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What do America's national parks mean to you? Share your stories and photos

The National Parks Service celebrates its 100th birthday in August. How have America’s natural wonders impacted your life? Share your stories and photos

For 100 years, the National Parks Service has been providing Americans and international visitors alike with unspoiled vistas – and vacations to match.

Ahead of the centennial on 25 August, we want to hear from you. Do you have a particularly memorable hiking adventure to tell us about? Or an undeniably beautiful shot of a waterfall or mountain range? Share your stories and photographs with us. We’ll feature a selection in our coverage.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Australia’s rarest tortoises get new home to save them from climate change

Natural range of critically endangered western swamp tortoise increasingly untenable owing to reduced rainfall

Twenty-four of Australia’s rarest tortoises have been released outside their natural range because climate change has dried out their remaining habitat.

The natural range of the critically endangered western swamp tortoise, Pseudemydura umbrina, has shrunk to two isolated wetlands in Perth’s ever-growing outer suburbs, and a herpetological expert, Dr Gerald Kuchling, said reduced rainfall and a lowered groundwater table made those areas increasingly untenable.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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World's hottest month shows challenges global warming will bring

July was hotter than any month globally since records began – but some areas, such as the Middle East, suffer more than others

In Siberia, melting permafrost released anthrax that had been frozen in a reindeer carcass for decades, starting a deadly outbreak. In Baghdad, soaring temperatures forced the government to shut down for days at a time. In Kuwait, thermometers hit a record 54C (129F).

July was the hottest month the world has endured since records began in 1880, scientists have said, and brought a painful taste of the troubles people around the world may have to grapple with as global warming intensifies. Results compiled by Nasa showed the month was 0.84C hotter than the 1951-1980 average for July, and 0.11C hotter than the previous record set in July 2015.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Obama tightens emissions and fuel efficiency rules for heavy duty trucks

Second phase of new benchmark will cut equivalent of greenhouse gases emitted by electricity and power from all US residences in one year, officials say

US trucks will produce 10% less carbon dioxide and consume 10% less fuel within a decade under the last major plank of Barack Obama’s climate policy.

The second phase of a new benchmark for medium- and large-sized trucks will cut more than 1bn metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and 2bn barrels of oil use, the Environment Protection Agency announced on Tuesday.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Greener alternatives to Hinkley Point C | Letters

Simon Jenkins writes that “To question China’s good intentions in financing the power station [at Hinkley Point] is silly. It is a French-built plant, and the idea that Beijing might contrive to embed and then activate some doomsday bug is absurd” (Trade with China is a good thing. But Hinkley Point is a dud, 11 August).

Not that absurd. The China General Nuclear Group (CGN), which is involved in financing Hinkley Point, expects to build a new nuclear station with its own reactor at Bradwell in return for its involvement at Hinkley. This was agreed by David Cameron and Xi Jinping last October.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Piranhas with human-like teeth in Michigan fuel concern over invasive fish

The large, South American tropical fish were probably illegally dumped in the Great Lakes by pet-owners who no longer wanted to keep them in aquariums

Three large vegetarian piranhas with human-like teeth have been discovered in Michigan, amid growing concern among wildlife officials over tropical and invasive fish infiltrating the Great Lakes region.

Over the past month, two red-bellied pacu piranhas have been caught in Lake St Clair and one other in the Port Huron area in Michigan. They were probably illegally dumped by people who didn’t want to keep them in their aquariums any longer.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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'Googly-eyed' stubby squid spotted off California coast – video

Researchers have captured rare footage of the stubby squid – a purple-colored species with large eyes – during an exploration voyage off Santa Monica, California. The somewhat rare species, which looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, spends its life on the seafloor, burrowing into the sand for camouflage and using its large eyes to spot incoming prey, such as shrimp and small fish

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Louisiana woman visits evacuated home after floods to rescue cats – video

Southern Louisiana has been ravaged by a slow-moving rainstorm that the National Weather Service has called a ‘1,000-year’ disaster. Thousands of people have evacuated their homes and at least eight people are dead as of Tuesday morning. The historic storm began in the corner of Florida’s gulf coast in the first week of August

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Source: Guardian Environment

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High pesticide levels on oilseed rape crops harm wild bees, scientists prove

Species that feed most on the bright yellow flowers of the crop treated with controversial neonicotinoids have fallen by as much as 30%

Pesticides used on oilseed rape crops, whose bright yellow flowers have become an increasingly common sight across the British countryside, are harming native populations of wild bees, scientists have conclusively proved.

Species that feed most on the flowers of the now-profitable cash crop used for vegetable oils and animal fodder are down by as much as 30%, according to the wide-ranging study published in the journal Nature.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Irish Times subeditor comes up with a perfect pun

Praise for the journalist who crafted a superb headline over a routine story

I’m about to take a two-day break but I can’t go without mentioning a superb headline I came across in today’s Irish Times.

It was over a fairly routine story about research at Galway university into the declining numbers of the “dark European honey bee” (apis mellifera mellifera, in case you wondered).

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Source: Guardian Environment

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