Breaking Waves: Ocean News

02/19/2019 - 20:09
A million tonnes of spoil to be disposed of in marine park – prompting calls for a ban on all offshore dumping The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of more than 1m tonnes of dredge spoil near the reef, using a loophole in federal laws that were supposed to protect the marine park. The Greens senator Larissa Waters has called for the permit – which allows maintenance dredging to be carried out over 10 years at Mackay’s Hay Point port and the sludge to be dumped within the marine park’s boundaries – to be revoked. Continue reading...
02/19/2019 - 19:48
Flood risk in the region likely to increase by 130% by end of century, modelling shows Houses in flood-hit Townsville and other parts of north Queensland are “on track to become uninsurable”, according to analysis that shows the risk to homes from flooding will more than double under climate change. The modelling, based on current global emissions trajectories, says flooding in Townsville is already about 20% more to likely to occur than previously thought. The total flood risk in the region is likely to increase by 130% by the end of the century. Continue reading...
02/19/2019 - 19:01
European health report finds Britain has highest mortality rate of countries studied Young Britons are dying from asthma at a higher rate than any of the other European countries examined in a new study, researchers have revealed. Experts have found the UK is languishing near the bottom of an international league table for a host of problems, including obesity, lack of exercise in children and the burden of chronic health issues – and in many cases the situation is getting worse. Continue reading...
02/19/2019 - 16:46
Ocean Leadership ~ From Oil Spills to Funding Bills, and Don’t Forget About our Public Policy Forum on March 13! Just after the Super Bowl that mistakenly left the Saints out was over, the city of New Orleans did get to celebrate as nearly 800 scientists from around the world met in the city for the annual Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science (GoMOSES) conference. With the theme of Minding the Gaps: Research Priorities for Response, Restoration, and Resilience, the conference took a more holistic view of the Gulf of Mexico, looking beyond the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to consider how various stressors contribute to ecological and social resilience and inform response, restoration, and resource management strategies. Experts from academia, state and federal agencies, industry, and nongovernmental organizations shared new studies focused on translating the fundamental and applied research learned since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to advance strategic policy and operational decision making in the region. COL contributes to this event in several ways, primarily by helping facilitate GoMOSES as part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, one of the 16 conference partners. Additionally, along with the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, COL sponsors the James D. Watkins Student Award for Excellence in Research. Read more about this year’s five student winners on the conference website. I was happy to see Chris D’Elia, one of COL’s trustees and long-time member representative from Louisiana State University, received the Wes Tunnell Lifetime Recognition for Gulf Science and Conservation award (sponsored by GOMURC) for his dedicated work towards a healthy and sustainable Gulf environment and economy. Congratulations and thank you for all you’ve done for the Gulf throughout your career! I’m also pleased to announce registration is now open for COL’s upcoming Public Policy Forum, U.S. Ocean Policy: Past, Present, and Future. Join us March 13 to examine what has been done over the last decade and a half to achieve the recommendations from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, where we stand now (particularly in terms of federal funding for ocean science and technology research and development), and how the organizing framework of ocean security can help us complete the report’s recommendations and get us to a brighter future for our blue planet. Finally, the spending deal signed Friday funds three of our main ocean science agencies – NSF, NOAA, and NASA – through the rest of the fiscal year. NSF will see a four percent increase (receiving $8.1 billion), NASA Earth Science will get a marginal increase (remaining near $1.9 billion), while NOAA funding will decrease eight percent (dropping to $5.4 billion), which is largely due to a planned funding decrease as satellites transition to the operational phase. A big thank you to the appropriators, staff, and ocean champions who ensured many of COL’s priorities – including funding for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program ($5.5 million); money for NOAA’s aquaculture program and language directing the continuation of regional pilot programs; $127 million for “continuing construction of three Regional Class Research Vessels;” language on marine seismic research recognizing the importance of ensuring the availability of “NSF-funded marine research vessels with unique capabilities;” and funding for key NOAA programs slated for elimination in the president’s budget request, including the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, Coastal Zone Management Grants, and the Office of Education. While I am happy to see these items included in the final spending package, these agencies operated under a short-term continuing resolution for four months, not to mention the lost work, time, and opportunities associated with the shutdown. I dream of a future when our federal government realizes that timely and sufficient funding of ocean scientific research in all of our federal agencies is just as important as areas like defense and energy. Climate Of North American Cities Will Shift Hundreds Of Miles In One Generation In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away—or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today. A new study and interactive web application, from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and North Carolina State University, aim to help the public understand how climate change will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 02-18-2019 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/19/2019 - 16:19
Ocean Leadership ~ The Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California San Diego ( invites applications for a full-time Researcher position to be funded largely by extramural research grants and contracts in any of the research areas listed below. The Researcher series at SIO parallels the Professor series in terms of expectations for research and service but carries no teaching requirements. Researchers receive nine-month appointments with 25% salary support from institutional sources. Externally funded research programs are expected to provide the remaining salary support, including an opportunity for summer salary. Researchers at SIO often obtain lecturer appointments in the SIO department, which provides a mechanism to serve as a graduate student advisor. We seek a motivated, broad-thinking scientist to develop a vigorous research group and provide intellectual leadership in their field while complementing existing expertise in the Biology Section. We are interested in candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in research as well as service toward building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment. We anticipate hiring at the Assistant Researcher level, but exceptionally well-qualified candidates may be considered for the Associate Researcher or Full Researcher levels. Marine aquaculture research including micro and macroalgae, shellfish, or finfish and may include the basic biology of aquaculture species with application for enhanced productivity. Marine “omics” research including applications of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to address fundamental questions in ocean biosciences and issues related to human health and the oceans. The position requires a PhD, or equivalent degree, in a relevant field at the time of application and candidates should have a competitive record of publication, as well as evidence of the ability to conduct and fund an active research program consistent with the appointment level. It is anticipated that successful candidate will have extramural salary support at the time of appointment. Salary will depend on experience and be based on UCSD pay scales. For full consideration, please apply by the April 1, 2019 deadline at: SIO is a world-renowned center of marine research with approximately 200 principal investigators leading research programs on all aspects of earth, ocean, biological and atmospheric sciences. We are committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body. UCSD is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence and diversity. The post Assistant Researcher in Marine Aquaculture/Marine Omics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) (Apr. 01) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/19/2019 - 16:10
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Architect of the Capitol) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What Passed The 116th Congress began on January 3, 2019, during a partial government shutdown. The shutdown ended after 35 days on January 25, 2019 when the president signed a continuing resolution (CR) (H.J. Res. 28; P.L. 116-5), which includes funding for critically important science agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to extend fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding levels, and reopen the government through February 15. The final FY 2019 appropriations bills (H.R. Res. 31) were signed into law on February 15. What’s New The start of the new Congress brought a surge of new legislation focusing on coastal management. A series of bills introduced in the House were directed at flood insurance, including the Flood Insurance Rate Map Interagency Technology (FIRM IT) Act of 2019 (H.R. 342) and the Taxpayer Exposure Mitigation Act (H.R. 471). The Federally Integrated Species Health (FISH) Act (H.R. 548) would consolidate the management and regulation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) entirely within the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The ESA is currently administered by both the FWS, under the Department of the Interior, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), under the Department of Commerce. The FWS holds primary responsibility for terrestrial and freshwater organisms, while the responsibilities of NMFS are mainly marine wildlife, such as whales and anadromous fish, like salmon. Legislation to establish measures to combat invasive lionfish (H.R. 417) was also introduced. Several new bills to close the coasts of New England (H.R. 287); the north, mid-, and south Atlantic (H.R. 291); Florida (H.R. 286); and California (H.R. 279) to offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration were introduced. Additionally, a bill requiring the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study on the economic and environmental risks to the Great Lakes from oil spills or leaks was introduced in the House (H.R. 795). Bills supporting career and professional development and safety for scientists was a theme in Congress. Bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019 (H.R. 539 and S. 118) would require the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program providing formal training to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other researchers to pursue careers in business. The Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act in 2019 (H.R. 36), similar to legislation introduced in the 115th Congress, would establish an interagency working group with representatives from each federal science agency led by the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The working group is tasked with expanding research efforts to better understand the factors contributing to sexual harassment in the scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce; developing an inventory of sexual harassment policies at federal science agencies; and then using it to develop a uniform set of policy guidelines. What’s Next Once FY 2019 appropriations bills for the remaining unfunded federal agencies have been signed into law, appropriators will begin working to write and pass appropriations bills for FY 2020. The president’s budget request, which is the first step of this process, is expected to be released in March, although the Office of Management and Budget has yet to confirm a release date. We’ve updated our legislative tracker! Check it out for more detail on each bill, including information on sponsors, cosponsors, committee referrals, and more. Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership December’s Congressional Wrap Up Member Highlight: IoT, Data Visualization Warn Coastal Residents about Flooding October And November’s Congressional Wrap Up Sexual Harassment in Science September’s Congressional Wrap Up August’s Congressional Wrap Up Jon White – From the President’s Office: 05-14-2018 Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post January’s Congressional Wrap Up appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/19/2019 - 13:12
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: NASA Earth Observatory) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing titled: “The State of Climate Science and Why it Matters.” Why It Matters The impacts of climate change are felt across the nation, from flooding and intensified hurricanes to increased heat waves and droughts. The ocean regulates the global climate, drives weather, stores carbon, and generates food and income for millions, making the effects of a changing climate not just an environmental challenge, but an economic, public health, and national security challenge. This hearing focused on the role of science and innovative technology to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies for climate change’s effects on society. Key Points Witnesses detailed the effects climate change has on the ocean and human health. Dr. Jennifer Francis (Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center) explained the link between climate change and extreme weather events, telling the committee how the warming air and ocean lead to increased evaporation, fueling the rapid intensification of tropical storms. Dr. Kristie L. Ebi (Rohm & Haas Endowed Professor in Public Health Sciences, Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), University of Washington) spoke about the adverse effects of climate change on human health and healthcare infrastructure. Hospitals located along the coastline are vulnerable to extreme weather and climate hazards, such as floods or hurricanes, and damage to medical equipment and supplies during these events has direct consequences on the health of coastal communities. Ranking Member Frank Lucas (OK-3) and several witnesses emphasized the importance of advancing technology to manage the effects of climate change. Witnesses called for more investment in basic science and more research in emission-reducing technology. Dr. Natalie M. Mahowald (Irving Porter Church Professor of Engineering, Faculty Director for the Environment, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University) spoke about suggestions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming to 1.5°C that would help reduce climate change impacts using an array of technologies and techniques across sectors. Dr. Mahowald encouraged the United States to take a leading role in business, science, and technology to bring both clean energy and new jobs to the nation. Dr. Robert Kopp (Director; Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University) stressed that to truly reduce emissions in the long term, climate change must become a routine and integrated part of decision making at all levels of the public, private sectors. Dr. Joseph Majkut (Director of Climate Policy, Niskanen Center) also encouraged promoting mainstream understanding of climate science and supporting market-based policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Quotable “It is clear that we are responsible for our planet warming at an alarming rate, and we [are] already feeling the impacts of this warming today. Setting the stage with a discussion of the most relevant and up-to date scientific evidence from these and other reports, will allow us to better understand the climate-related impacts we are experiencing in all of our districts.”— Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) “To stabilize the global climate we need to bring net global greenhouse gas emissons to zero. The sooner we do this the smaller the risks to our economy, health, infrastructure, and security that we will have to manage.”— Dr. Robert Kopp (Director, Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University) “Before I go any further, let’s clear up a few definitions that sometimes cause confusion. Climate change versus global warming: Climate change means all the ways that the climate system is changing, while global warming is just one of those ways. Climate versus weather: Climate is the average of all the weather that occurs at a particular location, while weather is the day-to-day swings in temperature and precipitation. Think of climate as your personality, while weather is your mood on any given day.” — Dr. Jennifer Francis (Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center) Find Out More Watch the full hearing Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership           Jon White – From the President’s Office: 02-04-2019 Predicting Coastal Impacts: Where The Atmosphere, Ocean, And Land Collide It’s Cold Outside, But That Doesn’t Mean Climate Change Isn’t Real Preparing Coastal Communities For Change A Less Frozen Frontier A Major New U.S. Report Affirms: Climate Change Is Getting Worse Arctic Discussion Circle Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post Discussing The Impacts Of Climate Change appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/19/2019 - 10:09
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Sgt. Randall A. Clinton / U.S. Marine Corps) New web application helps visualize climate changes in 540 North American cities (From University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science/ By ) — In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away—or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today. A new study and interactive web application aim to help the public understand how climate change will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada. These new climate analyses match the expected future climate in each city with the current climate of another location, providing a relatable picture of what is likely in store. “Within the lifetime of children living today, the climate of many regions is projected to change from the familiar to conditions unlike those experienced in the same place by their parents, grandparents, or perhaps any generation in millennia,” said study author Matt Fitzpatrick of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “Many cities could experience climates with no modern equivalent in North America.” Scientists analyzed 540 urban areas that encompassed approximately 250 million inhabitants in the United States and Canada. For each urban area, they mapped… Read the full article here: The post Member Highlight: Climate Of North American Cities Will Shift Hundreds Of Miles In One Generation appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
02/19/2019 - 07:03
US professor raised early alarms about climate change and popularised term ‘global warming’ A pioneering scientist who raised early alarms about climate change and popularised the term “global warming” has died aged 87. Wallace Smith Broecker, a Columbia University professor and researcher died on Monday at a hospital in New York City, according to a spokesman for the university’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He had reportedly been ill in recent months. Continue reading...
02/19/2019 - 07:02
Tuesday’s top story: Bernie Sanders launches 2020 presidential bid. Plus, how the world got hooked on palm oil Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories. Continue reading...