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Environment

Warburton reviewer Brian Fisher gets solar panels despite wanting subsidy scrapped

Solar panels retain their appeal - for now.

PETER HANNAM 8:55pm One of the members of the Abbott government's review panel that called for an end to renewable energy support has bought solar panels despite advocating the end of such subsidies.

More Australian universities come under pressure to divest from fossil fuels

Melting moments: University campaigns against fossil fuel holdings are not about to go away.

PETER HANNAM Pressure for the nation’s leading universities to join the Australian National University and dump investments in fossil fuels will continue to mount despite the rejection of such moves by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey as “bizarre” and “removed from the reality” of what is driving the economy

IPCC lines up for a sixth climate audit as economic costs corrected

New York's climate march last month.

PETER HANNAM More than a quarter of a century old and the bane of global warming sceptics everywhere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change isn't about to fade into the sunset.

Are we there yet? Scientists prepare for historic change of epoch

Humans' impact on the planet is prompting calls for a new epoch to be named.

Scientists from around the world met this week to decide whether to call time on the Holocene epoch after 11,700 years and begin a new geological age called the Anthropocene - to reflect humankind's deep impact on the planet.

Fewer big storms expected for Sydney as climate warms

A storm front approaches Sydney.

PETER HANNAM Still getting over this week’s monster storm that struck Sydney? There's some good - and bad - news from climate change projections.

Severe weather alert: US research finds tornadoes coming in swarms

Extreme weather events are on the increase, a new US study finds.

Tornadoes in the United States are increasingly coming in swarms rather than as isolated twisters, according to a study by US government meteorologists published on Thursday that illustrates another trend toward extreme weather emerging in recent years.

Gas displaces clean energy, won't aid climate fight, scientists say

Gas from fracking of little help to emissions reductions.

Stefan Nicola Increased use of natural gas from a fracking boom won't slow climate change as the fuel will simply replace cleaner energy sources, scientists said in a study.

US considers climate change plan that would mandate emission cuts

Progress on carbon emissions reductions has been slow.

Neela Banerjee The United States is considering a proposal to combat climate change that would require countries to offer plans for curtailing greenhouse gas emissions on a certain schedule but would leave it to individual nations to determine how deep their cuts would be, said Todd Stern, the nation's chief climate negotiator.

Global coal industry still in denial over prices, regulation

Sunset for coal? Industry says no.

Clyde Russell These days you would expect a gathering of coal industry executives to be a fairly gloomy affair, given the drop in prices to near seven-year lows, the increasing threat of regulation to control pollution and the general image of the fuel as the main climate change culprit.

'Once every 100 years': what made the Sydney storm so ferocious

A view of the storm over Double Bay.

PETER HANNAM The storm that tore through Sydney on Tuesday night was caused by a perfect combination of conditions that has the Bureau of Meteorology describing the intensity for some parts of the city as a once-in-a-century event.

Think of outback as one huge landscape, says top ecologist John Woinarski

The invasive cane toad.

NICKY PHILLIPS The Australian outback should be classified and protected as one continuous landscape rather than individual components, says a leading Australian ecologist.

September heat puts 2014 on course to be one of hottest years on record

Climatologists say greenhouse gas emissions are pushing up background temperatures.

PETER HANNAM New heat records for the month of September have been recorded around the world, putting 2014 on course to become one of the hottest years on record.

China's east likely to face more hot summers as climate warms: study

Beach near Dalian in China's north-east during last year's record hot summer.

Rudy Ruitenberg Eastern China may experience more "extreme warm" summer weather similar to the 2013 heatwave in the coming years, researchers in China and Canada wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Pentagon says climate change presents immediate security threat

Locals carry aid packages after Cyclone Haiyan.

Coral Davenport The Pentagon released a report Monday asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to US national security.

Time running out on climate change: John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a stark warning about the mounting effects of climate change, from food shortages to devastating droughts, saying time is running out for real action.

Climate change threatens WA's iconic Shark Bay

Scientific research shows climate change is endangering WA's beloved Shark Bay.

In the summer of 2010-2011 Western Australia experienced an unprecedented heatwave — but not on land.

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Oceans heating up faster than we thought: study

Heating up: Ocean temperatures are a key component of measuring climate change.

Hannah Francis Oceans in the Southern Hemisphere are warming faster than estimated, with implications for rising sea levels and climate modelling.

Climate change leaves damselfish in distress

Damselfish in distress: A study has shown that exposure to higher carbon dioxide levels has a negative impact on various aspects of fish behaviour.

Hannah Francis A breed of tropical Australian fish is set to have a hard time coping with rising C02 levels.

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Climate change making hay fever worse: report

About one in five Australians are affected by seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever.

PETER HANNAM Australia's hay fever sufferers can expect their torment to last longer and become more intense with climate change, according to researchers.

Australia's early settlers weathered drought and flooding rains

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Bridie Smith Science Editor Researchers have gained an insight into the weather conditions endured by Australia’s early settlers after scouring a diverse collection historical records, some dating back to the First Fleet.

Australia's climate stance savaged at UN summit

Unpopular stance: Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop at the UN.

NICK O'MALLEY Nations big and small have condemned approaches such as those of Australia to climate change.

Monkey populations will suffer as climate change alters their food

Colobus monkeys

NICKY PHILLIPS If you consider the consequences of global warming, it's always the major impacts that receive the most attention - glaciers melting, sea levels rising, more frequent and more intense bush fires, floods and cyclones.

Sci-Tech

Polar bears find a new menu option

Polar bears' loss of ice to hunt from has led them to find a new food source.

James Gorman But the polar bears here discovered a new menu option. They eat snow geese.

Poet brings world leaders to tears at UN Climate Summit

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner addresses the opening of the Climate Summit in New York.

LISA VISENTIN The spoken word poetry of a 26-year-old indigenous woman from the Marshall Islands has brought some of the world's most powerful leaders to tears at the UN Climate Summit.

World leaders urged to change course at UN climate summit as CO2 emissions climb

A woman takes part in a march against climate change in New York on Sunday.

Carole Landry The largest gathering of world leaders on climate change opens at the United Nations on Tuesday amid calls for action to put the planet on course toward reversing global warming.

Temperature rising in climate change debate

SMH editorial dinkus

PETER HANNAM Across Australia, fire crews are gearing up for another difficult season of bushfires as climate change signs intensify.

C02 emissions from burning fossil fuels surge to highest level in human history

One of the Three Sisters joins in the climate change debate.

Nicky Phillips and Lisa Cox Global greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production surged to a record-breaking 36 billion tonnes of CO2 last year, pushing emissions to their highest level in human history.   

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'Australia is a Pacific island - it has a responsibility'

Messages in support of action to combat climate change are projected onto the side of the UN building in New York on September 20, ahead of the international summit on the issue that begins on Tuesday.

NICK O'MALLEY Pacific island nations that supported Australia's bid for the UN Security Council feel let down by its stance on climate change, says the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands.

Features

What carbon tax means

What actually is the carbon tax? Your questions answered.

A price on carbon

Graphic on how carbon pricing is intended to work.

Dramatic shrinking

Alarming photos of a Greenland glacier that has melted.

Answering the sceptics

John Cook lists the sceptics' arguments and gives answers.