Environmental News

Nightingales at risk due to shorter wings caused by climate crisis

Migration to European breeding grounds from Africa is harder due to evolutionary changes

The nightingale was feted by John Keats as a “light-winged Dryad of the trees”. But the much-celebrated small bird with a beautiful song may be increasingly endangered because its wings are getting shorter.

The nightingale makes an epic journey from sub-Saharan Africa to breed in Europe each summer but there are barely 7,000 nesting pairs left in England.

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Will the coronavirus kill the oil industry and help save the climate?

Analysts say the coronavirus and a savage price war means the oil and gas sector will never be the same again

The plunging demand for oil wrought by the coronavirus pandemic combined with a savage price war has left the fossil fuel industry broken and in survival mode, according to analysts. It faces the gravest challenge in its 100-year history, they say, one that will permanently alter the industry. With some calling the scene a “hellscape”, the least lurid description is “unprecedented”.

A key question is whether this will permanently alter the course of the climate crisis. Many experts think it might well do so, pulling forward the date at which demand for oil and gas peaks, never to recover, and allowing the atmosphere to gradually heal.

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'The losses could be profound': floods wreak havoc on wildlife

As rivers and wildflower meadows in the UK struggle to recover from repeated flooding, the ecosystems they support are collapsing

For 900 years, Lugg and Hampton wildflower meadows in Herefordshire have bloomed into a wash of colour in spring. These fertile meadows were highly prized, and the Norman lords who owned them used the hay crop to help fund Hereford’s cathedrals, churches and castles. The secret to their wonderful bounty was the River Lugg flowing through the middle, fertilising the valley floor with lime and silt each winter it flooded.

But this longstanding system is broken. This winter the valley was submerged under several feet of chocolate-coloured water. It has been flooded almost continuously since October, turning the 120-hectare (297-acre) reserve into an inland lake, with just the tops of gates and fence posts peeping out of the water. Now, as spring approaches, the water is still several inches deep and swans and gulls frolic where mice and rabbits would have burrowed six months earlier.

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Coronavirus: UK faces cardboard shortage due to crisis

Recycling Association warns of serious impact on supplies of food and medicine packaging

The UK could be hit by a national cardboard shortage as more and more local councils suspend their regular recycling collections owing to pressures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the industry’s trade body has warned.

The Recycling Association said it has huge concerns about a looming European and even worldwide shortage of fibre – used paper and cardboard – which is used to manufacture millions of cardboard boxes essential for food and medical supplies distribution.

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'Really amazing': scientists show that fish migrate through the deep oceans

Analysis of underwater photographs has demonstrated what marine biologists have long suspected – seasonal fish migrations

New research has finally demonstrated what many marine biologists suspected but had never before seen: fish migrating through the deep sea.

The study, published this month in the Journal of Animal Ecology, used analysis of deep-sea photographs to show a regular increase in the number of fish in particular months, suggesting seasonal migrations.

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