Latest environment news

March global temperatures set new highs, US agency NOAA says

Peter Hannam 9:07 AM   Global temperatures continued to climb last month, with combined land and sea-surface temperatures setting fresh records amid prospects of more to come as El Nino conditions form in the Pacific, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Cold snap, rain to wash away autumn warmth

Last chance for leaf frolics: Anneka and Lydia  at Lawson in the Blue Mountains.

Peter Hannam 2:14 PM   Sydney's balmy mid-autumn will be a fading memory as a strong cold front moves in and a developing east coast low brings heavy rain over much of eastern NSW from early next week.

AGL vows to exit coal-fired power plants as sun shines on solar

Coal's time is running out, AGL says.

Peter Hannam   AGL, the country's largest greenhouse gas emitter, has vowed to close all its existing coal-fired power stations by 2050 and will not build or buy new conventional plants in the meantime.

Warming of the Arctic will have global consequences

Shrinking: Arctic sea ice.

Chris Mooney   We often hear that climate change is radically reshaping the Arctic, a place many of us have never visited. As a result, it can be pretty hard to feel directly affected by what's happening up in a distant land of polar bears, ice floes and something odd called permafrost.

Here are 13 remarkable animals facing extinction in NSW ... and there are hundreds more

This Giant Burrowing Frog was hit by a car and underwent an operation.

It's an incredible statistic - in NSW around 59 per cent of all mammals, 40 per cent of all reptiles and 30 per cent of all birds are threatened with extinction.

Call for Pyne's resignation over $4 million funding to climate contrarian

The National Tertiary Education Union has called for the resignation of Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

Kate Aubusson 3:12 AM   Revelations that the Federal Government allocated $4 million in funding to climate contrarian Dr Bjorn Limborg for a "consensus centre" has sparked calls for Education Minister Christopher Pyne's resignation.

Plenty of prangs on Canberra's wet roads

Fog and rain clouds over Canberra.

Georgina Connery   Cloudy weather and showers predicted for the week ahead, but it won't all be wet weather.

Stony faces in the landscape around Canberra

Cooleman Ridge sentinel.

Tim the Yowie Man   The Parliamentary Triangle isn't the only place in Canberra where you can find stony faces. Here's five of the natural kind. Have you seen them?

New Zealand 'a rock in the stream'

Cloud shadow makes for a sunny day over New Zealand

Peter Hannam   A striking satellite photograph of New Zealand shows how south-westerly winds transform the Land of the Long White Cloud into islands of sunshine surrounded by a barrier of cloud.

Climate change blamed as shifting flood plains plague Mozambique

Floods in Mozambique are being linked to climate change.

Tom Bowker   Over the last seven years the Mozambican village of Guguruni has housed hundreds of people whose homes elsewhere were destroyed by floods. This year it succumbed.

Miriam Margolyes stands up for the threatened tiger quoll

Pleased to meet you: Actor Miriam Margolyes meets a  threatened tiger quoll at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside.

Lucy Cormack   Harry Potter actor Miriam Margolyes fell in love with a vulnerable little Australian who changed her life.

Doctors tend to orangutan at Melbourne Zoo

Suma the orang-utan was on the table for three hours while the team X-rayed her arthritic joints and checked her heart rate, brain activity and blood pressure.

Julia Medew   If you could look past her long wiry red hair and thick black skin, Suma looked very similar to the human patients Dr Kevin Moriarty and Dr Marinis Pirpiris usually care for.

Victorian state emblem Leadbeater's possum pushed closer to extinction

On the way out: A Leadbeater's possum.

Tom Arup   Victoria's state animal emblem, the Leadbeater's possum, is set to be formally recognised as being on the brink of extinction.

AGL ends CSG waste water irrigation trial

Critics say the winding up of AGL's irrigation trial prove it to be a failure.

Peter Hannam   Regulators found the water left behind unacceptably high levels of salt and heavy metals.

The world could follow Canberra's lead on climate change policy

Deputy chairwoman of the ACT Climate Change Council Professor Penny Sackett, ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell, and Nobel laureate Professor Brian Schmidt will attend the 4th Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability - 4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities in Hong Kong from April 23.

Clare Colley   Canberra is a world-leader when it comes to climate change policy, but Australia is still not doing enough to tackle the problem, former chief scientist Professor Penny Sackett says.

Chilly temperatures in Canberra will begin to bite next week

An autumn sunset from Mount Ainslie.

Georgina Connery and Emma Kelly   Chilly weather has begun to bite in the capital and forecaster predict it will be a wet weekend for Canberra.

Seismic shift for blue whales

Seismic testing by oil and gas companies is exposing the blue whale to toxic levels of  noise pollution.

Andrew Darby and Lisa Cox   Australia's largest animals, blue whales, are said to be at risk from "ships of deaf" run by the oil and gas industry.

Enjoy the warmth as cold snap is on the way

The mid-autumn warmth won't last much longer.

Peter Hannam   Enjoy Sydney’s late burst of summer weather while it lasts because a cold, wet and windy burst is on the way.

African painted dogs move into National Zoo and Aquarium's bachelor pad

African painted dogs at the National Zoo and Aquarium.

The Canberra Times

Photo Jamila Toderas

Clare Colley   They might have the word ‘dog’ in their name, but the latest group of bachelors to move in to the National Zoo and Aquarium are nothing like their domesticated cousins.

Ricky Gervais shames giraffe killer

Rebecca Francis

An extreme hunter has become the target of a social media backlash after a photo of her posing beside a dead giraffe was tweeted by comedian Ricky Gervais. 

Marine sanctuaries face new mining threat

Seismic testing is a significant issue for marine life.

Lisa Cox   Permits that would allow industry to look for petroleum in marine sanctuaries have been quietly granted by the Abbott government while it reviews 40 freshly minted new marine reserves.

Bremer Bay canyon: blood and guts TV reality of WA's pod of killer whales

Killer whales off the WA coast

Lucy Murray   A pod of killer whales off the Western Australian coast are about to become reality TV stars.

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Abbott government presses states to move on gas approvals

The Abbott government wants to see more CSG development.

Peter Hannam   The Abbott government is stepping up pressure on the states to foster “the responsible development of the unconventional gas industry”, including coal seam gas.

AGL gas leak investigated in latest blow to coal seam gas plans

Protestors at AGL's AGM in Sydney last October.

Peter Hannam   AGL’s coal seam gas operations in northern NSW have hit fresh troubles with the NSW Environment Protection Authority launching an investigation into a gas leak earlier this month.

Global temperature records keep melting as Japan declares March the hottest on record

Global temperatures are on the rise, particularly over large areas of the Pacific.

Peter Hannam   Global temperature records continue to tumble with March coming in as the hottest in data going back to 1891, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency

Karl Kruszelnicki steps up concerns over 'flawed' Intergenerational Report

A screen grab of Dr Karl Kruszelnicki taken from the <i>Intergenerational Report</i> advertisement.

Matthew Knott   The man appearing on television screens across the country promoting the Abbott government's Intergenerational Report - Karl Kruszelnicki - has describing the document as "flawed" and admitting to concerns that it was "fiddled with" by the government.

Australia's renewable energy investment grinds to a halt

Grounded: Just one renewable energy project has been approved in the past six months.

Peter Hannam   Australia’s large-scale renewable energy industry has entered an investment freeze with just one project securing finance in the past six months amid political uncertainty, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Record sea-surface temperatures in Pacific point to record warmth in 2015 and 2016

Tillie the dog is not bothered by the global records for the Pacific.

Peter Hannam   Sea temperatures around Australia are posting "amazing" records that climate specialists say signal global records set in 2014 may be broken this year and next.

Odds now favour an El Nino event in 2015, Bureau of Meteorology says

Abnormally warm waters in the Pacific - with more warming to come, the bureau predicts.

Peter Hannam   Australia's chances of a hotter and drier than usual year have increased with the likelihood of an El Nino event forming in the Pacific Ocean this year now an odds-on risk, the Bureau of Meteorology said.


Video: Chimpanzees take down, destroy drone


Tim Biggs   While the world's top human scientists, philosophers and futurists are pushing for urgent debate and law reform to deal with the real possibility that we will be eradicated or fundamentally changed by the development of hyper-intelligent robots, some of our primate cousins are stepping in to take a more direct approach.

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