Breaking Waves: Ocean News

07/17/2018 - 05:00
As hunters hold immense clout in the Trump administration and most of the council’s members are advocates of the sport, critics worry the board will protect their hobby, not the animals Donald Trump has called big-game trophy hunting a “horror show”, despite his own sons’ participation in elephant and leopard hunts, and in 2017 he formed an advisory board to steer US policy on the issue. Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 03:59
Oxford University Museum: For 70 years, researchers have been watching ‘particularly hideous’ young swifts turn into long-winged angels This glorious structure is a place rich in history. As we walked through the galleries our guide paused to show us the great oak door behind which Bishop Wilberforce confronted “Darwin’s bulldog”, Thomas Huxley, in their famous debate on evolution. We, however, were intent on a more modest fraction of the building’s past. For it was here in 1947 that the ecologists Elizabeth and David Lack noticed how breeding swifts were vanishing into air vents in the roof’s slate-covered tower. Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 02:18
CSIRO says lack of consumer awareness is ‘number one issue’ affecting recycling Australians have to boost their recycling of lithium-ion batteries, a new CSIRO report has found. Consumers only recycle 2% of our lithium-ion batteries, and an estimated $813m to $3bn worth of valuable components is in landfill. The commonly-used rechargeable batteries are used in mobile phones, laptops, household appliances and, increasingly, electric vehicles. Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 02:00
Fossil fuels increased share of energy supply investment last year – the first time since 2014 The world’s energy watchdog has sounded the alarm over a “worrying” pause in the shift to clean energy after global investment in renewables fell 7% to $318bn (£240bn) last year. The International Energy Agency said the decline is set to continue into 2018, threatening energy security, climate change and air pollution goals. Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 01:00
This week marks the annual stocktake of the crown’s swans on the River Thames, known as swan upping. The process of counting the swans on the river and identifying them as belonging to the Queen or one of the two City livery companies that also have rights to them – has been carried out since the 12th century, when the birds were so prized for their meat that all wild swans in England were appropriated as property of the crown. The pomp, finery and techniques of swan upping would be familiar to the villagers who looked on centuries ago Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 00:01
Model predicts population of UK’s tallest bird could double within 50 years after its return to the east of England following a 400-year absence Common cranes which recolonised eastern England less than 40 years ago after a 400-year absence are now here to stay, research has found. There could be as many as 275 breeding pairs of the UK’s tallest bird within 50 years, scientists at the University of Exeter, the RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) predict. Continue reading...
07/17/2018 - 00:00
The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry It was just another moment in this long, increasingly strange summer. I was on a train home from Paddington station, and the carriage’s air-conditioning was just about fighting off the heat outside. Most people seemed to be staring at their phones – in many cases, they were trying to stream a World Cup match, as the 4G signal came and went, and Great Western Railway’s onboard wifi proved to be maddeningly erratic. The trebly chatter of headphone leakage was constant. And thousands of miles and a few time zones away in Loudoun County, Virginia, one of the world’s largest concentrations of computing power was playing its part in keeping everything I saw ticking over, as data from around the world passed back and forth from its vast buildings. Most of us communicate with this small and wealthy corner of the US every day. Thanks to a combination of factors – its proximity to Washington DC, competitive electricity prices, and its low susceptibility to natural disasters – the county is the home of data centres used by about 3,000 tech companies: huge agglomerations of circuitry, cables and cooling systems that sit in corners of the world most of us rarely see, but that are now at the core of how we live. About 70% of the world’s online traffic is reckoned to pass through Loudoun County. Continue reading...
07/16/2018 - 19:43
Researchers say the western barred bandicoot was actually five species and those ‘reintroduced’ would never have lived in SA An endangered Australian bandicoot that was reintroduced to the Australian mainland is now believed to be one of five distinct species, and researchers say it may have been a mistake to introduce it to South Australia. Scientists working for the Western Australian Museum have published research that concludes that what has been known as the western barred bandicoot is in fact five distinct species – four of which had become extinct by the 1940s as a result of agriculture and introduced predators. The species were closely related but occurred in different parts of Australia. Continue reading...
07/16/2018 - 18:01
United Utilities says 7 million customers will be affected by first ban since 2012 Millions of households in the north-west of England will face the first hosepipe ban in the country since 2012 after the UK’s longest heatwave in more than 40 years. The water company United Utilities said 7 million customers would be affected by the ban, which is due to come into force on 5 August. Continue reading...
07/16/2018 - 16:02
Ocean Leadership ~ We were pleased to host a congressional briefing last week with one of our member organizations, the IOOS Association, on the important role of ocean data in supporting the blue economy. During the standing-room only event, held in conjunction with the Senate Oceans Caucus, speakers from the seafood (Leigh Habegger, Seafood Harvesters of America), tourism (Zack Klyver, Bar Harbor Whale Watch), energy (Dr. Ruth Mullins-Perry, Shell Exploration and Production Company, another of COL’s members), and transportation (Joy Baker, Director of the Port of Nome, Alaska) sectors highlighted how ocean data ensure safety, allow them to generate income, and enable informed decision-making. We were fortunate to have RDML (Ret.) Tim Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and acting NOAA Administrator, moderate the briefing. A huge thank you to him and everyone involved in this event, which you can read more details of below.  In Memoriam  We were very sad to learn about the loss of Dr. J. Frederick (Fred) Grassle. Fred’s work focused on the characterization of marine biodiversity in a variety of habitats, mostly in the deep ocean. He led the first biological expedition to the newly-discovered hydrothermal vents near Galapagos in 1977 to investigate and systematically classify the vast numbers of species in the vicinity. Fred was the founding director of Rutgers IMCS and served as a COL (and CORE before that) member representative for many years. He was one of those community leaders engaged in just about every major program at CORE in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as the Census of Marine Life (he was a driving force behind this, as well as its ongoing legacy, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System), ORION (OOI predecessor), and IOOS. He will be greatly missed, and you can learn more about him here.   -Jon RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.) President and CEO Consortium for Ocean Leadership  Member Highlight  Racing To Save Florida’s Coral From Climate Change, Scientists Turn To A Once-Unthinkable Strategy: ‘Assisted Evolution’  As global warming rapidly brings coral ecosystems to the brink of extermination, scientists are abandoning their hands-off approach in favor of a once-unthinkable strategy: a massive intervention to manipulate the natural balance of the reef. On Summerland Key, an army of scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory and Coral Restoration Foundation are trying to rebuild thousands of square acres of the reef one centimeter at a time, cutting tens of thousands of coral microfragments, toughening them up in the lab and replanting them in the ocean piece by piece. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 07-16-2018 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.