s tiniest inhabitants, which are the main course for many other marine animals.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 3:05 pm

Record decline of ice sheets: Scientists map elevation changes of Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers

Researchers have for the first time extensively mapped Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice sheets with the help of the ESA satellite CryoSat-2 and have thus been able to prove that the ice crusts of both regions momentarily decline at an unprecedented rate. In total the ice sheets are losing around 500 cubic kilometers of ice per year.

Posted on 20 August 2014 | 3:05 pm