Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/21/2020 - 01:00
Campaign group the Alliance of British Drivers wants higher speed limits and fewer cycle lanes MPs are to hear evidence on road safety from a campaign group that dismisses warnings about global heating and wants higher speed limits and fewer cycle lanes, prompting alarm from environmental and active travel organisations. The Commons transport committee will take oral evidence on Wednesday from the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), which says it represents mainstream views but accepts its membership is “tiny” as a proportion of drivers. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 01:00
Study measured financial impact of car emissions on deaths, health and lost working days in 432 urban areas The health costs of air pollution from roads are higher in London than any other city in Europe, a study has found. Two other urban areas in the UK, Manchester and the West Midlands, have the 15th and 19th highest costs respectively among the 432 European cities analysed. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 00:21
Electricity from $20bn farm on 10,000 sq km property in Newcastle Waters also planned to feed Northern Territory’s power grid A cattle station halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin is set to house the world’s largest solar farm, with energy generated from the project to ultimately power Singapore. Newcastle Waters, where casino mogul James Packer worked as a jackaroo for a year when his father, Kerry, owned the 10,000 sq km property, has been earmarked for the $20bn solar farm, according to the company responsible for the project, Sun Cable. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 23:30
The smooth handfish is the first extinct marine bony fish of modern times. Scientists are now wondering how many more have disappeared unnoticed In 1802, when French naturalist François Péron slipped a small, chunky Australian fish into a jar of preservative, little did he suspect that his unassuming prize would be the only member of its species ever known to science. The smooth handfish (Sympterichthys unipennis) was declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List earlier this year. This strange and spiny bottom-dweller made history with its passing. It became the first marine bony fish to be listed as extinct in modern times. Today, all that remains of the species is that discoloured specimen in the Natural History Museum in Paris. Scooped up off the coast of south-east Tasmania, Péron’s catch was one of the 14 handfish species living in southern Australian waters at the time. The relatives of the smooth handfish are a colourful family which crawl around the seafloor using adapted fins as “hands”. They look like grumpy ageing punks, each sporting a dorsal fin over its head like a mohawk, bulging eyes and a cantankerous expression. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 23:02
To keep animals safe from rubbish discarded by tourists, a bag has been devised made from milk cartons and rice bran The famed deer that roam the city of Nara, in Japan, no longer face discomfort – or far worse – after local companies developed a safe alternative to the plastic packaging discarded by tourists that often ended up in the animals’ stomachs. Last year several of the 1,300 deer that wander around the ancient capital’s central park were found dead after swallowing plastic bags and food wrappers, prompting calls for tourists not to leave their rubbish behind. One of the dead animals had swallowed more than 4kg of rubbish. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 23:01
State of Global Air report says indoor air quality causing two-thirds of the deaths and affecting health in the womb Air pollution last year caused the premature death of nearly half a million babies in their first month of life, with most of the infants being in the developing world, data shows. Exposure to airborne pollutants is harmful also for babies in the womb. It can cause a premature birth or low birth weight. Both of these factors are associated with higher infant mortality. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 15:30
Scientists are hoping that research into Dendrocnide excelsa could lead to new painkillers It sounds like something out of The Day of the Triffids: a stinging nettle the size of a large tree, with a sting so vicious it inflicts excruciating pain that can last for days, weeks or even months. But this is no science fiction, these are the stinging trees of Australia.Dendrocnide excelsa can grow up to 35 metres tall in tropical rainforests in Queensland, one of a gang of six Dendrocnide tree or shrub species found in Australia. These thugs of the plant world belong to the same family as common stinging nettles, with leaves covered in similar tiny needle-like hairs that act like hypodermic syringes, injecting their poison at the slightest touch of the skin, although the poison is far more powerful than a nettle’s. Related: Australia's stinging trees: if the snakes and spiders don't get you, the plants might | Irina Vetter, Edward Kalani Gilding and Thomas Durek Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 12:14
A team of geologists believes they have found the lost plate known as Resurrection in northern Canada by using existing mantle tomography images.
10/20/2020 - 12:13
For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes.
10/20/2020 - 10:11
Locals say loss of 250-year-old pear tree in Cubbington is ‘absolutely devastating’ Residents have spoken of their “utter devastation” after a 250-year-old pear tree in Warwickshire, a famous local landmark and England’s tree of the year in 2015, was felled to make way for the HS2 rail line. The tree, thought to be the second-oldest wild pear tree in the country, had become a focal point in the protest against HS2, a high-speed rail line that will connect London and Birmingham, and which protesters say will cause huge environmental damage. Continue reading...