Breaking Waves: Ocean News

11/13/2018 - 18:24
Efforts to protect native fauna and flora ‘lack purpose, direction and coordination’ Queensland has systematically failed the state’s growing list of threatened species, delaying declarations by up to seven years and botching its conservation management responsibilities, a scathing report by the state’s auditor general has found. Related: Australia's east coast named as 'deforestation front' in WWF Living Planet report Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 16:23
Trend in US regions where once-brutal winters are now mild raises new concerns over climate change Warmer winters are linked to increased crime rates in parts of the United States, a new study has found. Researchers found that violent crime is almost always more prevalent when temperatures are warmer in the winter months. The trend was especially strong when winters were mild in regions that usually have fierce winters, like the north-east and midwest. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 15:00
EPA to start writing rule requiring new trucks produce less nitrogen oxide, one of its first moves to regulate industry Donald Trump’s administration plans to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks, marking one of its first moves to regulate US industry rather than roll back environmental standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will start writing a rule to require new trucks produce less nitrogen oxide, which contributes to smog and particulate matter pollution that causes breathing problems, asthma attacks and early deaths. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 14:09
The president blamed ‘poor forest management’ for the state’s crisis. But much of the area burning isn’t forest You cannot possibly understand what it means to live with the risk of wildfire until you have to do so. I’m a fire scientist and have spent most of my adult life in the flammable south-west. At the start of the fire season, you pack up the things in your house you cannot replace and stage them so they are ready to be thrown into the car. You make a plan for your family and your pets. You identify escape routes and put together a bag with clothing and you spend the summer alert to smoke, radio reports and evacuation notices. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 12:22
Report bitterly contested by scientists who say threat comes from climate change, which has pushed bears closer to humans – not because the population is growing Too many polar bears are roaming the Canadian Arctic, and the growing population is posing an increasing threat to Inuit communities, according to a controversial new government report which has been bitterly contested by environmental scientists. The draft report was prepared by the Nunavut government, and consists of submissions from Inuit community groups across Canada’s northernmost territory. Public consultations are set to start on Tuesday before the government unveils the final report later in the year. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 12:00
Angus Taylor speech leads into crucial board decision on whether or not to proceed The energy minister Angus Taylor has backed Malcolm Turnbull’s pet project, the expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme, ahead of critical deliberations on the project due next month. Taylor will use a speech on Wednesday to express confidence that Snowy “will be a fundamental part of our future energy needs for many generations”. The board is due to decide in mid-December whether to proceed with additional generation capacity of 2,000MW. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 10:13
Ambitious scheme also aims to fully decarbonise country’s economy shortly after Spain has launched an ambitious plan to switch its electricity system entirely to renewable sources by 2050 and completely decarbonise its economy soon after. By mid-century greenhouse gas emissions would be slashed by 90% from 1990 levels under Spain’s draft climate change and energy transition law. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 05:00
Study of beetles could explain global decline – and also be a warning to humankind Heatwaves severely damage the fertility of male beetles and consecutive hot spells leave them virtually sterilised, according to research. Global warming is making heatwaves more common and wildlife is being annihilated, and the study may reveal a way in which these two trends are linked. The scientists behind the findings said there could also be some relevance for humans: the sperm counts of western men have halved in the last 40 years. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 01:01
Movement of cattle and poor fencing hamper control efforts, says government review Frequent trading of cattle and poor biosecurity on farms is “severely hampering” efforts to tackle the crisis of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in England, according to an independent review commissioned by the environment secretary, Michael Gove. It was wrong to blame badgers as the main cause of the outbreaks, the scientists said, although Gove had told them not to assess whether the current badger culls were working. The scientists did say it was “highly desirable” to move from culling to vaccination of badgers. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 01:00
Decades after it became part of the fabric of our lives, a worldwide revolt against plastic is under way. By Stephen Buranyi Plastic is everywhere, and suddenly we have decided that is a very bad thing. Until recently, plastic enjoyed a sort of anonymity in ubiquity: we were so thoroughly surrounded that we hardly noticed it. You might be surprised to learn, for instance, that today’s cars and planes are, by volume, about 50% plastic. More clothing is made out of polyester and nylon, both plastics, than cotton or wool. Plastic is also used in minute quantities as an adhesive to seal the vast majority of the 60bn teabags used in Britain each year. Add this to the more obvious expanse of toys, household bric-a-brac and consumer packaging, and the extent of plastic’s empire becomes clear. It is the colourful yet banal background material of modern life. Each year, the world produces around 340m tonnes of the stuff, enough to fill every skyscraper in New York City. Humankind has produced unfathomable quantities of plastic for decades, first passing the 100m tonne mark in the early 1990s. But for some reason it is only very recently that people have really begun to care. Continue reading...