Breaking Waves: Ocean News

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...
10/17/2018 - 11:48
Three protesters jailed for blocking access to a fracking site walked free on Wednesday after the court of appeal quashed their sentences, calling them manifestly excessive. Simon Blevins, 26, Richard Roberts, 36, and Rich Loizou, 31, were greeted by cheering supporters after judges ruled that they should be freed immediately Fracking protesters walk free after court quashes 'excessive' sentences Continue reading...
10/17/2018 - 11:18
The court of appeal protected the right to protest. If Theresa May persists with this disastrous policy, expect far more direct action There were cheers inside court four of the Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon, when after a markedly short recess three appeal court judges returned to give their verdict. Sentenced to lengthy jail sentences last month, three-anti-fracking protesters - Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts, Rich Loizou - had what they had known all along confirmed by the lord chief justice, Sir Ian Burnett: the punishments handed down by the judge in their trial had been “manifestly excessive”. Instead of serving 15 or 16 months in HMP Preston, their release from prison is now imminent. But be in no doubt: they should never have been behind bars in the first place. Related: Court quashes fracking protesters' 'excessive' jail sentences Continue reading...
10/17/2018 - 11:08
Report warns that rising temperatures threaten the Everglades, including changing rainfall patterns and accelerating sea-level rise Sea water encroaching on the Everglades will hamper decades of work by a government program to reverse manmade damage to the vast, fragile ecosystem at the tip of Florida, according to a new report published on Wednesday. The federal, multibillion-dollar Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, authorized by Congress in 2000, was designed to redirect fresh water, reducing sea water incursion in a long-term effort to bring the tropical wetland ecosystem back to the way it looked in the early 20th century, before influxes of people to southern Florida drained much of it for development. The region, known as the “river of grass”, is less than an hour’s drive from Miami but is home to mangrove forests and cypress swamps housing alligators, orchids, storks and ibises, as well as threatened species such as the Florida panther. But it has long struggled to recover from water diversions for agriculture, swelling communities and other forms of environmental degradation, such as fertilizer runoff. Continue reading...