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Mine operator 'was warned' not to burn off before starting Kakadu bushfire

NT fire service says ERA, which operates the Ranger uranium mine, ignored its recommendation there should be no burn due to high fire danger

A mining company defied warnings from the authorities and went ahead with a controlled burn in Kakadu national park, which then got out of control, the Northern Territory fire service has said.

A federal investigation is currently underway into a bushfire which burned through 200 sq km of the Kakadu national park and threatened heritage-listed and culturally significant sites.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Bomb factory and concrete church among historic buildings at risk

Heritage at Risk review also adds a pub, a lighthouse and a tomb to list of UK sites facing threats to their existence

A pub, a lighthouse, a former poison gas factory and a 1960s concrete church are among the sites that have been added to the national register of historic sites that are at risk.

The Historic England register covers houses, places of worship, shipwrecks, parks and gardens, archaeological sites and battlefields.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Biden: Climate change is ‘the most consequential issue of our time’ – video

US vice-president Joe Biden calls climate change ‘the most consequential issue of our time’ during a White House summit on Monday. Speaking to a group of chief executives, Biden said it was ‘a deadly serious issue’ that needed the country’s immediate attention. Earlier on Monday, Barack Obama argued that his push for an international climate deal next month in Paris was good for US businesses

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Source: Guardian Environment

Prince William urges Chinese consumers to stop buying illegally traded wildlife products – video

Prince William gives a speech due to be televised on Chinese state TV, in which he urges Chinese consumers to stop buying illegally traded wildlife products. Coinciding with the Chinese president’s visit to the UK on Monday, William tells an audience of students and guests at King’s College in London that China’s influence in the world means they can change the face of global conservation

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Source: Guardian Environment

Bad weather, bad luck?

Some years are memorable for their multiple bad weather events. In the UK, 2007 stands out, for the devastating storm Kyrill in January, followed by torrential summer rain which brought widespread flooding.

The winter of 2013 to 2014 also left its mark, with storm after storm pummelling UK shores, bringing record breaking rainfall and damaging gusts of wind. Hundreds of thousands of homes were left without power over Christmas, and large parts of Somerset were submerged for much of the winter.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Evolving toxins makes frogs more likely to go extinct | @GrrlScientist

Prey species evolve a variety of ways to avoid predators, including camouflage, conspicuous colouration, and chemical toxins. But a new study of amphibians indicates that evolving toxins against predators increases the rate of extinction for prey species

Prey species evolve a variety of ways to avoid their predators, including chemical toxins, camouflage, and conspicuous colouration. But what are the potential costs associated with anti-predator defences? According to a study of amphibians published today in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, chemical defence and conspicuous colouration enhance speciation rates in prey species, as predicted. But unexpectedly, evolution of chemical defences also increases extinction rates — even above the rate of speciation. As a result, developing chemical defences against predators increases the overall risk of extinction for prey species.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Obama gets climate change deal assist from Google, Coca-Cola and Walmart

The president met with executives at the White House on Monday in an effort to get corporate America’s support ahead of climate agreement negotiations in Paris

President Obama met with executives at a roundtable at the White House on Monday, as part of his efforts to enlist corporate America in the push for an international climate change agreement.

White House officials said 81 companies have signed on to the American Business Act on Climate pledge, an addition of 68 since the White House unveiled the pledge in June.

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Source: Guardian Environment

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Source: Guardian Environment

Four ways Asia can cut the amount of plastic waste it dumps in the ocean

Addressing waste management in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam can make a real impact on the health of world’s oceans

Photos of birds with their stomachs full of plastics. A recent study of fish markets around the world finding 28% of individual fish in Indonesia contained plastics (the figure was 25% in the US). The tragic and damaging consequences of our failure to deal with plastic waste are becoming ever more visible.

Related: 10 things we learned about tackling plastic ocean waste

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Source: Guardian Environment