Breaking Waves: Ocean News

08/13/2019 - 13:00
New government analysis on electric vehicles suggests Labor’s election policy was not out of step with path country is already on Half the new cars sold in Australia in 2035 will be electric vehicles even if there is no policy support to drive change, a new government analysis forecasts. It will reinforce the expert view that Labor’s election pledge to set a target of 50% new car sales being electric by 2030 would not have been that significant a shift from a path the country is already on. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 10:40
The UK’s first nuclear plant to be built since 1995 is expected to cost more than £20bn Revealed: mental health crisis at Hinkley Point C construction site The Hinkley Point nuclear site, on the Somerset coast, should have begun powering around 6m homes well over a year ago. Instead, the 160-hectare (400-acre) sprawl is still the UK’s largest construction site more than a decade after the plan for Britain’s nuclear renaissance first emerged. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 10:31
Several workers on nuclear plant have killed themselves or attempted to, says union No more ‘man up’: push for better mental health Why do so many construction workers kill themselves? Hinkley Point nuclear power station, Britain’s biggest construction project since the second world war, is grappling with a mental illness crisis, with several attempted suicides since work began in 2016, a Guardian investigation can reveal. More than 4,000 workers are on site delivering the vast decade-long building project, a central plank in Britain’s future energy strategy. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 10:27
‘Furthest north lightning strikes in Alaska forecaster memory’ hit as high temperatures and widespread fires plague region Multiple lightning strikes have been observed 300 miles from the North Pole, according to the US National Weather Service, in the latest sign of extreme changes to the Arctic environment. The strikes, detected by the NWS station in Fairbanks, Alaska, were produced by towering storm clouds. They were detected on Saturday, and while not unique, come as the region is experiencing record-low sea ice levels, high temperatures and widespread fires on areas of tundra. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 08:46
Abrams, who ran for Georgia governor, won’t pursue 2020 bid Trump says: ‘The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation’ Sign up for the US briefing and get a new perspective 1.06am BST Here’s where the day stands so far: 12.44am BST Kirsten Gillibrand announced she’ll be holding a reproductive rights town hall in visiting St Louis, Missouri on Sunday. “This is an emergency, and we need to fix it,” tweeted the New York senator and 2020 presidential candidate. A new law in the state bans most abortions in at the eighth week of pregnancy. The restrictions have been challenged in federal court and have yet to take effect, but other policies have already severely restricted access to abortions. With one licensed abortion provider left in the state, the people of MO know what a post-Roe reality would look like: They're already living it.I'll be there on Sunday to hold a reproductive rights town hall. This is an emergency, and we need to fix it. https://t.co/tiPXiuU9gC Related: Missouri abortion clinic to stay open – for now – after judge's order Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 08:33
Black squirrel result of interbreeding between grey and fox squirrels – and they both carry virus In popular myth they are an aggressive new “super” species pushing out the grey squirrel just as it has displaced the red squirrel. But the black squirrels seen scampering through southern England are a form of grey squirrel created by wild interbreeding between greys and fox squirrels in North America, according to research. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 06:36
Area around site sealed off for 10 days to remove hazardous dust that has settled since fire in April Clean-up workers have begun a huge “decontamination” operation around Notre Dame Cathedral after a health scare over lead particles from the fire. It is the second attempt to remove hazardous dust spread across a swath of central Paris that settled on homes, schools and on the ground after the blaze in April that destroyed the cathedral’s roof and spire. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 00:00
Discovery raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth Plastic was the furthest thing from Gregory Wetherbee’s mind when he began analyzing rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains. “I guess I expected to see mostly soil and mineral particles,” said the US Geological Survey researcher. Instead, he found multicolored microscopic plastic fibers. The discovery, published in a recent study (pdf) titled “It is raining plastic”, raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth. Continue reading...
08/13/2019 - 00:00
The 14,000m² farm is set to open in the south-west of Paris early next year It’s a warm afternoon in late spring and before us rows of strawberry plants rustle in the breeze as the scent of fragrant herbs wafts across the air. Nearby, a bee buzzes lazily past. Contrary to appearances, however, we are not in an idyllic corner of the countryside but standing on the top of a six-storey building in the heart of the French capital. Welcome to the future of farming in Paris – where a whole host of rooftop plantations, such as this one on the edge of the Marais, have been springing up of late. Yet this thriving operation is just a drop in the ocean compared to its new sister site. When that one opens, in the spring of 2020, it will be the largest rooftop farm in the world. Continue reading...
08/12/2019 - 15:05
Ocean Leadership ~ Photo, top: The Albany High School team visits MBARI (Photo credit: Melissa Brodeur) Photo, bottom: The Ladue Horton Watkins team goes out on hydrographic survey boats with NOAA MOC-A (Photo credit: Amanda Holloway) Searching for a Little Brightness? Look Toward the Ocean. Last week was a very difficult and sad period; one of the darkest I can remember in the United States since September 11, 2001. With all the bad news that encroaches on our consciousness every day, it’s often hard to find things to feel optimistic about. However, one bright spot that occurred last week was the second award trip from the 2019 National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) Finals competition, which took the third-place team to southern Virginia. Any time we get to celebrate our future ocean leaders is a very good day indeed, and hearing about how the Ladue Horton Watkins High School team from St. Louis, Missouri, got to explore and experience the nation’s largest estuary (Chesapeake Bay) and surrounding area with several ocean science and research facilities certainly injected a bit of optimism and enthusiasm into my outlook and attitude. The team started their trip at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, where they got a behind-the-scenes tour and observed many bottlenose dolphins aboard the Atlantic Explorer. The team then got a hands-on lesson in ocean mapping tools and research with the NOAA Marine Operations Center-Atlantic (MOC-A) before heading up to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Eastern Shore Laboratory to explore barrier island ecosystems and learn about island migration. The Ladue Horton Watkins team also went to VIMS’s Gloucester Point campus, where they saw one of the largest collections of freshwater, Chesapeake Bay, and coastal fishes in Virginia and took part in recreational fish tagging. They visited the Navy’s Fleet Weather Center at the world’s largest Navy base in Norfolk, where they also toured the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and met Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 124 (VAW-124), the “Bear Aces.” Just a few weeks ago, the first-place team from the 2019 Finals, Albany High School from Albany, California stayed on the west coast and travelled around the greater Monterey Bay area, going behind-the-scenes at some of northern California’s top-notch ocean science and technology organizations. At the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the team got to see cutting edge ocean technologies and learn how the MBARI team is innovating the way gliders, buoys, and other autonomous systems observe critical ocean conditions. Later, at the California State University Maritime Academy, they put their teamwork to the test in Cal Maritime’s Simulation Training Facility. They worked together to help their “ship” weather a virtual storm, employing communication and critical thinking skills no doubt honed through their NOSB participation to pull through the simulation. Every year, I’m so impressed by and proud of what our NOSB students accomplish, and these teams are a shining example of that. The way they cooperate, communicate, and get excited to learn about ocean science reassures me that in hard times, like a ship in a storm, the ocean will have a steady and knowledgeable hand at the helm steering it toward a brighter future. Many thanks again to all of the institutions who hosted our NOSB students, and the countless volunteers who make these trips and the competitions possible. You certainly made my days a little brighter last week, just like you do for so many of our students each year. Stanford Researchers Develop Technology To Harness Energy From Mixing Of Freshwater And Seawater A new battery made from affordable and durable materials generates energy from places where salt and fresh waters mingle. The technology could make coastal wastewater treatment plants energy-independent and carbon neutral. Stanford researchers have developed an affordable, durable technology that could harness this so-called blue energy. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 08-12-2019 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.