Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/17/2019 - 12:18
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Ionna22/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was The House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing titled, “Building a 21st Century American Offshore Wind Workforce.” Why It Matters As the offshore wind industry expands — there are currently 15 active leases in the Atlantic — it is crucial that we understand the impact of growth and related infrastructure on the environment, economy, and local communities. The expansion of America’s offshore wind industry would not only provide a domestic source of clean, renewable energy but also the potential for thousands of new jobs. Several states have already committed to expanding offshore wind capabilities, and continued workforce development is needed to fully capture the benefits of this industry. Key Points The legislative hearing focused on the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act (H.R. 3068) and the impact it could have on the United States’ nascent offshore wind enterprise. Block Island Wind Farm, the first commercial offshore wind farm, has created more than 300 jobs to-date and uses just five turbines to power 17,000 homes in Rhode Island, shared Mr. Michael Williams (Interim Co-Executive Director, BlueGreen Alliance). Dr. Stephanie McClellan (Director, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind) stated that seven states on the Atlantic seaboard have collectively committed to creating nearly 20 gigawatts of wind power by 2030. The manufacturing and installation of these offshore wind turbines would present an almost $70 billion revenue opportunity to businesses in the United States offshore wind power supply chain. The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act would establish a federal grant program to educate and train the next generation of American offshore wind workers by prioritizing grants to community colleges, organizations that service minority populations, and those helping workers from other industries transition to the offshore wind industry. Representative Bill Keating (MA-9), the bill’s sponsor, served as a witness and spoke about the projected job growth of the offshore wind industry, which could employ more than 36,000 workers within a decade. He expressed the need for a federal training program to develop a domestic workforce, as offshore wind projects rely on skilled labor and advanced manufacturing for construction, installation, maintenance, and operations. Dr. Christopher Hart (President and Managing Director, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC; and Head of U.S. Offshore Wind Development, EDF Renewables North America) emphasized that economic growth and job training needs are not limited to states where turbines are located. He shared how the offshore wind industry could be strengthened by leveraging existing infrastructure and supply chain expertise from the offshore oil and gas sector and by utilizing transferrable skills shared from the onshore wind industry. Ms. Lisa Linowes (Executive Director, WindAction Group) cautioned the subcommittee on the cost-competitiveness of offshore wind energy compared to conventional energy resources and spoke about projections inflating new job creation number and potentially estimating job benefits. Quotable “Offshore wind is good for our planet, it is good for our economy, and it is good for national security.”— Chairman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) “Today, we will discuss H.R. 3068, the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act, sponsored by Representative Keating. This legislation would authorize $25 million dollars per year for five years for job training grants administered by the Department of Interior for the offshore wind sector. While I support all of the above energy strategy, which includes offshore wind development, I have several concerns about this legislation which I hope we can discuss in detail today. ”— Ranking Member Paul Gosar (AZ-4) “As the offshore wind industry grows, it is equally important to ensure that projects are developed responsibly, with strong protections in place for coastal and marine wildlife. We support the development of science-based best management practices for offshore wind development and believe that environmental mitigation must be a key priority for any project.”— Mr. Michael Williams (Interim Co-Executive Director, BlueGreen Alliance) Next Steps The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act (H.R. 3068) awaits subcommittee markup. If the bill is approved by the subcommittee, it will move to the full committee for consideration. Find Out More Watch the full hearing Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership           Member Highlight: Offshore Wind Farms Could Protect Coastlines Jon White – From the President’s Office: 05-27-2019 Buoying Our Nation’s Economy: The Role Of Ocean Data In Supporting The Blue Economy Second Place America? Tapping Into Our Blue Economy A Sea Of Change The State Of Our Ocean Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post Offshore Wind Workforce Development On The Horizon appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
06/17/2019 - 11:51
Most fishing communities from North Carolina to Maine are projected to face declining fishing options unless they adapt to climate change by catching different species or fishing in different areas, according to a new study.
06/17/2019 - 11:39
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: NOAA/PIFSC/HMSRP) These autonomous subsea robots may someday predict storms, detect oil leaks, locate shipwrecks, and slow down climate change. (From Popular Mechanics/ By Stav Dimitropoulos) — In 2016, the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a global competition sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell plc, announced it would dole out $7 million to the technologies that could demonstrably advance the knowledge of the Earth’s most mysterious frontier: the ocean. Out of the over 30 international teams that swiftly expressed interest, 19 made it to the semifinals in early 2017, nine to the final round in November 2017, and eventually only five fulfilled the criteria to compete in the grand final that took place at the end of 2018 in the coastal town of Kalamata, Greece. Last week, the winner was unveiled: The team that showed the best technological chops for remotely and autonomously plumbing the world’s oceans was the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)-Nippon Foundation (NF) alumni, a diverse union of scientists made up of members from 14 different countries, all graduates from the University of New Hampshire’s postgraduate program in ocean bathymetry. Like the rest of the teams, GEBCO-NF competed in Greece with a combination of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)—subsea swimming robots that are computer-controlled—and unmanned or autonomous surface vessels (USVs or ASVs respectively), vessels that carry, deploy, and retrieve the AUVs without the intervention of humans. Drawing on this AUV and USV marriage, the GEBCO-NF team successfully mapped a 278.9-square-kilometer area of seafloor in less than 24 hours (exceeding the 250-square-kilometer standard the judges had set for the same timeframe), produced 10 images of the seabed with a resolution of five meters or higher, and processed and transformed the data into fit-for-use imagery in just two days. “We developed a surface vessel that can get the AUV out to the mapping site and also act as… Read the full article here: The post Member Highlight: Meet The Machines That Could Unlock The Ocean’s Deepest Secrets appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
06/17/2019 - 11:00
Tally of deaths makes it one of most dangerous fields for journalists after war reporting Jagendra Singh: the Indian journalist burned to death Thirteen journalists who were investigating damage to the environment have been killed in recent years and many more are suffering violence, harassment, intimidation and lawsuits, according to a study. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which produced the tally, is investigating a further 16 deaths over the last decade. It says the number of murders may be as high as 29, making this field of journalism one of the most dangerous after war reporting. Continue reading...
06/17/2019 - 10:02
Massive increase in low-carbon energy needed to hit goal of net zero by 2045, inquiry says Scotland should consider new nuclear power stations, investing in hydrogen and installing many more windfarms to meet its climate goals, an expert inquiry has concluded. The inquiry by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s national academy, said a massive increase in low-carbon electricity production would be needed in order to reach the country’s new goal of net zero emissions by 2045. Continue reading...
06/17/2019 - 09:20
Varadkar reveals ideas to curb greenhouse gases and move towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 Ireland has unveiled an ambitious plan to tackle the climate emergency by weaning the state, businesses, farms and households off fossil fuels. The government published a long-awaited report on Monday outlining more than 180 measures to curb the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and set a path for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Continue reading...
06/17/2019 - 07:48
A nearly 100-year-old physics model captures the essential mechanism of pattern formation and geometry of Arctic melt ponds.
06/17/2019 - 07:48
An international team has produced the first global assessment of the major drivers of marine heatwaves.
06/17/2019 - 06:17
Researchers have presented support for the theory that marine invertebrates with larger body size are generally more sensitive to reductions in oxygen than smaller animals, and so will be more sensitive to future global climate change. However, evolutionary innovation can to some extent offset any respiratory disadvantages of large body size.
06/17/2019 - 06:11
Atomic agency chief says limit will be breached in 10 days and enrichment could be up to 20% Iran will break the uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days, the spokesman for the country’s atomic agency has said, warning that Tehran could enrich uranium up to 20%, just a step away from weapons-grade levels. The announcement by Behrouz Kamalvandi before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels puts more pressure on Europe to come up with new terms for Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal. Continue reading...