Rescuers searching through mud and debris for flash-flood victims in north-western Nepal have found at least 17 bodies, the Associated Press quoted police as saying. Another 47 people were missing and presumed dead after the Seti River burst through an avalanche and sent water gushing through villages along its banks.
Sea-level rises are unlikely to be as high as worst-case scenarios have forecasted, The Guardian reported American researchers as suggesting. Their study, published in Science, shows that Greenland’s glaciers are slipping into the sea more slowly than was previously thought. But ice loss still sped up by 30%, the scientists noted, and is driving sea-level increases along low-lying coasts.
Norway opened what it says is the world’s largest and most advanced laboratory to test carbon-capture technologies, Reuters reported. The facility is designed to test exhaust gases from two sources – a combined heat and power plant and an oil refinery.
Several major Chinese cities have some of the world’s highest per-capita carbon footprints, according to a World Bank report cited by China Daily. Data from Tianjin, Shanghai and Beijing indicate that about 40% of urban emissions come from power generation and another 40% from industrial activities, largely because of coal use.
Power shortages are expected after Hokkaido Electric Power shut down a nuclear plant in northern Japan for maintenance, leaving the country without an operating reactor for the first time in 42 years, Bloomberg News said. Japan has 50 reactors with a power capacity of 46,148 megawatts.
Ireland granted planning permission for the first phase of a huge Chinese trading hub in the Irish midlands, Reuters reported, paving the way for what could eventually become Europe’s largest source of branded goods from China.
South American nations’ interest in reclaiming privatised energy businesses grew as president Evo Morales of Bolivia said he planned to seize control of the country’s main power grid from a Spanish-owned company, Red Eléctrica Corporación, The Guardian said. His statement follows a move by Argentina to take control of its oil company, YPF, from Spain’s Repsol.
New US rules on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, were introduced, intended to strengthen oversight on oil and natural-gas drilling on federal land, Reuters reported. In the Czech Republic, meanwhile, the environment ministry plans a moratorium on granting licences for shale-gas exploration until new legislation is put in place.
Over 800 dolphins and 1,500 seabirds have died since the Peruvian government began tracking the deaths in February, according to The New York Times. Officials attributed the species’ deaths, respectively, to a virus and a shortage of anchovies. Some scientists say offshore oil exploration may be disturbing wildlife, while others fear that biotoxins or pesticides might be working their way up the food chain.
Coca-Cola Shanxi Beverages acknowledged that some of its products were contaminated by chlorine in February, Xinhua said, during a routine maintenance procedure. The company apologised for the contamination of nine batches of its products.
China approaches water trading with the twin problems of ensuring equity of supply and avoiding ecological damage