Breaking Waves: Ocean News

07/05/2016 - 05:00
Wolf Hall actor lends his support to Save our Sands, which wants to stop the dredging of Goodwin Sands for the development of Dover port The actor Mark Rylance has lent his support to a campaign to stop the dredging of a stretch of sandbanks off the Kent coast. Dover Harbour Board has applied for a licence to dredge Goodwin Sands, which had been proposed as a marine conservation zone, for aggregate to be used in the expansion and development of Dover port. Continue reading...
07/05/2016 - 05:00
When comparing apples to apples, a new study finds energy budget climate sensitivity estimates consistent with climate models Scientists use a variety of approaches to estimate the Earth’s climate sensitivity – how much the planet will warm as a result of humans increasing greenhouse effect. For decades, the different methods were all in good general agreement that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Earth’s surface temperatures will immediately warm by about 1–3°C (this is known as the ‘transient climate response’). Because it would take decades to centuries for the Earth to reach a new energy balance, climate scientists have estimated an eventual 2–4.5°C warming from doubled atmospheric carbon (this is ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’). However, a 2013 paper led by Alexander Otto disrupted the agreement between the various different approaches. Using a combination of recent climate measurements and a relatively simple climate model, the ‘energy budget’ approach used in Otto’s study yielded a best estimate for the immediate (transient) warming of 1.3°C and equilibrium warming of 2.0°C; within the agreed range, but less than climate model best estimates of 1.8°C and 3.2°C, respectively. Continue reading...
07/05/2016 - 04:31
Mayor to target older, dirtier vehicles with £10 charge from 2017 as part of proposals to tackle the capital’s ‘toxic’ air Older, dirtier cars will have to pay a £10 pollution charge to drive in central London, according to plans set out by Sadiq Khan on Tuesday. The charge, on top of the existing £11.50 congestion charge, would apply from 2017 to cars first sold before 2005. The mayor of London’s proposals to tackle the capital’s “toxic” air also include a big expansion of a planned Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and a faster roll-out of cleaner buses. Continue reading...
07/05/2016 - 03:58
Heavy rains have left vast areas near the Yangtze river underwater with a typhoon due to hit by the end of the week Flooding in the Yangtze river basin in China has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, with more damage feared from a typhoon expected to land within days. About 16 million people have been affected by heavy rains that have engulfed vast areas near the Yangtze, China’s longest river, the Beijing News cited the civil affairs ministry as saying. Continue reading...
07/05/2016 - 03:08
Analysis shows most UK plastic ends up in the Arctic, where it does ‘extreme harm’ to the fragile polar environment Plastic dumped into the seas around the UK is carried to the Arctic within two years, scientists have revealed, where it does “extreme harm” to the fragile polar environment. Marine plastic pollution is a huge problem, with 5tn pieces of plastic now floating in the world’s oceans. The plastic is frequently mistaken for food by fish and birds, causing damage to life throughout the seas. Continue reading...
07/05/2016 - 00:00
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, we’ve been asking Guardian readers to share their memories and stories of what the UK was like before the act came into force. You can see all the contributions – or submit your own – via GuardianWitness The great smog of 1952 swathed London in a toxic smog of pollution, resulting in thousands of deaths over a four-day period. The Clean Air Act was a groundbreaking piece of legislation that led to the phase-out of coal in Britain’s towns and cities. Sheila Romain, 88, West Sussex“Coming home from school one day I caught the bus from Crystal Palace to Dulwich. When we got to Gypsy Hill the bus driver said he couldn’t see well enough to go on. I got off knowing I could walk home. When the driver saw in which direction I was going he asked if he could follow me. So, for the next mile and a half, the bus followed me. This must have been the winter 1946-47.” Continue reading...
07/05/2016 - 00:00
Footballers have had their fair share of attention but join us on Tuesday 12 July, 1-2pm BST, to discuss the unsung heroes making sport more sustainable Few might realise as they watch the semi-final of the UEFA European Championship that the Stade Vélodrome stadium has micro urban wind turbines or that the venue, which is the largest club football ground in France, recovers heat from a nearby wastewater treatment plant. Huge sporting events such as the Euros present big challenges and opportunities for innovation around issues such as construction, energy, transport and consumer waste. But innovative ideas are being applied to sports all year round. Continue reading...
07/04/2016 - 23:30
Claxton, Norfolk Ants allow us to reflect upon a chemical realm we can seldom know empirically. They are governed by it If I set aside the rag-winged rooks and moulting lapwings, and forget the storms that this land has just endured, the morning seems utterly still. I stand to watch a long flotilla of cumulus over the marsh, as beautiful and unmoving as sail ships becalmed in doldrums. There is so little breeze that neither foreground nettle nor the red-tinged Yorkshire fog beyond so much as stirs. Even with my coarse senses, however, I know that this rain-washed stillness is volatile and densely scented. There is a deer nudging through the reeds that I shall never see, because it navigates by smell. Continue reading...
07/04/2016 - 23:10
Fringe political groups such as One Nation, Family First and the Liberal Democrats still reject the evidence that humans are causing climate change So we’re in that post-election twilight zone where analysts, psephologists and columnists try and pull something cogent out of all the mess of uncertainty. Who’ll be the next prime minister? Which party will lead and how will they do it? What does it all mean, and did Donald Trump have anything to do with it? What do psephologists do when there’s no election on? Continue reading...
07/04/2016 - 22:22
Authorities to remove carcass of humpback whale on Honeycombs beach because it is a popular surf location and decomposing animal could attract sharks A 12-metre humpback whale weighing up to 40 tonnes has washed up on the beach near Margaret River prompting a shark warning. The Department of Parks and Wildlife will remove the whale carcass that washed up on Honeycombs beach in Leeuwin-Naturaliste national park in the WA’s south-west. Continue reading...