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Browsing: Environment

Researches are concerned that west Antarctica is heating up at twice the rate as formerly thought. Data collected over many years has drawn the conclusion that there has been a 2.4 degrees Celsius increase in temperature over 52 years. The major point being emphasised is the contribution of melting ice to global sea level rise and therefore increased risk of flooding to regions such as the low-lying Maldives and Bangladesh. The US scientists have said it is expected for summer temperatures to be higher than at other times of year however Antarctic temperatures rarely exceed 0 degrees Celsius.

This December saw the School of Ocean Science’s first ever Polar Symposium, an opportunity for students and professionals from the world of polar science to meet and learn. With attendees and speakers travelling from all across the UK and a keynote speaker flying in from Norway for the event, Bangor became a hub of polar interest and knowledge over the weekend. With nine speakers on topics ranging from sea ice, to the greening Artic and even the surveying of the ocean floor for oil drilling, there was something to interest all those attending. Funded by the UK Polar Network, Bangor…

Common ash is the third most abundant native broadleaved tree species in Great Britain, its main environmental benefit is providing a diverse habitat for wildlife. In addition it has current economic uses such as flooring and barbecue charcoal. Unfortunately due to a new threat from fungal organism ‘Chalara fraxinea’, first seen in Poland in 1992, several ash species are under threat. Infection results in leaf loss, crown dieback and ultimately death. Young saplings are at particular risk as individuals are killed within one growing season of symptoms becoming visible. Despite this mature trees are by no means safe because although…

I’ve seen my fair share of storms and I’m not talking about your typical thunderstorm over the UK, I’m talking about the huge supercells that I was lucky enough to encounter during a storm chasing tour in tornado alley during 2010. Baseball size hail, winds that will topple 18 wheelers and such heavy rain the wipers are useless makes you realise pretty quickly that we get it easy. However, compared to that Hurricane Sandy was on a completely different scale. At its peak Sandy was the largest Atlantic Hurricane on record spanning 1100 miles in diameter, enough to engulf the…

After watching Jaws and hearing about shark attacks on the news, it’s often hard to see the reasoning behind protecting these infamous creatures but at the top of the food chain they’re playing a very important role. The main reason for shark fishing is for their fins. When these are cut off the shark is often still alive and is then tossed back into the sea, so the fins can be used for soup. The origins of shark fin soup are found in early medieval China where emperors served it as a demonstration of how powerful they were. This is…

Some people have been calling it ‘the greatest panic of our time’ and for any self confessed bacon lover out there, which we have to admit is nearly all of us, this is definitely a very worrying issue; almost as bad as climate change or H5N1. The great bacon shortage of 2012 was first announced by a British Trade Organisation actually named ‘The Pig Association’ (so they must know what they’re on about), and their press release stated that ‘a shortage of bacon and pork was now unavoidable’. This was immediately pounced on by bacon lovers the world over and…

STAG is based at the university’s beautiful Treborth Botanic Garden, where we help with all aspects of the garden: planting, weeding, woodland maintenance and generally making the place even better. If you like getting your hands dirty whilst learning about plants and nature, STAG is right for you. When we’re not gardening we run trips to botanic gardens, forage for mushrooms, hunt for bats and much more. Visit us on Facebook or email us to get the latest! Events: Sunday 28th October 10am-4pm Work Party and BBQ: The Great Gnome takeover For more info see our Facebook page or email…

The FBI defines eco-terrorism as “the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against people or property…for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.” Unlike actual terrorists, ecoterrorists attack money, not people. They are known for burning down buildings that contribute to pollution, destruction of a natural area or promote urbanisation. The Earth Liberation Front (ELF), established in Brighton in 1992, was the first organisation to be labelled “eco-terrorists” when an American cell burned down a ski resort in Colorado costing the owners $12m. Elf claimed afterwards that “of clearcuts will…

Treehugger This website is very well organised, it’s easy to navigate which is useful because it covers  so much ground. The news section is useful and interesting but there are so many areas of interest covered, it’s easy to get lost on there for a good while. Life Goggles This one is interesting because although it’s packed with reviews of everything you could ever need, it also comes up with some nice little gems. We especially like the book reviews. Environmental Graffiti We can’t say much more about this blog than it is SO INTERESTING. There are features on things…

It’s nice to hear that our solar slashing, nuclear initiating government is looking into sourcing energy from a clean and sustainable source. Iceland’s abundance of geothermal energy has attracted the attention of the energy minister, Charles Hendry, who has suggested plans for a European supergrid which would be “an absolutely critical part of energy security and for low- carbon energy”, The Guardian reported. The plan has been called ambitious by the Department of Energy and Climate but perhaps something as “radical” as utilising Iceland’s volcanoes is exactly what is needed, not only to sustain the UK’s energy needs but also…

For all our talk about local food, it has occurred to us that if you did want to venture out of your supermarket comfort zone, you might not know what to expect. As it turns out, the door opposite the counter in Dimensions isn’t an office. Nor will you startle an unsuspecting yoga instructor in use of a compost toilet. It’s where they keep the vegetables! I was as happily surprised by this news as I assume you are. The staff are keen to help and to chat so for the anxious local-shopping virgin there is nothing to worry about.…

Oil moguls plan to profit from dangerous oil extraction through untouched rainforest You would think that after everything that happened around the BP Deepwater oil disaster in 2010 the world might be waking up to the dangers of oil. There might be higher demand for safer, cleaner energy, better technology and for the “fuel of the future” to be something this planet can sustain. Unfortunately Enbridge, the North American oil and gas pipeline company, has plans for a new crude oil pipeline to transport oil from the Alberta Tar Sands to various destinations across the US and the world.…

Longfin pilot whales, like killer whales, are really dolphins. They are sociable cetaceans living in large pods which can communicate through high pitched sounds. Despite having an “unfavourable conservation status” by ASCOBANS, a regional agreement on the protection of small cetaceans (like pilot whales), they are also a staple food for many of our nordic cousins. According to The World Council of Whalers “Many coastal communities rely on the cultural, nutritional and economic sustenance whaling provides”. Though a fair evaluation of the motives for these practices they also say “whaling people today are a far cry from the industrial whalers…

Autumn is well and truly upon us and winter is closing in fast; it’s the time of year when we’re wrapping up in scarves and reaching for the soups, stews and other “winter warmers”. But even this time of year we can all pop into Morrisons and buy all the ingredients for a summer salad, months after they’ve been able to grow in Britain’s climate. These out of season ingredients have been imported to the UK from all around the globe in vast quantities releasing equally as vast quantities of carbon dioxide. Last year imports included over a million tonnes…

Insulate your windows If you don’t have double glazing (and your landlord isn’t interested in providing it) you can tape cling film over the glass in your windows. Make sure you leave no gaps and use a hairdryer to heat it and create a vacuum. It should last you all winter. Reflect heat from your radiators If you have a gap between your radiators and the wall, stick tinfoil (shiny side out) behind the radiator to reflect the heat back into the room that would otherwise be wasted on heating the wall. Let the sun shine in If…