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Human-induced climate change began earlier than previously thought

Signs of warming appear as early as 1830 say researchers, whose analysis will help build accurate baseline of temperature before influence of human activity

Continents and oceans in the northern hemisphere began to warm with industrial-era fossil fuel emissions nearly 200 years ago, pushing back the origins of human-induced climate change to the mid-19th century.

The first signs of warming from the rise in greenhouse gases which came hand-in-hand with the Industrial Revolution appear as early as 1830 in the tropical oceans and the Arctic, meaning that climate change witnessed today began about 180 years ago.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Microbeads – tiny objects, massive problem?

There can be around 100,000 of them in the average face wash, but now MPs are calling for a ban and manufacturers are swapping plastics for ground-up peach-pits in products

The late Dr John Ugelstad was a hero of Norwegian science. “Why go to space when you can go to Trondheim,” Newsweek crowed on a visit to his labs in the 80s. It had come to photograph him in the company of a few of the millions of tiny particles – microbeads – he had invented. Prior to Ugelstad, it had been assumed that the only way to make tiny plastic polymers spherical was to do it in the weightlessness of space – the ones made on Earth had come out as useless droopy plastic soufflés. But Ugelstad had found a way, and the results were revolutionary.

In medicine, they allowed the separation of bodily substances to make testing much easier, especially for Aids. And in cancer, his “paramagnetic” (magnetic only in a magnetic field) microbeads allowed new treatments that would pile into bone cancer patients’ bones and “scrub out” the old cancerous cells.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Britain bakes on hottest day of year so far

Bookies slash odds on it being warmest summer on record, as highs of 33.8C bring warnings for at-risk people

Britons sweltering on the hottest day of the year have been warned by health officials to take extra care of themselves and vulnerable friends and relatives, as the nation basks in a mini-heatwave.

Temperatures hit 33.8C (92.8F) in the village of Cavendish in Suffolk on Wednesday, topping the 33.5C recorded at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on 19 July.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Theresa May to chair Heathrow third runway committee

Prime minister to take personal charge of cabinet group and push for decision on controversial airport plan by October

Theresa May will chair a cabinet committee to make the final decision on Heathrow’s third runway plan, in order to push for a resolution by the autumn.

The much-delayed decision will be made by the economic affairs (airports) sub-committee by October. The government’s latest target and full membership of the committee was set to be announced shortly, Downing Street said.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Farm from a Box: Is it time for food production by the masses?

The future of agriculture and our food systems is uncertain. Long and complex supply networks no longer appear the obvious way to guarantee either long-term economic or environmental prosperity, while improvements in terms of yield for mass production agriculture have gradually been reduced, all while associated concerns relating to soil degradation and food health increase. Farm from a Box is a startup that may not have all the answers, but it’s an initiative that might just be pushing the right buttons in the current context.

Solar panels for power, irrigation pumps, equipment for water filtration, an on-board computer for soil monitoring and a full array of farming tools, Farm from a Box, which is delivered as a freight designed to be placed adjacent to a two-acre growing space, is designed to contain everything that a small, off-grid farm needs to function.

Originally, it was developed as a rapid response to a transitional food production system, for disaster relief – possibly as a substitute for importing and distributing food for long periods of time – or scenarios where there is no grid that can be connected into and where resource maximisation is absolutely vital.

Credit: Farm from a Box
Credit: Farm from a Box

However, it is a concept located at an interesting point in time where there are increasing concerns about resource limitations and food production. A large percentage of the world’s farms are smaller than one hectare, but go unirrigated because of a lack of access to power. The Farm from a Box innovation uses solar power to provide drip irrigation delivering small water and fertiliser droplets to the base of crops – a technique that also reduces dependence upon rains and enables a larger and more diverse farm to develop.

Learn more about the initiative and find out more about the project from the following sources:

Farm from a Box

The Farm from a Box delivers modern agriculture to places that need it

The post Farm from a Box: Is it time for food production by the masses? appeared first on Circulate.

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Obama's offshore drilling puts whales and dolphins in peril, groups warn

Environmental groups warn president’s climate legacy could be at risk over research showing areas cleared for oil and gas extraction contain marine life

Environmental groups have turned on the Obama administration over offshore oil and gas extraction, warning it puts whales and dolphins in peril and risks undermining the president’s commitment to putting the brakes on climate change.

Barack Obama, who recently called global warming an “genuine existential threat”, has enjoyed largely solid support from green groups that have praised his leadership on the issue. But Obama’s environmentalist allies are increasingly frustrated over federally approved fossil fuel drilling, just as the US president attempts to put the finishing touches on his climate legacy.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Human impact on environment may be slowing down, study shows

Humanity’s environmental footprint has increased, but at a much slower rate compared to population and economic growth because of more efficient use of natural resources, reports Mongabay

Human activities have taken a heavy toll on our environment. But there may be some hope, researchers say.

Although human pressures continue to expand across our planet, their overall rate of increase is slower than the rates of population and economic growth, a new study published in Nature Communications has found.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Increase in Yellowstone visitors raises park's concerns over wildlife and safety

Park rangers reassess how to manage tourist violations, staff burnout and ‘animal jam’ as number of national park guests peaked to four million last year

Yellowstone national park is finding new ways to manage tourism after visits jumped by almost 600,000 between 2014 and 2015. After 15 years of steady growth, last year’s 4m visits was a tipping point, says park ranger Charissa Reid.

The park expects the number to rise in 2016. July is likely to be the first million-visit month in the park’s 144-year history.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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