Breaking Waves: Ocean News

08/03/2015 - 00:00
Did a borrowed aero bike make me faster? Did the event feel more packed than previously? And can we have the same weather every year? So, if you were among the 26,000 or so people who rode yesterday’s RideLondon-Surrey 100, how was it for you? Now in its third year, the event, beginning at the Olympic stadium in Stratford, east London, and building to a thrilling finish on the Mall, via big stretches of London and some climbs in the Surrey countryside, is famously held on roads closed to other traffic. This does cause some annual grief among locals unable to travel anywhere by car for a day, though the RideLondon organisers say such anger is abating as people get used to the event. But for a cyclist taking part, it’s a revelation. It’s London (or any big city) as it could be in your dreams: taken over by cyclists – even if they are generally of the fast-moving Lycra-clad type, rather than everyday pootlers. Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 23:30
Upper Eskdale, Lake District This is England’s answer to a Himalayan sanctuary, a stark citadel of rock and earth that collects the holy waters of the Scafells, Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags Built from rough-cut, closely packed igneus rock, the disintegrating dry stone wall looks like a pile of crude cannonballs glistening darkly in the rain. It has lost a lot of height, but its half-life is long; perhaps a hundred years old or more, it still looks robust enough to outlive me. For an area of about 10 square miles in the heart of the Lake District, these unattended, mostly abandoned walls are virtually the only human structures. We opt to camp on a snug bank between one of these and the river Esk, stern solidity on one side and the boundless energy of a wild river on the other. Usually I fall asleep to the susurration of traffic beyond the window; this time it is the symphonic, hypnotic sound of cold water cascading over rocks. Strange how we have reframed simple things as rare luxuries. Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 23:21
You’ve heard of Cecil’s dentist killer, but for many other lions, elephants, rhinos and tens of thousands of other exotic animals, internet marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist are the biggest threat If you live in the continental US, have $4,850 and an internet connection, this large, full-body, mounted African lion, with a shaggy red mane, can be yours. “This is a fantastic buy for someone who wants a good Lion,” the eBay ad reads. “This mount will make an awesome decoration in any home, office, hunting lodge, lake house, lodge homes, cabin, bar, etc.” Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 22:26
Cameron Clyne says he doesn’t think anyone has ‘grasped quite how revolutionary’ the emergence of renewable energy will be Australia’s political leaders are “wilfully blind” to the challenge of climate change, with the country at risk from an “economically reckless” reliance upon fossil fuels, the former head of the National Australia Bank has warned. Cameron Clyne, who was chief executive of NAB from 2009 until he stood down last year, said he doesn’t “think any of us have grasped quite how revolutionary” the emergence of renewable energy will be, warning that Australia cannot continue to be wedded to carbon-heavy fuels such as coal. Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 20:48
International Olympic Committee advised by WHO to expand its testing after high counts of viruses linked to human sewage discovered in Olympic waters The International Olympic Committee said Sunday it will order testing for disease-causing viruses in the sewage-polluted waters where athletes will compete in next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games. Before, the IOC and local Olympic organisers in Rio said they would only test for bacteria in the water, as Brazil and virtually all nations only mandate such testing to determine the safety of recreational waters. Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 19:19
Republican presidential candidate said the debate was a device used by liberals to appease ‘environmentalist billionaires and their campaign donations’ Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has stated that he doesn’t believe in the science behind global warming. In a forum hosted by Freedom Partners on Sunday evening, a key cog in the political network of the Koch Brothers, the Texas senator stated that “the data and facts don’t support” that global warming is occurring. The moderator of the forum described Cruz’s stance as “full out denial”. The Texas senator did not disagree with that characterisation. Cruz has previously compared those who believe in global warming to “flat-Earthers.” Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 17:43
EPA chief: 2007 supreme court ruling allows ambitious greenhouse gas target Bush and Rubio lead Republican opposition to ‘overreaching’ new plan The White House insisted on Sunday it was on strong legal footing as it unveiled details of ambitious carbon reduction plans that are likely to be fiercely opposed by coal-burning Republican states. Related: Obama to hit US power plants with tougher than expected emissions cuts Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 16:30
Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 5 August 1915 OxfordshireHearing a sound half-way between a snuffle, a choke, and a grunt last night in the garden, I took a candle and made investigations. For some time I had noticed on the grass traces of what I believed to be hedgehogs, and the light of the candle soon confirmed my suspicions. The little beast continued gently grunting or choking, probably too much surprised by the light to runaway from it, and I could examine his bright eye and tapering muzzle at my leisure. Hedgehogs are assiduous devourers of the larger insect vermin, so I was delighted to see my guest, and hope soon to make the acquaintance of his wife and family. The candle-light revealed other curiosities besides himself. Heavy mist seemed to press in upon the flame from every side, and on the sopping grass huge worms were lying stretched full length - more than a foot-long some of them. I tapped the ground with my shoe, and those near by, at once feeling the vibration, leapt back, like released springs, into their burrows. Later in the night the heavily laden air was caught by a chill breeze from the north-west, and we had a deluge of rain. Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 11:24
Experts blame freak storms for flooding burrows and causing 50% drop in number of fledged chicks in one of UK’s key seabird colonies Puffin numbers on one of Britain’s most important seabird colonies may be hit by the terrible summer weather, wildlife experts have warned. Flooded burrows on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast have been blamed for a serious drop in the number of fledged puffin chicks this year. Each year National Trust rangers monitor 100 burrows with eggs on the islands and last year found 92 birds had fledged, seen as a remarkable success. But this year only about 50 successfully fledged chicks, known as pufflings, were found in the 100 burrows checked. Continue reading...
08/02/2015 - 09:01
‘Safeguard mechanism’ in Coalition policy is lenient and ineffective, says RepuTex analysis firm, making Direct Action ‘untenable’ in its current form Australia’s 20 biggest polluters will be able to significantly increase their greenhouse gas output despite being covered by the Abbott government’s so-called “safeguard mechanism” and will wipe out most of the emission reductions the government intends to buy from other sectors, according to new analysis which brands the Coalition policy “untenable”. The environment minister, Greg Hunt, says the “safeguard mechanism” – to be imposed on 150 big emitters and announced in detail later this month – will ensure that emissions reductions purchased through the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund (ERF) from things like avoided land clearing or energy efficiency are not displaced by a significant rise in emissions elsewhere in the economy. Continue reading...