Breaking Waves: Ocean News

02/16/2019 - 11:00
Firms say regulations forcing operations to stop if they trigger tremors greater than 0.5 magnitude threaten viability The UK’s nascent fracking firms are headed for a crunch moment that will determine whether the industry has a future, according to observers and insiders. The past fortnight has seen a concerted lobbying drive by two of the leading shale companies calling for the government to review rules on earthquakes caused by their operations. Continue reading...
02/15/2019 - 15:18
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: JP Rippe) Legislation would help coastal communities cope with ocean and coastal acidification (From The Press Office of Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici)  WASHINGTON, DC [02/14/19] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced the bipartisan Coastal and Ocean Acidification Stressors and Threats (COAST) Research Act. The COAST Research Act will strengthen federal investments in research and monitoring of changing ocean conditions. This research will help coastal communities better understand and cope with the effects of environmental stressors on our oceans and estuaries. About one third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean, causing water chemistry to change. Changing ocean conditions affect the more than 3 million blue economy jobs in the United States that rely on the ocean. These jobs contribute at least $352 billion to the economy every year. (…) The COAST Research Act reauthorizes the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) through 2023. The authorization for this important funding lapsed in 2012. The legislation would: Strengthen investment in research and monitoring of acidification on oceans and estuaries; Increase our understanding of the economic effects of ocean acidification and coastal acidification in estuaries; Engage stakeholders, including the commercial fishing industry, researchers, and community leaders through an Advisory Board; Provide for the long-term stewardship and standardization of data on ocean acidification from different sources, including the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Integrated Ocean Observing System; and Recognize the effects of ocean acidification on estuaries as well as oceans. You can find a copy of the bill text here and a summary here. The bill has been endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, IOOS Association, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems. In addition, Bonamici crafted the legislation with input from Ocean Conservancy, Restore America’s Estuaries, researchers at Oregon State University, Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia, and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership. Read the full article here: https://bonamici.house.gov/media/press-releases/bonamici-young-pingree-posey-introduce-bipartisan-bill-address-health-oceans The post Bonamici, Young, Pingree, Posey Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Address Health Of Oceans and Estuaries appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/15/2019 - 14:18
Ocean Leadership ~ Fully fund NOAA, and spare employees the stress and anxiety of another shutdown. (From The Washington Post/By Carissa Bunge, Ari Gerstman, and Allison Hays)  The authors are the co-chairs of the Friends of NOAA. Early in the morning of Jan. 19, the tornadoes began to touch down in Mississippi. The Jackson National Weather Service forecast office meticulously observed and tracked the hazardous weather. Local authorities were kept updated, and the public was warned of high winds. The storm later started damaging homes and downing power lines in Louisiana; the New Orleans/Baton Rouge forecast office kept the public and state and local governments informed. Then after noon, tornadoes began injuring people in Alabama, and the Birmingham forecast office issued alerts and warned the public. Finally, that evening a tornado moved a car and tore the roof off a building at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida; no one was harmed because of warnings from the Tallahassee forecast office. Before and during the storm, forecasters received new model run updates every six hours from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in Maryland. At each of these Weather Service forecast offices and centers, forecasters worked around the clock to keep the public apprised, forecast the weather in real time, and work with local emergency managers to mitigate any damage to lives and property — all without pay. Forecasting the weather during extreme storms is stressful business. Meteorologists weigh all of the information in front of them — observations, model outputs, road conditions and the public’s readiness — to issue watches and warnings, make accurate and reliable forecasts and keep state and local decision-makers informed. The public has come to expect excellent weather prediction for extreme storms, so bad forecasts are not tolerated. Every day for 35 days, from Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, forecasters across the United States came to work not knowing when they would next get paid. They did this work because they believe in their mission, because of the discipline and high moral character the job demands, and because they love their jobs. They consistently came to work despite the stress and anxiety of rent, the mortgage, credit card bills, car payments and child care, all to make sure that we — fellow Americans — were safe. For that, we owe them an incredible debt of gratitude. To show that gratitude, we, the co-chairs of the Friends of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — a funding advocacy group for the Weather Service’s parent agency — ask that Congress and President Trump fully fund NOAA for the rest of the fiscal year and not force… Read the full article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/02/06/mr-president-congress-join-us-thanking-noaa-workforce/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.546fae863683 The post Mr. President And Congress: Join Us In Thanking The NOAA Workforce appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/15/2019 - 14:00
Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect When the parking lot in the bustling tourist zone of downtown Annapolis floods, the employees at Pip’s Dock Street Dogs restaurant take off their socks and shoes, wrap their legs in trash bags and wade out into the water. A lot of the time, it’s not even raining. High tides intensified by sea-level rise are just pushing the water inland, overwhelming the drainage system. Continue reading...
02/15/2019 - 13:11
Thousands of young people take time out of school to join protests across the country Some wore school uniform, with ties askew in St Trinian’s fashion, others donned face paint, sparkly jackets and DM boots. The youngest clutched a parent’s hand as people gathered in the sunshine in Parliament Square in London, a few metres from the politicians they say are letting down a generation. They carried homemade placards, with slogans full of humour, passion and hope that the voices of thousands of children and young people would be heard. Continue reading...
02/15/2019 - 10:14
Inger Andersen expected to replace Erik Solheim, who quit amid travel expenses outcry The UN secretary-general has picked the Danish economist and environmentalist Inger Andersen as its new environment chief, according to a letter seen by Agence France-Presse, turning the page on a scandal over expenses that rocked the UN agency. Andersen, who heads the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) NGO, is set to succeed Erik Solheim of Norway, who resigned in November amid an outcry over his huge travel expenses. Continue reading...
02/15/2019 - 09:54
Activists say ‘post-apocalyptic’ scenes in Kuzbass highlight manmade ecological disaster Residents of a coalmining region in Siberia have been posting videos online showing entire streets and districts covered in toxic black snow that critics say highlight a manmade ecological catastrophe. In one video, filmed in Kiselyovsk, a town in the Kuzbass region, a woman drives past mounds of coal-coloured snow stretching to the horizon, covering a children’s playground and the courtyards of residential buildings. The scenes in the footage were described as “post-apocalyptic” by Russian media. Continue reading...
02/15/2019 - 09:30
Hungry polar bears, the oldest known breeding bird and a new frog species in this week’s gallery Continue reading...
02/15/2019 - 09:29
Hourly water level records collected from tide gauges can be used to measure land uplift caused by episodic tremor and slip of slow earthquakes in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, according to a new report.
02/15/2019 - 08:23
Walkouts held in towns and cities across Britain in protest at environmental crisis Are you taking part? Share your experiences 3.47pm GMT We’re going to wind up the blog now. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch to share your stories. Here’s our most recent news story. Related: Climate strike: UK school pupils take part in call for urgent action 3.30pm GMT The climate change strikers have found an unusual source of support: Conservative MPs who have issued comments applauding those who took time off school or college to join the protests. They include Claire Perry, the energy minister, who said: “I’m incredibly proud of young people who feel strongly that we need to take action.” She was joined by the former higher education minister Sam Gyimah, who tweeted approvingly: “Best to see this as an applied citizenship lesson on one day of the year.” Continue reading...