environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Jul 1, 2015

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef outlook poor but not ‘in danger’: UNESCO

OSLO (Reuters) – The heritage committee of the UNESCO cultural agency said on Wednesday that the outlook for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was poor due to threats including pollution and climate change but stopped short of listing it as “in danger”.

Some environmental campaigners had urged the committee to declare the reef in danger, a ruling that would have put pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to take tougher conservation measures.

Jun 29, 2015

Conflicts rob 30 million children of education: Norwegian PM

OSLO (Reuters) – Armed conflicts deprive about 30 million children of education worldwide and governments need to step up investments to make schools safer, partly by widening use of the Internet, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Monday.

Solberg, co-chair of a United Nations group advocating new development goals for the world for 2030, told Reuters that higher spending on education would also benefit health, economic growth and women’s equality.

Jun 29, 2015

Pink salmon risk double dose of acidification, in rivers and sea

OSLO, June 29 (Reuters) – Pink salmon in the Pacific Ocean
face a double threat of acidification linked to greenhouse gas
emissions since it slows their early growth in rivers and
disrupts the chemistry of seawater, a study showed on Monday.

Impacts have in the past been more studied in the seas than
in fresh water. But the Canadian study found that acidification
of rivers could make young pink salmon, the most abundant type
in the Pacific, smaller and more vulnerable to predators by
dampening their ability to smell danger.

Jun 25, 2015

Coral breeding may help cooler reefs survive warming-study

OSLO, June 25 (Reuters) – Corals that naturally thrive in
the hottest tropical waters can be bred with cousins in cooler
seas to help them survive mounting threats from global warming,
scientists reported on Thursday.

Tests of corals in warm waters on Australia’s Great Barrier
Reef found they were able to survive bigger temperature rises
than those of an identical species in cooler seas 300 miles (500
kms) south, according to a University of Texas at Austin study
published in the journal Science.

Jun 23, 2015

Big fall in sun’s output would slow global warming in Europe, US -study

OSLO, June 23 (Reuters) – A fall in the sun’s heat output to
levels last felt 300 years ago would slow temperature rises in
the eastern United States and Europe, though the worldwide
impact would be far too small to halt global warming, a study
said on Tuesday.

The report, led by scientists at the British Met Office
Hadley Centre, said the possibility of a dimmer sun should be
added to regional plans for coping with more winter floods,
likely because of more rain and fewer frosts in a warmer world.

Jun 23, 2015

Endangered wildlife list swells in 2015, from lions to orchids

OSLO (Reuters) – The number of animals and plants at risk of extinction rose in 2015 despite government pledges to improve protection, with species under threat ranging from lions in West Africa to orchids in Asia, a study showed on Tuesday.

The Red List of Endangered Species, backed by governments, scientists and conservationists, grew to 22,784 species in 2015, almost a third of all animals and plants sampled, from 22,413 a year ago, it said.

Jun 19, 2015

Danes ride euroskeptic wave as kingmaker party sticks to referendum line

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – A wave of euroskepticism spreading across Europe reached Denmark on Friday, with the party cast as kingmaker after elections standing by demands for a referendum on EU membership as its price for joining a coalition government.

The Danish People’s Party (DF) surged to become the largest party in a center-right bloc in Thursday’s parliamentary ballot, when voters dumped a center-left coalition.

Jun 17, 2015

Greenland and Faroes may help Danish PM in knife-edge vote

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark’s former colonies of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are likely to swing Thursday’s knife-edge election toward Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt if polls are right in predicting a close result on the mainland.

But local issues add uncertainties, such as Faroese anger with a decision by Thorning-Schmidt’s government to bar Faroese mackerel fishing boats from Danish ports in a dispute over quotas in 2013.

Jun 16, 2015

Tiny number of bees account for most crop pollination – study

OSLO, June 16 (Reuters) – Just two percent of wild bee
species do almost 80 percent of their work in pollinating crops,
according to a study on Tuesday that outlined simple measures
for farmers to attract star insects to safeguard food
production.

The international report, based on 90 studies in five
continents, said governments should also conserve the apparently
less valuable bees as they might play a bigger role in the event
of environmental shocks, such as from climate change.

Jun 11, 2015

Nations warn time running short to prepare Paris climate deal

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Several nations expressed growing unease on Thursday that time is running short to resolve disputes about global warming after U.N. talks ended with little progress toward an international deal to combat climate change meant to be agreed in December.

Delegates representing almost 200 countries trimmed a few pages off an 89-page draft text at the June 1-11 preparatory meeting in Bonn, but stopped short of confronting major underlying issues such as whether to set a global goal for phasing out greenhouse gases this century.