Decline in snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere shows the impact of climate change

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a set of maps and figures that show the decline of snow cover in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. The significance of this research is that it shows quite dramatically the impact of climate change. The data shows that snow cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere has declined significantly over the past 90 years, with most of the reductions occurring since 1980…

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Growth in low-carbon energy technologies will increase demand for ‘critical’ metals, says UKERC

Warnings about the scarcity of ‘critical’ metals used in the manufacture of low-carbon energy technologies are misguided, according to new research published by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the Energy Research Partnership (ERP). Critical metals are used in a wide variety of low carbon energy technologies. Thin-film solar panels use indium and tellurium, for instance…

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Farmers meet with Defra following abstraction consultation

The National Farmers Union has met with representatives from Defra following concerns over its proposals to reform the water abstraction system. The meeting was held after Defra published the results of a consultation on its reforms in July. In an attempt to clarify misunderstandings about the new system, Defra has written a series of FAQs which have been published by Farmers Weekly. Farmers, however, are concerned about the transition period to the new arrangements, which are planned for the early 2020s…

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ECIU – New survey shows widespread misconceptions about climate change

A new survey undertaken by ComRes has revealed widespread misconceptions about energy and climate change among a sample of 2,000 UK adults. The survey was commissioned by the Energy and Climate Change Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a new not-for-profit initiative which has been set up to support informed debate on energy and climate issues in the UK. Its advisory board includes…

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ESI at Flood Risk Management conference

ESI’s Paul Ellis will be at Brownfield Briefing’s conference on Flood Risk Management next month, discussing the effective use of flood risk data. The conference will be held in London on Wednesday 1st October. Subtitled “Practical Strategies to Better Assess Flood Risk and Effectively Prioritise Investment in Flood Protection and Mitigation”, the conference will include representatives from the Environment Agency, the water industry, the Met Office and…

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Is cake-eating a sport?

When ESI’s consultants Kat Mair, Rosanna Fildes and Heather Streetley announced they were going to undertake a mix of Quadrathlons and Triathlons to raise money for Cancer Research their teammates were quick to support – particularly when the word cake was mentioned!

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Abandoned landfills are polluting UK rivers, say scientists

Scientists from the British Geological Survey have been carrying out research into river pollution from old landfill sites. The focus of their investigation was Port Meadow which lies on the banks of the River Thames, north-west of Oxford, and the location for 11 disused landfills. Landfills are now lined with a thick layer of clay to reduce the risk of chemicals leaking out into the environment. However…

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CIWEM – Urban Drainage Conference

CIWEM’s Urban Drainage Group is holding its annual conference in Blackpool in November. This three-day event marks the Urban Drainage Group’s 30th anniversary and will feature representatives from utility companies, water boards, local authorities, government agencies and international organisations…

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Coastal defences combined with rising sea levels could increase flood risk, say scientists

Researchers at Bangor University have made a surprising discovery. Working on a research project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), they set out to discover what effect rising sea levels over the next century would have on tides. Computer models were used to simulate how the tides would change if sea levels were one metre higher than at present. They looked at the effect on tidal range…

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Water Companies Under Pressure

Two news items reported recently on the WET News website reveal the pressure that water companies are currently facing due to regulatory concerns over performance, water quality and data quality…

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