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Peter Hannam

Peter Hannam covers broad environmental issues ranging from climate change to renewable energy for Fairfax Media.

Warm oceans drive hottest year on record with more to come, US agencies say

Peter Hannam Unusually warm seas helped drive annual global temperatures to a record level in 2014 and are likely to ensure this year has a similarly hot start, climate experts say.

Coal companies lock up large regions of NSW

Prize land: Mining at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley.

Peter Hannam Almost a quarter of freehold land in the Muswellbrook Local Government Area and large chunks of other parts of northern NSW are now owned or occupied by coal companies, a survey of land records by...

Polluted Blue Mountains canyon springs back to life

Nature on the rebound: David Noble at Hat Hill Creek Canyon.

Peter Hannam A formerly polluted not-so remote canyon in the Blue Mountains has staged a remarkable recovery.

Shark watch: how to minimise the risks of a bite

One of the large sharks roaming the seas off Newcastle.

Peter Hannam It's time people treated the beach as they would the bush - a place to take sensible care, experts say.

EPA probes CSG fracking chemical found near AGL's Gloucester wells


Peter Hannam The NSW Environment Protection Authority is investigating the detection of a chemical used in fracking in water samples near AGL’s pilot coal seam gas field near Gloucester.

Catholics in Australia join global movement to curb climate change

Pope Francis during a visit this week to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Peter Hannam Australia’s Catholics are preparing to step up campaigns to address climate change ahead of an expected call to action by Pope Francis.

Sydney weather offers slight heat break for those stuck in the city

Cronulla beach on a perfect morning.

Peter Hannam Sydney weather is tipped to warm for the weekend after a couple of milder days on Thursday and Friday. Peter Hannam reports.

Shark sightings: despite record stretch of closures, little change on previous years

Despite a record stretch of beach closures in Newcastle, shark sightings are not showing a discernible increase.

Peter Hannam Newcastle beaches are likely to be closed for a record sixth straight day due to the sighting of a large shark, but should we be more alarmed than usual?

Hot day for Sydney but some beaches worth avoiding

Beachy day - although at Coogee you may want to stay out of the water.

Peter Hannam Another good beach day beckons for Sydney but not all of stretches of sand are equal after the recent rains raise pollution risks.

Australia's migratory shorebirds at risk from Asia's urban sprawl

Under pressure: The eastern curlew is among migratory bird species facing a grim fate.

Peter Hannam Australia's migratory shorebirds are being threatened by the rapid decline of key feeding grounds in north-east Asia, according to Australian researchers.

Australia's large-scale renewable investment dives in 2014

Ill-winds blowing through Australia's renewable energy industry.

Peter Hannam Australia’s ranking among investors in large-scale renewable energy plummeted in 2014, dropping behind much poorer nations.

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AGL, Transpacific probed over fracking water discharges

Tanker trail: A photo of AGL contractor Transpacific Industries trucking the flowback water, taken by an anti-fracking protester in December.

Peter Hannam AGL has become mired in fresh controversy over its coal seam gas activities near Gloucester after a contractor shipped untreated waste water to the Hunter region despite explicit rejection of the...

Just years to go for unburnable coal reserves, new study finds

Fast-tracked or sidelined: Coal and other fossil fuels face climate limits.

Peter Hannam The viability of mining Australia’s massive reserves of fossil fuels has been called into question by the latest study estimating the limits of carbon emissions possible if dangerous climate...

Emissions for power sector jump as carbon tax ends

Coal-fired power is surging back.

Peter Hannam The carbon intensity of Australia’s main electricity grid has surged since the end of the carbon tax, undermining the Abbott government’s efforts to cut national emissions.

Australia's third hottest year is an indicator of weather to come

Cycle: Australia – and the world – is warming up.

Peter Hannam Australia’s shifting climate continues to move in a direction that is unfavourable to many.

Sydney weather: Record warm year with few cold spells

Another hot year for Sydney.

Peter Hannam If you thought Sydney had been warm over the past year or so, you’d be right.

Small-scale solar power industry holds its own as clouds gather

Solar panel capacity held up in 2014 despite headwinds.

Peter Hannam Australia’s small-scale solar energy industry held steady in 2014 although uncertainty about the Abbott government’s support for renewable energy and rising costs for imported panels as...

Weather 2014: Australia's third hottest year on record

Map of Australia in a snow globe resting on drought cracked clay with threatening storm clouds above.

Climate change denial

Peter Hannam Australia has capped two years of extraordinary warmth with 2014 declared the third hottest on record just 12 months after 2013 smashed annual highs, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Weather forecast in fire zones: Rain may ease threat in South Australia and Victoria

A fire in Hastings, south-east Melbourne, during Saturday's heat.

Peter Hannam The severity of the threat posed by bushfires and another heatwave moving across south-eastern Australia hinges largely on a tricky-to-predict low-pressure system off the Kimberley region of WA,...

Heat is on Abbott government over climate change as world turns

Parched properties: The risk of bushfires, like this near Lithgow last October, is elevated in a heatwave.

Peter Hannam This could be the year of extinction for the climate-change denier, writes Peter Hannam.

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