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Saturday October 25th 2014

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

Islamic State keeps up Syrian oil flow despite U.S-led strikes

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) – Islamic State is still extracting and selling oil in Syria and has adapted its trading techniques despite a month of strikes by U.S.-led forces aimed at cutting off this major source of income for the group, residents, oil executives and traders say. This has limited the effectiveness of the campaign and means the militants are able to profit from crude sales of up to $2 million a day, according to oil workers in Syria, former oil executives and energy experts. “They are in fact still selling the oil and even stepping up exploitation of new wells by tribal allies and taking advantage of the inability of the enemy to hit the oil fields,” said Abdullah al-Jadaan, a tribal elder in Shuhail, a town in Syria’s oil-producing Deir al-Zor province. On Thursday the United States threatened to impose sanctions on anyone buying oil from Islamic State militants in an effort to disrupt what it said was a $1-million-a-day funding source.

Posted on 25 October 2014 | 12:51 am

Spain defends Canaries oil drilling plan

People protest against oil and gas exploration by Spanish group REPSOL off the coast of the Canary Islands, on the Spanish Canary island of Gran Canaria on August 23, 2014Spain on Friday launched a legal challenge to defend plans to explore for oil and gas off the Canary Islands, a popular tourist destination.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 6:38 pm

Frustration at UN climate talks despite EU deal

The EU has agreed to cut its emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levelsA European deal on curbing carbon emissions yielded a rare concrete input Friday to UN climate talks, but did little to ease frustration among negotiators demanding progress on a global pact in Bonn.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 4:18 pm

Swimming Mammoths Beat Humans to California

Swimming Mammoths Beat Humans to CaliforniaA fossil tusk rescued from the sea proves mammoths swam to Southern California's Channel Islands much earlier than thought. The new fossil is one of two recently discovered tusks that challenge the idea that climate change killed off the Channel Islands' pygmy mammoths, said Daniel Muhs, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, who described the find Sunday (Oct. 19) here at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting. "This new find suggests they had to have lived during a period even warmer than the present," Muhs told Live Science.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 11:38 am

China’s top diplomat to visit Vietnam again amid sea dispute

Chinese coastguard ships give chase to Vietnamese coastguard vessels after they came within 10 nautical miles of the Haiyang Shiyou 981, known in Vietnam as HD-981, oil rig in the South China SeaChina's top diplomat will visit Vietnam next week, China said on Friday, five months after he last visited during a period of tension over a Chinese oil drilling rig working in part of the South China Sea both countries claim. State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister, will arrive in Vietnam on Monday for meetings with Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, China's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 8:37 am

EU strikes compromise to set new climate target

Finland's PM Stubb, Netherlands' PM Rutte, Germany's Chancellor Merkel and Lithuania's President Grybauskaite attend an EU leaders summit in BrusselsBy Barbara Lewis and Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders struck a deal on a new target to cut carbon emissions out to 2030, calling it a new global standard but leaving critics warning that compromises had undermined the fight against climate change. Talks in Brussels stretched into the small hours of Friday as Poland battled to spare its coal industry and other states tweaked the guideline text on global warming to protect varied economic interests, from nuclear plants and cross-border power lines to farmers whose livestock belch out polluting methane. In the end, an overall target was agreed for the 28-nation bloc to cut its emissions of carbon in 2030 by at least 40 percent from levels in the benchmark year of 1990. EU leaders called the 40-percent target an ambitious signal to the likes of the United States and China to follow suit at a U.N. climate summit France is hosting in December next year.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 2:17 am

EU reaches deal to cut emissions by at least 40 percent versus 1990 levels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders reached a deal early on Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent in 2030 versus 1990 levels, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a Twitter message. EU leaders also agreed two other 2030 targets to increase renewable energy use to 27 percent of the total and to improve their measure of energy efficiency to at least 27 percent compared with what it would be under business as usual. In addition, they pledged to boost cross-border links to improve the flow of energy supplies between member states. …

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 11:15 pm

Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Exhibit Opens at NYC Museum

Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Exhibit Opens at NYC MuseumAstronaut Mike Massimino is sitting on the floor, completely fixated on the video showing him and his former space shuttle crewmates training underwater to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. To me, it is very, very personal," Massimino says. Eric Boehm, the curator at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, is betting they will. Massimino and Boehm are discussing "Hubble@25," the new exhibition that opens in New York City on board the USS Intrepid, a converted World War II aircraft carrier, on Thursday (Oct. 23).

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 8:33 pm

Incredible Photo of Lazing Lions Wins Wildlife Photography Contest

Incredible Photo of Lazing Lions Wins Wildlife Photography ContestA stunning black-and-white photo of five lionesses relaxing with their cubs in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park has taken the top prize at the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, held this week at London's Natural History Museum. The image, snapped by American photographer Michael Nichols, shows the Vumbi pride resting on a kopje, or rocky formation, as the late afternoon sun beams on the expansive plains of the Serengeti.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 8:04 pm

Oldest High-Altitude Human Settlement Discovered in Andes

Oldest High-Altitude Human Settlement Discovered in AndesThe oldest-known evidence of humans living at extremely high altitudes has been unearthed in the Peruvian Andes, archaeologists say. The sites — a rock shelter with traces of Ice Age campfires and rock art, and an open-air workshop with stone tools and fragments — are located nearly 14,700 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level and were occupied roughly 12,000 years ago. "Either they genetically adapted really, really fast — within 2,000 years — to be able to settle this area, or genetic adaptation isn't necessary at all," said lead study author Kurt Rademaker, who was a University of Maine visiting assistant professor in anthropology when he conducted the study. At that time, Rademaker and his colleagues were studying a 13,000-year-old Paleoindian fishing settlement on the coast of Peru called Quebrada Jaguay.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 7:51 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.

We waste more heat than we pay for to keep homes warm

Half of the energy we use to make electricity is not used, says Christopher Booker

Posted on 25 October 2014 | 4:40 pm

Giant panda cools its backside in its water bowl

Watch this panda as he uses his water bowl in an unconventional way

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 12:50 pm

End to wind farm quotas as EU agrees 2030 climate deal

EU leaders vow to slash carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 but do not impose national renewable energy targets

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 11:02 am

Pictures of the day: 24 October 2014

A pampered pooch, a frog and a grasshopper and a partial solar eclipse

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 10:52 am

Pictures of the day: 23 October 2014

Playful lion cubs, a bucking bronco and an ugly big bird

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 9:02 am

Pictures of the day: 22 October 2014

Backwards waterfall, a massive fry up and Kim Jong-un

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 2:52 pm

Pictures of the day: 21 October 2014

Dirty dancing alligator, lion and tiger cubs and Prince Harry plays rugby

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 2:20 pm

Hurricane Gonzalo lashes Britain with strong winds and rain, in pictures

The remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo arrive in Britain causing travel misery

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 11:06 am

Fantasy policies will not solve our energy crisis

Telegraph View: Our power stations are ageing fast and replacements are urgently needed. Yet for years, our politicians have failed to act

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 5:10 am

Quiz: Guess what the weather term means

Do you know the difference between a cat’s nose and a northern nanny?

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 5:00 am

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

Decrease of genetic diversity in the endangered Saimaa ringed seal continues

The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal, which inhabits Lake Saimaa in Finland, has extremely low genetic diversity and this development seems to continue, according to a recent study. Researchers analyzed the temporal and regional variation in the genetic diversity of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. The population is only around 300 individuals divided into smaller sub-populations and with very little migration among between them.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 2:12 pm

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade

An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 12:26 pm

Intense heat causes health problems among sugar cane workers

Hard work under hot sun causes health problems for sugar cane workers in Costa Rica, such as headache, nausea, and renal dysfunction. The presence of symptoms is also expected to increase in line with ongoing climate changes, according to research.

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 12:25 pm

Nation’s ‘personality’ influences its environmental stewardship, shows new study

Countries with higher levels of compassion and openness score better when it comes to environmental sustainability, says research. “We used to think that personality only mattered for individual outcomes,” says the author, “but we’re finding that population differences in personality characteristics have many large-scale consequences.”

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 11:36 pm

Bodies at sea: Ocean oxygen levels may impact scavenger response

An ocean’s oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to researchers, who deployed a trio of pig carcasses into Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island and studied them using an underwater camera via the internet.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 7:50 pm

Desert streams: Deceptively simple

Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:23 pm

How ferns adapted to one of Earth’s newest and most extreme environments

Ferns are believed to be ‘old’ plant species — some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:23 pm

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations

Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species — in as little as 15 years — as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:23 pm

Highest altitude archaeological sites in the world explored in the Peruvian Andes: Survival in extreme environments

Research conducted at the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites yet identified in the world sheds new light on the capacity of humans to survive in extreme environments. The findings were taken from sites in the Pucuncho Basin, located in the Southern Peruvian Andes.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:23 pm

Coping with water scarcity: Effectiveness of water policies aimed at reducing consumption evaluated

Southern California water agencies have turned to new pricing structures, expanded rebate programs and implemented other means to encourage their customers to reduce consumption. Some of those policies have greatly reduced per capita consumption, while others have produced mixed results.

Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:20 pm