Turbine noise guidelines

NEW guidance is to be issued to local authorities over the way they consider the noise impact of wind turbines.

The move has been welcomed by environmental health officers who are currently using Government guidance issued 13 years ago – before larger turbines began to be erected.

Tenders are being invited for two new Government research projects; the first to analyse how turbine noise is considered in the planning process and the second to re-assess the evidence base on reported noise complaints. Howard Price, principal policy officer for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said: “Neither the Government nor the energy providers can afford to risk planning consents being overturned because they are based on inadequate guidance.”

A RADICAL and controversial idea to combat global warming may actually raise temperatures, according to new research. White clouds form naturally over the oceans as a result of salt water spray being blown high into the air by winds. The salt crystals form tiny particles on which cloud droplets form. The denser the droplets, the whiter the cloud and the more sunlight and heat it reflects back into space.

The controversial idea is to create whiter clouds by injecting salt spray into the air from a fleet of sailing ships.

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However, a study into the likely impact found that it could have the opposite effect as a result of hindering the natural processes that lead to the formation of “natural” white clouds over the oceans.

Researchers at the University of Leeds found that even if the idea worked it would have a tiny advantageous effect but could also cause some clouds to become less white.

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The salt spray injection idea is one of a range of so-called geo-engineering ideas being discussed by scientists trying to find ways of combating global warming.

Geo-engineering – deliberately altering the global climate – has been criticised as being “fantasy” but ideas are being pursued because of the international failure to curb carbon emissions, a failure which brings the threat of irreversible climate change a step nearer.

WATER voles may have developed a liking for one the delicacies of French cuisine, according to a study by conservationists. The shy rodents – immortalised by Kenneth Grahame’s children’s book The Wind in the Willows – have previously been considered vegetarians. However, ecologists at British Waterways found dead frogs with their legs removed at various vole feeding stations on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

GEE Harvey, who has organised the Ipswich volunteer work party for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for the past 27 years, is retiring and an informal party is being held for him at Foxburrow Farm, Melton – the trust’s educational nature reserve – at the end of this month.

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