Breaking Waves: Ocean News

12/12/2018 - 08:05
Forty-nine companies accused of human rights and environmental abuses Facebook is among a number of companies from the US, UK, France, Switzerland and China named on a “dirty list” of corporations accused of involvement in human rights and environmental violations in Myanmar, or of doing business with the country’s military, which is accused of genocide. A list of 49 companies, compiled by the pressure group Burma Campaign UK, reveals the global breadth of international organisations that have continued to provide arms, infrastructure, technology, engineering and expertise to the Burmese military, or supported projects that have been accused of causing environmental destruction, such as hydroelectric dams and jade mines. Continue reading...
12/12/2018 - 06:00
‘The changes have become more radical’: farmers are spending more time and money trying to grow crops in new climates Richard Oswald did not need the latest US government report on the creeping toll of climate change to tell him that farming in the midwest is facing a grim future, and very likely changing forever. For Oswald, the moment of realisation came in 2011. Continue reading...
12/12/2018 - 06:00
All 16,000 buses in the fast-growing Chinese megacity are now electric, and soon all 13,000 taxis will be too You have to keep your eyes peeled for the bus at the station in Shenzhen’s Futian central business district these days. The diesel behemoths that once signalled their arrival with a piercing hiss, a rattle of engine and a plume of fumes are no more, replaced with the world’s first and largest 100% electric bus fleet. Shenzhen now has 16,000 electric buses in total and is noticeably quieter for it. “We find that the buses are so quiet that people might not hear them coming,” says Joseph Ma, deputy general manager at Shenzhen Bus Group, the largest of the three main bus companies in the city. “In fact, we’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them. We’re considering it.” Continue reading...
12/11/2018 - 23:10
New Zealand urges others not to meet emissions pledge with ‘dodgy accounting’, but UN rules unlikely to prohibit using carryover credits Australia appears likely be allowed to exploit a controversial climate loophole, using carryover carbon credits from the Kyoto protocol to meet its Paris agreement targets. New Zealand has already ruled out using the carryover credits, saying it would discourage other countries from the practice. Continue reading...
12/11/2018 - 19:15
Tropical insect uses lethal speed of its spring-loaded mandibles to stun or kill prey Move aside cheetah and peregrine falcon, there is a new contender for the title of fastest animal on Earth: the Dracula ant. Scientists have discovered that the small tropical insect can snap its mandibles at up to 90 metres a second (more than 200mph), the fastest animal movement on record. The ants use the explosive motion to attack, stun and kill prey, which is then fed to their larvae. Continue reading...
12/11/2018 - 15:52
Vanuatu’s foreign minister says worst offenders on global warming are blocking progress The United States and other high carbon dioxide-emitting developed countries are deliberately frustrating the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, Vanuatu’s foreign minister has said. His warning came as Pacific and Indian ocean states warned they faced annihilation if a global climate “rule book” could not brokered. In a bruising speech before ministers and heads of state, Vanuatu’s foreign minister, Ralph Regenvanu, singled out the US as he excoriated major CO2-emitting developed countries for deliberately hindering negotiations. Continue reading...
12/11/2018 - 14:46
A new study finds that hypoxic dead zones occur in nutrient-laden urban streams, not just in coastal waters. The research shows that intense storm flows can erode some stream channels to become a series of pools that trap nutrient-laden runoff. The elevated nutrient levels in the water spur greater consumption of dissolved oxygen by bacteria, causing the pools to become hypoxic until the next storm flushes them out.
12/11/2018 - 12:11
NOAA's annual report card on the Arctic, released today, shows that the Arctic region experienced the second-warmest air temperatures ever recorded; the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage; lowest recorded winter ice in the Bering Sea; and earlier plankton blooms due to early melting of sea ice in the Bering Sea.
12/11/2018 - 11:30
List of waterways land users must obtain permits to pollute to be scaled back, which could also allow pollution in drinking water The Trump administration is planning to strip Obama-era pollution protections from thousands of US streams and millions of acres of wetlands, in a move environmentalists warn will harm vital wildlife and could allow pollution into drinking water. Related: Ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt used personal email for government work Continue reading...
12/11/2018 - 11:30
With each pass of the ICESat-2 satellite, the mission is adding to datasets tracking Earth's rapidly changing ice.