London Boroughs to Impose Ultra-Low Emission Zones

Two London councils are to ban all but the cleanest vehicles from some areas at peak times to help tackle the city’s air pollution crisis.
In the UK’s first scheme of its kind, only ultra-low emission vehicles such as electric cars, e-bikes, and the newest hybrids and hydrogen vehicles will be allowed on nine streets in Hackney and Islington from 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm on weekdays.
From 3 September, drivers of petrol, diesel and older hybrid vehicles will incur a fine if they travel into the CCTV-monitored areas.

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'Apocalyptic Threat': Dire Climate Report Raises Fears for California's Future

California’s summer of deadly wildfires and dangerous heatwaves will soon be the new normal if nothing is done to stop climate change, a report released on Monday warns.
City heatwaves could lead to two to three times as many deaths by 2050, the report says. By 2100, without a reduction in emissions, the state could see a 77% increase in the average area burned by wildfires. The report also warns of erosion of up to 67% of its famous coastline, up to an 8.8F rise in average maximum temperatures, and billions of dollars in damages.

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Record-Breaking Numbers of UK's Rarest Seabird Return to Island after Near Extinction

Record numbers of roseate terns have nested off the coast of Northumberland, raising hopes for this once critically endangered bird.
Populations of these terns crashed as low as 16 breeding pairs in the 1970s due to demand for their beautiful plumage, which was used to make hats.
Though still considered the country’s rarest seabird, roseate tern numbers have bounced back thanks to a concerted effort by conservationists, and this year saw 118 pairs raising chicks on Coquet Island.

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Scotland's Mountain Hare Population is at Just 1% of 1950s Level

The number of mountain hares on moorlands in the eastern Scottish Highlands has fallen to less than 1% of the level recorded more than 60 years ago, according to a long-term study.
The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the RSPB teamed up to study counts of the animals over several decades on moorland managed for red grouse shooting and nearby mountain land.

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Bereaved Mother Orca Finally Drops Calf after Carrying Corpse for Unprecedented 17 Days

The killer whale, known as J35 to scientists monitoring the population in the Pacific Northwest, was spotted swimming without the infant balanced on her head for the first time since July. 
“J35 frolicked past my window today with other J pod whales, and she looks vigorous and healthy,” Ken Balcomb, of the Centre for Whale Research, told The Seattle Times. “The ordeal of her carrying a dead calf for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles is now over, thank goodness.”

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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Announces Plans to Ban Plastic Bags Nationwide

The leader gave a statement today alongside associate environment minister Eugenie Sage, in which they explained the importance of tackling plastic pollution.
“We’re phasing out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” Ms Ardern writes.

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Hothouse Earth Scenario Threatens to Make the Planet Uninhabitable

In a "Hothouse Earth" scenario, the planet will have a global average temperature 4 to 5 degrees Celsius (7 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial temperatures. The sea level will also be 10 to 60 meters (32 to 197 feet) higher than it is today.
"Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2 degrees Celsius may trigger other Earth system processes, often called 'feedbacks' that can drive further warming — even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases," lead author Will Steffen explains in a release from Stockholm Resilience Centre.

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Reflecting Sun's Rays Would Cause Crops to Fail, Scientists Warn

Proposals to combat climate change by reflecting the sun’s rays back into space would cause widespread crop failure, cancelling out any benefits to farming from the reduction in warming, according to new research.
By examining the effects of volcanic eruptions on agriculture – which has a similar effect to proposed artificial methods of scattering solar radiation through aerosols – scientists have concluded that such methods could have unintended consequences.

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Forests Crucial for Limiting Climate Change to 1.5 Degrees

Trying to tackle climate change by replacing forests with crops for bioenergy power stations that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) could instead increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, scientists say.
Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) power stations are designed to produce energy and store the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) in bedrock deep underground.

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This Wild Iceberg Scheme Could Help Sustain the World's Thirstiest Regions

From Miami to Bangalore, India, to Cape Town, South Africa, some of the world’s biggest cities are facing a shortage of drinking water.
But now an engineering firm in the Middle East is moving forward with an audacious scheme that has been discussed since at least the 1970s: tow icebergs thousands of miles from Antarctica to water-starved regions, where the ice would be brought ashore and used to produce huge amounts of fresh drinking water.

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