Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/18/2019 - 23:02
Exclusive: Energy minister denies interfering with department action over alleged illegal land clearing by company he partially owns with his brother Support our independent journalism with a single or recurring contribution The energy minister, Angus Taylor, held talks with federal environment officials over an issue at the centre of an illegal land-clearing action brought by the same department against a company part-owned by him and his brother, Guardian Australia can reveal. Taylor, who was minister for cities at the time, had meetings in 2017 to discuss the federal government’s designation of a critically endangered grassland species. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 21:00
Oil firms are said to have known for decades of the link between burning fossil fuels and climate breakdown. Author Bill McKibben describes how industry lobbying created a 30-year barrier to tackling the crisis. Plus: John Stewart on his campaign to stop the third runway at Heathrow Before 1988, climate change was a subject confined to the realm of academic journals. That all changed when the scientist James Hansen told Congress that global heating was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. That moment caught the imagination of the journalist Bill McKibben, who has written and campaigned on climate breakdown ever since. And it has been reported that fossil fuel companies, such as ExxonMobil, were making links between the burning of oil and rising sea levels as early as the 1970s. But instead of making their findings public, the industry colluded to cast doubt over the science. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 15:09
Visibly weak female bear spotted in Norilsk in northern Siberia Climate emergency has damaged polar bears’ sea-ice habitats A starving polar bear has strayed hundreds of kilometres from its natural Arctic habitat and wandered, exhausted, into the major Russian industrial city of Norilsk in northern Siberia. Related: Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 14:23
Pair attempt to reach top of 4,450m mountain but are intercepted by police and told to turn back Two Swiss mountaineers have landed a small plane less than 400 metres from the summit of Mont Blanc before heading for the top of Europe’s tallest peak with police in pursuit. The pair landed the aircraft 4,450 metres (14,600ft) up the mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday in an incident described as an unprecedented “provocation” by Eric Fournier, the mayor of the nearby Chamonix resort. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 12:55
Gathering aimed at keeping global heating close to 1.5C will be most significant since Paris The UK is to host a critical global summit on the climate crisis at the end of 2020, at which the world’s 190 nations must commit to deep cuts in emissions. It will be the most significant UN climate summit since the Paris deal was struck in 2015, when countries made pledges to curb emissions. But these pledges would only keep global heating to a 3C rise, which would bring devastating heatwaves and extreme weather. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 11:02
Ice blocks frozen solid for thousands of years destabilized ‘The climate is now warmer than at any time in last 5,000 years’ Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared. A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 11:00
Apple says it is ‘deeply committed to responsible sourcing of materials’ Electronics companies, including Canon, Apple and Nokia, are re-evaluating their supply chains following reports they may be using gold extracted from a Tanzanian mine that has been criticised for environmental failures. Over the past 10 years, at the North Mara goldmine – which is operated by London-listed Acacia Mining – there have been more than a dozen killings of intruding locals by security personnel. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 10:55
War of words as Turkish vessel begins offshore operations in eastern Mediterranean Greece and Cyprus have urged the European Union to take punitive measures against Turkey amid escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean over offshore energy reserves. As Ankara upped the ante by announcing it would expand exploration for potentially lucrative gas resources in the region, the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, appealed to the EU “to unreservedly condemn the illegal actions of Turkey”. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 08:17
Study finds most sensitive plant and wildlife habitats are worst affected, yet government has no clear plans to monitor impact Ammonia and nitrogen pollution, mostly from farms, is harming more than 60% of the UK’s land area and hitting the most sensitive habitats for plants and wildlife hardest, a government report has found, despite there being no clear plans to monitor or reduce its impact. More than 85% of England’s total land area receives ammonia concentrations above the critical level set to protect lichens, mosses, liverworts and similar plants – keystone species that are vital to ecosystems – while Northern Ireland is even worse, at 88%. Just over half the land in Wales is affected, and less than a fifth of Scotland. Continue reading...
06/18/2019 - 05:58
Prof David King says would-be PM oversaw ‘devastating’ cuts in efforts to tackle crisis Prof David King, the former chief scientist, has expressed alarm at the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming prime minister because the Tory MP oversaw “devastating” cuts in efforts to tackle the climate crisis when he was foreign secretary and then wanted to hush them up. Related: UK climate plan unclear, says European commission Continue reading...