United Kingdom: Taxpayers to fund hundreds of fracking boreholes across country

Guardian: Hundreds of government-funded boreholes are set to be drilled across Britain to try to persuade the public that a looming shale gas boom can be developed safely, the Observer has learned. Sensors in the boreholes would detect possible water pollution or earthquakes caused by fracking and the information would be made public. “We will be taking the pulse of the sub-surface environment and will reveal if things are going wrong, but also if they are going right,” said Professor Mike Stephenson, director...

Expanding agriculture production among major factors contributing to climate change

Delhi Daily News: An increase in agriculture production has a negative impact on the atmosphere across the globe by contributing to climate change, according to a recent report. The recent study has revealed that the considerable increase in the carbon dioxide concentrations is due to a rise in farm productivity. Hence, the rise in pollution levels is attributed not only to electronic products, vehicles and mills but also to crops. Farms throughout the world have become more productive, particularly in the West...

The future of the planet and the irresponsibility of governments

Inter Press Service: Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2 emissions, a very cold shower has come from India. Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal has declared: "India's development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate change many years in the future. The West will have to recognise we have the needs of the poor". This is also a blow to the Asia policy of U.S. President Barack Obama, who...

What’s behind snowmageddon that hit the US this week?

New Scientist: Winter has come early to the US this year, with temperatures plunging below freezing across much of the continental US this week. Intense snowstorms dumped almost 2 metres of snow in a few places such as Buffalo in New York state (above), trapping people in cars and buses. So what has caused this unseasonal weather? Cold air is usually trapped in the Arctic by the winds that circle the pole - the polar vortex. The strongest winds found high up in the atmosphere are called the polar jet stream....

Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse

Atlanta: Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, just snow. Superstorm Sandy, receding shorelines, and more. Hurricanes Isaac, Ivan, and Irene, with cousins Rammasun, Bopha, and Haiyan. The parade of geological changes and extreme weather events around the world since 2011 has been stunning. Perhaps that's part of why, as the Public Religion Research Institute reported on Friday, "The number of Americans who believe that natural disasters are evidence of the apocalypse has increased somewhat over the...

Can life emerge on a planet without water? New theory says yes

Mother Nature Network: Researchers searching for life on other planets have always believed that there is at least one necessary requirement for life to exist: There must be water. But a new theory by astrobiologists Nediljko Budisa and Dirk Schulze-Makuch suggests that there are alternatives to water that could make life possible even on desert worlds, reports io9.com. It's an exciting idea. If the theory is correct, then the number of planets believed capable of supporting life would increase dramatically. The reason...

Residents in western New York call snow worst in memory

Reuters: The death toll from the worst snow in memory in western New York has risen to at least 10. Some areas of New York state along the Great Lakes had around 2 feet (60 cm) of new snow on Thursday on top of accumulations as deep as 5 feet from earlier in the week. The National Weather Service said parts of the region could expect 3 feet more snow before skies clear on Friday. At least 10 deaths in the area have been blamed on the storm, Erie County officials said. "I've been in a lot of snowstorms,...

India must address issue of nanoparticles: French scientist

Daiji World: A French scientist Friday cautioned India that it needs to pay attention to the disposal of lab-synthesised nanoparticles -- an important area of research -- as they might pose environmental and health hazards. "There are a lot of centres in India trying to create nanoparticles but the Indian government must address the fate of those particles, particularly in the context of human health," said Marc Benedetti, professor of the department of chemistry at the University Denis-Diderot (IPGP) in France....

These terrible governors won reelection and will keep wreaking environmental havoc

Grist: Among the many bits of bad news for the environment from this year’s midterm elections, one that got lost in all the drama around control of the Senate is that a trio of far-right governors of swing states managed to win reelection: Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Florida’s Rick Scott, and Maine’s Paul LePage. They were elected in the 2010 Republican wave, with support from the Tea Party movement, despite being way to the right of their states` electorates. They looked vulnerable this year but they held...

Australia’s Chance El Niño Rises To 70%; Heatwaves & Drought To Persist

International Business Times: The weather bureau has revised its El Niño forecast from a 50 percent probability to the current 70 percent. According to the bureau's latest report, above average sea temperatures continue to rise in the Pacific Ocean in the last two weeks. Surface temperatures have increased higher than El Niño thresholds in the past three months. The bureau's El Niño southern oscillation tracker status was changed from "watch" to "alert" level. The eastern part of Australia may be facing dry conditions in the...