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26 May 2015 Second Shell protester leaves Arctic oil exploration ship in Washington state

A woman who had been hanging off the anchor chain of an Arctic oil-drilling support ship since Friday night ended her protest north of Seattle on Monday. The US coast guard said student activist Chiara D’Angelo requested assistance getting down from her perch on the Arctic Challenger in the Bellingham harbour at around 9.30am. Spokeswoman…

12 May 2015 Sri Lanka first nation to protect all mangrove forests

Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests. A scheme backed by the government will include alternative job training, replanting projects and microloans. Mangroves are considered to be one of the world’s most at-risk habitats, with more than half being lost or destroyed in the…

12 May 2015 Shell gets ‘conditional’ US Arctic drilling approval

Oil firm Royal Dutch Shell has won approval from the US Department of Interior to explore for oil in the Arctic. The approval depends on Shell getting a nod from other US regulators, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said. Shell stopped Arctic exploration more than two years ago after problems including an oil rig…

12 May 2015 Best view yet of Ceres’ spots

The fascinating bright spots on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres have come into sharper view. What were initially thought to be just a couple of brilliant, closely spaced features at one location now turn out to be a clutch of many smaller dots. The latest pictures were acquired by the US space agency’s…

28 April 2015 Hand over control of my fridge to an energy company? No thanks, say Brits

Study finds opposition to invasive smart technologies designed to save energy at home, but support for some less intrusive and automated measures

23 April 2015 As climate talks belch hot air, activists are putting their lives on the line

How is it that in a year stuffed with conferences on environment and human development, from climate talks in Paris and on new development goals in New York, those actually trying to save the environment are at best dismissed as enemies of progress, and at worst are being killed at an increasing rate and with…

7 April 2015 Under the microscope, strong-swimming swamp bacteria spontaneously organize into crystals

Insects form swarms, fish school, birds flock together. Likewise, one species of bacteria forms dynamic, living crystals, says new research from Rockefeller University. Biophysicists have revealed that fast-swimming, sulfur-eating microbes known as Thiovulum majus can organize themselves into a two-dimensional lattice composed of rotating cells, the first known example of bacteria spontaneously forming such a…

7 April 2015 Climate change, plant roots may accelerate carbon loss from soils

Soil, long thought to be a semi-permanent storehouse for ancient carbon, may be releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere faster than anyone thought, according to Oregon State University soil scientists. In a study published in this week’s online edition of the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers showed that chemicals emitted by plant roots act…

2 April 2015 Polar bears face starvation as unlikely to adapt to a land-based diet, says report

New research casts doubt on the theory that polar bears could survive habitat loss as sea ice declines by foraging for food on land Polar bears will not be able to get enough calories from land-based food, says a new report Photograph: Justin Hofman/Barcroft Media

2 April 2015 UK’s most endangered butterfly back from the brink

The critically endangered high brown fritillary had its best summer in a decade in 2014, with numbers rising 180% in a year thanks to conservation efforts The high brown fritillary butterfly was once common in woodlands across England and Wales. Photograph: Iain H Leach/Butterfly Conservation

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