A massive increase in coal mining is a cause for concern

Coal mines in the Hunter Valley near Singleton.

8:50 AM   Premier Mike Baird is very open about his plan to privatise the state's poles and wires.

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Europe unlikely to meet 2050 climate goal, study finds

Belchatow Power Station, Europe's largest coal-fired plant.

MELISSA EDDY 7:42 AM   The European Union will fail to meet an ambitious goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 unless it takes more aggressive measures to limit the use of fossil fuels and adopts new environmental policies, according to a new report.

Emissions from power sector still climbing

Emissions from the power sector continue to rise, say Pitt and Sherry.

Peter Hannam 4:44 PM   Carbon emissions from the country’s main electricity network continue to rise, undermining the Abbott government’s efforts to curb the global warming pollutants, according to Pitt & Sherry’s latest Cedex report.

Australia posts second hottest February as warm run continues

Dog days of summer at Lake Burley Griffin

Peter Hannam   Australia’s run of abnormally warm weather has continued with the country recording its second-hottest February in data going back to 1910, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Film renews focus on Chinese pollution ahead of annual congress

Heavy air pollution in Wuhan city in China in February.

Bloomberg News   A documentary investigating the fallout of China's poor air quality drew millions of viewers last weekend, putting a renewed spotlight on pollution as the nation's lawmakers prepare for their annual gathering in Beijing.

Most Americans see combating climate change as a moral duty

A majority of Americans in a poll see combating climate change as a moral duty.

A significant majority of Americans say combating climate change is a moral issue that obligates them - and world leaders - to reduce carbon emissions, a Reuters/IPSOS poll has found.

Switzerland first to submit climate plan for Paris UN treaty

Swiss offer kicks off haggling for this year's carbon treaty.

The Swiss government offer to cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, with at least 30 per cent of the curbs at home and the rest by investing in carbon-cutting projects abroad.

Sydney weather: A summer for night owls not beach towels

A wet, sometimes wild summer for many along the NSW coast.

Peter Hannam   It may not have felt like summer but Sydney has had another warmer-than-average season with nights particularly balmy.

Sci-tech

Scientists know there are more giant craters in Siberia, but are nervous to even study them

One of the craters in a Siberian area called "the ends of the Earth".

The Siberian crater saga is more widespread — and scarier — than anyone thought.

Cooler Pacific has slowed global warming, briefly

The Pacific has slowed global warming - but only briefly, scientists say.

A natural cooling of the Pacific Ocean has contributed to slow global warming in the past decade but the pause is unlikely to last much longer, US scientists said.

Carbon tax repeal raised energy prices: Alumina

Alcoa

Peter Ker   Alcoa's Australian joint venture partner says its energy costs rose after the carbon tax was repealed.

NSW elections: Greens would halt Whitehaven mine, shooting in national parks

Protesters near Leard State Forest.

Peter Hannam   The Greens would immediately halt clearing of the Leard State Forest – a key battleground for open-cut coal mines – and restore Environment as a standalone department, according the party’s state election platform.

Surf's down: Climate change may flatten famed surfing waves

A California surfer catches waves during a winter storm.

James Urton   On a summer day in 1885, three Hawaiian princes surfed at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River at Santa Cruz in California on crudely constructed boards made from coastal redwoods, bringing the sport to the North American mainland.

Mysterious US east coast flooding caused by 'unprecedented' surge in sea level

Extreme events such as superstorm Sandy mask background sea-levels rises along the US east coast.

Terrence McCoy   Several years ago, in 2009 and 2010, a string of unexplained floods and unusually high tides struck the East Coast. There was no easy explanation. No hurricane. No winter storm. But the waters kept spilling across the shoreline, from North Carolina's Cape Hatteras to Canada.

RET negotiations set industry back 12 years: Clean Energy Finance Corporation

A Senate hearing has heard the government's efforts to scale back the renewable energy target have set the industry back more than a decade.

Lisa Cox   The Abbott government's efforts to scale back the renewable energy target (RET) have set the industry back 12 years, a Senate estimates hearing has heard.

Obama vetoes Keystone tar sands oil pipeline approval bill

US President Barack Obama blocks Canada tar sands pipeline plan.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday swiftly delivered on his vow to veto a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period.

Chairman of UN climate panel Rajendra Pachauri quits after harassment allegation

IPCC chief Dr Rajendra Pachauri steps down.

Stefan Nicola   Rajendra Pachauri, who supervised work on the two most detailed studies of climate change ever completed, stepped down as head of the United Nations panel examining the science after allegations he sexually harassed a colleague.

Grim forecast for Australian deserts

Outlook: Climate change is affecting key tropical circulation patterns.

Peter Hannam   Australia’s deserts will expand southward and dry periods will lengthen, according to new research on global warming.

Meeting emissions reduction target 'based on track record, not modelling'

Power plants

Lisa Cox   The Abbott government's confidence that its direct action climate policy will meet Australia's emissions reduction target is based on Australia's track record in environmental policy and not on modelling, a Senate estimates hearing has heard.

US shellfish industry at risk as oceans become more acidic

Acidifying oceans are affecting the shellfish industry.

Justin Doom   Increasingly acidic ocean conditions are threatening US shellfish populations, with the Pacific Northwest and Alaska expected to be affected first, and the Northeast likely to be hit the hardest, researchers said.

Revealed: Major new coal mines planned for the Upper Hunter

A Rio Tinto coal mine in the Hunter Valley.

Peter Hannam   Leaked reports show that mining companies have prepared plans for as many as 16 new or expanded coal mines in the NSW Upper Hunter Valley.

Deep ties to corporate cash for Willie Soon, a doubtful climate scientist

The sun's role in climate change was a focus of Willie Soon's work.

Justin Gillis and John Schwartz   For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.

UN climate chief Rajendra Pachauri accused of sexual harassment

IPCC chief Dr Rajendra Pachauri at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

Indian police are investigating a sexual harassment complaint against the United Nations' top climate change official.

Annual coal health toll $600m: doctors

Liddell Power Station in the Hunter Valley.

Peter Hannam   The coal industry in the Hunter Valley is leaving taxpayers with annual health bills running into the hundreds of millions of dollars and further mine expansion should be halted, according to a report released by 28 health groups.

Harvard's star alumni urge week of protests against fossil fuel investments

Harvard yet to do the hard yards on fossil fuel divestment.

John Lauerman   Actress Natalie Portman, environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and other high-profile Harvard University alumni are calling for demonstrations to urge divestment from fossil fuels.

Twin severe cyclones a 'first' for Australia

Angry eye: VIIRS infrared imagery from @NASANPP of Cyclone Marcia as it approaches the eastern coast of Australia.

Peter Hannam   Australia’s northern coasts are being battered by two severe tropical cyclones on Friday, the first time meteorologists have seen twin storms of such intensity making near-simultaneous landfall.

Cyclone Marcia: Climate change is expanding the tropics

Waves crash into a breakwall after Tropical Cyclone Marcia made landfall near Yeppoon.

Peter Hannam   The southward shift of cyclones under climate change will force planners to demand stronger building standards as far south as Coffs Harbour on the NSW coast, according to Steve Turton, a Cairns-based climatologist.

Cyclone Marcia: How storm took forecasters by surprise

The intense eye of Cyclone Marcia as it neared the Queensland coast.

Peter Hannam   Forecasters were predicting a category 2-sized storm before tropical Cyclone Marcia suddenly intensified.

Citigroup sets $US100 billion funding goal for green projects

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang, China.

Ehren Goossens   US banking giant Citigroup plans to lend, invest and facilitate deals worth $US100 billion ($128 billion) by 2025 to support projects that will fight climate change and protect the environment.

Hot January extends run of record worldwide warmth

A roof repairer works under the midday sun in Gilbert, Arizona.

Peter Hannam   Worldwide temperatures are showing little sign of easing back from 2014’s record levels with January matching the warmest tallies for the month in 125 years of data.