It would appear that the resurgence of fracking in the UK is on very shaky ground. A company called Cuadrilla restarted the controversial technique at a site in Lancashire, in Northwest England, just two months ago after a seven year hiatus. But it spent a month of that time doing tests with smaller volumes of water after a series of small earthquakes in October, The Guardian reported.
When it restarted full operations Monday, it didn't have to wait long before triggering the area's biggest earthquake yet. A 1.5 magnitude tremor was recorded at around 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, an order of magnitude strong enough that five people told the British Geological Survey that they had felt the quake.
"Within a day of Cuadrilla restarting fracking in Lancashire, there has already been another earthquake which means they've had to down tools, " Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth told The Guardian.
According to the "traffic light system" put in place by the Oil and Gas Authority, Cuadrilla must pause operations for 18 hours after any red level earthquake measuring 0.5 or above.
"Cuadrilla will pause and continue to monitor micro seismicity for at least the next 18 hours, in line with the traffic light system regulations. Well integrity has been checked and verified," a company spokesperson told The Lancashire Evening Post.
The spokesperson referenced a University of Liverpool study that said the impact of the quake "would be like dropping a melon," but Cath Middleton, who lives 1.6 miles from the fracking site and felt the quake, cast doubt on that comparison. She told BBC News that she heard a "very loud bang."
"To compare this to dropping a melon is ridiculous," she said. "My neighbour's chair shook."
The 1.5 magnitude quake was also the last of nine recorded in a 90 minute time span Tuesday, the most recorded on the site within a single day, The Lancashire Evening Post reported.
"It appears that they cannot frack without triggering tremors. And instead of acknowledging that fracking needs to end, Cuadrilla are instead urging for regulations around earthquakes to be relaxed," Bosworth further told The Lancashire Evening Post. "We've always said that fracking poses risks for our climate and environment. After today's quake, and with the effects of climate breakdown already happening around us, isn't it time to put a stop to fracking once and for all?"Fracking was originally stopped in the area in 2011 after two quakes, one registering 2.3 and one registering 1.5, were felt by people outside the nearby city of Blackpool, The Guardian reported. Since operations restarted this October, a total of 47 minor earthquakes have been recorded.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.