Breaking Waves: Ocean News

05/22/2020 - 00:21
National Grid may ask suppliers to stop generating electricity due to record low consumption Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Hundreds of renewable energy projects may be asked to turn off this weekend to avoid overloading the grid as the UK’s electricity demand plummets to record lows. Britain’s demand for electricity is forecast to tumble to a fifth below normal levels due to the spring bank holiday and the shutdown of shops, bars and restaurants mandated by the coronavirus lockdown. Continue reading...
05/22/2020 - 00:01
Particles may outnumber zooplankton, which underpin marine life and regulate climate The abundance of microplastic pollution in the oceans is likely to have been vastly underestimated, according to research that suggests there are at least double the number of particles as previously thought. Scientists trawled waters off the coasts of the UK and US and found many more particles using nets with a fine mesh size than when using coarser ones usually used to filter microplastics. The addition of these smaller particles to global estimates of surface microplastics increases the range from between 5tn and 50tn particles to 12tn-125tn particles, the scientists say. Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 13:00
Experimental cell using the potentially game-changing material perovskite passes a series of heat and humidity tests A team of Australian researchers are claiming a world first in a global race to develop cheaper, more flexible and more efficient solar panels after their experimental cell passed a series of heat and humidity tests. Using a type of crystal material known as perovskite, the group found that a simple glass and synthetic rubber coating around the cell was enough to stop it from degrading too quickly. Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 12:30
Exclusive: Letter to national cabinet, energy ministers and Nev Power warns Australia’s prosperity depends on cutting emissions A cross-society collection of groups – representing business, the energy industry, property owners, unions, major investors, disadvantaged people and the environment – have banded together to warn that Australia’s prosperity depends on eradicating greenhouse gas emissions. In a letter to the national cabinet, federal and state energy ministers and Nev Power, Scott Morrison’s handpicked Covid-19 recovery chairman, the 14 organisations have called for government support in the wake of the pandemic to urgently stimulate job growth and rebuild a “sustainable and strong economy”. Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 10:45
Alexander Stafford says party can avoid mistakes made in mine closures of Thatcher era Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The government is poised to push for a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis, one of the new Tory party MPs has said, in a way that could wipe out the mistakes made in shutting down the coal industry under Margaret Thatcher. “I very much hope we will hear about a green recovery soon from ministers,” said Alexander Stafford, who took one of Labour’s “red wall” seats in northern England in last December’s landslide election victory. “We want a recovery, we want it green, so we will work for a green recovery.” Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 10:45
Leeds, Birmingham and Bath also push back green plans and blame coronavirus pandemic Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The creation of the biggest clean air zone in the UK to tackle illegal levels of air pollution is being delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Greater Manchester became the latest city to announce it was putting off the implementation of a clean air zone (CAZ), raising concerns that a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis was being put on hold. Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 05:30
Deer, bobcats and black bears are gathering around parts of Yosemite national park typically teeming with visitors Earlier this month, for the first time in recent memory, pronghorn antelope ventured into the sun-scorched lowlands of Death Valley national park. Undeterred by temperatures that climbed to over 110F, the animals were observed by park staff browsing on a hillside not far from Furnace Creek visitor center. “This is something we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” said Kati Schmidt, a spokesperson for the National Parks Conservation Association. “We’ve known they’re in some of the higher elevation areas of Death Valley but as far as we’re aware they’ve never been documented this low in the park, near park headquarters.” Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 05:00
ExxonMobil, Koch and Mercer family are past funders of critics of stay-at-home orders as fossil fuel industry struggles amid lockdowns Dozens of individuals and groups urging states to reopen amid the Covid-19 pandemic have historical financial ties to coal and oil and gas companies and conservative billionaires who have invested in climate disinformation. Past funders of the current critics of stay-at-home orders include the bankrupt coal company Murray Energy and oil giant ExxonMobil, as well as Koch and Mercer family foundations, according to DeSmog, a group that tracks the money behind anti-climate-action campaigns. Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 04:29
Subsidies should focus on early-stage clean technologies not energy sources that are already mature or commercial, Energy Council says Australia’s oil and gas producers have warned against the Morrison government underwriting a massive expansion of the domestic industry, saying the country does not have a gas shortage and intervention could reduce supply and raise prices. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association said it welcomed some recommendations on gas in a leaked draft report by a manufacturing taskforce advising the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, but it also included “ideas that just won’t work”. Continue reading...
05/21/2020 - 02:00
Union and consumer groups warn post-Brexit trade policy must hold food imports to same standards as UK Farmers, environmentalists and consumer groups are pressing the government to honour its manifesto pledge not to undermine food standards with low-quality imports in a post-Brexit trade policy. A coalition of organisations, led by the National Farmers Union, failed to secure amendments in the Commons to the agriculture bill last week to protect UK farmers and producers from lower-quality imports from countries like the US. Continue reading...