In this issue

Issue 182


More evidence for human fingerprint on climate change
Three new published studies, each looking at a different aspect of humankind's impact on climate, all carry the same sobering message. The first study concludes that recent warming is unprecedented in 2000 years. A second reports climate zones are shifting faster due to warming temperatures. The third argues impacts from greenhouse gas emissions are not caused solely by warming temperatures.
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Disasters happen – but software shouldn’t be one of them
Imagine you're a disaster manager and a large earthquake has just struck off the Australian coast. You know that part of the Australian coastline is about to be inundated by a tsunami but you need more information – and quickly. But what information do you need, and how do you get it?
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Extra acid test for Australia’s oceans
CSIRO has just announced the deployment of a $150,000 mooring off Tasmania's Maria Island, to further Australia's research on climate change. The mooring is equipped to measure the chemistry of the Tasman Sea, specifically its acidity. So, then, what has seawater chemistry to do with climate change?
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Towards an open platform for digitising life on Earth
A community of scientists came together online to create a vision for the future of biodiversity research, which puts technological innovation at its heart and calls for greater openness in data sharing, standardisation and citizen science.
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Is Shark Bay shifting from temperate to tropical?
Scientists in Western Australia warn that the future of one of Australia's most extraordinary temperate seagrass ecosystems – the iconic Shark Bay – may be under threat from warmer seas, heavier floods and sea-level rise associated with climate change.
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Switch by switch, we’re changing the world
Earth Hour, held this year on 23 March, is the biggest people-powered action for the environment in history. This year marked the sixth national Earth Hour across Australia and the seventh for Sydney, demonstrating that the potency, power and innovation of the movement is still with us, says Dermot O'Gorman, Chief Executive of WWF-Australia.
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Nature and the city
People usually think about biodiversity and nature in terms of national parks, reserves and wildlife. Yet humans have a growing urban footprint across the planet. More than 50 per cent of Australia's threatened species and ecosystems occur within the urban fringe. As Dr Richard Fuller points out, it's not just a problem for plants and animals – it seems that nature is key to the wellbeing of people in cities too.
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How does the Great Artesian Basin really work?
The Great Artesian Basin is huge and ancient underground ‘water tank' big enough to fill Sydney Harbour 130,000 times. It stretches from Cape York down to Dubbo and further west than Coober Pedy and has been providing the only reliable source of fresh water for rural communities in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory since the first bore holes were sunk in the 19th century.
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Seasonal climate forecasts: reading tea-leaves in a digital age
Tea-leaves, entrails, cockatoos: we all want to forecast the future. Weather forecasts have become so commonplace we rarely think about the technology, research, computing power and millions of observations behind those couple of words: ‘mostly sunny’.
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Designing for hope
Hope is often in short supply after disaster strikes. Jenny Donovan specialises in urban design in difficult circumstances such as after disasters and conflicts. She believes her profession has a key role to play in creating physical environments where hope can flourish again. Here she talks to Michele Sabto about her new book Designing to Heal.
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Nitrogen oversight could lead to revision of emissions from land use change
Islanders compare notes on community management of marine resources
Pest fish to be tracked by its own DNA
Wiki seeks local ‘ground truth’ to help build better maps
State of the World 2013: ‘we need to reboot our thinking’
Size matters: scientists call for large ocean wilderness parks
WA soil carbon study to test greenhouse nitrogen gas risk
One of the world’s largest pension funds shuns palm oil
Public comment invited on national TV, computer recycling scheme
Gene mapping project unlocks potential for koala immunisation
Australia inches up clean energy ladder, but Asia takes 3 of top 5 spots
Solar panels spread to more than one million homes
Rubbish is not for trashing
Rust worth fighting to keep bread on the world's table
Capital habitat for biodiversity research centre
Latest Climate Commission report: climate change fuelling wilder weather
Fully renewable electricity could be competitive: new research
Food waste for fuel in rural Australia?
DNA technology set to speed up species discovery
New weather radar to read oceans’ clouds
‘Don’t drop the ball on MD Basin’ warns National Water Commission
Revegetation of native trees using degradable plastic film
Cane-waste saves energy, helps power a city

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