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News Round Up August 2015

A selection of geographical stories that have made the headlines this month.


  1. India launches world's first solar-powered airport
  2. The Indian government has unveiled its backing of several large scale renewable energy projects, including the nation's first solar-powered airport in Kerala. Cochin Airport, India's fourth largest, is now swathed in 46,000 photo-voltaic cell panels and the 12MW project, which cost US$10 million to set up aims to make the whole airport carbon neutral.

  3. Wulli Wulli people given native title over 108,000 hectares in Queensland
  4. An indigenous Australian group in Queensland have been awarded land rights over a huge area of land in the centre of the state. Allowing the group to hunt, fish and gather within the land's boundaries, the federal court decision is one of the largest ever given and marks the way for other claims to follow.

  5. Sea of black plastic balls helps California conserve water
  6. Ninety six million 'shade balls', each roughly the size of a grapefruit have been emptied into the reservoir at Sylmar in California. The balck plastic balls are designed to cover the water surface and prevent evaporation in the drought suffering state as well as prevent the formation of algae. It is hoped an estimated 1.1 billion litres of water will be saved by this method.

  7. Japan turns on nuclear power four years after Fukushima
  8. A nuclear reactor has been restarted for the first time in Japan since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The pressure to reduce Japan's mounting energy bills has brought nuclear power back on the Japanese agenda, despite protests from anti-nuclear campaigners about their safety and long term sustainability.

  9. Environmental workers spill a million gallons of waste into Colorado river
  10. Whilst investigating water course contamination at a Colorado gold mine, the US Environmental Protection Agency has accidentally dumped a million gallons of waste water into the Animas River; a tributary of the Colorado which itself supplies water to a huge area of south west USA. All takes from the river have ceased as tests are done on the metal content of the water.

  11. Climate Change: Obama unveils Clean Power Plan
  12. President Obama has revealed a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power station by a third by 2030. The plan is already facing huge opposition from the US coal industry which supplies a third of US electricity supply, but Obama is defiant in USA's 'moral obligation' to tackle climate change.