Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/15/2018 - 04:42
Environment minister says he won’t back-end load target as some in his party demand Josh Frydenberg has told his state and territory counterparts the emissions reduction trajectory in the national energy guarantee will be steady over 10 years, not back-end loaded as some of his conservative party room opponents have demanded. Frydenberg, the federal energy minister, was clear during a phone hook-up on Friday that Canberra wanted least-cost abatement in the electricity sector, and that meant implementing a linear emissions reduction trajectory between 2020 and 2030, according to sources familiar with the conversation. Continue reading...
06/15/2018 - 04:41
Photographer Josué Rivas spent seven months documenting the Native American community that came together to protest against the controversial Dakota pipeline. The work has been published in the book Standing Strong, which has won the 2018 FotoEvidence Book award with World Press Photo. Continue reading...
06/15/2018 - 03:35
Company fails to meet annual target of fitting smart meters in customers’ homes EDF Energy has agreed to pay out £350,000 for failing to fit enough smart meters in customers’ houses, the first time an energy supplier has been penalised for missing domestic smart meter targets. Every large energy supplier has an annual target for rolling out smart meters, which provide consumers with real-time electricity usage data and automate readings, with a government goal of all households being offered one by the end of 2020. Continue reading...
06/15/2018 - 01:00
You can’t make money from letting cows run wild, right? When Patrick Barkham got access to the sums at a pioneering Sussex farm, he was in for a surprise. Orange tip butterflies jink over grassland and a buzzard mews high on a thermal. Blackthorns burst with bridal white blossom and sallow leaves of peppermint green unfurl. The exhilaration in this corner of West Sussex is not, however, simply the thrilling explosion of spring. The land is bursting with an unusual abundance of life; rampant weeds and wild flowers, insects, birdsong, ancient trees and enormous hedgerows, billowing into fields of hawthorn. And some of the conventional words from three millennia of farming – ‘hedgerow’, ‘field’ and ‘weed’ – no longer seem to apply in a landscape which is utterly alien to anyone raised in an intensively farmed environment. This is Knepp, a 3,500-acre farm in densely-populated lowland Britain, barely 45 miles from London. Once a conventional dairy and arable operation, at the turn of this century, Knepp’s owners, Charlie Burrell and Isabella Tree, auctioned off their farm machinery, rewilded their land and, as much by accident as design, inched towards a new model of farming. Some view the result as an immoral eyesore, an abnegation of our responsibility to keep land productive and tidy. Others find it inspiring proof that people and other nature can coexist. Continue reading...
06/14/2018 - 23:30
Hermitage Stream, Langstone, Hampshire: One agitated moorhen was corralling four skittish chicks on the far bank, while the other frantically zigzagged after a fifth As we walked alongside the Hermitage Stream, we noticed a day-old moorhen chick bobbing upside down beneath the replica wooden mill wheel, its oversized feet splayed to the sky. Without a second thought, my father climbed over the railings and plunged into the water, scooping up the limp body. The chick appeared lifeless, but as he warmed it in his hands it began to stir and slowly raised its tiny bald head. Moorhens habitually kill their own chicks in order to whittle down a large brood, or in times of food shortage – drowning them by violently shaking them and pushing them underwater. There are six to eight eggs in an average clutch, but it’s uncommon to see adults with that number of well-grown young – usually only two or three will survive to maturity. However, with no parents in sight, it seemed more likely that this chick had been snatched and dropped by a predator. Continue reading...
06/14/2018 - 22:39
IPCC says ‘rapid and far-reaching’ measures required to combat climate change The world is on track to exceed 1.5C of warming unless countries rapidly implement “far-reaching” actions to reduce carbon emissions, according to a draft UN report leaked to Reuters. The final draft report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) was due for publication in October. It is the guiding scientific document for what countries must do to combat climate change. Continue reading...
06/14/2018 - 13:00
The Australian Environment Foundation has secured a former prime minister to speak. But what does it actually do? Securing a former prime minister to speak at your organisation is no doubt a coup for many groups. Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy recently got Kevin Rudd. Australia’s Nelson Mandela Day committee has snaffled Julia Gillard for their next annual lecture. Continue reading...
06/14/2018 - 13:00
Burdekin, Fitzroy, Tully and Daintree rivers in Queensland pose greatest risk, researchers find Four rivers are most responsible for polluting the Great Barrier Reef, according to research that scientists hope will help governments better target efforts to reduce damage to the reef from land use. The Burdekin, Fitzroy, Tully and Daintree rivers in Queensland posed the greatest risk to the reef, the study led by The Nature Conservancy and the University of Queensland found. Continue reading...
06/14/2018 - 13:00
Research involving 62 species found mammals spent relatively less time being active during the day when humans were nearby Human disturbance is turning mammals into night owls, with species becoming more nocturnal when people are around, research has revealed. The study, encompassing 62 species from around the globe, found that when humans were nearby, mammals spent relatively less time being active during the day and were more active at night - even among those already classed as nocturnal. Continue reading...
06/14/2018 - 12:09
Readers respond to Chris Packham’s recent observations on environmental destruction, and to the suggestion that one positive step would be for us to give up our pets If we’ve normalised the ecological damage we are doing to our country, as Chris Packham suggests, it’s only because as individuals we feel helpless (Packham: ‘We are presiding over ecological apocalypse’, 11 June). As it is, the signs are extraordinary, and not just the absence of iconic species like butterflies, bees, frogs and hedgehogs. I have noticed a decline in the number (and size) of ticks, for example, and houseflies and greenflies – even dung flies – are actually rare this summer. If we do not mourn their decline we are foolish – no flies means no maggots, which means no cleaning up of the dead badgers Packham mentions; no greenflies and ticks means less food for some species up the food chain, which is presumably why there are no birds on our feeders these days. It really does feel like an apocalypse, and yet the government still drags its feet over the poisons which have almost certainly caused it.Jeremy CushingExeter Continue reading...