Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/18/2018 - 03:00
Scientists work to stay ahead of white nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that has killed millions of bats in the US and Canada Nate Fuller was just starting out as a bat scientist nine years ago when he entered a massive cave in rural Pennsylvania to look for live animals. Instead, he found himself wading through a distressing muck, the decomposing bodies of thousands upon thousands of dead bats. That was in the early years of white nose syndrome, the creeping, lethal fungus that has decimated North America’s bat population, killing millions of bats and sparking frantic research and conservation efforts across the United States and Canada. Continue reading...
10/18/2018 - 02:41
Energy minister Claire Perry, who has defended fracking, admits she has ‘not yet had the opportunity’ to visit any site The minister spearheading the UK’s renewed push for fracking has admitted she has never been to a shale gas well. In the week that fracking restarted in the UK for the first time in seven years, the energy minister, Claire Perry, revealed to a fellow Conservative MP that she had not yet had the chance to visit a shale site. Continue reading...
10/18/2018 - 01:01
Many of the 20 contenders for this year’s prestigious global prize focus on ways to create a more sustainable future Cutlery made from potato peelings and a robotic cleaner that can tackle pollution in rivers, lakes and canals are among the groundbreaking international designs shortlisted for the prestigious annual James Dyson award. Over half the world’s population currently live in cities, according to the United Nations – a proportion expected to rise to seven in 10 people by 2050 – and the projects share a common theme of aiming to redefine urban living through technology to create a more sustainable future. Continue reading...
10/18/2018 - 00:52
Australia’s environment minister says encounter was ‘pleasant and light-hearted’ Melissa Price has said she can’t “recall the complete conversation” in which three witnesses say she disparaged Pacific nations to the former president of Kiribati but maintains the version provided by Labor’s Pat Dodson is incorrect. Under fire from Labor for misleading the House, the environment minister qualified her remarks that she “100% disagreed” with Dodson by adding in question time on Thursday that she did not recall the entire “very pleasant and light-hearted conversation”. Continue reading...
10/18/2018 - 00:00
Our politicians, under the influence of big business, have failed us. As they take the planet to the brink, it’s time for disruptive, nonviolent disobedience It is hard to believe today, but the prevailing ethos among the educated elite was once public service. As the historian Tony Judt documented in Ill Fares the Land, the foremost ambition among graduates in the 1950s and 60s was, through government or the liberal professions, to serve their country. Their approach might have been patrician and often blinkered, but their intentions were mostly public and civic, not private and pecuniary. Today, the notion of public service seems as quaint as a local post office. We expect those who govern us to grab what they can, permitting predatory banks and corporations to fleece the public realm, then collect their reward in the form of lucrative directorships. As the Edelman Corporation’s Trust Barometer survey reveals, trust worldwide has collapsed in all major institutions, and government is less trusted than any other. Continue reading...
10/17/2018 - 22:49
Extreme weather thought to have stripped trees of their leaves, which usually secrete hormones to prevent flowering The arrival of Japan’s famed cherry blossoms is the cue for groups of office workers to eat and drink, cast off their inhibitions and ponder the transient nature of life against a backdrop of pale pink petals falling to the ground. But the nationally observed rite of spring has come early, with reports from hundreds of locations that the country’s beloved sakura are blooming several months ahead of schedule. Continue reading...
10/17/2018 - 14:00
Nellie’s Tree - entwined by her husband to form her initial – is among the four winners of this year’s Woodland Trust prize Lovers in Paris have caused havoc and serious damage in recent years by commemorating their relationships with padlocks attached to the city’s famous Pont Neuf bridge. But those seeking a more lasting – and environmentally friendly – symbol might instead consider planting a tree. It worked for a romantic young man from Leeds a century ago, whose tree has just been voted the UK’s favourite. Continue reading...
10/17/2018 - 13:10
In an extensive and rigorous study of animal life on the Central Arctic Ocean floor, researchers have shown that water depth and food availability influence the species composition, density, and biomass of benthic communities.
10/17/2018 - 13:09
Scientists have now identified a key mechanism, which they call the 'ice-ocean governor,' that controls how fast the Beaufort Gyre spins and how much fresh water it stores. Researchers report that the Arctic's ice cover essentially sets a speed limit on the gyre's spin.
10/17/2018 - 12:46
The EPA isn’t rescinding the standard as of yet but has finished deciding to reconsider the analysis for the Obama-era rule The US Environmental Protection Agency next month will unveil plans to start weakening the economic justification for a rule limiting toxic mercury pollution from coal plants. The EPA isn’t rescinding the standard as of yet but has finished deciding to reconsider the underlying analysis for the 2011 rule, according to the government’s newly published agenda. Continue reading...