Environmental News

Song of one of rarest whales on planet recorded for first time

There are only about 30 north Pacific right whales left after hunters nearly wiped out the slow-moving animals

Marine biologists for the first time have recorded singing by one of the rarest whales on the planet, the north Pacific right whale.

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used moored acoustic recorders to capture repeated patterns of calls made by male north Pacific right whales.

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Sadiq Khan announces car-free day in London to tackle air pollution

Event will take place on 22 September across 18 boroughs, with road closures and events

Sadiq Khan has announced plans to implement London’s biggest car-free day to date, closing 12.3 miles (20km) of roads in the centre of the capital in September.

Roads will be closed for the event around London Bridge, Tower Bridge and much of the City of London to help tackle the capital’s air pollution crisis, which kills thousands of people each year and leaves two million – including 400,000 children – living in areas with illegally dirty air.

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Seawalls to protect US against rising oceans could cost $416bn by 2040

Seawalls could cost as much as the initial investment in the interstate highway system, with Florida facing $76bn, report finds

Defending against rising seas could cost US communities $416bn in the next 20 years, according to a new report.

Spending on seawalls alone could total almost as much as the initial investment in the interstate highway system, the authors said. And the billions involved will represent just a fraction of adaptation efforts governments in coastal states will have to fund if they do not want to simply retreat.

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Twitter storm: noise pollution creates havoc for birds, study shows

Human activities could be affecting reproduction and even normal social behaviour

Birds are even more disrupted by their noisy neighbours than had been thought previously, researchers have found. And human activities could be preventing birds from reproducing and even developing normal social behaviour and keeping the peace.

A study by Queen’s University Belfast found that when European robins were subjected to human produced noises their behaviour changed. Background noise appeared to mask the communication of crucial information between birds.

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Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show

Ice losses indicate ‘devastating’ future for region and 1 billion people who depend on it for water

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century, with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed. The accelerating losses indicate a “devastating” future for the region, upon which a billion people depend for regular water.

The scientists combined declassified US spy satellite images from the mid-1970s with modern satellite data to create the first detailed, four-decade record of ice along the 2,000km (1,200-mile) mountain chain.

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