Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/21/2020 - 12:45
Hinkley Point C building site waste due to be dumped in sea near Cardiff The builders of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station must be completely open about the potential environmental impact of dumping tens of thousands of tonnes of mud in the sea near Cardiff, politicians in Wales have said. EDF is proposing to deposit mud excavated as part of the huge construction project on the Somerset coast in the waters off the Welsh capital next year. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 10:00
Interlocking exoskeleton could provide inspiration for new methods of joining materials It can survive being run over by a car, pecked by predators and crushed underfoot. Now researchers have revealed the secrets behind the near-indestructibility of the diabolical ironclad beetle. Found in wooded areas of the US west coast, the beetle is about 2cm in length. Like some other species of flightless beetle, its wing covers, known as elytra, are not only hardened, but fused together. The upshot is a gnarly black armour that protects it from being crushed. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 08:24
Lawsuit claims mining firm failed to prevent pollution in Kabwe, affecting multiple generations A class action lawsuit has been filed against the mining company Anglo American over its alleged failure to prevent widespread toxic lead pollution in the Zambian town of Kabwe. The town hosted one of the world’s biggest lead mines for many decades and scientists have reported “alarming” levels of lead in people’s blood. “The public environmental health disaster left behind by Anglo means there are more than 100,000 children and women of childbearing age in Kabwe who are likely to have suffered lead poisoning as a result of pollution caused by Anglo,” according to the filed legal documents. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 05:27
London Resort planned for Swanscombe Peninsula despite site being home to rare species such as distinguished jumping spider It is the unlikeliest of planning battles: a fight between the distinguished jumping spider and a rollercoaster judged to be “nationally significant infrastructure”. Ambitious £3.5bn plans for the biggest theme park in Britain beside the Thames threaten what conservationists say is the best site in the country for rare invertebrates. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 01:00
Campaign group the Alliance of British Drivers wants higher speed limits and fewer cycle lanes MPs are to hear evidence on road safety from a campaign group that dismisses warnings about global heating and wants higher speed limits and fewer cycle lanes, prompting alarm from environmental and active travel organisations. The Commons transport committee will take oral evidence on Wednesday from the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), which says it represents mainstream views but accepts its membership is “tiny” as a proportion of drivers. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 01:00
Study measured financial impact of car emissions on deaths, health and lost working days in 432 urban areas The health costs of air pollution from roads are higher in London than any other city in Europe, a study has found. Two other urban areas in the UK, Manchester and the West Midlands, have the 15th and 19th highest costs respectively among the 432 European cities analysed. Continue reading...
10/21/2020 - 00:21
Electricity from $20bn farm on 10,000 sq km property in Newcastle Waters also planned to feed Northern Territory’s power grid A cattle station halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin is set to house the world’s largest solar farm, with energy generated from the project to ultimately power Singapore. Newcastle Waters, where casino mogul James Packer worked as a jackaroo for a year when his father, Kerry, owned the 10,000 sq km property, has been earmarked for the $20bn solar farm, according to the company responsible for the project, Sun Cable. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 23:30
The smooth handfish is the first extinct marine bony fish of modern times. Scientists are now wondering how many more have disappeared unnoticed In 1802, when French naturalist François Péron slipped a small, chunky Australian fish into a jar of preservative, little did he suspect that his unassuming prize would be the only member of its species ever known to science. The smooth handfish (Sympterichthys unipennis) was declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List earlier this year. This strange and spiny bottom-dweller made history with its passing. It became the first marine bony fish to be listed as extinct in modern times. Today, all that remains of the species is that discoloured specimen in the Natural History Museum in Paris. Scooped up off the coast of south-east Tasmania, Péron’s catch was one of the 14 handfish species living in southern Australian waters at the time. The relatives of the smooth handfish are a colourful family which crawl around the seafloor using adapted fins as “hands”. They look like grumpy ageing punks, each sporting a dorsal fin over its head like a mohawk, bulging eyes and a cantankerous expression. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 23:02
To keep animals safe from rubbish discarded by tourists, a bag has been devised made from milk cartons and rice bran The famed deer that roam the city of Nara, in Japan, no longer face discomfort – or far worse – after local companies developed a safe alternative to the plastic packaging discarded by tourists that often ended up in the animals’ stomachs. Last year several of the 1,300 deer that wander around the ancient capital’s central park were found dead after swallowing plastic bags and food wrappers, prompting calls for tourists not to leave their rubbish behind. One of the dead animals had swallowed more than 4kg of rubbish. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 23:01
State of Global Air report says indoor air quality causing two-thirds of the deaths and affecting health in the womb Air pollution last year caused the premature death of nearly half a million babies in their first month of life, with most of the infants being in the developing world, data shows. Exposure to airborne pollutants is harmful also for babies in the womb. It can cause a premature birth or low birth weight. Both of these factors are associated with higher infant mortality. Continue reading...