Environment

Google buys drone maker Titan Aerospace

NEW YORK (AP) — Google has bought Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, saying it could help bring Internet access to remote parts of the world as well as solve other problems.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Google Inc. said Monday that atmospheric satellites could also be used in disaster relief and assessing environmental damage.

Killing of environmental activists rises globally

BANGKOK (AP) — As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him.

A year later, his three alleged killers, including a senior government official, are on trial for murder. The dumping has been halted and villagers are erecting a statue to their slain hero.

Chinese e-commerce colossus pushing water testing

Source: 
Bloomberg

Tackling China's pollution problem head-on, Alibaba, the massive and powerful e-commerce group, is selling its customers water testing kits for around $10 and then mapping the data that the volunteers upload, Bloomberg reports. 

Oil

Focus shifts to restoration at Ohio oil leak site

CINCINNATI (AP) — Officials are beginning to focus on restoration as crews clean up remnants of thousands of gallons of oil that leaked into a nature preserve near Cincinnati.

Traces of oil could be seen on rocks along an intermittent stream in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve as media were allowed to tour the site Monday for the first time since a pipeline leaked in mid-March.

Artificial reef for oysters completed on Texas coast

MATAGORDA, Texas (AP) — An artificial reef that conservationists hope will repopulate Matagorda Bay with oyster beds was completed over the weekend by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The 250-foot-long, 50-foot-wide structure was completed Saturday, Corps spokesman Isidro Reyna said.

"The oysters need a place to land and settle," Corps project manager Byron Williams said. "We're going to monitor the reef for five years, but this is a long-term plan that could be deemed a success in year one."

Cost of fighting warming 'modest,' says UN panel

BERLIN (AP) — The cost of keeping global warming in check is "relatively modest," but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change said Sunday.

Such gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2 percent a year in 2000-2010, driven by the use of coal in the power sector, officials said as they launched the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's report on measures to fight global warming.

Without additional measures to contain emissions, global temperatures will rise about 3 degrees to 4 degrees Celsius (5 degrees to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 compared to current levels, the panel said.

Associated Press

Climate change action advocates see urgency in UN report

Groups seeking action to address climate change reacted Sunday to the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with a call for global leaders to reverse growing carbon emissions.

The report, released in Berlin, is the third of four that will make up the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, which is to set the stage for international talks next year on a global climate treaty.  The report found greenhouse gas emissions accelerated from 2000-2010, growing more than in any of the previous three decades.

UN panel shows who's responsible for CO2 emissions

BERLIN (AP) — The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is preparing a new report this weekend outlining the cuts in greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, required in coming decades to keep global warming in check.

Since it's a scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won't tell governments how to divide those emissions cuts — a crunch issue in negotiations on a new climate pact that's supposed to be adopted next year.

However, in leaked draft of the report obtained by The Associated Press, the IPCC shows with graphs and tables which countries are responsible for the greatest share of emissions, using a range of different accounting methods. These are some of the key facts on emissions:

Conservationists seek more protection for lesser prairie chicken

DENVER (AP) — Conservation groups say they will go to court to force the Obama administration to do more to save the lesser prairie chicken, arguing a recent federal ruling doesn't stop the energy industry from killing the grouse or encroaching on its habitats in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians notified the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior on Friday that they intended to sue.

Artificial cooling tricky topic for climate panel

BERLIN (AP) — It's Plan B in the fight against climate change: cooling the planet by sucking heat-trapping CO2 from the air or reflecting sunlight back into space.

Called geoengineering, it's considered mad science by opponents. Supporters say it would be foolish to ignore it, since plan A — slashing carbon emissions from fossil fuels — is moving so slowly.

The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is under pressure from both sides this week as it considers whether geoengineering should be part of the tool-kit that governments use to keep global warming in check.

Russia, in particular, has been pushing the panel to place more emphasis on such techniques in a key document for policymakers being finalized in Berlin this week.

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