background preloader

2014 q1

Facebook Twitter

Catchment based approah

The Catchment Based Approach – An Update from Defra. Defra ‘Since the launch of the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) last June we have been directing our communications to the partnership hosts. The Defra team would like to take this opportunity to update everyone else on what’s been happening. It has been a busy autumn and winter, Defra has been working on: Setting up catchment partnerships that cover the whole country as well six cross border partnerships - Setting up training for the new catchment partnership hosts - Work with Business in the Community (BITC) to improve water in the UK Defra and Environment Agency colleagues have been working hard in the background with partners in the third sector to set up catchment partnerships that cover the whole of England. Defra made £1.6 million pump priming funding available in FY 13-14 to enable the establishment of catchments partnerships. This has led to 87 catchments being set up across England including 6 cross boarder partnerships covered by 111 different partnerships.

US Climate website. White-house-to-introduce-climate-data-website. Big climate report: Warming is big risk for people. By SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer Posted: 03/23/2014 10:02:26 PM PDT# Comments|Updated: 26 days ago If you think of climate change as a hazard for some far-off polar bears years from now, you're mistaken. That's the message from top climate scientists gathering in Japan this week to assess the impact of global warming. In fact, they will say, the dangers of a warming Earth are immediate and very human.

"The polar bear is us," says Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., referring to the first species to be listed as threatened by global warming due to melting sea ice. She will be among the more than 60 scientists in Japan to finish writing a massive and authoritative report on the impacts of global warming. The key message from leaked drafts and interviews with the authors and other scientists: The big risks and overall effects of global warming are far more immediate and local than scientists once thought. Online: Inland Waterways Association - Home.

Climate change scenarios

National Park Service Climate Change Response Program. 2013arc_backingpapers_9_ce. EA flood maps. Fracking. Winter floods 13/14. European bat population bounces back from the brink: study. BRUSSELS Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:01pm GMT BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's bat population is vulnerable, but conservation policies have boosted it by more than 40 percent after years of decline, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Thursday. European bat populations shrank, particularly during the second half of the 20th century, because of intensive agriculture, disappearing habitats and toxic chemicals used in treating roof timbers where they roost. The new report found conservation policies had helped to reverse the decline, but concluded bats should "still be considered vulnerable".

Bats have a slow rate of reproduction so their numbers can decline very rapidly. They are also extremely sensitive to environmental change, which means they serve as an early indicator of climate change. Differences in temperature, for instance, can affect their ability to forage, reproduce and hibernate. "Many bat species are still endangered, so preserving their habitats is still an important priority. "

Adaptation action

Greg Barker wants 4 million solar panels installed on schools, prisons and public buildings | EAEM. According to the Daily Telegraph, Greg Barker, energy minister, is expected to announce plans to increase the UK’s solar capacity. As much as four million solar panels could be built across government land, writes the newspaper, adding 1GW of solar energy to the country’s total capacity. It is thought that Barker’s plans have not yet been approved by the government and are understood to be the energy minister’s own personal ambition.

According to the Telegraph, this could pit Barker against senior politicians within the party, including David Cameron, who was recently reported to have told aides to cut the ‘green crap’ from energy bills. It is believed he was referring to green subsidies used to fund renewable energy schemes. Should Barker’s plans get the go–ahead, panels covering land the size of 3,400 football pitches, could be built on ‘government estate’ such as school, prisons and public buildings. Farming industry to deliver quarter of Britain’s green energy this decade | EAEM. Farming is to deliver one quarter of Britain’s green energy needs this decade, believes the National Farmers Union (NFU). With at least one in three businesses within the agriculture industry already diversifying into renewables the NFU is confident that the UK farming industry will contribute significantly to the renewables ector this decade.

Jonathan Scurlock, chief adviser, renewable energy and climate change, NFU, said: “The NFU Farm Energy Service already handles about 1500-2000 enquiries per year and we envisage this growing steadily over the next decade. “The many kinds of bioenergy and wind power are probably the largest land-based renewable energy resources in Britain and the number of farmers and landowners who are incorporating these technologies is growing. Solar PV is not far behind, with nearly 3000 megawatts installed on rooftops and land in the past three years. Now published: The value of arts and culture to people and society – an evidence review. On Friday 14 March we published The value of arts and culture to people and society – an evidence review. Focussing on the impact arts and culture has on the economy, health, wellbeing, society and education, the review presents research that helps demonstrate the importance of arts and culture on society.

Of course, the inherent value of arts and culture is something that cannot easily be measured in numbers. Arts and culture illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional worlds, and this is what we cherish. However, while we do not cherish arts and culture because of the impact on our education system, our economy or on our health, they do confer those benefits and we need to be able to show how important this is. Some facts and figures from the review Filling the gaps: our future research plans While there is a considerable body of research literature, there are also many gaps.

Join the conversation Take a look at our infographic or download and read the full publication. Peatlands monitoring of pollution. EDMONTON - The study of how oilsands pollution is affecting the massive peatlands in the northeast will come to an abrupt halt this spring as two scientists found out last week their funding has been cut. In an unexpected move, the new federal-provincial Joint Oilsands Monitoring (JOSM) agency did not include wetlands (peatlands, bogs and muskeg) or groundwater in its monitoring plans — even though peatlands cover 40 per cent of the landscape in the northeast oilsands area.

Melanie Vile and Kelman Wieder, biology professors at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, have been working in the Fort McMurray area for years. Wieder said they were surprised and disappointed that peatlands are not included in JOSM’s monitoring plans — especially given the importance of peatlands as an early indicator of pollution impacts. “It does seem a little strange,” said Wieder, who was expecting a renewal of their grant to follow up on their four-year study. Wieder said WBEA’s support was critical. BUSINESS: Key to the future is plastics, but maybe not the kind you imagine -- Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Advertisement Mark Herrema's road to making renewable plastics without oil wasn't easy.

The 31-year-old Princeton graduate set aside his studies in politics and medical school plans to pursue his passion to make a plastic from methane, a colorless gas and a common byproduct on farms. He and his business partner, Kenton Kimmel, slowly built their enterprise working odd jobs like hotel bellhops and valets. A decade later, private equity firms are backing their company, Newlight Technologies, and they've built two facilities to produce plastic pellets called AirCarbon. The world produced an estimated 288 million metric tons of plastics in 2012, up from 99 million in 1989. As the world tries to move away from fossil fuels, companies are trying to make plastics from renewable sources, using resources like corn, methane and bacteria. What Newlight does is take methane, mix it with air, put that into a reactor and then turn it into liquid.

Mining farm wastes and landfills Green Bay, Wis.