Latest environment news

AGL cops EPA rebuke after delay in revealing CSG chemical find

Peter Hannam 9:35 PM   Energy giant AGL faces a full investigation after it detected traces of toxic BTEX chemicals in water from two of its four coal seam gas wells.

President Obama, the world's worst air just took 6 hours off your life

Pollution in New Delhi: not very welcoming.

Natalie Obiko Pearson 6:08 AM   US President Barack Obama could lose roughly six hours from his expected lifespan after spending three days in India's capital inhaling the world's most toxic air

Extreme El Nino events to increase in a warming world, researchers say

Flooding in Bangladesh in 1998 during an extreme La Nina event.

Peter Hannam   The global climate is likely to become increasingly prone to extremes with super La Nina and El Nino events in the Pacific to almost double in frequency this century, according to Australian-led research.

Winter storm 'Juno' spares New York City

SHOVELLING OUT: A man shovels snow from his driveway in the Long Island suburb of Dix Hills, New York.

BOB SALSBERG and DENISE LAVOIE 5:26 AM   A howling blizzard heaped snow on Boston but farther south it mostly spared New York City.

Microburst snapped as Sydney endures soggy start to school year

Microburst photographed near Roma in outback Queensland.

Peter Hannam 1:24 PM   Images of a rare microburst storm have been captured by a photographer near Roma in outback Queensland.

Mega glacier melting at critical rate

The 120km-long Totten Glacier is showing signs of melting from below.

Andrew Darby 12:51 PM   Warming ocean water is said to be melting the largest glacier in East Antarctica, underscoring climate change's assault on the continent’s ice cover.

Sydney weather: heaviest two-day rainfall in 19 months

Sydneysiders on the north shore endure another wet commute.

Tom Decent 8:43 AM   Sydney has received its heaviest two-day rainfall in 19 months and can expect showers to continue throughout Wednesday morning. 

Chinese officers caught feasting on an endangered salamander

In China, eating salamander meat is thought to improve one's skin.

William Wan and Gu Jinglu 8:04 AM   China is in the throes of the harshest crackdown on corruption in decades, but officials in Shenzhen apparently didn't get the memo.

Rain triggers traffic snarls, damages roofs

Keep those umbrellas handy for the next few days at least.

Peter Hannam 8:51 PM   Sydney's heaviest rains in about 14 weeks have triggered traffic snarls with some roads flooded, book-ending a soggy start to the school year for many students and their parents.

Animal activists confront puppy farmer outside court

Veterinary nurse Kat Butterworth with German shepherd Cherry.

Rania Spooner 4:25 PM   Animal welfare activists confront puppy farm accused outside Werribee Magistrates Court.

Sea Shepherd to build faster ship for Japanese whaling fight

An impression of Sea Shepherd's new Southern Ocean patrol ship, designed by Dutch ship builder Damen.

Andrew Darby 3:38 PM   Hardline marine activists Sea Shepherd have struck it rich, winning a $11.8 million gift that will help it build a new faster ship for Southern Ocean whaling battles.

South Australian company fished illegally at Ningaloo Reef

Fishing has been banned at the Ningaloo Reef since 1987.

2:51 PM   A commercial fishing company has been fined for fishing in the internationally-recognised Ningaloo Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

Warmer, mostly drier future predicted with climate change

Rising temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns are likely to hit Australian farming hard.

Peter Hannam 10:00 AM   Sydney’s climate can be expected to warm across all seasons, with less rainfall in winter but more intense rain events, according to the latest projections by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Warmer, drier climate locked in for Melbourne

Temperatures are on the rise across Australia for all seasons and all regions.

Peter Hannam 10:00 AM   Melbourne's climate can be expected to warm across all seasons, with less rainfall in winter but more intense rain events, according to the latest projections by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Polar bear penises may be weakened by pollution

Polar bears are in danger of extinction and now it seems environment pollution is reducing the density of bones in their penises, making it more difficult for them to mate.

Poor polar bears just can't catch a break. It's already been shown that the sex organs of these endangered species have been shrinking over time, and now it seems the bones inside their penises are growing weaker as well.

Last year tied with 2010 as warmest on record, UK data shows

€‹Nine of 10 hottest years on record have been this century.

Last year tied with 2010 as the hottest on record, in a new sign of long-term global warming stoked by human activities, according to British data on Monday that back up US findings of record-breaking heat in 2014.

Shifting ground water levels add to AGL's CSG doubts

Coal seam gas operations near Gloucester in November.

Peter Hannam   AGL has attributed large fluctuations of groundwater levels at its coal seam gas monitoring bores near Gloucester to the effects of sampling but water experts say more information is needed before interference with the water table can be ruled out.

Save them or kill them: Australians divided on kangaroos

We care: Vets treat a kangaroo for burns from a bushfire.

Eleanor Nurse   About this time every year, the Australian kangaroo meat industry goes into overdrive trying to sell the idea that its product is the "true-blue" meat for Australia Day.

Climate, nuclear issues atop Obama's agenda in India

Obama and Modi hold talks in India.

Peter Baker and Ellen Barry   US President Barack Obama swept aside past friction with India on Sunday to report progress on climate change and civilian nuclear power cooperation as he sought to transform a fraught relationship marked by suspicion into an enduring partnership linking the world's oldest and largest democracies.

Energy-hungry India doubles down on coal

India's coal demand shows no sign of retreating.

Annie Gowen   In the hilly Singrauli region of northern India, animals feed on ash-covered grass, smoke stings the eyes and burns the throat, and the reservoir is foul with toxins such as mercury and arsenic. Even the breakfast eggs are grey.

Sonar shark alarm the latest in a sea of floated swimmer safety solutions

Upclose and personal: the NSW government's announcement that it will trial a sonar-based shark detection system at NSW beaches comes after numerous shark sightings this summer.

Declan Gooch   Mike Baird's announcement of a new $100,000 sonar-based shark detection system is just the latest in a long line of ways that Australians have tried to protect themselves from the ocean's most fearsome predator.

One Arctic ice cap's shockingly rapid slide into the sea

The Seawolf class submarine USS Connecticut after the boat surfaced through through Arctic sea ice in 2011.

Joby Warrick   For years, scientists have documented the rapid retreat of Arctic ice, from melting glaciers in Greenland to shrinking snow cover in far northern Eurasia. Now researchers have discovered one Arctic ice cap that appears to be literally sliding into the sea.

The killer algae making Hong Kong’s water glow

Glow-in-the-dark blue waves caused by the phenomenon known as harmful algal bloom or 'red tide', are seen at night near Sam Mun Tsai beach in Hong Kong.

Nick Kirkpatrick   Along a seashore in Hong Kong yesterday, a vibrant blue glow was seen emanating from the water. Beautiful photographs show the shore glimmering, with the lights of the city sparkling in the background.

Sunday explainer: Do wind turbines harm your health?

The Cape Bridgewater wind farm, which is the subject of health complaints from six residents who live within 1.6 kilometres of the project.

Tom Arup   The issue of whether wind turbines cause health problems has been raised again.

Tracking crocodile movements could reduce attacks on humans, researchers say

New research has found estuarine crocodiles, which most people know as saltwater crocodiles, were relatively inactive between January and August, remaining in backwaters.

Nicky Phillips   Scientists can predict when and how crocodiles move through river systems at different times of the year, saying this information should be used to educate the public on how to behave around waterways and reduce the risk of attacks.

US Senate Democrats play offense on climate change ahead of 2016

Capitol restructuring: climate  likely to be a key issue this year and next for US politics.

Kathleen Hunter   US Senate Democrats made the opening move in their effort to portray Republicans as out of step with mainstream Americans on the question of whether humans cause climate change.

'Exhausted' cows producing double the milk

Annual milk production in Australia has doubled to 9.3 million litres in 30 years despite a steady dairy cow population.

Esther Han   Intensified farming practices to meet the growing demand for milk are pushing dairy cows to "exhaustion" and exacerbating welfare problems such as mastitis and lameness, animal activists claim.

One small step for mankind, one giant leap for bell frogs

The Green and golden bell frog.

Rose Powell   Gleaming green frogs barely larger than a child's hand are set to be a major winner as the Clyde decommissioned crude oil refinery shrinks.

Climate change brings world closer to 'doomsday', scientists say

Doomsday Clock down to 3 minutes to midnight.

Jean-Louis Santini   Climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday, a group of prominent scientists and Nobel laureates said Thursday.