Breaking Waves: Ocean News

09/19/2014 - 23:30
Aldeburgh, Suffolk: Look along the vast expanse of shingle that stretches out either side and be hardly able to pick out another soul Continue reading...
09/19/2014 - 18:40
This will dramatically increase pressure on Australia at UN summit in New York next week to step up its efforts Continue reading...
09/19/2014 - 16:06
(Click to enlarge) Leatherback sea turtle. (Credit: Tom Doyle) Each summer, leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) migrate thousands of kilometers from their tropical breeding grounds to feed in cooler waters. (From Science Magazine/by Jennifer Balmer)–Yet how the animals know when to begin their long journey back south at the end of the season has mostly remained a mystery. New findings, to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, suggest that leatherback sea turtles may be able to sense seasonal changes in sunlight by means of an unpigmented spot on the crown of their head—known as the pink spot (pictured). Researchers conducted an examination of the anatomical structures beneath the pink spot and found that the layers of bone and cartilage were remarkably thinner than in other areas of the skull. This thin region of the skull allows the passage of light through to an area of the brain, called the pineal gland, that acts as biological clock, regulating night-day cycles and seasonal patterns of behavior. The authors suggest that the lack of pigment in the crowning pink spot and thin skull region underlying it act as a “skylight,” allowing the turtles to sense the subtle changes in sunlight that accompany changing seasons, signaling them to return south when autumn approaches.
09/19/2014 - 13:48
Straying from the precedent set by Stanford and Harvard, universitys board of regents will continue to invest in fossil fuels Continue reading...
09/19/2014 - 11:46
Wild elephants of India, panther chameleons and raccoon dogs are among the pick of this weeks images from the natural world Continue reading...
09/19/2014 - 09:45
President’s Corner Well, we had some action in Washington this week. Congress sent to the President a measure (H J Res 124) to keep the federal government running through the middle of December, while providing short-term authorization for the military to train and equip Syrian rebels to fight against the Islamic State terrorist group known as ISIS or ISIL. While avoiding a government shutdown is certainly good news from Washington, this week also saw a new low in how Congress views and values science. In a House Science Committee hearing entitled of The Administration’s Climate Plan: Failure by Design”, members of the Science Committee demonstrated a shocking lack of understanding of science and how the nation’s science enterprise works. Representative Stockman (R-TX) questioned why sea level would rise with melting ice, because “if your ice cube melts in your glass, it doesn’t overflow”. Representative Rohrabacher (R-CA) pestered Administration officials about the direct impact of rising CO2 on human health, disregarding their responses that it wasn’t the direct effect on human health but the indirect effect of increased heat waves and air pollution.   And most concerning, when asked by OSTP Director John Holdren to focus on the scientific literature rather than public comments, Representative Bucshon (R-IN) said “of all the climatologists whose career depend upon the climate changing to keep themselves publishing articles. I could read that, but I don’t believe it”. I cannot remember the Science Committee ever having been so partisan before with members questioning the integrity of scientists. It wasn’t so long ago that the Committee was chaired by Republican Sherry Boehlert (R-NY) who championed increased funding for federal research and supported scientific consensus rather than questioning scientists’ ethics. So, as Congress returns to their districts to campaign for re-election, I hope that you will seek out candidates and let them know why you support science, how the peer review process funds the best research, and discuss with them what you know about the rapidly changing climate and how it impacts your community. We, as a community, should not stand idly by while our morals and ethics are publicly denounced, particularly by elected officials who sit on the Science Committee! Our nation has the greatest economy in the world, in large part because of innovations derived from federally supported academic research. We must each do our part to educate our elected officials, lest I fear the future will be a lot less bright than our past. Bob
09/19/2014 - 09:28
Well, we had some action in Washington this week. Congress sent to the President a measure (H J Res 124) to keep the federal government running through the middle of December, while providing short-term authorization for the military to train and equip Syrian rebels to fight against the Islamic State terrorist group known as ISIS or ISIL. While avoiding a government shutdown is certainly good news from Washington, this week also saw a new low in how Congress views and values science. In a House Science Committee hearing entitled of The Administration’s Climate Plan: Failure by Design”, members of the Science Committee demonstrated a shocking lack of understanding of science and how the nation’s science enterprise works. Representative Stockman (R-TX) questioned why sea level would rise with melting ice, because “if your ice cube melts in your glass, it doesn’t overflow”. Representative Rohrabacher (R-CA) pestered Administration officials about the direct impact of rising CO2 on human health, disregarding their responses that it wasn’t the direct effect on human health but the indirect effect of increased heat waves and air pollution.   And most concerning, when asked by OSTP Director John Holdren to focus on the scientific literature rather than public comments, Representative Bucshon (R-IN) said “of all the climatologists whose career depend upon the climate changing to keep themselves publishing articles. I could read that, but I don’t believe it”. I cannot remember the Science Committee ever having been so partisan before with members questioning the integrity of scientists. It wasn’t so long ago that the Committee was chaired by Republican Sherry Boehlert (R-NY) who championed increased funding for federal research and supported scientific consensus rather than questioning scientists’ ethics. So, as Congress returns to their districts to campaign for re-election, I hope that you will seek out candidates and let them know why you support science, how the peer review process funds the best research, and discuss with them what you know about the rapidly changing climate and how it impacts your community. We, as a community, should not stand idly by while our morals and ethics are publicly denounced, particularly by elected officials who sit on the Science Committee! Our nation has the greatest economy in the world, in large part because of innovations derived from federally supported academic research. We must each do our part to educate our elected officials, lest I fear the future will be a lot less bright than our past. Bob
09/19/2014 - 07:42
March in London this weekend one of 2,000 events worldwide calling for action by leaders Why we're marching: leading personalities on calling for action Continue reading...
09/19/2014 - 07:02
From Ban ki-moon to Emma Thompson, 20 leading personalities from across the world talk about why they will take to the streets on Sunday to call for action on climate as world leaders gather for UN climate summit in New York on 23 September If youre taking part in the march share your photos and stories via GuardianWitness Continue reading...
09/19/2014 - 06:17
Oil company denies fracking operation at exploratory well saying its looking at natural gas not shale Continue reading...