Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/26/2020 - 19:14
Barrett and five other conservative justices will wield considerable influence on climate change policy The supreme court is shifting right, at a pivotal moment when it could have the last word on how much the US contributes to battling the climate crisis. Amy Coney Barrett’s addition to the court could leave an indelible mark on how fiercely the US, and perhaps the rest of the world, can fight rising temperatures, even as scientists warn society has just years to take serious action. Continue reading...
10/26/2020 - 17:21
Legal observers among those arrested as Indigenous Australians express outrage after Djab Wurrung directions tree felled The Victorian government has cut down a tree that was culturally significant to Australia’s Indigenous Djab Wurrung women to make way for a highway in the state’s west. The yellow box, known as a directions tree, was felled on Monday. The government has defended its actions, saying the tree was not one of those listed as requiring protection in an agreement with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and was not the sacred directions tree that is now subject to a federal court action. Continue reading...
10/26/2020 - 15:44
A researcher proposes a new approach to monitoring global sea-level rise. Using the existing NOAA Global Drifter Program array of roughly 1,200 buoys that drift freely with ocean currents, he suggests adding additional instruments to record their height, or the 'level of the sea' they ride on, to collect long-term data on the average sea levels across the world's oceans.
10/26/2020 - 15:27
Ocean Leadership ~ Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth’s largest global biomes. Although marine sediment covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, little was known about its global patterns of microbial diversity. (From URI Today) — A team of researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the University of Hyogo, the University of Kochi, the University of Bremen, and the University of Rhode Island delineated the global diversity of microbes in marine sediment. For the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, senior researcher at JAMSTEC, and his colleagues including URI Graduate School of Oceanography Professor Steven D’Hondt analyzed 299 samples of marine sediment collected as core samples from 40 sites around the globe. Their sample depths ranged from the seafloor to 678 meters below it. To accurately determine the diversity of microbial communities, the authors extracted and sequenced DNA from each frozen sample under the same clean laboratory condition. The 16S rRNA gene sequences (approximately 50 million sequences) obtained through comprehensive next-generation sequencing were analyzed to determine microbial community composition in each sample. From these 50 million sequences, the research team discovered nearly 40,000 different types of microorganisms in marine sediment, with diversity generally decreasing with depth. The team found that microbial community composition differs significantly between organic-rich sediment of continental margins and nutrient-poor sediment of the open ocean, and that the presence or absence of oxygen and the concentration of organic matter are major factors in determining community composition. By comparing their results to previous studies of topsoil and seawater, the researchers discovered… Read the full article here: The post Member Highlight: Microbial Diversity Below Seafloor Is As Rich As On Earth’s Surface appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
10/26/2020 - 13:10
Scientists removed 98 invasive insects at Washington state site ‘We suspect there may be more nests in Whatcom county’ Scientists removed 98 so-called murder hornets from a nest discovered near the Canadian border in Washington state over the weekend, including 13 that were captured live in a net, the state agriculture department said. Continue reading...
10/26/2020 - 11:30
Labor and the Greens accuse the Morrison government of failing to deliver on its recycling and waste commitments A $100m scheme to fund the manufacturing of products from recycled plastics and paper has not used any of its funding, nor supported any initiatives, since it was unveiled by the Morrison government ahead of the 2019 election. Labor has accused the government of failing to deliver on its recycling and waste commitments after Senate estimates last week heard leaders in charge of the Recycling Investment Fund (Rif) “haven’t entered into any transactions at this point”. Continue reading...
10/26/2020 - 11:30
The Morrison government is urged to prepare for a shift in the global economy as major trading partners move to cut emissions A pledge by Japan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 underscores the risk facing Australia if it fails to prepare for the inevitable shift in the global economy and falling demand for fossil fuels, analysts say. The new Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga announced the target in his first policy speech to national parliament since taking office last month. He said responding to the climate crisis was no longer a constraint on growth, and proactive measures to change the country’s industrial structure would expand the economy. Continue reading...
10/26/2020 - 10:42
Marine food webs and biogeochemical cycles react very sensitively to the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) - but the effects are far more complex than previously thought. Data were combined from five large-scale field experiments, which investigated how the carbon cycle within plankton communities reacts to the increase of CO2.
10/26/2020 - 08:54
A researcher has now discovered that the irregular appearance of interglacials has been more frequent than previously thought. His study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Earth's fundamental climate changes.
10/26/2020 - 07:05
Humanity is said to have just 10 years left to start seriously tackling the climate crisis before passing the 'point of no return' with multiple-degree temperature increases, rising sea levels and increasingly disastrous wildfires, hurricanes, floods and droughts predicted. Scientists say the US is far off the path of what is necessary for the nation and the world to avoid catastrophic global heating, particularly as in the past four years Donald Trump has shredded environmental protections for American lands, animals and people. As part of our climate countdown series, the Guardian's Emily Holden looks at the issue and examines why the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, calls his rival a 'climate arsonist'  Revealed: the full extent of Trump's 'meat cleaver' assault on US wilderness Sign up for Fight to Vote – our weekly US election newsletter Continue reading...