Breaking Waves: Ocean News

05/23/2018 - 12:00
Almost all nations would benefit economically from keeping global warming to 1.5C, a new study indicates Achieving the toughest climate change target set in the global Paris agreement will save the world about $30tn in damages, far more than the costs of cutting carbon emissions, according to a new economic analysis. Most nations, representing 90% of global population, would benefit economically from keeping global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the research indicates. This includes almost all the world’s poorest countries, as well as the three biggest economies – the US, China and Japan – contradicting the claim of US president, Donald Trump, that climate action is too costly. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 10:58
Undercover footage recorded more than 100 incidents over 10 days, with workers apparently kicking pigs in their heads and stomachs The RSPCA has launched an investigation after the release of footage that appears to show farm workers brutally kicking and punching pigs at a farm in Lincolnshire. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 10:34
Water shortages could stretch into the 2050s, according to the Environment Agency. It’s time to do your bit The sun is shining and we are due a hot bank holiday Monday, so it must be time for a drought story. And not just any old drought, but one stretching into the 2050s and beyond, according to the Environment Agency, which warns that our use of water is unsustainable. While the agency puts much of its focus on the need for companies to change their behaviour, especially by reducing leakage, there are practical steps we can all take. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 09:34
The news that Mediterranean whales have died after ingesting our plastic waste comes as no surprise – but seems to be an omen for fallout from our disruption of the natural world Plastic bags have been blamed for the deaths of sperm whales in the Mediterranean. The Athens-based Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute found that more than a third of the sperm whales found dead in Greek waters had stomachs blocked by plastic waste. But this comes as no surprise to whale watchers. In a plangent 2011 report by same researchers on a mass sperm-whale stranding, a combination of factors – noise from naval exercises, dehydration and stress that caused toxic chemicals and heavy metals to be released from the whales’ body fat – was found to have caused them to beach. The scene of the dying whales moved the scientists to unusually emotive language as they recorded finding them “agonising on the shore”. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 09:13
Ban will stop 214,000 vehicles from using two key roads as part of pollution crackdown Hamburg is to become the first German city to ban some diesel cars to improve air quality, setting a template for other urban centres in the country. The ban will affect about 214,000 cars, more than two-thirds of the diesel vehicles registered in Germany’s second-largest city. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 06:18
Samples of Scottish lake will be tested to reveal truth behind centuries-old legend An examination of Loch Ness using DNA sampling techniques will try to establish exactly what lives in the UK’s largest freshwater body – it may also discover whether there is any scientific basis to the monster legend. The mission will involve genetic code being extracted from the lake over a two-week period to determine the types of creatures that live there. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 05:00
Farmers take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation, and at twice the rate of military veterans. Two bills to help farmers were included in the federal farm bill In early May, Kansas farmer John Blaske is waiting for the rain to stop so he can begin planting. From the front door of his farmhouse, a green yard decorated with bird feeders slopes down to a series of fields where the corn will be planted. Beyond the fields, there’s a tree line and a small bridge with a creek running below. It’s peaceful here, and mostly quiet, except for the sound of the occasional car or tractor, or the cows calling from the paddock. The waiting makes him restless, he tells me. And it’s not just the rain. He’s also waiting desperately for the opportunity to talk to fellow agrarians or to legislators about the stress, depression and suicidal ideation he experiences as a farmer. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 05:00
Hot oceans fueled Hurricane Harvey, generating intense rainfall Last summer, the United states was pummeled with three severe hurricanes in rapid succession. It was a truly awesome display of the power of weather and the country is still reeling from the effects. In the climate community, there has been years of research into the effect that human-caused global warming has on these storms – both their frequency and their power. The prevailing view is that in a warming world, there will likely be fewer such storms, but the storms that form will be more severe. Some research, however, concludes that there will be both more storms and more severe ones. More generally, because there is more heat, there is more activity, which can be manifested in several ways. Continue reading...
05/23/2018 - 00:01
Wasted water from leaking pipes and overuse in homes is causing damage to rivers and wildlife and putting increasing pressure on overstretched supplies, warns the Environment Agency People need to use less water and companies must curb leaks to prevent future water shortages and damage to rivers and wildlife, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned. Many sources of water supplies are already overstretched and, with climate change and a growing population, much of England could see significant supply shortages by the 2050s – particularly in the south-east. Continue reading...
05/22/2018 - 23:30
Bodnant Garden, Gwynedd: Rhododendrons and azaleas flash white, pink, red, orange and blue as the oaks awaken from a long winter dream These oak leaves open like bloody beef. Not the “rich brown-umber hue the oaks unfold/ When Spring’s young sunshine bathes their trunks in gold” that John Clare described in his poem Wood Pictures in Spring. These are the emerging leaves of a Quercus robur “Atropurpurea” (they will mature to a deep red-purple), a form of English or common oak, growing in a Welsh wood on the ravine of a stream flowing into the Vale of Conwy. Continue reading...