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World's oceans facing biggest coral die-off in history, scientists warn

A third global bleaching of coral reefs is underway following a massive and persistent underwater heatwave

Scientists have confirmed the third-ever global bleaching of coral reefs is under way and warned it could see the biggest coral die-off in history.

Since 2014, a massive underwater heatwave, driven by climate change, has caused corals to lose their brilliance and die in every ocean. By the end of this year 38% of the world’s reefs will have been affected. About 5% will have died forever.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Shark tooth left in victim's foot after attack in Western Australia to be studied

Fisheries department will try to determine what type of shark attacked Eli Zawadzki while he was surfing near Mandurah on Wednesday afternoon

The West Australian department of fisheries is examining a tooth pulled from the foot of an 18-year-old man who was bitten by a shark while surfing near Mandurah, 70km south of Perth, to identify the species responsible for the bite.

Eli Zawadzki, an apprentice electrician from Mandurah, was bitten on the lower leg and foot while surfing off Pyramids Beach at 5pm on Wednesday.

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Source: Guardian Environment

American VW dealers running out of cars to sell as emissions scandal deepens

The company has withdrawn its application for emissions certification for its 2016 diesel models, leaving thousands of vehicles stranded at ports

Volkswagen dealers across the United States face not having any new diesel-powered cars to sell as the scandal engulfing Europe’s largest car maker deepens.

VW on Wednesday withdrew applications to the Environmental Protection Agency for emissions certifications for the 2016 versions of its diesel-driven Jettas, Golfs, Passats and Beetles.

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Source: Guardian Environment

As El Niño gets stronger Australia gets hotter, drier and more ready to burn

Bureau of Meteorology says prospect of drier-than-normal October is about 70% in southern Australia which comes after third-driest September on record

El Niño conditions are set to intensify across much of Australia, with extremely dry conditions expected to heighten the risk of drought and bushfires, the Bureau of Meteorology has said.

The bureau has updated its outlook for the rest of the year after Australia experienced its third driest September on record, with large parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania getting very little rain.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Australian customers join class action against Volkswagen over emissions scandal

Claims stack up after VW admits more than 90,000 cars in Australia are fitted with devices designed to disguise the amount of emissions produced

Australian car owners are threatening to sue Volkswagen after learning that their cars are embroiled in the worldwide emission-rigging scandal.

More than a fortnight after the scandal emerged, Volkswagen has admitted that more than 90,000 local cars are fitted out with software that cheats pollution tests.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Head of VW in US will tell Congress he knew of emissions rigging in early 2014

  • Michael Horn to testify before congressional committee on Thursday
  • Executive to admit being briefed on ‘defeat device’ in spring 2014

Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen (VW) Group of America, will confirm he knew of the company’s emission rigging issues as early as spring 2014, according to a statement released ahead of a congressional inquiry on Thursday.

Related: VW chief Martin Winterkorn defiant over emissions cheating scandal

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Source: Guardian Environment

Coral reefs worth four times as much as UK economy, 'Earth Index' finds

Earth Index is published in the financial sections of newspapers around the world to put nature on the stock exchange, with price for bees, fish and more

Coral reefs are worth £6tn a year in services they provide for people – almost four times as much as the UK economy – an assessment of the value of natural assets has found.

The ‘Earth Index’ drawn up for BBC Earth also found bees contributed £106bn to the world economy in pollinating crops, and that vultures were worth £1.6bn for clearing up animal carcasses and preventing human health hazards.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Solar-panel installer goes into administration, costing 1,000 jobs

The Mark Group blames recent government policy announcements for scuppering its turnaround plan

Almost 1,000 jobs were lost on Wednesday night as one of the UK’s leading solar- panel installers went into administration, blaming government changes in energy policy for its downfall. The Mark Group said it had been to bring in insolvency specialists because it was unviable due to ongoing losses at the Leicester-based business. So far the administrator, Deloitte, has made 939 redundancies, but a further 200 jobs are at risk unless a buyer can be found.

“The turnaround plan, which was already under way, focuses on solar PV, but the government’s recent policy announcements mean this is no longer viable,” said a statement from the company.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Wendy Craik to replace Bernie Fraser as Climate Change Authority head

Craik previously ran the National Farmers Federation, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission

Former National Farmers Federation chief Wendy Craik will head the Climate Change Authority, taking over from Bernie Fraser.

Related: Bernie Fraser quits as chairman of Climate Change Authority

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Source: Guardian Environment

Poland’s second city to ban coal use after anti-smog law approved

Krakow says it will introduce a ban on burning coal in households, offices and restaurants, despite protection of the industry becoming an election issue

The Mayor of Krakow has told the Guardian he will introduce a ban on coal use in households, offices, government buildings and restaurants after an amended Environmental Protection Act was signed by the country’s president, Andrzej Duda.

Poland’s second largest city is as famed for the filthy smog that cakes its buildings and streets, as for its beautiful historic buildings. The European Environmental Agency has ranked it the third most polluted city in Europe and its particulate matter (PM) pollution can reach six times the safe levels.

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Source: Guardian Environment