Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/22/2018 - 17:00
Study suggests the tiny particles may be widespread in the human food chain Microplastics have been found in human stools for the first time, according to a study suggesting the tiny particles may be widespread in the human food chain. The small study examined eight participants from Europe, Japan and Russia. All of their stool samples were found to contain microplastic particles. Continue reading...
10/22/2018 - 14:22
Ocean Leadership ~ Last week, I was honored to deliver a keynote address at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography (URI-GSO) Coastal Resiliency Symposium that was organized by Representative Jim Langevin (RI-02) and featured Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI). I spoke on the myriad threats that the changing ocean and climate represent to our security and prosperity (Ocean Security), including sea level rise and coastal infrastructure susceptibility. Like many coastal states, Rhode Island has extensive national and homeland security interests that are closely tied to the ocean and vulnerable to its changes. In addition to flooding and coastal erosion due to sea level rise, military and industrial infrastructure will likely be impacted more and more by recurrent extreme weather, ecosystem modification, spread of disease, economic instability, etc. These issues are complex and alarming at many levels, and thus they demand an increased commitment to ocean scientific and technological research and development, for therein lie better understanding of opportunities for innovative solutions. As we at COL prepare for our Board of Trustees meeting, Members meeting, and Industry Forum later this week, I look forward to the thoughtful conversations we will have around these topics which have been elevated in our national consciousness over the past few months. I hope our meetings facilitate productive discussions on what (more) we can do to advance critical ocean interests in the months ahead. One thing is clear: We cannot just wait around and react to threats to our ocean security after they happen. To protect lives and investments along our coasts, we in the ocean science community need to be proactive in our engagement and our research. We must offer our science to help communities and governments make hard decisions and investments, such as how to enhance (or even relocate) coastal infrastructure after major storm damage to reduce future vulnerabilities. I adamantly believe that science and scientists provide crucial perspectives on the tough choices and decisions that we face. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 10-22-2018 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
10/22/2018 - 11:35
New plastic-to-fuel technology means there is a growing case for stockpiling our plastic waste, argues Patrick Cosgrove. David Reed says it’s time to start burning all household rubbish to generate power In August, exchequer secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Tackling the scandal of plastic pollution is one of our top priorities.” But it’s now confirmed what many have long suspected, that the UK recycling industry is riven with corruption (Report, 19 October) and only now is government dimly aware of the problem. Taxing coffee mugs and plastic straws, and placing a charge on plastic bags are commendable actions, but in the face of ever-increasing plastic production, single-use or not, are minuscule and potentially token. In addition to stamping out the illegal export of waste and reducing single use plastic at source, a radical upheaval of domestic recycling is required. Local authorities pay waste management companies to collect, sort and, hopefully, recycle domestic plastic waste. Yet they only recycle a proportion of it and ship the rest abroad. Much ends in landfill or in the oceans. The council tax we pay for these destructive processes could be better deployed. With rapid progress now being made on carbon capture, home and industrial-based pyrolysis (waste to energy), and other plastic-to-fuel processes, there is a strong case to stockpile plastic that is difficult to recycle or contaminated. In compacted or granulated form at 10% of its previous volume, it can be stored for future use as feedstock for negative emission energy production and other innovative uses. We used to have grain mountains and wine lakes. Why not temporary plastic mountains? Patrick CosgroveChapel Lawn, Shropshire Continue reading...
10/22/2018 - 11:08
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Ocean Networks Canada) New system was put to the test with a Canada Line simulation (By CBC News with files from Johanna Wagstaffe) — A network of eight underwater sensors and 32 land-based seismic and GPS sensors on Vancouver Island is up and running and could make all the difference when a big earthquake hits. It’s part of Ocean Networks Canada’s early warning system for southwestern British Columbia. The research group from the University of Victoria was awarded $5 million for the venture. The system will estimate how powerful an earthquake is and issue a warning to a network of alarms across B.C. —indicating how much time before the destructive shockwaves hit. Earthquake simulation The system was put to the test recently in the Canada Line control room. It simulated a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Staff had 38 seconds to prepare. “The first thing we’d do is get those trains to stop as close as possible to a station,” explained Ron Powell, the general manager of the Canada Line. “Depending upon where they are and how much time we have, that may be very possible … That’s the safest place for trains to be. That’s where all of our emergency response, our evacuations take place at those stations.” Scientists are preparing for the so-called “Big One.” That’s the magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake that will happen along the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Vancouver Island. When it does, Ocean Networks Canada’s sensors will pick up the earthquake’s waves of energy at the moment they are triggered. Those sensors will then send a warning to the rest of the South Coast that will get there up to 90 seconds before the destructive shock waves arrive… Read the full article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/installation-of-underwater-earthquake-early-warning-sensors-complete-1.4867638 The post Member Highlight: Earthquake Sensor Network Aims To Give B.C. Crucial Seconds To Prepare For The ‘Big One’ appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
10/22/2018 - 07:58
It's called ArcCI (or Arctic CyberInfrastructure) and promises to combine the thousands of images that have been taken along the years of the Arctic Ocean into one global database that will help scientists and the world see the physical changes occurring in the region including ice loss. The hope is that this web-based repository will allow researchers to spend more time analyzing information rather than just collecting and processing data.
10/22/2018 - 05:00
There’s a 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming, but most Americans are unaware When queried about the most recent IPCC report, Republican lawmakers delivered a consistent, false message – that climate scientists are still debating whether humans are responsible. The previous IPCC report was quite clear on this, attributing 100% of the global warming since 1950 to human activities. As Nasa atmospheric scientist Kate Marvel recently put it, “We are more sure that greenhouse gas is causing climate change than we are that smoking causes cancer.” Donald Trump articulated the incorrect Republican position in an interview on 60 Minutes: Continue reading...
10/22/2018 - 01:57
Australian Maritime Safety Authority report says food waste and grey water spill occurred on 26 August A P&O cruise ship spilled 27,000 litres of food waste and grey water into the Great Barrier Reef marine park in August, a Senate estimates hearing has heard. The Greens senator Larissa Waters told the hearing a report from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority – which is investigating the incident – had been supplied to her anonymously. Continue reading...
10/21/2018 - 18:01
Charities tackling hunger could save Britain £500m a year if they had capacity, finds report The collection and redistribution of edible food by the UK’s largest charity tackling hunger – and that would otherwise go to waste – saves the UK economy some £51m every year, according to an independent report published on Monday. If FareShare and other charities in the sector were able to scale up their capacity in order to handle half of the surplus food available in the UK supply chain, the value back to the state could be as much as £500m per year, it claims. Continue reading...
10/21/2018 - 18:01
Thinktank says transition to low-carbon economy could result in ‘local deprivation’ As many as 28,000 jobs will be lost in the north of England in the next 12 years under the government’s drive towards a low-carbon economy, a thinktank has warned. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said in its report that the region could be at the heart of a “clean energy revolution” – with a potential for 46,000 new green jobs – but instead faced economic decline under current plans. Continue reading...
10/21/2018 - 18:01
Michael Gove unveils consultation on move to cut pollution and protect oceans Plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds could be banned within a year under government plans to cut pollution, Michael Gove is to announce. Launching a consultation on the proposals on Monday, the environment secretary will cite the success of the 5p charge on single-use plastic bags, which led to an 86% drop in their use at major supermarkets. Continue reading...