Breaking Waves: Ocean News

09/18/2018 - 23:58
Documents show Margie McKenzie failed to declare her interest in Gempearl for her first two years on board A board director for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has been accused of a potential conflict of interest over public funding directed to companies working on crown-of-thorns starfish culling. Margie McKenzie sits on the board of the authority and also owns a company called Gempearl with her husband, Col McKenzie. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 17:30
Risk in over-50s increases by 40% where highest nitrogen oxide levels exist, study shows Air pollution may increase the chance of developing dementia, a study has suggested, in fresh evidence that the health of people of all ages is at risk from breathing dirty air. People over 50 in areas with the highest levels of nitrogen oxide in the air showed a 40% greater risk of developing dementia than those with the least NOx pollution, according to the research, based on data from London. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 16:39
Advocates said retracting the regulation would cause more smog-forming pollution that can cause heart and lung illnesses The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era standards to limit planet-warming methane pollution from oil and gas operations on federal lands. Environmental advocates said retracting the regulation would contribute to global warming and cause more smog-forming pollution that can cause heart and lung illnesses. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 13:00
ReachTel poll of Angus Taylor’s voters finds 42.3% want Australia to cut emissions more deeply More voters in the electorate of the new energy minister, Angus Taylor, support an emissions reduction target for electricity and a higher national target than the Paris commitment than oppose those positions. A ReachTel poll of 690 residents across the federal electorate of Hume, which reaches from Boorowa in the southern tablelands of New South Wales to Camden on Sydney’s southern fringe, was commissioned by the Australia Institute. It found the sample was divided over a range of climate and energy questions, but more people supported stronger action on emissions reduction than opposed it. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 09:00
Ocean Leadership ~ Over the last week, most of the nation was transfixed by Hurricane Florence, as those in its path did all they could to prepare for the massive storm. Florence has brought (and is still bringing) catastrophic damage, which unfortunately includes loss of life, as it has dropped more than 30 inches of rain in some areas, causing flash floods and overflowing riverbanks and dams. But the Atlantic coast wasn’t the only part of the U.S. pummeled by hurricane-strength winds and rains. Super Typhoon Mangkhu tore through the Mariana Islands, causing massive damage as it then headed to the Philippines and China. It was equivalent to a Category 5 strength hurricane and became the strongest storm of the 2018 season last week with wind gusts as high as 180 mph.   As my thoughts and prayers are extended to those who have been so tragically affected by these deadly storms, I am also mindful of the continuing need to conduct ocean and atmospheric research to better understand and predict the formation, intensity, and movement of tropical cyclones. Thinking back on my graduate studies of perplexing tropical meteorology and oceanography topics like conditional instability of the second kind (CISK), I’m reminded of how difficult and complex it is to determine and model the factors that help us make these predictions. However, we have come a long way in the nearly 30 years since I was drawing streamlines and doing sea-surface temperature analyses with a grease pencil on acetate (both in the classroom and then at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center on Guam right after I graduated). Our science-based advances in predictive capabilities have saved countless lives and livelihoods over the years, and I know we can continue to advance our capabilities in the days and years ahead, but only if we make investments in the basic ocean and atmospheric research needed to do so. I can’t say enough how much everyone needs to understand that geoscience is not just science for science’s sake but science with our survival at stake … in so many ways along so many time scales. As our nation prepares for and rebuilds from hurricanes and typhoons, it’s evident each time how these events impact our ocean security — affecting human health, homeland security, and economic prosperity. The only way to ensure our ocean security (the idea that those aforementioned securities are underpinned by strong ocean science) is to continue and improve efforts to monitor and understand the ocean. We have to understand the processes by which the global ocean gives rise to these cyclones, hurricanes, and other features that occur around the world. There’s so much going on that makes it easy to lose sight of this until it’s brought crashing into the global consciousness again in the leadup to one of these storms making landfall. I encourage everyone to remember the important role that ocean science plays in keeping our nation and its citizens safe no matter the season — and together, we can continue to discover and understand our ocean. Member Highlight Underwater Drones Track Hurricane Florence’s Trajectory When Hurricane Florence makes landfall on the North Carolina coastline this week, Catherine Edwards, an assistant professor of marine sciences at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, will be hoping the super-storm doesn’t veer toward her home in Savannah, Georgia. But even if Florence maintains a safe distance, Edwards will still have an intimate view of the weather: she’s tracking the hurricane’s path with a remote-controlled underwater ocean glider. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 09-17-2018 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
09/18/2018 - 07:25
Uncertainty around Third Energy’s North Yorkshire project blamed for resignations Third Energy, one of the firms at the frontline of the UK’s fracking drive, has been hit by the departure of two of its directors due to delays over its flagship project in North Yorkshire. Campaigners said the resignations were a sign of a company “in meltdown”. The Barclays-backed company had looked likely to be the first shale explorer to frack in the UK for years, but its plans for the KM8 well have been pushed back by government checks over its financial health. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 02:26
John Schubert appears before Senate inquiry into the grant awarded to his small non-profit without tender The chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, John Schubert, has told a Senate inquiry he did not know the government was going to offer a $444m grant when he agreed to meet with the then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg. In the hearing on Tuesday, Schubert said the prime minister’s office called with an invitation two days before the 9 April meeting but gave no information on what was to be discussed. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 02:00
The flow of Gulf capital into Britain stifles the development of more sound economic policies and keeps us too close to some of the world’s worst regimes This month marks 10 years since the financial crisis turned into a full-blown crash, and 10 years since the purchase of Manchester City Football Club by the royal family of Abu Dhabi. What links the two is the flow of revenues generated by the sale of oil and gas (“petrodollars”) into Britain from the Gulf Arab monarchies – principally Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. The role of Gulf petrodollars remains the untold story of the financial crisis and of the continuing dysfunction of late-period neoliberalism in the UK. Related: Ten years after Lehmans, it’s as if we’ve learned nothing from the crash | Aditya Chakrabortty Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 00:01
Head of Holborn primary school shocked to learn air pollution in classrooms far exceeds World Health Organisation guidelines Children inhaling toxic air on school run and in classroom Headteacher Gwen Lee had not expected the results to be good but had been unprepared for what the air pollution engineer found. Levels of dangerous particulate pollution exceeded WHO guidelines in every classroom of the school – and two were more than three times over the limit. Continue reading...
09/18/2018 - 00:01
Tiny particles of black carbon from car exhausts lodge themselves in children’s lungs and can enter the bloodstream and potentially the brain • ‘I was horrified that children are breathing air this dirty inside the school’ Children in the UK are being forced to breathe dangerous levels of toxic air as they make their way to and from school – and even once they are inside their classrooms, according to new research. The findings from academics at Queen Mary University in London reveal that young children were absorbing a disproportionate amount of tiny black carbon particles during the school day with potentially devastating health consequences. Continue reading...