Latest environment news

Encore or curtain call for controversial coal mine

Peter Hannam 2:30 PM   Lithgow's Union Theatre has staged its fair share of dramas over the decades but few performances would have matched this week's public hearing of the state's Planning Assessment Commission for tension.

Energy emissions rebound, led by power sector

Coal-fired power plants contributed to a 3.3 per cent jump in emissions in the first year after the carbon price ended.

Peter Hannam 1:23 PM   Australia's greenhouse gas emissions from energy use jumped by almost 10 million tonnes in the first year after the end of the carbon price, making it harder for the Abbott government to meet its goals of reducing carbon pollution.

Big business wins ways to increase emissions under Abbott government climate plan

Emission limits for large industrial plants will be set at their highest emissions levels within the five year stretch of 2009-10 to 2013-14.

Tom Arup   Big business will be afforded several ways to increase their greenhouse gas emissions without penalty under the second plank of the Abbott government's Direct Action climate change plan.

Rinehart's coal mine win

The company claims the development of the Alpha Coal Project will create 5000 jobs during construction.

Mathew Dunckley 12:07 PM   A Queensland court has handed a victory to Gina Rinehart in her battle to establish a new coal mine.

Earth has 3 trillion trees - but billions disappear annually

Forest being cleared on Padang Island, Indonesia in 2014.

Tom Arup   New research estimates there are 3 trillion trees on Earth, significantly more than previously thought, but humans are removing 15 billion a year.

NAB cold on Adani's Carmichael

A NAB spokesperson said the bank has no plans to be involved in financing Adani's Carmichael coal project.

Amanda Saunders and Ben Potter   National Australia Bank has said it will not fund what would be the biggest coal mine in Australia, Adani's $16 billion Carmichael coal project, and signalled that it wants to help develop renewable energy.

Canberra's very woolly sheep questions answered

Photos courtesy of the RSPCA ACT.

Alexandra Back 4:46 PM   Will a sheep's wool just keep growing and growing if not shorn?

Comments 9

Mammoth sheep gets shorn

A Canberra sheep being shorn at the RSPCA in Canberra

Phillip Thomson and Emma Kelly 3:18 PM   Shearer believes a very woolly sheep found near Canberra believes has set a new Australian record with a 42.5kg fleece.

RSPCA sheep's massive fleece the heaviest in the world

Chris the sheep carried about 40 kilograms of wool before undergoing a major shearing operation on Thursday.

Emma Kelly 3:15 PM   The shearing operation that potentially saved the life of an errant sheep near Canberra is being claimed as a world record.

Canberrans experience rainy start to spring as patchy showers sweep the capital

Craig Webber walks through the Rainforest at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, in the rain.

Megan Gorrey   An overnight shower and patchy rain on Thursday has been forecast to give way to glimpses of sunshine in time for the weekend.

Kangaroo exporters, Canberra accused of dirty tricks in California

Representative Mike Gipson, with a kangaroo and joey brought to the California state house.

Nick O'Malley   US animal-protection group is hopping mad at efforts to permanently end a ban on imported kangaroos.

Very woolly sheep seeking shearer

Chris the sheep carried about 40 kilograms of wool before undergoing a major shearing operation on Thursday.

Alexandra Back   The RSPCA desperately sought a shearer after a sheep with a mammoth coat appeared near Canberra.

AGL in dam row as anti-CSG protests hit 100 weeks

Anti-CSG protesters mark 100 weeks of opposition to AGL's gas drilling.

Peter Hannam   AGL is storing water produced from its coal seam gas wells without proper permits, anti-CSG activists claim, as protests at the energy giant's headquarters marked 100 consecutive weeks.

Chimps aren't people, New York's top court rules

Fighting on: Steven Wise.

Yancey Roy   ​New York's top court has declined to hear the appeal of the case of Tommy and Kiko, frustrating the chimpanzee advocates' bid to gain "legal personhood" status.

Typhane or hurricoon? The storm that changed its title

Kilo on the date line

Peter Hannam   One of four huge tropical storms spinning in the north Pacific has caused a stir among meteorologists by crossing the International Date Line near Hawaii and requiring a title change.

El Nino becoming super-charged as atmosphere builds on ocean heat

Warmth continues to build in the Pacific Ocean.

Peter Hannam   The powerful El Nino continues to intensify in the Pacific and is now the strongest since the record-breaking 1997-98 event, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Cobras bond in bizarre mating ritual

Raja at the Australian Reptile Park.

Matthew Kelly   As spring arrives, the Australian Reptile Park's deadliest housemates are getting frisky.

Mongolia in for double whammy: drought now, "dzud" next

Hard times on the steppe: drought and prospects of a tough winter ahead.

The drought has wiped out up to 80 per cent of its wheat crop and up next could be the worst winter in six years.

Obama using Alaska to add urgency to his climate change warnings

President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable with Alaska natives in Anchorage.

Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin   Anchorage: As stage sets go, Alaska is a spectacular one: craggy mountain ranges, picturesque coastlines and iconic glaciers. President Obama arrived here Monday to use that backdrop for his message that climate change is not just a thing of the future but something well underway in the nation's largest state.

Scientists find Earth's first big predator: a terrifying giant sea scorpion

An artist's rendering of the Pentecopterus decorahensis.

Sarah Kaplan   The monstrous creature had a dozen clawed arms sprouting from its head and a giant, spiked tail. Half a billion years ago, it owned the seas.

Magpies target their unwitting human prey, research suggests

Feel like magpies are picking on you?

Kate Aubusson and Leonie Thorne   Have you ever felt like magpies were out to get you? You might be onto something, according to a new Australian study.

Feral deer taken out in Parks Victoria cull

Feral deer cause substantial environmental damage.

Darren Gray   As deer numbers rise, organised culls are essential to protect our national parks.

Flurry of tropical cyclones give super El Nino another boost

Hurricane Jimena is moving over warm waters in the eastern Pacific and gathering strength.

Peter Hannam   The hyperactive hurricane season in the Pacific has jumped up another gear, spawning a record trio of category 4 strength tropical storms that will give the powerful El Nino event yet another boost.

Heat is in the air: spring to burst onto the scene

If it doesn't feel like spring yet - it should do soon.

Peter Hannam   After the coolest winter in years, the mercury is ready to rise, forecasters say.

Thor arrives to tackle busy fire season

Thor unleashes at Richmond.

Peter Hannam   Another year of above-average fire risk is on the way as the long-term decline in cool season rainfall combines with a strengthening El Nino.

Snapper catch rates tipped to drop this summer


Darren Gray   Fishing enthusiasts chasing snapper in Port Phillip Bay in the coming season could end up with a smaller haul than recent years, according to a leading fisheries scientist.

Miners lose economic edge in NSW project approvals

The NSW government has put mining back to a level planning field.

Peter Hannam   The Baird government has amended its mining policy process to give equal billing to a project's economic, environmental and social impacts when determining approval in a move likely to anger the mining industry.

Great photos come to those who wait

Arthur Roy's photo "Chasing Fish" is the overall winner of The Nature Conservancy photo competition.

Lucy Cormack   Even the most amateur photographer knows that it takes a whole lot of patience to get the perfect shot - even more so when you're waiting on creatures in the wild.

Canberrans encouraged to clean up their act in wake of Keep Australia Beautiful report

Nearly half of the litter items you'll see tossed around the Australian Capital Territory are cigarette butts.

Katie Burgess   Canberrans are a bunch of tossers – at least, according to the National Litter Index.

Nora the Explorer helps save endangered turtles

X-Ray of a Green turtle that swallowed a fishing hook.

Nicky Phillips   As the manager of Taronga Zoo's wildlife hospital, Libby Hall sees the devastating impact plastic can have on endangered sea turtles.

Kangaroo car collisions spike on roads to snowfields

One of many dead kangaroos on the road from Canberra to the snowfields..

John Thistleton   Car repairers are struggling to keep up with cars damaged in collisions with kangaroos.

Former EU climate action commissioner: ‘The future belongs to renewables’

Katie Burgess   Praise for the ACT Government's 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2025 has come from the highest authority - the European Union's first commissioner for climate action.