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Peter Hannam

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

July melted global temperature records, setting up 2015 as hottest year

Peter Hannam El Nino in the Pacific and warming resulting from rising greenhouse gases suggest global temperatures will reach new highs this year.

Sydney weather: Warmth ahead of a possible drenching east coast low

A recent dawn at Bondi: Warm days are due before the rain arrives.

Peter Hannam Sydney and much of NSW will receive their heaviest rains in at least two months this weekend as a low-pressure trough breaks up the region's long dry spell.

Great Barrier Reef and other icons at risk from proposed law change: green groups

The Great Barrier Reef and other important natural sites could come under threat if environmental protection legislation is changed, green groups say.

Peter Hannam The Abbott government's proposed change to a key environmental protection law is an anti-democratic move that could put at risk Australia's famous natural heritage sites, green groups say.

NSW government intervenes in Hunter coal mine plan, angering Rio Tinto

The future of Rio Tinto's Mount Thorley Warkworth coal mine expansion remains unclear. From left plant operator Jacqueline Fry, operator trainer John Budynek and plant operator Elle Capararo.

Peter Hannam Yet another miner is at odds with the state government as it takes a very different tack from Tony Abbott's Coalition in Canberra.

Springvale coal mine plans sent back for review by Planning Minister Rob Stokes

Springvale mine worker John Tilley.

Peter Hannam Planning Minister Rob Stokes has ordered an additional review of a planned coal mine expansion near Lithgow, a move that drew cheers from environmentalists but was described as "ridiculous" by the...

Sydney weather: winter's last hurrah as warmth and storms gather

Sue Bush, 56, from Clovelly dries off after a morning swim at the Coogee Baths last week.

Peter Hannam Temperatures in Sydney are set to climb after Tuesday's dip, heralding what looks to be the start of spring.

Global warming to drive quadrupling of extreme weather trifecta, study finds

A warming planet is likely to make extreme events such as intense El Ninos at least twice as common.

Peter Hannam The worst combination of extreme weather patterns in the Indian and Pacific Oceans will likely rise by four-fold this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, leading...

Twin typhoons spin in the Pacific, adding to active storm season

Infrared image of Typhoon Goni.

Peter Hannam There's little sign of a let-up in this year's unusually active storm season with another two typhoons forming in the north-western Pacific.

Heating up: July added to string of record hot months globally

Hot times: People watching a sunset at La Boca beach in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba.

Peter Hannam July was the hottest on record globally as a large El Nino event gathered strength in the Pacific, making it more likely that 2015 will exceed last year as the warmest year recorded.

Sydney weather: Dry times forecast for another week

The grass is not always greener: dry times set in.

Peter Hannam Sydney has clocked up more than three weeks without rain and the forecast is for the dry conditions to last at least another week.

Australia's climate goals 'weak', says former Obama adviser

Peter Hannam The Abbott government's 2030 carbon emissions reduction goal is "weak" and Australia should show "real leadership" on the issue of global warming, says a former top climate adviser to US President...

Springvale coal mine extension clears another hurdle despite salinity worries

Springvale coal mine and the Mount Piper power station. The Baird government has said it will back plans to extend the mine's output.

Peter Hannam The Baird government has been accused of caving in to coal industry bullying by approving changes to the Springvale coal mine that will send highly saline waste water into Sydney's water.

'If you have a degraded environment, you're impoverished': Justice Brian Preston

Portrait of Justice Brian Preston, chief judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW. Photographed at the Land & Environment Court.

Peter Hannam Miners should be environmentally literate, the chief judge of NSW Land and Environment Court says.

'Great Godzilla' of an El Nino likely to linger well into 2016, agencies say

The El Nino brewing in the Pacific is likely to affect the global climate.

Peter Hannam This year's rapid warming in the central and eastern Pacific has climate watchers comparing the event to the monster El Nino of 1997-98 that led to a spike in global temperatures.

Weak government response to EPA inquiry rings 'alarm bells', Greens say

Peter Hannam Backing by the Baird government for just seven of the 17 recommendations proposed by an inquiry into the performance of the Environment Protection Authority represents a missed chance to restore...

AGL coal seam gas in Gloucester: Government bowed to pressure for urgent amendment, documents show

Anti-CSG protesters in Gloucester.

Peter Hannam The NSW government has been accused of making "law on the run" as it bowed to pressure from AGL to remove a key planning obstacle to its coal seam gas project in Gloucester, new documents reveal.

Climate change: Baird government spikes post-2020 carbon submission

Premier Mike Baird, right, the Liberals' Eleni Petinos and Environment Minister Mark Speakman.

Peter Hannam The Baird government prepared a post-2020 carbon reduction report for the federal government but decided not to submit it, sparking criticism from Labor and the Greens that it had failed to take a...

Climate change: CSIRO axes annual attitudes survey, delays 2014 results

Birds are among the many creatures stressed in heat waves, but critics say the government's climate change goals are unlikely to offer much relief.

Peter Hannam The CSIRO has cancelled its annual survey on attitudes to climate change and won't release the results of its 2014 study until late this year.

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AGL chief Andy Vesey meets anti-CSG group, stoking hopes of gas venture exit

Andrew Vesey has a tough call to make on coal seam gas projects.

Peter Hannam AGL's new boss has met privately with his company's most ardent CSG opponents, stoking expectations the energy giant may exit its troubled Gloucester venture.

Sydney weather: Calm before the warm

It's a bit of a stretch but the worst of winter looks to be over.

Peter Hannam Sydney's weather has settled into a relatively calm and dry pattern that could be ideal for the weekend's major sports events in the city.