Dbytes #386 (25 July 2019)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making

“The government needs to hear the advice of its own advisory body and listen to the cascade of international and national concern for the Great Barrier Reef,” Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council [see item 1]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority releases position statement on climate change
2. Carbon calculator: how taking one flight emits as much as many people do in a year
3. Recent Global Warming Unprecedented in the Past 2,000 years
4. Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months
5. Meet the endangered Bunyip bird living in Australia’s rice paddies
6. Yellow Sea shorebird habitats secure World Heritage listing
7. Untangling the complicated relationships between people and nature for a brighter future

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1. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority releases position statement on climate change

And it begins: “Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Only the strongest and fastest possible actions to decrease global greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the risks and limit the impacts of climate change on the Reef. Further impacts can be minimised by limiting global temperature increase to the maximum extent possible and fast-tracking actions to build Reef resilience.”

http://elibrary.gbrmpa.gov.au/jspui/bitstream/11017/3460/1/v0-Climate-Change-Position-Statement.pdf

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2. Carbon calculator: how taking one flight emits as much as many people do in a year

According to figures from German nonprofit Atmosfair, flying from London to New York and back generates about 986kg of CO2 per passenger. There are 56 countries where the average person emits less carbon dioxide in a whole year – from Burundi in Africa to Paraguay in South America.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/jul/19/carbon-calculator-how-taking-one-flight-emits-as-much-as-many-people-do-in-a-year?CMP=share_btn_tw

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3. Recent Global Warming Unprecedented in the Past 2,000 years

New research conducted by Australian and international experts shows that in recent decades the world has warmed faster than at any time in the past 2,000 years. “This research uses new data sources and analyses to confirm what many of us have been saying.  Since the 1950s the world has been warming at a rate unprecedented for at least two thousand years and probably longer,” said Climate Councillor Professor Will Steffen. In 19AD, the global population was just 4% of what it is now. There were fewer people on earth than the current population of the United States and most people lived an agrarian life. To understand what the global climate was like in the past, the researchers analysed corals, ice cores, tree rings, lake sediments and ocean sediment cores. Their work provides a clear picture of the Earth’s average temperature over the past two millennia.

https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/recent-global-warming-unprecedented-in-past-2000-years/
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4. Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months

Do you remember the good old days when we had “12 years to save the planet”?
Now it seems, there’s a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48964736

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5. Meet the endangered Bunyip bird living in Australia’s rice paddies

The debate around the Murray-Darling Basin is often sharply polarised: irrigation is destroying the environment, or water reforms are ruining farming communities. But there is another story. In the Riverina region of southern New South Wales, a strange waterbird is using rice fields to live in and breed. The endangered Bunyip Bird, also called the Australasian Bittern, is famous for its deep booming call – for thousands of years thought to be the sound made by the mythical Bunyip. It’s a sound now familiar to most rice growers. In 2012, Birdlife Australia and the Ricegrowers’ Association teamed up to learn more about bitterns in rice.

https://theconversation.com/meet-the-endangered-bunyip-bird-living-in-australias-rice-paddies-120342

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6. Yellow Sea shorebird habitats secure World Heritage listing

Key sites along the Chinese coastline of the Yellow Sea have secured World Heritage status, a lifeline for 17 globally threatened migratory shorebird species that rely on these habitats. The decision follows tireless advocacy from BirdLife Australia and reflects China’s role as a leader in global conservation.

http://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/news/yellow-sea-shorebird-habitats-secure-world-heritage-listing
 
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7. Untangling the complicated relationships between people and nature for a brighter future

An international group of scientists is making major advances in sustaining the world’s environments, untangling the intricate ways in which people and nature depend on each other. The results are published in today’s Nature Sustainability and includes contributions from a team of scientists based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE). With major crises such as extinctions and environmental degradation now upon us, the timing of the study is crucial.
“Environmental problems are messy,” Dr Michele Barnes from Coral CoE said. “They often involve multiple, interconnected resources and a lot of different people—each with their own unique relationship to nature.”
The paper, led by Dr Örjan Bodin from Stockholm University, proposes several advances to a ‘network approach’ that can better analyse and help solve these problems by identifying the key relationships between people and nature that underpin them.

https://www.coralcoe.org.au/none/untangling-the-complicated-relationships-between-people-and-nature-for-a-brighter-future

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. For the past decade Dbytes has been supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords).

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to received it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David Salt


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