Breaking Waves: Ocean News

01/24/2023 - 01:14
Invasive fish carried in flood waters die in marine environment, as scientists call for herpes virus to be considered in management Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updates Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcast Waters from last year’s floods in Australia’s south-east are gushing out to sea and taking carp with them – but the salinity of the ocean is killing the invasive species, so dead fish are now washing up on South Australian beaches. Pictures from Middleton, Port Elliot and Goolwa show piles of juvenile carp littering the shores of the popular summer destinations. Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
01/24/2023 - 01:00
Campaign seeks to restore seas otters to northern California and Oregon: ‘They are really important to coastal ecosystems’ Before the fur trade drove them to near extinction, sea otters once roamed the waters of North America from Alaska to Baja California. Now a non-profit conservation group wants to see them brought back, and say the otters could help restore the region’s crucial but decimated kelp forests. The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to reintroduce the furry mammals to a large swath of the west coast stretching from northern California to Oregon, pointing to the vital role otters play in the coastal ecosystem. A small population of southern sea otters lives on California’s central coast, where the Monterey Bay Aquarium regularly documents their adventures, but the threatened animal occupies just 13% of its historic range. Continue reading...
01/23/2023 - 21:19
Authorities say the 500kg animal is ‘definitely not Henry’, a seal that used to frequent the Mornington Peninsula in the early 2000s Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updates Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcast An elephant seal has reappeared on a Mornington Peninsula beach after drawing crowds on Friday on the other side of Port Phillip Bay, where it came ashore and smashed windows at a service station. Glenn Sharp, a regional operations manager with Victoria’s Conservation Regulator, said he had helped coax the huge seal away from danger last week, when the seal crossed roads in Point Lonsdale and appeared to be spooked by its reflection in the windows. Continue reading...
01/23/2023 - 20:03
A new study finds that microorganisms live in richly diverse and interdependent communities in high-temperature geothermal environments in the deep sea. By constructing genomes of 3,635 Bacteria and Archaea from 40 different rock communities, researchers discovered at least 500 new genera and have evidence for two new phyla. Samples from the deep-sea Brothers volcano were especially enriched with different kinds of microorganisms, many endemic to the volcano. The genomic data from this study also showed that many of these organisms depend on one another for survival. Some microorganisms cannot metabolize all of the nutrients they need to survive so they rely on nutrients created by other species in a process known as a 'metabolic handoff.'
01/23/2023 - 20:02
Federal environmental laws are failing to mitigate against Australia's extinction crisis, according to new research.
01/23/2023 - 15:15
Researchers report that elephants play a key role in creating forests which store more atmospheric carbon and maintaining the biodiversity of forests in Africa. If the already critically endangered elephants become extinct, rainforest of central and west Africa, the second largest rainforest on earth, would lose between six and nine percent of their ability to capture atmospheric carbon, amplifying planetary warming.
01/23/2023 - 12:32
Protected natural areas of the UK are struggling to halt declines in insects and spiders that have occurred over the past 30 years, according to a new study.
01/23/2023 - 10:00
The influential academic says renewables alone can halt climate crisis, with technologies such as carbon capture expensive wastes of time “Combustion is the problem – when you’re continuing to burn something, that’s not solving the problem,” says Prof Mark Jacobson. The Stanford University academic has a compelling pitch: the world can rapidly get 100% of its energy from renewable sources with, as the title of his new book says, “no miracles needed”. Continue reading...
01/23/2023 - 09:00
The gecko licks its eyeball seductively: ‘I mean, have you seen my feet?’ It is evening, and the world seems to go still for a moment, as though some kind of signal has been lost. You hear a tiny bark. There in the corner: a gecko. If the corner is in an apartment that is in a suburb in a city in Malaysia, you hear a “cicak”, in Bangladesh, “tiktiki”. Where does this tiny reptile get the confidence to make a sound like that? “Not the hiss or croak for me,” it says. The gecko licks its eyeball seductively: I mean, have you seen my feet? Continue reading...
01/23/2023 - 09:00
Environment ministers’ decisions spanning 15 years made no difference to amount of habitat destroyed, researchers say Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updates Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcast Decisions by environment ministers spanning 15 years to either wave through projects or impose stricter conditions to protect threatened species made no actual difference to the amount of habitat destroyed, according to a new study. More than half of habitat cleared to build infrastructure, mines, urban developments and for agriculture came after a minister had decided projects would have a “non-significant” impact on species and habitat, the study says. Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup The term “significant impact” was too vague and the criteria around it was ambiguous, leading to subjective decisions. Developers intentionally minimise the potential impacts of a project and governments relied too much on reports from consultants paid by proponents. Social and economic factors were too often placed above environmental risks when decisions are made. Continue reading...