Breaking Waves: Ocean News

APEC Ministers Address Climate Change Impacts on Oceans and Fisheries
10/15/2010 - 15:10
Oceans-related Ministers of the members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) discussed climate change impacts on oceans at a meeting titled "Healthy Oceans and Fisheries Management towards Food Security," held from 11-12 October 2010, in Paracas, Peru. The meeting focused on four themes: sustainable development and protection of the marine environment; climate change impacts on the oceans; free and open trade and investment; and the role of oceans in food security. At the conclusion of the meeting, Ministers adopted the Paracas Declaration, which contains a section devoted to the "Impacts of climate change on the oceans." In the Declaration, Ministers express support for APEC economies to cooperate in gathering and sharing scientific knowledge on climate change and its impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, fisheries and aquaculture. They also encourage APEC economies to increase efforts to improve the capacity of coastal communities, fishing industries, and resource managers to respond and adapt to climate change. APEC Ministers further commit to promote increased stakeholder participation and public awareness about climate change impacts on oceans and their resources, and to pursue efforts through appropriate APEC working groups and other APEC fora to improve understanding of the role of the oceans in climate change to support community resilience and planning for adaptation. APEC oceans-related Ministers are to convey the outcomes of the Paracas meeting to the first APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, which will be held on 16-17 October 2010, in Niigata, Japan, and to the APEC Leaders' meeting scheduled in November 2010, in Yokohama, Japan.
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World Development Report 2010 Now Available: A Climate for Change in East Asia and the Pacific
10/15/2010 - 14:41
Produced by the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region, this booklet focuses on policy recommendations and steps already being taken in East Asia and the Pacific to reduce the sources of greenhouse gases (mitigation), adapt to changing weather (adaptation), and to develop financial and technological partnerships in the face of a pressing global challenge. Such topics as changes in land use and deforestation, vulnerable coastal populations, water availability, floods and disease are discussed at length in this informative and attractive volume. Download the booklet here.
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Exploring the link between sunlight and multiple sclerosis
03/23/2010 - 13:00
For more than 30 years, scientists have known that multiple sclerosis is much more common in higher latitudes than in the tropics. Because sunlight is more abundant near the equator, many researchers have wondered if the high levels of vitamin D engendered by sunlight could explain this unusual pattern of prevalence.
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Seafarers' scourge provides hope for biofuel future
03/23/2010 - 07:00
For centuries, seafarers were plagued by wood-eating gribble that destroyed their ships, and these creatures continue to wreak damage on wooden piers and docks in coastal communities. But new research is uncovering how the tiny marine isopod digests could hold the key to converting wood and straw into liquid biofuels.
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World has underestimated climate-change effects, expert argues
03/23/2010 - 04:00
The world's policymakers have underestimated the potential dangerous impacts that man-made climate change will have on society, say a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences.
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E-waste: Crude recycling methods used in developing countries contaminate air, water and soil, researchers say
03/22/2010 - 13:00
A proposed US ban on the export of electronics waste won't accomplish its goal of stopping crude methods of recycling "e-waste" -- especially junked computers -- that are resulting in environmental damage in developing countries, researchers say. A new paper calls into question conventional thinking that trade bans can prevent "backyard recycling" of electronics waste -- primarily old and obsolete computers -- in developing countries.
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Incorporating biofunctionality into nanomaterials for medical, environmental devices
03/22/2010 - 13:00
Researchers have discovered how to use atomic layer deposition to incorporate "biological functionality" into complex nanomaterials, which could lead to a new generation of medical and environmental health applications. For example, the researchers show how the technology can be used to develop effective, low-cost water purification devices that could be used in developing countries.
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New research cuts into origins of iron and steel in India
03/21/2010 - 23:00
Researchers in the UK have returned from a six-week archaeological research expedition to a remote region of rural Andhra Pradesh in India. The team studied the origins of high carbon steel-making in the southern Indian sub-continent.
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Cup plant is potential new biomass/carbon storage crop
03/21/2010 - 23:00
American researchers are exploring a native perennial called the cup plant as a potential new biomass crop that could also store carbon in its extensive root system and add biodiversity to biomass plantings.
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Bird bones may be hollow, but they are also heavy
03/21/2010 - 23:00
For centuries biologists have known that bird bones are hollow, and even elementary school children know that bird skeletons are lightweight to offset the high energy cost of flying. Nevertheless, many people are surprised to learn that bird skeletons do not actually weigh any less than the skeletons of similarly sized mammals. In other words, the skeleton of a two-ounce songbird weighs just as much as the skeleton of a two-ounce rodent.
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