Weekly Environmental News, June 30-July 6, 2013 – wind power, urban streams, nocturnal birds and more

Last week the U.K. celebrated the inauguration of the world’s largest wind energy array, Baltimore took the spotlight on NBC, and a once presumed extinct bird made it’s film debut.

Offshore windfarm opens, can power half a million U.K. homes 

The world’s largest offshore windfarm, the London Array, officially opened this week 20 kilometers (12.42 miles) offshore from London. In 2008, the UK declared an ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions by at least 80% from its 1990 baseline levels by the year 2050 with the Climate Change Act of 2008 – the first legally binding climate change goal of its kind.

Baltimore’s urban streams in the spotlight on NBC Learn

NBC Learn, the educational division of NBC, visited Baltimore City recently to showcase urban streams and research efforts to study the impact of stormwater on water quality. The resulting video gives a 4 minute crash course in stream hydrology and explains how runoff ultimately contributes to dead zones which impact wildlife and water quality. With the recent passing of stormwater regulations that have many up in arms, educating the public may encourage not only compliance but support for personal responsibility and stormwater mitigation at local levels.

Consumers speak out about environmental claims in marketing

A survey across the European Union shows that consumers are eager to make environmentally-conscious choices, but don’t feel they are informed well enough to do so. Mistrust of marketing schemes and manufacturer’s claims contribute to uncertainty in the minds of a majority of consumers. This information could fuel policy initiatives to regulate standards, product claims, and labeling.

Creative Commons image courtesy of editorctrip via Flickr

Creative Commons image courtesy of editorctrip via Flickr

Photos and videos emerge of the elusive Australian Night Parrot

A naturalist in Western Queensland, Australia has allegedly produced the first photographic evidence of the Australian night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis), whose population was annihilated with the introduction of foxes and cats to its habitat in the 19th century. Since then the bird has not been seen alive, although dead birds been found twice in the last twenty-five years. The night parrot has been on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s endangered species list since 1994. Confirmed sightings of an existing population are encouraging for conservation of the species.

(featured image: Creative Commons image courtesy of Cervelli via Flickr)

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