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By Lucy Goodchild van Hilten
A towering elm tree stands 30 meters (approximately 98 feet) tall, somewhere near the border between England and Scotland, defying the fate that so many of its cousins met when Dutch elm disease ravaged the species in the 1970s. One of relatively few elm trees left, it is a haven for wildlife. Look closely and you can see the erratic fluttering of a small brown butterfly, with a W-shaped white streak across its wing.
This butterfly is making history: It's crossed the border into Scotland, where it has settled happily in a native wych elm tree and been sighted in the country for the first time in 133 years. The white-letter hairstreak—Satyrium w-album—has been squeezed slowly out of its habitat over the last 40 years, but now it seems to be getting a helping hand from an unexpected source: climate change.
Storm Ali, the first named storm of the UK storm season, killed two and sent several to the hospital as winds of more than 100 miles per hour walloped Ireland, Scotland and Northern England Wednesday, The Guardian reported.
More than 250,000 homes and businesses in Ireland lost power and 30,000 lost power in southwest Scotland.
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With the 1.2-megawatt storage system known as "Batwind" in operation, it will be possible for the first time to store energy produced from an offshore wind farm, developers Masdar and Equinor touted in a press release Wednesday.
Scotland's Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham confirmed that single-use coffee cups will be banned from canteens in government buildings starting June 4.
Although the disposable cups are mostly made of paper, the vast majority have an inner plastic lining that most recycling facilities are unable to separate and process.
The country's onshore wind turbines provided more than 5.3 million megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid during the first three months of 2018, an impressive 44 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis of WWF Scotland wind power data by WeatherEnergy.
The world's first floating wind farm only switched on three months ago but it's already performing better than expected—and that's despite a hurricane, a powerful winter storm and waves as high as 8.2 meters (27 feet).
The 30-megawatt Hywind Scotland, located about 15 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast, churned out 65 percent of its maximum theoretical capacity during November, December and January, according to its operator, Statoil.
Scottish wind turbines, propelled by Hurricane Ophelia's strong winds, sent more than 1.7 million megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid in October, according to WWF Scotland, citing data collected from WeatherEnergy.
By Simon Roach
Unlike in England, fracking has been under a temporary halt in Scotland since 2015, and an extensive public consultation on its long-term future was carried out earlier this year.
Speaking to members of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, the Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the ban should be extended "indefinitely" and that "the Scottish government will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland."