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Environment

Weather

Australia set for colder, wetter than average winter

weather

Get your umbrella and winter woollies out. The Bureau of Meteorology is tipping plenty of rain and chilly days ahead but nights could be warmer.

Australian megafauna died out with climate change

environment

Giant kangaroos, enormous crocodiles, massive wombats and a marsupial “lion” that lived 40,000 years ago in tropical Northern Australia died out because of climate change, a study has found

Big boost to birdwing butterflies in the wild

animals

A successful captive breeding and release program of more than 500 Richmond birdwing butterflies means the species could soon be taken off the threatened species list

Latest

Climbers to remeasure height of Everest

geography

A team of climbers is on its way to summit Mount Everest this week to measure whether it has grown as Earth’s tectonic plates move and try to end international disagreement on the subject

Isolation baby boom for Australian zoos

animals

While the world has been in lockdown, zoos around the country have been welcoming a wave of cute, cuddly and not so cuddly babies. Check them out.

Ball of cuteness and other winning nature photos

Mountain Hare Lepus timidus A confiding adult, high in the Cairngorms mountains, forms the shape of a ball as it grooms Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, UK
arts

A photo of a mountain hare in a snowstorm that took the photographer several freezing weeks to capture has won this year’s BigPicture international nature photography competition

Mystery of koala drinking habits solved

animals

In a big win in the battle to save this species from extinction, scientists have observed koalas drinking in the wild for the first time, watching them lick rain running down tree trunks

Sea turtles thrive as humans stay off our beaches

A tiny olive ridley sea turtle crawling on sand
animals

Sea turtles are nesting in record numbers across the world as humans stay inside to stop the spread of COVID-19. The turtles are thriving with crowd-free beaches and less pollution

Found! Antarctic frog fossils from warmer times

Dr Jodi Rowley with James Alcock
animals

Experts have discovered cold-blooded frogs once lived on a warm Antarctica 40 million years ago PLUS Australian scientists need your help for a frog-finding mission closer to home

Earth’s insect numbers shrink over 30 years

Funny laughing curly girl with a butterfly on his nose.
animals

New scientific research has shown the number of insects living on land has fallen dramatically in the past 30 years, putting the world’s ecosystems — and human lives — at risk

Koalas at risk as numbers halve in 20 years

Front line nurses
animals

Australia’s koala population has been cut in half in the past two decades, with conservationists warning our national icon is already extinct in some areas after devastating bushfires and drought

Painting clouds and other ideas to save our Reef

environment

Action on climate change and ideas such as painting clouds with water and growing heat-tolerant coral are being considered to help the Great Barrier Reef be healthier in 30 years’ time

Procession of caterpillars sign of frosty time ahead

The procession of caterpillars. Picture: Still from video
animals

A 7m-long procession of caterpillars parading through Alice Springs is fascinating and touching them dangerous, but to the Arrernte people, it can be a sign of a harsh winter on the way

Scientists to make the Murray River sing

The Helping the Murray Sing project. Picture: Jason Macqueen
science

The sounds of Australia’s Murray River will soon be heard in song after scientists and audio specialists captured its sights and sounds in a project aimed at improving the waterway’s health

Wild beasts come out to play as humans stay in

BESTPIX - Goats Roam Welsh Town As Coronavirus Lockdown Empties Its Streets
animals

Wild animals including jaguars, goats and boars have started exploring quiet city streets across the world as humans stay inside during the coronavirus lockdown

Baby boom for endangered snapping turtles

Turtle
animals

The future of Australia’s critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtle is a little more secure after 35 baby turtles hatched at Taronga Zoo

Twin polar bear cubs venture out in empty zoo

animals

Three-and-a-half-month-old twin polar bear cubs have made their public debut at a zoo in the Netherlands, but without the public because of coronavirus restrictions

Lego lost at sea could survive 1300 years

environment

Scientists studying plastic Lego blocks lost in a storm then washed up on the coast of southwest England find they could survive in the ocean for 1300 years

Why do leaves change colour and fall in autumn?

Autumn leaves
explainers

The leaves on deciduous trees turn forests, parks and gardens a rainbow of yellows, oranges, reds and browns. Why do leaves change colour? And why do the trees let them fall?

Tasmania considers culling wild kookaburras

animals

Tasmania is considering culling kookaburras in the wild after populations of the iconic national bird have spread and are threatening the future of other native species

Very hungry caterpillar eats Earth’s plastic pollution

science

Scientists have been feeding waxworms polyethylene — one of the most common plastics used in shopping bags — and found that just 60 little caterpillars can eat more than 30 sqcm in a week

Underwater Photographer of the Year

arts

Five Australian photographers have blitzed the international Underwater Photographer of the Year competition with their incredible pictures of life under the sea

Australia’s long, hot summers the new normal

weather

Our summers are now twice as long as our winters as climate change has increased temperatures since the middle of last century, according to a new study of Australian weather data

Would you eat butter made from maggots?

environment

Scientists in Belgium are experimenting with larva fat to replace butter in waffles, cakes and cookies, saying using grease from insects is more sustainable than dairy produce

It’s peak-hour traffic to put the bins out

Mark Knight cartoon on bin night.
arts

In his weekly series, award-winning cartoonist Mark Knight looks at how waste management has become a major issue in Australia and why it’s soon to create peak-hour traffic on bin night

Bird’s-eye view of our beautiful planet Earth

Google Earth satellite images from space
geography

Google has added 1000 new images to Earth View – a collection of the most beautiful landscapes from Google Earth. And a farmer’s marriage proposal makes it onto Google Maps

Antarctica’s hottest day ever recorded

SINGLE PENGUIN ON ICE
weather

The temperature in northern Antarctica has hit 18.3C, thought to be a heat record on the continent best known for snow, ice and penguins

Children race llamas to save World Heritage park

environment

Risking injury and braving the cold, children as young as four race llamas across a high-altitude region of Ecuador each year to help save one of the most important wetlands on Earth

Panama disease found on Queensland banana farm

news

A fungus that can wipe out banana crops has been found on a farm in far north Queensland in a region that produces 90 per cent of Australia’s bananas

Keeping drinking water safe after fires

environment

Water experts are preparing to keep Australia’s drinking water clean after bushfires, including installing huge fabric curtains across Sydney’s main dam

Scientists urge action to save platypus

Baby zoo animals spread. Healesville Sanctuary. Platypus keeper Jessica Thomas with little Ember, named after the local bushfires.
animals

Platypus populations are on the brink of extinction from drought, land clearing and the way we manage our waterways, according to new research on this unique Australian icon

Out-of-control bushfire burns one-fifth of ACT

Rainbow Flat Fire
environment

A raging megablaze has burnt one-fifth of the Australian Capital Territory as out-of-control bushfires also continue to threaten homes in NSW and Victoria

Aussie schoolkids inventing the future

Lawsona and Gabrielle with their Aquerator invention
technology

A robotic aerator to save river fish, a voice app to help people living with dementia and a photo-recognition app that sorts rubbish have been named Australia’s top student inventions

Greta named Person of the Year for 2019

humanities

Swedish schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg who became a household name after encouraging 4 million people to strike over climate change is named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Woman trapped in mountain of ‘cornflake’ algae

weather

Seaweed piled high on Queensland beaches has trapped at least one runner, who had to be rescued from the algae. While seaweed is not unusual, people have never seen so much at once

Drones deliver baby coral to save Reef

science

Scientists with an army of robotic drones and a fleet of backpack-sized inflatable pools are working to save the Great Barrier Reef as part of the world’s largest science and tourism group project

Row, row, row your boat to a better world

arts

In our weekly series, award-winning cartoonist Mark Knight explains why he drew young climate change activist Greta Thunberg rowing rock band Coldplay to their next world gig

Record floods swamp historic Venice

weather

UNESCO World Heritage Site Venice is in a state of emergency after “apocalyptic” floods swept through the historic Italian city, with the mayor blaming climate change

Hell on earth as weather giants collide

arts

In our weekly series, award-winning cartoonist Mark Knight captures the helplessness of drought-affected Australian communities now caught in the path of catastrophic bushfires

Ice eggs cover beach in rare weather event

The extraordinary sight was captured on Hailuoto Island in Finland. Picture: Risto Mattila
weather

Ice eggs the size of footballs have engulfed an entire beach in Finland in a rare weather event that requires ice, wind, water and freezing temperatures

World’s scientists unite on climate

Protest against Exxon Mobil
environment

More than 11,000 scientists have signed a declaration warning of a climate emergency and offered six clear measures they believe could avoid “untold human suffering”

Fight on over futuristic hi-tech city

A view of the planned city by Sidewalk Labs
technology

Google is trying to get everyone to agree on its plans to redevelop a neglected piece of land to build a hi-tech city complete with heated footpaths and self-driving shuttles

Dreaming of an Uluru without climbers

news

In our weekly series, award-winning cartoonist Mark Knight explains why he drew Uluru as an indigenous character dreaming of a life without interference on spiritual land

Small town strikes it lucky in big dry

Lawn
weather

Tenterfield — battling drought and, recently, bushfires — has struck it lucky with the discovery of underground water only 126 days before the town’s supply was due to run dry

The most amazing wildlife photos of the year

animals

A gripping action shot that captures “the perfect moment” between a Tibetan fox and a marmot has won its photographer the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Rye straw could replace plastic straws

Making bio-degradable straws from Rye plant
environment

Australian farmers are growing millions of natural, no-waste alternatives to plastic drinking straws every year, yet few people know about this centuries-old invention

Protesting extinction is as old as the dinosaurs

Mark Knight cartoon on Extinction Rebellion
animals

In our weekly series, award-winning cartoonist Mark Knight looks at the Extinction Rebellion protests in Australia and around the world and wonders what the dinosaurs would have thought

Space burgers coming right up!

burger on wax paper with beer in background
science

Astronauts have grown beef in a laboratory up on the International Space Station by 3D printing meat from cells harvested on Earth and sent up into orbit on a rocket

Where have all the Bogong moths gone?

Animals at Gumbuya World
animals

Critically endangered mountain pygmy-possums need your help to solve the mystery of the missing Bogong moths that have disappeared somewhere between Queensland and Victoria

Australia’s critical water shortage

23801121
weather

Several NSW towns will run out of drinking water within weeks without rain. In the longer term, Australia needs to build more dams to supply our growing population

Drought leaves firefighters without water

environment

Fires continued to burn across drought-ravaged Queensland and New South Wales on Monday night, forcing firefighters to find ways to fight bushfires without water

Kids feeling eco-anxiety about plastic waste

environment

Australian doctors have declared climate change a health emergency and children admit feeling anxious about the environment, some blaming adults for plastic waste

Great Barrier Reef outlook ‘very poor’

environment

It’s one of the seven wonders of the natural world, but the outlook for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is “very poor”, according to a five-year report on its health

Indonesia to relocate capital city from Jakarta

Local residents play on the shore in front of a mosque that has been claimed by the sea beside the protective seawall barrier at Muara Baru, North Jakarta. Picture: Graham Crouch
geography

President Joko Widodo has announced plans to move Indonesia’s capital city from overcrowded, sinking and polluted Jakarta to Borneo island, known for rainforests and orang-utans

Baby hope for last northern white rhinos

animals

Seven eggs from the world’s last two northern white rhinos have been successfully fertilised artificially, giving hope for a future baby rhino that could save the species from extinction

Amazon fires: Who will help save the rainforest?

environment

Some world leaders have agreed to help fight fires in the Amazon and try to repair the damage once the fires are out. We look at why the so-called ‘lungs of the world’ is so important

Huge volcanic island floating towards Australia

Michael
science

A city-sized, floating island spewed from an undersea volcano is heading for Australia’s coast. Rather than causing a disastrous collision, its arrival could help heal the Great Barrier Reef

Move to add giraffes to endangered list

Giraffes in Kruger park
animals

World nations have called for giraffes to be added to the endangered species list as numbers in the wild continue to drop because of loss of habitat, drought and hunting

Mountain lion gets world’s biggest wildlife bridge

Mountain lion P-22, who lives in Griffith Park, LA, US
animals

A famous Hollywood mountain lion is about to get a $128 million bridge to cross a freeway. And though he’s unlikely to cross it, it could help save his and many other species from extinction

Iceland’s funeral for its melted glacier

Monument unveiled at site of Okjokull, Iceland's first glacier lost to climate change
environment

With poetry, moments of silence and political speeches about the urgent need to fight climate change, Iceland bade goodbye to its first extinct glacier

Climate change: what it means for Australians

Fire
environment

More dust storms, more farming in Tasmania and a year-round bushfire season are just some of the predictions Australian scientists are making after the latest report on climate change

Meet Tallow, Australia’s cutest koala joey

animals

A tiny, wide-eyed koala has been named Australia’s cutest koala joey. And now she’s out of her mother’s pouch, her important work as an ambassador for her species’ conservation really begins

Let’s go into the garden for stamp collecting month

Stamp Collecting month
environment

Worms, bees, birds, flowers and veggies are the stars of Australia’s stamp collecting month, when sustainable gardening and stamp collecting get together to grow something great

Climate activist Greta Thunberg sailing to America

Greta Thunberg
environment

The Swedish teenager who has inspired tens of thousands of students to protest for faster action against climate change is taking her message to America by boat

Tiger iceblocks and other heat hacks for a hot Earth

weather

Earth had its hottest June on record and it’s predicted July will be even hotter, with zookeepers resorting to feeding tigers dinner frozen into giant ice blocks, while NSW is put on bushfire alert

Plant a trillion trees to pause climate change

environment

On the eve of National Tree Day, new research suggests planting a trillion trees could achieve a 20-year pause in global warming and that we have the available land to do it

Fighting extinction with world’s longest cat fence

environment

Thirty endangered rufous hare-wallabies have been released in Australia’s Central Desert into a sanctuary created as part of a project building the world’s longest cat-proof fence

Plan to power Singapore with Australian sunshine

Silverton - Day 1
environment

Our hot Northern Territory sunshine could soon be farmed for electricity to power Singapore in an ambitious plan to make Australia a world leader in making renewable energy

Aussie teen inventor’s big chicken nugget plan

technology

A young Australian inventor plans to change the world one chicken nugget at a time, with one of the biggest food companies investing millions of dollars to help him develop his recipe

Queues of climbers spoil Uluru and parklands

Supplied Editorial Uluru
environment

A rush of tourists trying to climb Uluru before it is banned is causing traffic jams on the historic rock and polluting its surrounding parklands with rubbish and human waste

Freak summer hailstorm buries city in ice

After hot days, the icy storm provided a few hours of fun. Picture: AFP
weather

After several warm days with temperatures above 30C, residents of this Mexican city woke up to a winter wonderland and then set about trying to find their cars under all that ice

Huge freshwater aquifer discovered below ocean

SailGP New York - United States Boat Preview
environment

Scientists have discovered a lake under the ocean holding enough freshwater to fill 1 billion swimming pools, believed to be the biggest known undersea freshwater aquifer on Earth

Lions battle to become king of the pride

The lions were photographed in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Picture: Stephen Underwood
animals

With teeth gnashing and muscles rippling, two big Maasai lions wrestle in a dramatic fight for supremacy captured in a sequence of incredible images in Africa

Melting ice leaves sled dogs walking on water

weather

A photo of a pack of sled dogs appearing to walk on water in Greenland has shocked the world, showing the result of a massive ice melt on an unusually warm day last week

Adani coal mine given the green light

Coal production at one of the open fields
environment

After nine years, nine legal reviews and $3.7 billion to get it started, the controversial Adani megamine in Queensland has been given the green light to start construction

Lego’s big search for plant-based plastic

The 15 famous LEGO pine trees and several flower sets have been recreated and supersized to be 66 times bigger. The LEGO trees are now located at Dunningham Reserve, Coogee and marks the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick in Australia. Picture: Brad Hunter
environment

Bricks made from corn were too soft and wheat-based bricks didn’t absorb colour evenly or have enough shine, but toymaker Lego is still trying to switch to plant-based plastic

‘Ice pirate’ plots to ‘steal’ a massive iceberg

Cierva Cove, Antarctica
environment

A cold, bold plan to tow a 113 million-tonne iceberg from Antarctica to South Africa for drinking water is all set to go ahead within months

World Environment Day: reasons to care about air

Heavy Smog Hits East China
environment

This year’s World Environment Day theme is air pollution, which is causing ill health and shortening the lives of millions. There are simple things we can all do to help clean up our air

Where is Migaloo, the famous white whale?

animals

As whale watching season begins in Australia, everyone is on the lookout for a very special white humpback whale who has been cruising the east coast every year for up to 30 years

Incredible nature photos are a call to action

arts

It’s a photography contest that aims to inspire the viewer to protect life on Earth and the winning entries are nothing short of breathtaking

Australia to get Eden Project at former coal mine

environment

The creators of the world’s biggest indoor rainforest have unveiled their plans to build a massive international eco-tourism attraction on mining wasteland in Australia

Our paradise islands polluted with plastic

environment

The world may be seriously underestimating the amount of plastic waste along its coastlines, according to researchers who studied Australia’s Cocos Islands

Diver breaks record with deepest submarine trip

In among the prawn-like creatures, diver Victor Vescovo also found pollution. Picture: Discovery Channel/Deep PlanetSource:Supplied
geography

Piles of lolly wrappers and other human-made rubbish marred the excitement of a record-breaking dive in a submarine to the bottom of the world’s deepest ocean

World-first ‘zero-waste’ flight takes off in Australia

(L-R) Qantas group executive for sustainability Andrew Parker, Qantas flight attendant Madeline Rowcliff and Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David pose for a photograph with Qantas' new biodegradable packaging ahead of Qantas flight QF739 at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Qantas have trialed the world's first zero waste to landfill flight from Sydney to Adelaide in which all inflight products will be reused, recycled or disposed of via compost. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING
environment

Qantas embarked on its journey to become a greener airline this week, with every disposable item on board a Sydney to Adelaide flight to be composted, reused, or recycled

Extinction alert for one million species

TOPSHOT - Graffiti artwork, suspected to have been created by the British street artist Banksy, is pictured opposite the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion's camp at Marble Arch in London on April 26, 2019. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION
environment

Report says one million animal and plant species are at risk of becoming extinct because humans won’t put saving the Earth ahead of making money

Dam levels drop as big dry drags on

Water restrictions story... Melanie Prior Water Restriction Patrol Officer No.7 on the streets, Nth Shore, Sydney...Photo:Alan Pryke 7-2-04
environment

After little or no rain across much of Australia recently, water levels are going down in our capital city’s dams and more severe water restrictions look likely

Adopt A Farmer to ease drought pain

Drought - Queensland
humanities

Farmers, their families and animals across Australia are doing it tough with worsening drought conditions. Students can now Adopt A Farmer to lend a helping hand to those most in need

Kids News explainer: What is drought?

Dust storm in Junee NSW 5th of March 2019 Must credit @thepastyfarmer permission for use given. from source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BunkgrGA3bZ/
explainers

May is likely to be drier than average for most of eastern Australia, which is bad news for the large parts of the country in drought

Antarctica’s emperor penguins go missing

Emperor Penguins in Antarctica
animals

Scientists thought Antarctica’s Halley Bay would be a refuge from global warming for emperor penguins, but many breeding pairs are already missing

Baby koala saved in world-first operation

Hermit snuggling into Crumble. Picture: Lone Pine Sanctuary
animals

Hermit the joey koala has been saved by a vet and a surrogate koala mother named Crumble in a daring medical procedure at an Australian wildlife sanctuary

3D printer making recycled plastic fantastic

This is one of the prosthetic hands that will be 3D printed using waste plastic.
technology

An Australian hairdresser is turning plastic shampoo bottles into 3D-printed prosthetic limbs, helping repurpose waste and giving a hand to those who need one

Taking selfies with endangered mountain gorillas

This selfie received thousands of likes with many thanking the rangers for protecting the animals. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
animals

Anti-poaching rangers have shared a series of incredible and heartwarming snaps posing and relaxing with the magnificent gorillas they risk their lives to protect

Kookaburra named Thunder for sale in US

Supplied Wendy Davidson Kookaburra
animals

An Australian woman has found a lone kookaburra for sale in a cage in a US pet shop. Unfortunately, she’s not allowed to bring it home to its native habitat

Earth Hour: Change the way we live

WWF Earth Hour
environment

Join the global movement of hundreds of millions of people all turning off the lights as a way of working together to care for the environment

Big win in fight against extinction

Plains-wanderer chicks at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Picture: Zoos Victoria
animals

A heat lamp, a feather duster and lots of expert care has helped nine precious plains-wanderer chicks hatch and thrive, an important species-saving step

Australian ‘outback air’ for sale

Selling Canned Air to China
environment

Canned air from a remote, secret location in South Australia is for sale to anyone who wants to pay $24 for 10 minutes of breathing free of pollution

Lipstick-pink lake a hit for selfies

PINK LAKE
environment

People who love pink are flocking like flamingoes to take selfies in front of a lake in Melbourne dyed by a population explosion of algae

One girl starts global climate protest

Students take part in a march for the environment and the climate o, in Brussels, on February 21, 2019. - Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes, urged the European Union on February 21, 2019 to double its ambition for greenhouse gas cuts. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)
humanities

Students from more than 70 countries are planning to protest this Friday against inaction on climate change, led by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg

Solomon Islands battling oil spill

TOPSHOT - This undated handout provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia on March 1, 2019 shows the oil spill from the MV Solomon Trader along the coastline of Rennell Island, some 240 kilometres south of the capital Honiara. - New Zealand joined an international effort on March 1 to limit damage from oil spilling out of the ship that ran aground near World Heritage-listed waters in the Solomon Islands almost a month ago. (Photo by Handout / DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
environment

A major oil spill in the Solomon Islands is moving towards the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Area, with fears of a looming environmental disaster

Hobart votes to ban single-use plastic

New plastic bylaw
environment

After an 8-4 vote by Hobart councillors, the city is set to become Australia’s first to ban single-use plastics including straws, sauce packets and cups