Breaking Waves: Ocean News

01/14/2021 - 20:15
Researchers counted particles in seaballs that washed up on beaches in Spain Underwater seagrass in coastal areas appear to trap plastic pollution in natural bundles of fibre known as “Neptune balls”, researchers have found. With no help from humans, the swaying plants – anchored to shallow seabeds – may collect nearly 900m plastic items in the Mediterranean alone every year, a study reported in the journal Scientific Reports said. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 19:58
NSW environment minister Matt Kean to declare ‘dinosaur trees’ an asset of international significance The world’s only known natural stand of Wollemi pines has become the first site in New South Wales to be given special protected status to try to ensure its survival for future generations. The environment minister, Matt Kean, will declare the so-called “dinosaur trees” an asset of intergenerational significance after heroic efforts by remote area firefighters in the Blue Mountains world heritage area saved the pines during the 2019-20 bushfire disaster. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 13:15
Due to different methods, US Noaa judged year as fractionally cooler than 2016 while UK Met Office put 2020 in close second place Last year was by a narrow margin the hottest ever on record, according to Nasa, with the climate crisis stamping its mark on 2020 through soaring temperatures, enormous hurricanes and unprecedented wildfires. The average global land and ocean temperature in 2020 was the highest ever measured, Nasa announced on Thursday, edging out the previous record set in 2016 by less than a tenth of a degree. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 11:35
Exclusive: Kwasi Kwarteng accepted funding as part of 2019 election bid despite Tories’ green pledges The UK’s new business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, accepted substantial donations from fossil fuel investors and advisers as part of his 2019 general election campaign, despite the government’s commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Kwarteng was energy minister until earlier this month, when he was promoted to secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. He replaced Alok Sharma, who has now taken full-time responsibility for the UK’s hosting of this year’s UN climate talks, Cop26. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 11:30
An Australian Conservation Foundation report urges an investigation into how ministers treat requests for government documents An audit of Australia’s “dysfunctional” freedom of information system has called for an independent investigation into the way the prime minister and ministers treat requests for government documents. The Australian Conservation Foundation audited FOI outcomes for environment-related information over five years, and found the system is increasingly opaque, slow and costly. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 11:30
Environmental groups blast state government for failure to penalise Chevron’s Gorgon plant for increased greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse gas emissions from Chevron’s Gorgon LNG facility have increased because the company’s carbon capture system is not working properly, meaning more carbon dioxide is being vented into the atmosphere. Environment groups have blasted the Western Australian government for not imposing penalties on the energy company after documents revealed sand was clogging the injection system designed to bury up to 4m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year under Barrow Island. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 09:23
Historic court case accuses country of being responsible for ecological damage and its impacts A Paris court has been asked to convict the French state for its alleged failure to act to halt the climate crisis. The legal case, which is being brought by four environmental groups after a petition was signed by more than 2 million citizens, seeks to hold the country responsible for ecological damage and its detrimental health and social effects. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 05:00
Report says not enough funding is being made available to deal with effects of extreme weather Millions of people around the world are facing disaster from flood, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather, as governments fail to take the measures needed to adapt to the impacts of climate breakdown, the UN has warned. Nearly three-quarters of countries around the world have recognised the need to plan for the effects of global heating, but few of those plans are adequate to the rising threat, and little funding has been made available to put them into force, according to the UN environment programme’s Adaptation report 2020, published on Thursday. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 03:27
The opposition calls on the Morrison government to work to repair the relationship with Beijing as exporters face a ‘grim’ year Australian exporters face another “grim” year driven by tensions with China while a standoff over more than 70 ships stranded with Australian coal on board threatens to cause an international humanitarian crisis, the opposition has said. While warning of the mounting economic costs to Australia, the shadow trade minister, Madeleine King, called on the Morrison government to take a step towards repairing the relationship by pledging to “eradicate deeply offensive anti-China rhetoric” from some backbench MPs. Continue reading...
01/14/2021 - 01:00
Wood pellets are sold as a clean alternative to coal. But is the subsidised bioenergy boom accelerating the climate crisis? Kalev Järvik stands on a bald patch of land in the heart of Estonia’s Haanja nature reserve and remembers when he could walk straight from one side of the reserve to the other under a canopy of trees. Järvik has lived in the Haanja uplands in the southern county of Võru for more than 10 years. His closeness to the forest has shaped his life as a carpenter and the fortunes of the surrounding villages, with their handicraft traditions – a substitute for farming on the poor arable land. Upcountry, travel literature promotes the region to city dwellers, promising its ancient woodlands as a place to rest and reinvigorate the mind. Continue reading...