Breaking Waves: Ocean News

07/08/2020 - 19:46
Experts say new climate data shows how close world already is to breaching 1.5C Paris agreement pledge There is a one-in-five chance annual global temperatures will be at least 1.5C warmer than in pre-industrial times in the next five years, experts have said. Annual global temperatures are likely to be at least 1C above the levels they were before the industrial era in each year between 2020 and 2024, a long-range forecast by experts led by the UK Met Office shows. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 18:37
Experts believe endangered shore plovers – known for their pluck and friendliness – might have flown away or been eaten by predators A specialist search and recovery team has been deployed to recapture the last remaining survivors of a flock of endangered birds that absconded from a predator-free island in New Zealand during coronavirus lockdown. There are only 250 shore plover or tūturuatu left in the wild and they are the world’s rarest plover. Conservationists have been painstakingly reintroducing them to the mainland after they were almost wiped out by cats and rats by 1880. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 13:57
Sector excluded in transport emissions figures but policy change unlikely until 2023 International aviation and shipping emissions are likely to be included in the UK government’s net zero target, it has emerged – but not until after 2023. The intention to review carbon accounting emerged after ministers and advisers, including climate activists, held the first meeting of the Department for Transport’s net zero board. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 12:40
Summer statement’s focus on energy efficiency welcomed but disappointment that no boost for renewables Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage There was no lack of advice for the chancellor on measures to green the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis from top economists and the government’s own climate advisers. But the Rishi Sunak seems to have focused on just one – home insulation – to a mixed reception from green experts and industry figures. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 10:00
It may be best near-term way to remove CO2, say scientists, but cutting fossil fuel use remains critical Spreading rock dust on farmland could suck billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air every year, according to the first detailed global analysis of the technique. The chemical reactions that degrade the rock particles lock the greenhouse gas into carbonates within months, and some scientists say this approach may be the best near-term way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 09:59
Researchers have revealed the evolutionary history of the crown-of-thorns starfish -- a predator of coral that can devastate coral reefs. Their findings shed light on how the populations of these starfish have changed over time and could potentially help reduce their ecological destruction.
07/08/2020 - 08:14
Scientists claim widespread conservation can bring rewards if right policies are followed Nearly a third of the world’s oceans and land area could be placed under environmental protections without harming the global economy, and even produce bumper economic benefits if the right policies were followed, according to a global assessment. Ecosystems around the world are collapsing or hovering on the brink of disaster, with a million species threatened with extinction. But if at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans were subject to conservation efforts, that mass extinction could be avoided and vital habitats restored, scientists estimate. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 05:00
Scientists use a strategy called assisted migration in an attempt to rescue tree species from inhospitable conditions There is an impressive array of pine species at the Nature Conservancy’s Plum Creek preserve in Maryland – loblolly, Virginia, shortleaf – creating a landscape that emits the smell of Christmas well into the summer. But a newcomer to the preserve has fueled an ethical debate about the role of conservationists in the age of climate change. Since 2013, TNC has planted more than 2,000 longleaf pine seedlings in fields not far from the Delaware state line. Today, clumps of longleaf stand together like gangly kids at recess, their eponymous green needles shooting out like pompoms in every direction. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 05:00
Research shows lead exposure worse for poor and black children Highlights risk from contaminants in unregulated private wells American children whose homes rely on private wells for drinking water are 25% more likely to have high lead levels in their blood than those with access to regulated community water services, according to new research. The lead exposure is worse for poor and black children due to historic discriminatory public policies. Continue reading...
07/08/2020 - 01:45
When 323 reindeer were killed by lightning on a remote Norwegian plateau, their bodies were left for nature to take its course In August 2016, a park ranger stumbled upon 323 dead wild tundra reindeer in Norway’s remote Hardangervidda plateau. They had been killed in a freak lightning event. But instead of removing the carcasses, the park decided to leave them where they were, allowing nature to take its course – and scientists to study this island of decomposition and how it might change the arctic tundra ecosystem. Over the years scientists observed the bloated, fly-infested bodies turn into dry skeletons. The latest paper, published by the Royal Society in June, looked at the creation of a “landscape of fear”, as top predators such as wolverines, golden eagles and arctic foxes took advantage of the carrion. Continue reading...