Breaking Waves: Ocean News

07/18/2018 - 10:33
A first-of-its-kind survey of the world's sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding.
07/18/2018 - 09:47
A new study of whale sharks, using a novel approach to gathering data, shows these endangered animals can live longer and grow larger than previously believed.
07/18/2018 - 08:24
Antarctica is not as isolated from the rest of the world as scientists have thought, new research reveals, with potential for drifting plastics to create problems in the continent in future and new species to colonise there as the climate warms.
07/18/2018 - 07:36
Government-owned company has back-pedalled on its pledge to cycle-proof the line, say campaigners, locking out cyclists for generations to come The company building the HS2 high speed rail line is accused of watering down commitments on cycle crossings along the route, in a move campaigners say will endanger lives and lock out cycling for generations to come. The government-owned company, HS2 Ltd, was accused of back-pedalling on its legally-binding assurance that it would “cycle-proof” phase 1 of HS2, from London to the West Midlands, earlier this year by Cycling UK, the national cycling charity. The assurances, which became legally binding when they were incorporated into the High Speed Rail Act, stated HS2 Ltd would have a dialogue with the Cycle Proofing Working Group (CPWG), a government advisory body, with the assumption that they would include high quality design standards. Continue reading...
07/18/2018 - 07:08
New research has identified the species of shark currently found in hotter parts of the world that could migrate to UK waters by 2050 as the oceans warm Continue reading...
07/18/2018 - 05:00
The floor of the Central Valley is slumping, and there is arsenic in the tap water. Now it seems the two problems are connected Isabel Solorio can see the water treatment plant from her garden across the street. Built to filter out the arsenic in drinking water, it hasn’t been active since 2007 – it shut down six months after opening when the California town of Lanare went into debt trying to keep up with maintenance costs. Related: ‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people Continue reading...
07/18/2018 - 05:00
The Cornwall community achieved this status last December, by uniting against straws, bottles, takeaway boxes and disposable forks. Now 330 other towns aim to follow them Emily Kavanaugh is standing in her skincare-product shop, Pure Nuff Stuff, on Chapel Street. The narrow lane leads down towards the Jubilee pool, the triangular lido that juts like a ship’s prow into the sea from Penzance. “Here, try one,” Kavanaugh says, handing me a piece of packing material. The little white cloud looks and feels like a polystyrene packing “peanut”, but, Kavanaugh assures me, “it tastes exactly like a communion wafer”. After a wary nibble, I pop the whole thing in and notch it up as a snack. Kavanaugh’s packaging is made not of plastic but corn starch. If eating it feels like an act of faith, it is because there is a growing fervour in this Cornish seaside town. Last year, Penzance became the first town in Britain to receive “plastic-free” status from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). The former single-issue movement, founded in Cornwall in 1990, has become a national marine conservation charity with plastics in its sights. But, rather than target shopping bags or plastic-lined coffee cups, SAS is attempting to unite whole communities against single-use plastic of all types, including straws, bottles, packaging, takeaway boxes, cotton buds, clingfilm and forks. Continue reading...
07/18/2018 - 01:30
Sweden worst hit as hot, dry summer sparks unusual number of fires, with at least 11 in the far north At least 11 wildfires are raging inside the Arctic Circle as the hot, dry summer turns an abnormally wide area of Europe into a tinderbox. The worst affected country, Sweden, has called for emergency assistance from its partners in the European Union to help fight the blazes, which have broken out across a wide range of its territory and prompted the evacuations of four communities. Continue reading...
07/18/2018 - 00:00
By resurrecting a proposal to allow trophy hunters to shoot 250 hippos annually, Zambia stirs controversy. The hippo — really? That’s the common response when tour guides in Africa tantalize travelers with this question: “What’s the most dangerous animal on the continent?” Lion? Rhino? Elephant? No, no, no. Eventually, the tour guide delivers the answer with a twinkle in their eye: the hippo, yes, that water-loving, one-tonne mammalian oddity. Despite their hefty and somnolent appearance, hippos are fast and aggressive — a dangerous mix — and may kill several hundred people a year (of course the most dangerous animal in Africa is not really the hippo at all, it’s the mosquito — but no one likes a know-it-all). Despite being one of the most unusual animals on the planet — their closest relatives are whales and dolphins — hippos don’t get a lot of love. They tend to be overshadowed by the continent’s other remarkable mega-mammals. Who can compete with elephants and giraffe and lion? Perhaps, that’s why it’s not exactly surprising that the announcement of a hippo cull in Zambia didn’t exactly make global news. Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 23:30
Rombalds Moor, West Yorkshire: We can’t blame the heatwave for this desiccated landscape – we’ve spent decades deliberately drying out our peatland habitats The moors are a tinderbox. Parched and crisped by weeks of dry summer heat, the heather is a burnt brown-to-burgundy, the moorland grass yellowed. The bracken looks all right – still a deep pea-green (it takes a lot to bother bracken) – but finger-wide cracks have opened in the colourless peat of the footpath. It’s early morning; the day hasn’t yet been fully cranked up, and the broken sky is a messy palette of blues and greys. A loose flock of a dozen meadow pipits forages for caterpillars. Continue reading...