Author: Kerrod Trott

Cocos Islands drowning in plastic

A new survey on plastic pollution reveals that Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and the territory’s beaches are littered with an estimated 414 million pieces of plastic debris. The study led by IMAS researcher Dr Jennifer Lavers, and co-author Dr Annett Finger from Victoria University estimates that beaches on the Indian Ocean islands are littered with 238 tonnes of plastic, including 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes. Dr Lavers said remote islands which don’t have large human populations depositing rubbish nearby are an indicator of the amount of plastic debris circulating in the world’s oceans. “Islands such as these are like...

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Labor changes to environmental law welcome – AMCS

Labor’s pledge to overhaul environmental law is a chance for much needed reform, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society. A Labor election commitment to reshape and strengthen Australia’s environmental laws is a chance to replace outdated and inadequate laws with legislation that Australia’s rich and unique wildlife deserves, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS). Responding to Labor’s policy announcement, Darren Kindleysides, CEO of AMCS, said: “Australia’s environmental legislation is desperate for an overhaul. “We welcome this commitment to introduce a new Australian Environment Act and create a federal Environment Protection Agency – this is a chance for much...

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Australia becoming a more caring country

A new Red Cross survey* reveals Australians are incredibly compassionate, with around two thirds (64%) of the population wanting to do more to help people in need. Kerry McGrath, Director Community Programs, Australian Red Cross said: “In the second year of our Red Cross survey, Australia is trending in a very positive direction, with the great majority of us wanting to help others, and even an 8 percent increase from last year.” “Young people top the country, with eight of ten (82%) aged 16-17 saying they want to help others doing it tough. This is excellent news for the...

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Did you know trees remember heatwaves?

An Aussie eucalypt can ‘remember’ past exposure to extreme heat, which makes the tree and its offspring better able to cope with future heatwaves, according to new research from Macquarie University. This finding could have important implications for restoring ecosystems and climate-proofing forestry, as the number of hot days and heatwaves increase due to climate change. “Unlike animals, which can bury deeper into the soil or flee to cooler locations, plants are stuck in one spot and so must be able to withstand extreme conditions in situ,” says Dr Rachael Gallagher, senior author of the paper published in the...

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Coal fired power disrupts rainfall: global study

Modern coal-fired power stations produce more ultrafine dust particles than road traffic and can even modify and redistribute rainfall patterns, a new 15-year international study shows. The study indicates filtration systems on modern coal-fired power stations are the biggest source of ultrafine particles and can have considerable impacts on climate in several ways. In urban areas, road traffic has long been considered the main source of small particle emissions which have the potential to adversely affect health and the environment. However, long-term measurements carried out by two scientists, Professor Wolfgang Junkermann from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in...

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