In this issue

Issue 199


Global carbon report: emissions will hit new heights in 2014
As heads of state gathered in New York for last week’s United Nations climate summit, a report on the state of the world’s carbon budget revealed that greenhouse emissions hit a new record last year, and are still growing.
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Garry Cook: on fire in the north
With the Ecological Society of Australia’s (ESA’s) annual conference getting under way in Alice Springs today, CSIRO scientist Dr Garry Cook is relaying some good news from his research on savanna burning and Australia’s greenhouse gas accounts. ECOS caught up with Garry on the eve of the conference.
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Queensland survey reveals lukewarm view of coal seam gas
Residents in Queensland’s Western Downs region have mixed feelings towards coal seam gas (CSG) development taking place in their midst, according to our CSIRO survey.
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The oceans are full of our plastic – here's what we can do about it
By 2050, 95 per cent of seabirds will have plastic in their gut. That is just one finding from our national marine debris research project, the largest sample of marine debris data ever collected anywhere in the world.
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Connectivity, safe bike lanes key to bike-share success
More than 700 cities around the world operate bike-share programs, with the aim of reducing polluting inner-city traffic. In Australia, Melbourne and Brisbane set up programs in 2010, but subsequent usage rates have been well below cities elsewhere. While Australia's mandatory helmet laws are often cited as the cause, another reason could be the lack of safe bike lanes and bike-lane connectivity.
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People power unearths a hidden world in WA soils
Why would 400 or more Western Australians, trowels and GPS devices in hand, take to the great outdoors to collect dirt? Because each has been involved with MicroBlitz, a world-first crowd-sourced research project that uses DNA sequencing technology to identify the many different microorganisms inhabiting soils.
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Bamboo could turn the world's construction trade on its head
Bamboo, a common grass which can be harder to pull apart than steel, has the potential to revolutionise building construction throughout the world. But that's not all. As a raw material found predominantly in the developing world, without a pre-existing industrial infrastructure built to skew things towards the rich world, bamboo has the potential to completely shift international economic relations.
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Pine fiction: can plantations really re-connect bird species?
Forest plantations are everywhere. You'll find them in almost every vegetated country in the world. They cover a surprisingly large portion of our planet – some 260 million hectares, corresponding to 7 per cent of global forest cover.
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99.999 per cent certainty humans are driving global warming: new study
There is less than 1 chance in 100,000 that global average temperature over the past 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, our new research shows.
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Where is the oceans’ missing plastic?
In a recent paper published in one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals, researchers admitted that the available data ‘cannot account for the fate of 99 per cent of the plastic litter entering the open ocean'. What's happening to this plastic? And how can we reduce pollution in the world's oceans?
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ECOS@40: still deep, green, with a good dash of science
How do you take your science? In 140-character bites, or do you have an appetite for more? It turns out many ECOS readers prefer more than less when it comes to our online stories about sustainability-related science.
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Wild Australia: ecologists meet at our red heart
Global roadmap strives to find a balance
Tackling food waste from root to stalk
World’s cleanest water from wastewater in Antarctica
Fewer migratory birds completing the long haul
Manure can offset invisible changes to soil structure from chemical fertilisers
Asking Ys how they might fall in love with nature
Lake Eyre Basin partnership wins 2014 Australian Riverprize
‘Low-car diet’ could save trillions of $$$ and megatons of CO2
Solar transforms raw materials into everyday ingredients
Australia’s first fuel cell bicycle hits the streets
All hands on deck: citizen oceanographers on the horizon
Rangers keep a sharp eye on rare Gouldian Finches
Fairtrade is working for farmers and consumers
Solar desalination a solution for Indian villages
Giant garbage patches reveal their sources
Perth may lose its Carnaby’s cockatoos by 2029
‘Green growth’ one of nine steps to a better life for Pacific Island nations
And now, the 2050 weather: warmer, wetter, wilder
Peak meat production strains land and water resources
Some desert plants more heatwave-resistant than others
Mini choppers map rainforest weed invasions
Innovation gets a boost in solar sector
Genetic technologies point to proliferation of insect species
Missing heat may be hiding deep in the Atlantic

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