Latest environment news

Reef battle seems won, but dangers still lurk

Tom Arup 6:44 PM   UNESCO says the Great Barrier Reef should not be deemed "in danger", but environmental threats to our prized natural asset are ongoing.

UNESCO decides not to list Great Barrier Reef as 'in danger'

The Great Barrier Reef: Not in danger, according to UNESCO.

Nick Miller 11:30 AM   Federal and QLD governments convinced the committee they were making 'significant progress', but warns Australia still has more to do to stop continuing damage to this natural wonder.

Tasmanian wilderness is more than a name

Styx Valley: How the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is described has stirred up debate.

Andrew Darby 7:31 PM   The World Heritage Committee is set to slap down an attempt by the Tasmanian Government to ditch wilderness zoning from most of the island's remote south-west.

Super typhoons to strengthen with climate change, study finds

Super Typhoon Haiyan as it approached the Philippines in November 2013.

Peter Hannam 12:59 PM   A warming planet is already stoking the intensity of tropical cyclones in the north-west Pacific and their ferocity will continue to increase even with moderate climate change over this century, an international research team has found.

Parramatta River catchment study reveals surprising biodiversity hotspots

Kayaks and canoes from the Parramatta River Catchment Group at Armory Wharf, Homebush.

Esther Han 4:49 PM   A sprawling necropolis is among the most thriving and exciting habitats for native animals in the Parramatta River catchment area.

Sydney weather: Wettest autumn in 12 years to make way for drier times

Autumn had fewer days like this than last year.

Peter Hannam 5:57 PM   Three days of heavy rain in mid-April were enough to make it Sydney's wettest autumn in 12 years but conditions have largely dried up since.

Minister delighted by Great Barrier Reef status

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07:  Greg Hunt poses for a portrait on May 7, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Fairfax Media) *** Local Caption *** Greg Hunt

Amy Remeikis 3:48 PM   The WHO's draft decision not to list the Great Barrier Reef as 'in danger' is the "strongest possible endorsement of what Queensland and Australia are doing."

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Don't burden future generations by leaving emissions cuts to them: Garnaut

Professor Ross Garnaut says Australia must not leave the burden of deep emissions cuts to future generations.

Tom Arup, Environment Editor   The former climate adviser to two Labor governments, Professor Ross Garnaut, says Australia should ensure the heaviest burden of cutting greenhouse gases is not pushed onto future generations, and new emissions targets should be set accordingly.

First Australian shorebirds on critically endangered species list

A Curlew Sandpiper, a species that has declined enormously in southern Australia since the early 1980's. THE AGE . news . OCTOBER 21, 2008 . pic by Danny Rogers . story by Peter Ker .

Andrew Darby   The Australian bird list no-one wants to see has two new names.

Green utopia: Lord Howe island shows the mainland how it's done

Rhonda Wilson, with her husband Ed, owns an electric golf car and their home runs on solar panels.

Nicole Hasham   Residents of Lord Howe Island have gone dirty on diesel and now have an ambitious target for renewable energy.

Man versus bear in Polish zoo

The man appears to attack the bear.

A Polish man will appear in court on charges relating to his attempt to fight a bear.

South West WA winter to be cool and wet as eastern states go dry, warm

rain

Australia's winter will be a tale of two climates - and warm oceans either side of the continent are to blame.

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'Manhattanhenge' turns New York streets into corridors of light

The setting sun breaks through the clouds along 34th street in New York City during a previous "Manhattanhenge".

Josephine Tovey   Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists are expected to gather in the city's vast streets on Friday night to witness the stunning interplay of the sun and the city's itself, a phenomenon dubbed "Manhattanhenge".

Ban Ki-Moon challenges the transport sector to take action on climate change

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: "All of us most do more, the global thermostat continues to rise."

Richard Willingham   Australian Deputy PM Warren Truss says any action at December's Paris meeting needs to include a commitment from developing nations to do their bit for climate change.

Australia's winter likely to be drier and milder than usual as El Nino kicks in

Dry conditions in western Queensland may spread further over winter.

Peter Hannam   Most of Australia can expect a drier and warmer than usual winter as the influence of an El Nino takes hold – although the first few days of the season won't feel very balmy.

Will Great Barrier Reef be declared endangered by UN?

Climate change still poses the biggest risk to the Great Barrier Reef.

Tom Arup and Lisa Cox   Early on Saturday morning we get the biggest clue yet to whether the Great Barrier Reef will be deemed a world heritage site "in danger".

Have the aliens finally arrived? Apocalyptic 'UFO' clouds form over Texas

Texas clouds

Inga Ting   Giant apolocalyptic clouds akin to fluffy flying saucers have formed in the skies of central Texas, but experts say there's no reason to panic.

Man who blew marijuana smoke in pet chameleon's mouth acquitted

Chameleon

Steve Schmadeke   A Chicago man whose video of himself smoking marijuana with his pet chameleon went viral and led to an animal cruelty charge has been acquitted by a judge who found his behavior immature but not criminal.

Logging in East Gippsland losing up to $5.5 million a year

Environmental activists in East Gippsland.

Tom Arup   Logging in East Gippsland is not commercial viable and cutting down native forests across the region lost the state $5.5 million last financial year, internal government documents reveal.

Here are six of the coolest new species science has only just discovered

Thai "Princess" Moths

Inga Ting   Before eating its prey alive, the ampulex dementor wasp paralyses its prey not by locking up its muscles but by stealing its free will.

Norway's $1.15 trillion wealth fund curbs coal investments

Coal on the nose of the Norwegians.

Saleha Mohsin and Mikael Holter   Norway's parliament reached an agreement to ban the country's $US890 billion ($1.15 trillion) sovereign wealth from investing in companies that base at least 30 per cent of their business on coal or revenue from the fuel.

Scientists warn Everest glaciers at risk from climate change

Spot the disappearing glaciers near Mt Everest.

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink at least 70 per cent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change.

Animal rights group asks New York judge to free research chimps

Justice Barbara Jaffe presides in New York State Supreme Court.in a case in which lawyers for two chimpanzees are arguing that the animals have "personhood" rights and should be freed from the university where they are kept.

US animal-rights advocates on Wednesday called on a New York court to order a state university to release two adult chimpanzee research subjects, contending that their captivity amounts to unlawful imprisonment.

Indians urged to stay indoors as death toll from 'unbearable' heat tops 1300

An Indian woman and child sleep under an umbrella at the roadside in Kolkata.

NIDA NAJAR   Large swaths of India were baking again Wednesday under intense heat that has killed more than 1,300 people and left the government scrambling to warn an often unheeding population about the dangers of stepping outside in the blazing midday sun.

The world we're lucky not to live in

Ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006.

Nicky Phillips   An ozone hole larger than Australia would have opened up over the Arctic if we had continued to use CFCs for the past three decades.

Minerals Council misses deadline to make submission to inquiry it called for

The mining industry believes green groups are using public donations to advance political agendas.

Heath Aston   One of the key players behind a push to strip green groups of their charitable status, the Minerals Council of Australia, has missed the deadline to make a submission to the parliamentary inquiry that could deliver that result.

Trawler loses support, fishes on


Super trawler Geelong Star.

Andrew Darby   The troubled freezer trawler Geelong Star has lost all support from recreational fishers, as the ship begins its third attempt to fish without killing dolphins.

India heatwave kills 1000 as roads melt

An Indian man covers his face as drives on a scooter under the hot sun in Hyderabad.

More than 1000 people have died in a major heatwave across India, that has seen roads melt in New Delhi and temperatures near 50 degrees.

Farmer finds fur seal in paddock, 40km from sea

It's a mystery as to how this fur seal pup wound up 40km from the South Australian coast.

Peri Strathearn   It's not every day a farmer finds a fur seal in his paddock.

Carbon market value expands to $44 Billion as Korea signs up

Carbon markets continue to grow.

Mathew Carr   ​The value of global carbon permits expanded to $34 billion ($44 billion) in the past year, with gains led by South Korea, California and Quebec, the World Bank said.