Breaking Waves: Ocean News

04/14/2019 - 00:59
Scientists warn of danger from dengue fever in hotter, wetter climate in northern latitudes Insect-borne diseases such as dengue fever, leishmaniasis and encephalitis are on the rise and are now threatening to spread into many areas of Europe, scientists have warned. Outbreaks of these illnesses are increasing because of climate change and the expansion of international travel and trade, the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases was told in Amsterdam on Saturday. Continue reading...
04/13/2019 - 21:50
Greens leader reached out to opposition after it committed to the Neg as a way to end the climate wars Richard Di Natale has warned Bill Shorten should ignore the Greens at his peril when it comes to climate change action. The Greens leader committed to hold Labor to account in the Senate on its pledge to legislate the coalition’s national energy guarantee. Continue reading...
04/13/2019 - 21:00
With dozens of events next week, many hope arrival of climate punks who’ve swept the UK will be a watershed moment Bea Ruiz, a veteran progressive coordinator, has been telling scores of first-time climate change protesters they face being harassed and beaten by police next week. Most seem happy with the deal. “I told a 72-year-old volunteer that he will probably be targeted by police,” said Ruiz, who is based in Eureka, California and is helping organize the first US rollout of Extinction Rebellion, a group founded in the UK that has grabbed attention through disruptive protests leading to mass arrests. Continue reading...
04/13/2019 - 12:36
Researchers herald sightings of two more mother and calf pairs Population of rare whale species is only around 411 Endangered North Atlantic right whales are experiencing a mini baby boom in waters off New England, researchers on Cape Cod have said. Related: No North Atlantic right whales killed in Canadian waters in 2018 Continue reading...
04/13/2019 - 02:00
About 2,300 climate activists have already signed up to help obstruct busy roads next week Environmental campaigners are hoping to mobilise thousands of people to block the streets of central London around the clock next week, in their latest attempt to raise public awareness and provoke action over the destruction of the biosphere. About 2,300 volunteers have signed up with Extinction Rebellion to obstruct some of the capital’s busiest roads for at least three days. Continue reading...
04/12/2019 - 10:55
Frogs’ legs, a bee on cowslips and a brown bear with its cub Continue reading...
04/12/2019 - 10:45
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Logan Lambert/Unsplash) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was The House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment held a markup on several ocean and estuarine acidification bills. All four bills were favorably reported to the full committee. Why It Matters The ocean’s absorption of excess carbon dioxide emissions is creating major thermal and chemical changes in the marine environment, including more acidic water. Increased acidity can disrupt important ocean systems and resources, such as shellfish industries and coral reef-associated fisheries, endangering coastal economies. The full impacts of ocean acidification on marine and coastal ecosystems are widespread but not well understood. Legislation at the federal level can strengthen efforts to address these knowledge gaps to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. Key Points In the first House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment markup of a new Congress, members from both parties praised one another on their ability to work together on bipartisan bills on important subjects to ensure the health of the nation’s coasts. The Coastal and Ocean Acidification Stressors and Threats (COAST) Research Act of 2019 (H.R. 1237) would reauthorize the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act (FOARAM) of 2009 for fiscal year (FY) 2019 through FY 2023 and update the legislation to strengthen federal efforts in understanding the effects of ocean and coastal acidification. The legislation would also provide long-term stewardship and standardization of data on ocean acidification and coastal acidification using existing assets from the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Integrated Ocean Observing System. The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2019 (H.R. 1716) would support federal ocean acidification research and monitoring efforts by requiring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct community vulnerability assessments. These assessments would identify the socioeconomic needs of coastal communities dependent on resources that may be impacted by ocean acidification. H.R. 988, the National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act of 2019, would direct the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academy of Science to conduct a study on the impacts of ocean acidification on our nation’s ecologically and economically important estuarine environments. These three bills were favorably reported to the full committee with no amendments. Chairwoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7) offered an amendment to the Ocean Acidification Innovation Act of 2019 (H.R. 1921), a bill that would create prize competitions incentivizing innovative solutions to help vulnerable communities better understand, monitor, and respond to ocean acidification. The amendment strikes the authorization of funding from H.R. 1921 because it is included in the COAST Research Act of 2019 (H.R. 1237). Quotable “Now, we need to help prepare … potentially vulnerable communities and industries. However, there is still a long way to go in understanding, predicting, and preparing for changes in ocean chemistry, which is why we need to enhance existing federal efforts and add more tools to the toolbox, as the bills we’re marking up today will accomplish.” — Chairwoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7) “The measures today have been offered by a bipartisan group of members representing coastal districts most impacted by ocean acidification. Whether through better coordination across federal agencies or though expansion and improvements to existing programs, these bills modify the way that we approach changes to marine ecosystems.” — Ranking Member Roger Marshall (KS-1) Next Steps A markup of the bills will occur at the full committee level. Bills that move out of the full committee will be sent to the House floor. Find Out More Watch the House markup Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership           Bonamici, Young, Pingree, Posey Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Address Health Of Oceans and Estuaries A Sea Of Change Ocean Acidification Altering The Architecture Of California Mussel Shells Discussing The Impacts Of Climate Change The State Of Our Ocean 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 Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post Ocean Acidification Bills Coast To Committee appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
04/12/2019 - 10:45
Scientists say stream dubbed ‘most polluted in Europe’ is reminder of effects of intensive farming Winding between green meadows in the west Flanders countryside, the Wulfdambeek stream is fondly remembered as a place local boys would fill up their water bottles before football games. But research from the University of Exeter has offered a sharp reminder of how intensive farming methods are changing the face of the northern European countryside in ways scientists claim are not being properly understood. Continue reading...
04/12/2019 - 10:38
Ocean Leadership ~ Testimony of RADM Jonathan White, USN (Ret.) President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense U.S. Navy Science and Technology Capabilities 11 April 2019 On behalf of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), which represents the leading ocean science, research, and technology organizations from academia, industry, and philanthropy (to include aquariums), I appreciate the opportunity to submit for the record our fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding priorities for the Defense Appropriations Act. As a maritime nation, our national, homeland, energy, food, water, and economic securities, as well as our public health and safety, depend on a healthy ocean — which in turn depends on ocean science and technology — a concept I refer to as “ocean security.” This understanding enables us to safely operate submarines or autonomous vehicles, have advance notice of oncoming hurricanes, let aircraft carriers know when there’s rough weather ahead, allow for the safety of maritime commerce, know how sea level rise will affect military installations, and so much more that helps protect our nation, its infrastructure, and its prosperity. I hope that as the subcommittee makes funding decisions for FY 2020, you will provide the needed support for programs that advance our nation’s ocean security, ensuring we remain the dominant maritime power, economically competitive, and scientifically literate while staying secure in our access to food, water, and energy. I respectfully request the subcommittee provide the Department of Defense (DOD) with no less than $2.8 billion for basic research, $6.5 billion for applied research, and $7.8 billion for advanced technology development. To ensure that our nation can maintain maritime superiority in an increasingly unstable world, I respectfully request the subcommittee provide the Navy with no less than the science and technology funding levels appropriated in the FY 2019 spending bill, which were $680 million for basic research (6.1), $1 billion for applied research (6.2), and $853 million for advanced technology development (6.3). For the last 30 years, the United States has remained dominant in the ocean environment. In fact, the late Admiral James D. Watkins, chief of naval operations from 1982-1986, used to attribute our victory in the Cold War to oceanography — our superior knowledge of the undersea domain gave the United States the needed competitive advantage. This uncontested dominance is eroding and being ceded to countries such as China, India, and Russia. In fact, DOD leaders have testified that competitor nation states are meeting and beating the United States in innovative and strategic capabilities, and DOD has conceded to the attrition of our competitive military advantage in air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The Navy acknowledges the U.S. competitive advantage in ocean sciences has eroded and established Task Force Ocean (TFO) to remediate this erosion. We must act now to address immediate and future threats to our knowledge advantage and remain ahead of our peer and near-peer competitors in maritime power competition. DOD’s science and technology program does just this, balancing basic research to respond to future threats through emerging science and technologies with applied research to enable successful transition of suitable scientific and technological capabilities to maintain our near-term warfighting advantage over potential adversaries. Below are some key areas of investment to ensure our nation maintains its knowledge-based maritime superiority across the world ocean. Task Force Ocean Navy’s Task Force Ocean (TFO) was established in 2017 to bolster the Navy’s commitment to ocean science. TFO focuses on observing the ocean environment, processing data into useful products, and strengthening the Navy’s ocean science technical workforce while advancing partnerships with academia and the private sector. I appreciate funding increases in the 6.2 account to implement TFO at-sea research priorities (Ocean Warfighting Environment Applied Research), and it is crucial that these investments be maintained in coming years. Education Education initiatives are crucial to further our understanding of the impact of ocean science on national security. This includes support for programs like the Navy’s University Research Initiatives (URI) Program, which advances multidisciplinary scientific research and the transition of basic research to practical applications and the related Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), which helps academic institutions acquire national security-relevant research capabilities to train the next generation. I respectfully request $137 million for URI, including $20 million for DURIP. Giving the next generation the tools to solidify our superior ocean knowledge isn’t just about training those who have already chosen a career in the ocean sciences. It’s also about providing those in the K-12 realm, who have yet to choose a career path, information about what job options exist. It’s crucially important for the Office of Naval Research to continue supporting programs like the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). In its 22-year history, the NOSB, a quiz-bowl style ocean science competition for high schoolers, has introduced tens of thousands of students to the possibility of a career in ocean science at a time when most high school curriculums don’t include any oceanography courses. National Oceanographic Partnership Program DOD isn’t the only federal agency tasked with understanding our ocean, and federal agencies aren’t the only ones endeavoring to do so. There are more than 600 businesses engaged in ocean observation and forecasting; over 400 postsecondary institutions that provide ocean-related certificates or degrees; and in excess of 45,000 nonprofits focused on ocean and coastal activities. To share information, observations, technology, and best practices, cross-sector and interagency collaboration are necessary. To this end, the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), a congressionally mandated program established in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997, is an ideal vehicle to advance collaborative efforts and already has been involved with funding projects such as the Integrated Ocean Observing System, the Argo Project, and the JASON project. I strongly appreciate the Navy’s support for this program, which is promoting national goals, including assuring national security. However, a critical piece necessary for NOPP’s continued success is the role of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP), which is also established in the FY 1997 NDAA as the only Federal Advisory Committee Act body chartered to advise all federal ocean agencies. Language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 repealed the requirement for the Department of the Navy to fund ORAP, making it impossible for the FACA body to execute its responsibilities. I respectfully request the committee consider including report language urging funding of ORAP so it can resume its important responsibilities advising the Ocean Policy Committee and providing independent recommendations. In closing, our nation’s position as the unequivocal maritime power is eroding, but prioritizing investments in science and technology can help us maintain our superiority despite advancements by other nations. As pointed out in the 2018 Office of Net Assessment report, Maritime Environment 2050: Implications for U.S. National Security, ocean research and “accelerated mapping and associated observations and data science” can offset general transparency that is eroding surprise and stealth. As you work to provide funding for these critical programs, COL and our member institutions are doing all we can to provide you the subcommittee allocations necessary to fully fund these programs as we continue to encourage the creation of a bipartisan budget agreement that raises the discretionary spending caps. I know you face difficult decisions that involve offsets and divestments to achieve a balanced budget. COL and our members stand ready to engage in discussion to help establish priorities around the ocean security framework to support these difficult decisions. Thank you for your exemplary leadership and dedicated work and for the opportunity to provide input into FY 2020 appropriations. Read the full letter here. The post FY20 Senate Defense Appropriations Testimony appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
04/12/2019 - 10:11
Young people demand action from politicians at synchronised rallies across Britain Thousands of students and activists have taken to the streets of more than 50 British towns and cities demanding urgent action on climate change for the third time in as many months. The organisers of the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement said “sizeable events” took place in London, Sheffield, Manchester and Brighton, among other towns and cities. They mirrored events around the world, as protesters from cities as far apart as Helsinki and Delhi took to the streets. Continue reading...