Environment/Gardening News. No.4

As usual, a brief round-up of the headlines which have caught our eye:

Global warming exceeding 2º target? 

Some members of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have indicated we are on track to surpass the 2 degree target set as the goal for limiting the earth’s global average surface temperature.

In their Nature Climate Change commentary, they suggest that societies unwilling to accept the statistics, will be unable to face the challenges ahead. “The foundation on which the 2 degree C target was built has been steadily eroded”. A timely reminder after the extraordinary weather in parts of Europe and the US this winter.

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7.5 million trees lost in Storm Darwin.

The Windblow Taskforce set up by the Irish Dept of Agriculture estimate that over 7 million trees were toppled by the Storm on February 12th. They were mostly recently thinned Sitka spruce.

Luckily, most of the wood can be salvaged and only represents less than 1% of the total forest volume. More here.

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Best app for Gardeners…

The really useful RHS Plant Selector is now available for your Smartphone.

Search for the best plants for your garden/situation/soil type/colour etc.

RHS plant selector.

… and for birders.

Want to identify birds or their birdsong?

The RSPB has produced an app to help : RSPB

Liberty lost to the waves?

Warnings that iconic landmarks such as Sydney Opera House , the Tower of London and the Statue of Liberty will sink under the sea , have come from scientists in the journal ‘Environmental Research Letters’.

The scientists wanted to look at the cultural, rather than the usual economic/environmental, consequences of climate change… although they do not expect their paper to win over climate change sceptics on cultural grounds.

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Bad news for bumblebees.

Two pathogens infecting honeybees appear to have crossed over to wild bumblebee populations. A virus (Deformed Wing Virus) and a fungus have been infecting honeybee populations in the US and Europe and recent research in Britain has shown them to have passed to the bumblebee. “We need to look at land use and agricultural policy” says scientist vanEnglesdorp.

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and finally some good news…

Orchids 2014.

If you’re in London there’s still time to visit the wonderful Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens. Finishes this Sunday 9th March.   Images here.

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