Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/20/2019 - 18:01
National Grid is able to confidently predict the 2019 record just six months into the year Zero-carbon energy sources are poised to overtake fossil fuels as the UK’s largest electricity source over a full calendar year. This year will be the first that fossil fuels make up less than half of the electricity generated, according to National Grid, following a dramatic decline in coal-fired power and rising renewable energy. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 15:34
Video shows Foreign Office minister manhandling female demonstrator The Conservatives have been plunged into controversy after a video showed a minister grab and manhandle a protester who disrupted the chancellor’s Mansion House speech. Police began looking into the incident on Thursday night after footage showed Mark Field pushing the female Greenpeace activist against a pillar and grabbing her neck. There were calls for Field to lose his position as a Foreign Office minister. In a statement, he apologised to the woman and said he would refer himself to the Cabinet Office over the incident. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 15:30
Concern grow over ammonia particles from fertiliser and bioaerosol from intensive farms We think of the countryside as being a place of fresh air. Each weekend thousands of us leave our cities to hike or cycle in rural areas or simply to enjoy time in nature. Increasing attention is being given, however, to air pollution from farming. Ammonia from fertiliser and slurry mixes with air pollution from cities, traffic and industry to add to the particle pollution that plagues many parts of the world. It is estimated that halving ammonia from farming could avoid about 52,000 premature deaths from air pollution across Europe each year and 3,000 in the UK. Increasing attention is also being paid to bioaerosol from intensive farming. In animal houses these are tiny particles and dust from the animals themselves, their food, bedding and waste. They can also include fungi, bacteria and pollen. A recent review by Imperial College and Public Health England found evidence of respiratory problems in farm workers and raised concerns about exposure for people living close to intensive livestock farms, including some evidence of increased asthma in children. Bioaerosol concerns mean that composting facilities need to be at least 250 metres from UK homes and schools, but farms can be nearer and only require assessment if they are closer than 100 metres. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 06:44
MPs launch assembly plan but environmental activists say its conclusions must be binding A citizens’ assembly on the climate emergency will take place this autumn to explore the fastest and fairest ways to end the UK’s carbon emissions. Six House of Commons select committees announced the assembly on Thursday. It is the second of the three demands made by the Extinction Rebellion protest group to be addressed. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 06:32
Mass migration back to UK waylaid by stormy conditions and lack of nesting places The number of swifts that returned to Britain from their wintering grounds in Africa this spring was the lowest since records began, with poor weather in the Mediterranean delaying their arrival by two weeks. Experts fear the recent wet weather will further hit their numbers. Swift numbers in Britain have fallen by more than 50% since 1995. More than 100 walks, talks and visits to urban areas to witness the swift’s aerial “screaming parties” will be held this week to raise awareness of the plight of this unique migratory bird. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 05:28
Thursday’s top story: US-Iranian tensions escalate amid dispute over an American drone. Plus, Joe Biden criticised for working with segregationist senators Subscribe now to receive the morning briefing by email. Good morning, I’m Mattha Busby with today’s essential stories. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 05:00
Clean energy job bill would allow cap and trade of emissions Governor dispatches state troopers to get session back on track Oregon is poised to become the second US state after California to impose a cap and trade program aimed at reducing industrial carbon emissions. But ahead of a vote on the legislation Thursday, all 11 Republican state senators fled the capitol in a bid to delay the process. Several claimed to have left the state, beyond the reach of state troopers dispatched by the governor in order to get the legislative session back on track. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 01:00
Environmental groups say Line 5 poses a major threat and is run by Canada’s Enbridge which has a long record of mismanagement A coalition of environmental groups and newly elected Democrats in Michigan are seeking to shut a controversial pipeline through the Great Lakes they say represents a major environmental threat and is being run by a company with a long record of mismanagement, poor safety habits and deception. Canadian oil giant Enbridge wants to replace an ageing pipeline called Line 5 that cuts through the Great Lakes, which hold more than 90% of the nation’s freshwater. It transports about 540,000 barrels of oil and liquid natural gas daily in 4.4 miles of pipelines that are exposed on the lake floor in the Mackinac Straits. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 00:08
There are only about 30 north Pacific right whales left after hunters nearly wiped out the slow-moving animals Marine biologists for the first time have recorded singing by one of the rarest whales on the planet, the north Pacific right whale. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used moored acoustic recorders to capture repeated patterns of calls made by male north Pacific right whales. Continue reading...
06/20/2019 - 00:00
Event will take place on 22 September across 18 boroughs, with road closures and events Sadiq Khan has announced plans to implement London’s biggest car-free day to date, closing 12.3 miles (20km) of roads in the centre of the capital in September. Roads will be closed for the event around London Bridge, Tower Bridge and much of the City of London to help tackle the capital’s air pollution crisis, which kills thousands of people each year and leaves two million – including 400,000 children – living in areas with illegally dirty air. Continue reading...