Breaking Waves: Ocean News

09/23/2018 - 09:43
Increasing demand from airlines will more than offset reductions from electric cars World oil production will soar to new records over the next five years, as a dramatic expansion in demand from airlines offsets the arrival of electric cars, according to a report from Opec. In a forecast that will dismay environmentalists – and which questions the theory that oil company reserves will become “stranded assets” – Opec’s annual report significantly revised production estimates upwards. Most of the production increase will come from countries outside Opec, led by explosive growth from frackers in the United States, with China and India leading the increase in demand. Continue reading...
09/23/2018 - 02:00
‘True risks’ of warming played down to placate fossil-fuel nations Warnings about the dangers of global warming are being watered down in the final version of a key climate report for a major international meeting next month, according to reviewers who have studied earlier versions of the report and its summary. They say scientists working on the final draft of the summary are censoring their own warnings and “pulling their punches” to make policy recommendations seem more palatable to countries – such as the US, Saudi Arabia and Australia – that are reluctant to cut fossil-fuel emissions, a key cause of global warming. “Downplaying the worst impacts of climate change has led the scientific authors to omit crucial information from the summary for policymakers,” said one reviewer, Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Continue reading...
09/22/2018 - 11:32
Protesters including Billy Bragg and Chris Packham take to central London to demand pro-wildlife policies Thousands of people marched to Whitehall on Saturday to demand the government invests in wildlife-friendly policies and swiftly reverses the decline of British ecosystems. Protesters including Billy Bragg delivered a radical manifesto, co-edited by the broadcaster Chris Packham, to Downing Street. The manifesto called for an end to the “war on wildlife” following the decline of more than half of British species in recent decades. Continue reading...
09/22/2018 - 05:00
To celebrate National Public Lands Day, a selection of our public lands stories US national parks are offering free entry today to mark National Public Lands Day, a celebration of the 640m acres of America that belong to the American people. We’ve been covering the fate of public lands relentlessly: they are adored by outdoors enthusiasts of every stripe, even as the administration of President Donald Trump is seeking to allow more mining and drilling and has already downsized two national monuments in Utah. Climate change, too, promises to be unforgiving – wildfires are reaching unfathomable size and glaciers are vanishing. Here is a selection of our public lands stories that should give you an idea of how to spend the day, visiting national monuments, forests and seashores from coast to coast. For a dose of reality, we’ve also included a few pieces exploring the threats America’s public lands are facing in the Trump era. Continue reading...
09/22/2018 - 01:30
Lightweight bags will be rolled out within weeks to almost 1,400 stores across Britain The Co-op is to be the first major supermarket in the UK to replace single-use plastic carrier bags with lightweight compostable alternatives that shoppers can reuse as biodegradable bags for food waste. The bags – a stronger version of the biodegradable bags the convenience chain has been trialling since 2014 – will be rolled out within weeks to almost 1,400 stores across England, Scotland and Wales, and then to all 2,600 shops. Continue reading...
09/22/2018 - 00:00
The $1bn, decade-in-the-making creation can measure height and thickness of ice sheets to within a centimeter The world will soon have a much clearer picture of how quickly humans are melting Earth’s ice and expanding the seas, with data collected by a sophisticated satellite launched by Nasa. Every 91 days, the $1bn, decade-in-the-making creation will orbit over more than 1,000 paths. The satellite, about the size of a Smart car, will point six lasers at ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica. It will then calculate how long the beams take to bounce back. Nasa will be able to more accurately measure the heights of ice sheets and the thickness of remaining sea ice. Continue reading...
09/21/2018 - 14:14
Each year, fishermen harvest more than $500 million worth of Atlantic sea scallops from the waters off the east coast of the United States. A new model, however, predicts that those fisheries may potentially be in danger.
09/21/2018 - 11:30
There has been outrage online but Croydon locals seem unfazed and experts say real issue is cars On the streets of Croydon on Friday morning, the only apparent sign of slaughter was a very dead pigeon, so trodden into the road as to be barely recognisable as animal remains. But for nearly three years, Croydon and the surrounding area of south London has been the hunting ground for an alleged mass killer of cats. At one point as many as 15 Scotland Yard officers, plus actor Martin Clunes, were on the case of the so-called M25 cat killer, suspected in approximately 500 cases of slaughter and mutilation reported since late 2015. On Thursday afternoon, however, it was announced that the long-running investigation, Operation Takahe, had concludedthat foxes were responsible. Continue reading...
09/21/2018 - 10:43
Ocean Leadership ~ Interview of the Week:  Jon White, RADM (Ret.) and CEO Consortium for Ocean Leadership (From Our Daily Planet/ By Monica Medina and Miro Korenha) — Admiral White is President and CEO of the leading consortium of ocean science and technology institutions from academia, public aquariums, and industry.  He spent 32 years in the Navy where he served ultimately as the Navy’s chief scientist.  He is an expert on ocean resources and we asked him about one area of growing interest — aquaculture. ODP:  With wild capture fisheries unable to keep up with the need for protein globally, is much more aquaculture development inevitable?   AJW:  Absolutely!  The world’s population is fast approaching eight billion and is on its way to at least nine by mid-century. Protein from the sea is essential to meet the growing demand, yet the majority of wild-caught fisheries are being fished at or increasingly above sustainable rates.  In most nations, the majority of seafood consumed is from aquaculture sources already, but we must dramatically increase the amount of farmed seafood we consume — especially finfish — to meet demand and allow our natural fisheries to recover. ODP:  What are the biggest areas of risks associated with finfish aquaculture and is there sufficient research funding to develop solutions to those risks? AJW:  Escapement and feed impacts. Farmed fish (near or offshore) that escape and enter the environment can lead to the spread of invasive species, undesired genetics, or even illnesses. The design and construction of fish pens and monitoring systems can reduce or prevent escapes, and additional (government-funded) research and development are needed for more effective and affordable means to do this on a grand scale. Another major and legitimate concern is the impact of fish food and fish waste on the environment. This can be resolved through nutritional research with the goal to produce alternative feed sources that are affordable, healthier for the ocean (put less nitrogen and phosphorus in the water), safe for human consumption, and that reduce overfishing risk of species used for fish meal. ODP:  What does the U.S. aquaculture industry need federal and state governments to do to foster growth? AJW:  I believe the industry needs public-private partnerships for research and development, clear authorities for permitting or even leases, and concerted champions for sustainable fish aquaculture to get communities and consumers onboard. Accelerated advancements in U.S. agriculture came about through vigorous federal and state funding, as well as the development of partnerships through the extension program; aquaculture needs the same thing. ODP:  What does the public need state and federal governments to do to protect ocean and human health in the face of growing aquaculture?  AJW:  The public needs clear and up-to-date communication and active engagement from all government offices on the opportunities and benefits of greatly expanded, environmentally sustainable aquaculture. This includes measures to ensure transparency and traceability to know where fish are coming from; clear authorities and resources to monitor impacts; means to hold industry accountable and revoke permits if needed; as well as stable funding to support ocean and human health research, including incentives or subsidies to help industry offset the cost of scientific and technological advancement. ODP:  What is the area of greatest potential growth for finfish aquaculture right now?   There is great potential in federal (and some state) waters for what is known as “offshore aquaculture,” where deep water and constant flow allow the fish to grow quickly. There is also significant potential for growth of land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), which are essentially aquariums where the water is continuously cleaned and reused to ensure fish health. Both types are necessary to meet the growing demand for profitable industries. ODP:  Where should research dollars be going?   AJW:  Science and technology are critical for ensuring the sustainability of aquaculture environmentally, socially, and economically. Some areas for research investment are drug and vaccination research (to keep fish and humans healthy), development of better and cheaper means to monitor environmental impacts, reproductive study and discovery to determine what fish are best for meeting  demand with economic feasibility in mind, technological improvements (to feed fish, monitor environment, purify RAS water, etc.), and let’s not forget education and social science initiatives to help consumers understand and embrace the numerous benefits of sustainable aquaculture. ODP:   Would greater government investment in research and science on sustainable finfish aquaculture speed its development and ensure food security going forward?  AJW:  Yes, federal and state investments in research are essential to advance sustainable aquaculture that is economically viable while also attracting the capital investment needed for rapid industry growth. Fish must be healthy and affordable on national and global scales, and I believe subsidies and government-led partnerships are essential to the necessary growth of the U.S. aquaculture industry, as well as to our international leadership in healthy and prosperous aquaculture that sustains the ocean and our posterity. Thank you, Admiral White, for helping us to understand this complex issue.  The key to expanding aquaculture lies in making sure that it is done in a way that can ensure food security and ocean health. To Go Deeper: The Consortium will be working with stakeholders on aquaculture in the coming months.  See this website for additional information. Read the full article here: https://mailchi.mp/ourdailyplanet.com/our-daily-planet-maria-a-year-later-fall-foliage-outlook-antarctic-metoo-moment-and-our-iotw-and-hero-of-the-week?e=6c61aeaa99 The post Our Daily Planet: Interview With COL President RADM Jonathan White appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
09/21/2018 - 09:26
A herd of bison, orangutan babies and a pod of hippos are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world Continue reading...