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Would more UK gas actually bring down prices?

Would more UK gas actually bring down prices?

Science
Getty ImagesThe government has confirmed it is ending the ban in the UK on fracking, a controversial technique that involves drilling and using liquids at high pressure to release shale gas. In her first speech as prime minister, Liz Truss said: "We will get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills."She has pledged to increase domestic energy production with more oil and gas from the North Sea as well as fracking.And the new Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs on 22 September: "We also need more secure and cheaper supplies of gas, which is why we are going to issue more licences and why we are looking at shale gas."He has said the government expects to award "more than 100 new licences" for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea...
Colourful songbirds could be traded to extinction

Colourful songbirds could be traded to extinction

Science
Rick Stanley/Gabby SalazarUniquely coloured songbirds are at high risk of extinction, because they are in demand as pets, research has shown. The pet songbird trade in Asia has already driven several species close to extinction, with birds targeted primarily for their beautiful voices.Now a study has revealed that particular colours of plumage put birds at greater risk of being taken from the wild and sold.Researchers say breeding birds in captivity for the trade could help."That won't work for all species," said lead researcher Prof Rebecca Senior, from the University of Durham. "But there's hope that we could shift the sourcing [of some pet birds] - so they're captive-bred rather than caught in the wild."Why scientists are freezing threatened speciesEndangered bird 'has forgotten its son...
NASA eyeing another attempted launch for Artemis I moon mission in 2 weeks

NASA eyeing another attempted launch for Artemis I moon mission in 2 weeks

Science
Sept. 8 (UPI) -- NASA said on Thursday that after two failed attempts last week, the next launch attempt for the first Artemis moon mission and first flight of the massive SLS rocket is at least two weeks away. The first attempt on Aug. 29 was canceled due to a fuel leak and a bad sensor on one of the main engines. The next, last Saturday, was scrubbed again due to a fuel leak. In a briefing Thursday, the space agency said it's shooting for the next attempt on Sept. 23. If that doesn't work, there's also a window on Sept. 27. NASA Associate Director Jim Free said those dates were chosen because they don't conflict with other activities at the Kennedy Space Center on those days. Free and NASA officials Mike Bolger and John Blevins stressed during the briefing Thursday that the type of hyd...
Heatwave: England has had joint hottest summer on record, Met Office says

Heatwave: England has had joint hottest summer on record, Met Office says

Science
Getty ImagesEngland has had its joint hottest summer on record, the Met Office says. Provisional figures show the summer of 2022 - covering June, July and August - had an average temperature of 17.1C.This year's summer tied with 2018 for the warmest, according to records stretching back to 1884. It means four of the five warmest summers on record have happened since 2003, as the effects of climate change are felt on the nation's summer temperatures, the Met Office said. This year's summer included the record-breaking heat in July when temperatures in the UK exceeded 40C for the first time as part of a widespread heatwave. Hot and dry conditions have dried up rivers, damaged crops and fuelled wildfires, as well as leaving much of England in drought. For both England and the UK as a whole, i...
Strictest targets pledged to tackle England sewage discharges

Strictest targets pledged to tackle England sewage discharges

Science
The government has published a plan to reduce sewage discharges into England's rivers and the sea, promising the "strictest targets ever".Water firms will have to deliver the "largest infrastructure programme in water company history", it says.Last week pollution warnings were in place on nearly 50 beaches after heavy rainfall led to water companies discharging untreated sewage.The Liberal Democrats branded the new plan a "cruel joke".They said consumers would pay for "the mess made by water companies".Water companies discharged untreated sewage into rivers in England more than 400,000 times in 2020, according to official figures.The Liberal Democrats called the government's targets "flimsy", predicting they would still allow 325,000 sewage dumps a year in 2030. French anger at UK sewage d...