Latest environment news

It's cyclone by any other name

Peter Hannam 11:33 AM   Perhaps it's no surprise that the massive storm that dumped the most rain on Sydney in a single day in more than 13 years, blew over huge trees and scoured beaches would in some parts of the world be defined as a cyclone.

Sydney weather: rain, damaging winds to batter NSW for second day

Wild weather hits Sydney. The scene at Manly Wharf when the wind hit. Photo: Peter Rae Monday 20 April 2015.

Megan Levy 11:29 AM   A severe weather warning remains in place on Tuesday for damaging and destructive winds, heavy rainfall and damaging surf in the Metropolitan, Mid North Coast, Hunter and Illawarra forecast districts on Tuesday morning.

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Deep carbon emission cuts possible and inevitable, reports find

Solar energy

Peter Hannam 12:00 AM   Australia's abundance of renewable energy resources leaves it well-placed to exit fossil fuels altogether by 2050 at a manageable cost of the economy, according to an Australian National University report.

China challenges Australia on climate

China now the world's biggest emitter: Local analysts say Australia is unlikely to reach its 5 per cent target by 2020 as the direct action policy stands.

Adam Morton and Tom Arup 1:34 PM   The world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and the US, have questioned the credibility of Australia's climate change targets and "direct action" policy in a series of queries to the Abbott government.

Mud and ice flowing like lava

Earth tsunami

Peter Hannam 6:24 PM   Remarkable video has emerged of an earthflow on April 1 in Russia that shows ice and mud flowing like lava off a mountain.

Hunter Valley village at risk as Rio Tinto scopes out expansion

Alan Jones joins protesters against the Rio Tinto mine.

Peter Hannam   Residents of Bulga in the upper Hunter Valley already threatened by the expansion of a nearby Rio Tinto coalmine may have even more to fear with the mining giant hiring consultants to survey an expansion of the open-cut pit to within about 500 metres of the town.

Shrinking Antarctic has us skating on thin ice

Matt King dinkus

Matt King   Antarctic ice is now melting faster than ever, raising sea levels. But the degree of risk to our coastline and economy is still a big unknown.

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Carnival Spirit cruise ship stranded outside Sydney Harbour

Carnival Spirit.

Lisa Visentin 11:34 AM   As gale force winds continue to wreak havoc across Sydney, spare a thought for those aboard the cruise ship Carnival Spirit whose final leg into Sydney has all the nausea-inducing features of a carnival ride, sans the spirit.

Sydney weather: Wild weather with more to come

Pedestrians struggle against the weather on the corner of Liverpool and Elizabeth streets.

Kate Aubusson and Peter Hannam 7:46 AM   Sydney's commuters and students returning from holidays on Tuesday can expect another wintry battering with a second day of heavy rains and strong winds predicted for the city.

Winds, rain to hit Sydney peak hour traffic

Wind and rain are to make for a wild start to the working week in Sydney.

Kate Aubusson 8:25 PM   Severe weather is playing havoc for Sydneysiders this evening with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of damaging winds and heavy rainfall for the Metropolitan, Mid North Coast, Hunter and Illawarra forecast districts.

Growing mounds of e-waste prompt calls to boost recycling scheme

John Gertsakis, chief sustainability officer at e-waste recycle service Infoactiv.

Lucy Cormack 7:11 PM   The rubbish heap of last season's televisions and computers is growing faster than ever, prompting calls for an increase to the intake targets of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.

Powerful winds, heavy rain sweep in

Wind and rain make for a wild start to the working week in Sydney.

Peter Hannam 12:24 PM   If you thought it was wet on the way into work this morning, it's likely you'll be in for a shock on the way home.

Rain, hail and wind as cold front brings wintry blast

Generic rain thumbnail

Anna Whitelaw   Melburnians are fond of saying the city can experience four seasons in a single day, and on Sunday the city lived up to its reputation.

The hidden cost of Hazelwood

Hazelwood Power Station has an estimated social cost of more than $900 million a year.

Tom Arup and Adam Morton   The Hazelwood brown coal power plant is a survivor. A large emitter of greenhouse gases, it has been the target of two unsuccessful government attempts to pay for its closure and outlasted carbon price laws.

Cold snap, rain to wash away autumn warmth

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

Peter Hannam   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.

March global temperatures set new highs, US agency NOAA says

Record warmth even before an El Nino event settles in.

Peter Hannam   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.

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   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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.