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Friday August 28th 2015

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

U.S. crude up 6 percent in second day of short-covering frenzy

An oil well is seen near DenverBy Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. crude jumped 6 percent on Friday as a rally in gasoline prices and air raids in Yemen prompted traders to scramble for a second day to cover short positions, while market players also kept an eye on a storm that appeared to be approaching the oil-rich U.S. Gulf. U.S. crude has gained about 16 percent over two sessions, headed for its first weekly rise since mid-June. "A severely oversold and shorted oil market is creating a bid for covering in U.S. crude," said Chris Jarvis, analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Frederick, Maryland.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 4:21 pm

Exclusive – Arab OPEC producers brace for oil-price weakness for rest of 2015

OPEC logo is pictured at its headquarters in ViennaBy Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – A second oil price rout of 2015 has forced Arab OPEC members to cut their price expectations for this year, showing they are prepared to tolerate cheaper crude for longer to defend market share and curb rivals' output. OPEC delegates, including those from core Gulf OPEC countries, see economic troubles in top energy consumer China as short term and unlikely to have much impact on demand for crude which will rise seasonally in the fourth quarter. The comments further indicate that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is sticking to its policy of defending market share rather than cutting production to shore up prices – regardless of how low they would fall and how long it would take to balance the market.     "It will be better to leave the market to correct itself.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 12:59 pm

Scientists Send Kombucha to Space in Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Scientists Send Kombucha to Space in Search for Extraterrestrial LifeKombucha, a fizzy, fermented tea and trendy new favorite of hipsters and health nuts everywhere, has reached stellar heights as part of an experiment on the International Space Station. Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) have placed the same bacteria and yeasts used to make Kombucha tea on the outside of the orbiting laboratory to see how the organisms fare in the unprotected environment of space. The Kombucha experiment is one in a series of "Expose" studies run by ESA to find out if multicellular biofilms — a community of microorganisms that can stick together on a surface — can survive  in the unshielded environment above Earth's atmosphere.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 11:05 am

U.S., China stress positives ahead of Xi trip

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice shakes hands with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in BeijingChina and the United States stressed the positives in their complex relationship on Friday during meetings between U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Chinese officials ahead of a U.S. visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping next month. While the world's two largest economies have important mutual interests, like trying to rein in North Korea's nuclear programme, deep disagreements exist over everything from Internet security to China's claims in the South China Sea. "We have seen our bilateral relationship evolve and strengthen in recent months. And we have found areas of broadened and deepened cooperation that we are certainly looking forward to building upon," Rice told China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 7:57 am

Factbox – For commodity trading advisors, oil’s downtrend has been a friend

The nearly two-month-long slide in oil prices to 6-1/2 year-lows has been a boon to many so-called systematic funds, which trade based on technical signals or computer algorithms rather than fundamentals. While most market commentary has focussed on the persistent glut in the global market caused by unrelenting OPEC output and surprisingly resilient U.S. shale production, these commodity trading advisors (CTAs) have ridden the downtrend to robust returns. It is too early to say how most of them fared on Thursday, as oil prices surged by more than 10 percent in the biggest one-day gain since the financial crisis.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 4:03 am

ExxonMobil, BHP to spend 188 million pounds to replace Australian pipeline

A promotional sign adorns a stage at a BHP Billiton function in central SydneyExxonMobil Corp and BHP Billiton have agreed to spend about A$400 million (188 million pounds) to replace a pipeline that transports crude oil and condensate between two of their sites in Australia's Victoria state, ExxonMobil said on Friday. The project comes at a time when Australia is counting on infrastructure investment to help offset a bust in mining and energy projects. ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton , 50-50 joint venture partners in the Gippsland Basin, will be replacing a 187 km (116 mile) pipeline, with construction expected to generate around 500 jobs at its peak.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 12:56 am

Oil soars over 10 percent, biggest gain in six years as shorts scramble

An oil well is seen near DenverBy Barani Krishnan and Jonathan Leff NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil rocketed more than 10 percent higher on Thursday, posting its biggest one-day rally in over six years as recovering equity markets and news of diminished crude supplies set off a short-covering scramble by bearish traders. Front month Brent crude for October more than reversed a week's worth of losses, rising $4.42 to settle at $47.56 a barrel, marking a 10.25 percent rise.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 8:34 pm

Venezuela pushing OPEC members for emergency meeting with Russia – WSJ

OPEC logo is pictured at its headquarters in Vienna(Reuters) – Venezuela has been contacting other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), pushing for an emergency meeting with Russia to come up with a plan to stop the global oil price rout, the Wall Street Journal reported. Qatar's oil minister Mohammed al-Sada, who is the president of the OPEC conference, is among those Venezuela has contacted, the Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. "If Venezuela or others like Algeria can get Russia to commit to an action then we could have a reason to meet, but at the moment there is nothing that warrants an action," the Journal quoted a Gulf OPEC official as saying.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:30 pm

Oil services firms beat expectations, tough times loom

By Karolin Schaps and Abhiram Nandakumar LONDON/BANGALORE (Reuters) – Oil and gas service companies have fared better than expected in the first half of the year despite a weak market, thanks to deep-pocketed Middle Eastern customers and stringent cost cuts. Norway’s Seadrill , which expects to make $500 million of cash savings this year, and Britain’s Hunting beat analysts’ expectations, as did rivals such as Technip , Subsea 7 or Wood Group . Many oil services companies – which do everything from surveying to drilling wells – relied on business in the Middle East to counter balance a drop in activity in costly areas such as the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 2:35 pm

Iran to offer South Pars oil project at London conference

Iran will offer a project to extract oil from its South Pars gas field, the world’s largest, along with three other gas fields at a conference in London later this year, an Iranian official was cited as saying by Iran’s Press TV on Thursday. Development of the South Pars oil layer will be offered to foreign investors at the conference where Iran is due to unveil its new contract model, Ali Akbar Shabanpour, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) said, according to Press TV.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 1:30 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.

Animal pictures of the week: 28 August 2015

All creatures great and small in our ever popular animal gallery

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 1:37 pm

Hurricane Katrina anniversary: New Orleans ten years after storm, in pictures

In pics: Photographer returns to New Orleans 10 years after storm

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 10:45 am

Mapped: The countries that will face the biggest water shortages by 2040

Water shortages are likely to become increasingly common as the world faces climate change and an increasing population – but which countries will be hit hardest?

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 9:50 am

Pictures of the day: 28 August 2015

Friendly felines, a muddy elephant and a man enjoys a sand bath

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 9:35 am

Thailand to return 14 orangutans to Indonesia, in pictures

In pics: Thailand to return 14 endangered apes back to Indonesia

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 12:49 pm

Pictures of the day: 27 August 2015

Racing sausage dogs, a sleepy lynx kitten and some gold plated teeth

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 11:39 am

The 2015 ZSL London Zoo annual weigh-in, in pictures

In pics: More than 17,000 animals have their vital statistics recorded

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 6:16 am

Pictures of the day: 26 August 2015

Playful bears, jumping for gold and Vladimir Putin artwork

Posted on 26 August 2015 | 1:52 pm

Pictures of the day: 25 August 2015

An extreme ballerina, kite surfing, and a baby rhino

Posted on 25 August 2015 | 7:02 am

Animal silhouettes from around the world, in pictures

Majestic animals captured in silhouette in their natural habitats

Posted on 24 August 2015 | 10:13 am

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

Future climate models greatly affected by fungi and bacteria

Researchers have shown that our understanding of how organic material is decomposed by fungi and bacteria is fundamentally wrong. This means that climate models that include microorganisms to estimate future climate change must be reconsidered.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 12:14 pm

Air pollution linked to children’s low academic achievement

A new study on children’s health has found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 1:56 am

Fishermen discards could increase prevalence of turtle disease in Turks and Caicos

The team surveyed cases of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease, which creates unsightly pink tumors on the turtles’ flesh. Although benign, they can impede turtles’ vision and movement, as well as feeding, swimming and organ function. The virus is not thought to be dangerous to humans. Over two years, around 13 percent of green turtles found in waters had the disease. In contrast, fishermen did not land any diseased turtles during this period, even though they were fishing in areas where diseased animals were prevalent.

Posted on 28 August 2015 | 1:56 am

Songbird habitat affects reproduction, survival

A professor who studies birds around the world has discovered trends in how the offspring grow, how parents care for the young and how well the young survive based on where they live.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:44 pm

Humans may be harmed by endocrine disrupting chemicals released during natural gas mining

More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ to release natural gas from underground rock. Researchers have reviewed research on health effects associated with UOG operations and concluded these activities have potential for environmental release of a complex mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals that could potentially harm human development.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:44 pm

Way for eagles and wind turbines to coexist

Collisions with wind turbines kill about 100 golden eagles a year in some locations, but a new study that maps both potential wind-power sites and nesting patterns of the birds reveals sweet spots, where potential for wind power is greatest with a lower threat to nesting eagles.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:44 pm

Scientists warn leaders of dangers of thawing permafrost

WHRC scientists have counseled the State Department on policies that could control permafrost thaw, including reducing global carbon emissions from fossil fuel use and deforestation, and limiting emissions of ‘black carbon,’ sooty particles that darken snow and ice and hasten Arctic warming.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:44 pm

Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products

Researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs carbon dioxide, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:44 pm

To track winter flounder, researchers look to ear bones

Researchers are turning to an unusual source — otoliths, the inner ear bones of fish — to identify the nursery grounds of winter flounder, the protected estuaries where the potato chip-sized juveniles grow to adolescence. The research could aid the effort to restore plummeting winter flounder populations along the East Coast of the US.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 6:19 pm

Data backs limits on deep-sea fishing by depth

Researchers have evidence in support of a clearly defined depth limit for deep-sea fishing in Europe. The findings come just as the European Union considers controversial new legislation to manage deep-sea fisheries, including a ban on trawling below 600 meters.

Posted on 27 August 2015 | 5:01 pm