Breaking Waves: Ocean News

11/13/2018 - 19:01
Work on engineered gene used to modify DNA of mosquitoes ‘could be stifled’ by perceived risk to environment Research on a radical new way to combat malaria and other devastating diseases could be knocked off track if a UN biodiversity conference imposes a moratorium on the work, a group of scientists have said. Some scientists believe the different approach has the potential to transform the battle against malaria. It involves engineered gene drives which are used to modify the DNA of wild organisms on a mass scale. In the case of mosquitoes the method would have the potential to wipe out populations of certain species which carry the malaria parasite, say the scientists. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 18:24
Efforts to protect native fauna and flora ‘lack purpose, direction and coordination’ Queensland has systematically failed the state’s growing list of threatened species, delaying declarations by up to seven years and botching its conservation management responsibilities, a scathing report by the state’s auditor general has found. Related: Australia's east coast named as 'deforestation front' in WWF Living Planet report Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 16:23
Trend in US regions where once-brutal winters are now mild raises new concerns over climate change Warmer winters are linked to increased crime rates in parts of the United States, a new study has found. Researchers found that violent crime is almost always more prevalent when temperatures are warmer in the winter months. The trend was especially strong when winters were mild in regions that usually have fierce winters, like the north-east and midwest. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 15:00
EPA to start writing rule requiring new trucks produce less nitrogen oxide, one of its first moves to regulate industry Donald Trump’s administration plans to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks, marking one of its first moves to regulate US industry rather than roll back environmental standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will start writing a rule to require new trucks produce less nitrogen oxide, which contributes to smog and particulate matter pollution that causes breathing problems, asthma attacks and early deaths. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 14:09
The president blamed ‘poor forest management’ for the state’s crisis. But much of the area burning isn’t forest You cannot possibly understand what it means to live with the risk of wildfire until you have to do so. I’m a fire scientist and have spent most of my adult life in the flammable south-west. At the start of the fire season, you pack up the things in your house you cannot replace and stage them so they are ready to be thrown into the car. You make a plan for your family and your pets. You identify escape routes and put together a bag with clothing and you spend the summer alert to smoke, radio reports and evacuation notices. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 12:22
Report bitterly contested by scientists who say threat comes from climate change, which has pushed bears closer to humans – not because the population is growing Too many polar bears are roaming the Canadian Arctic, and the growing population is posing an increasing threat to Inuit communities, according to a controversial new government report which has been bitterly contested by environmental scientists. The draft report was prepared by the Nunavut government, and consists of submissions from Inuit community groups across Canada’s northernmost territory. Public consultations are set to start on Tuesday before the government unveils the final report later in the year. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 12:00
Angus Taylor speech leads into crucial board decision on whether or not to proceed The energy minister Angus Taylor has backed Malcolm Turnbull’s pet project, the expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme, ahead of critical deliberations on the project due next month. Taylor will use a speech on Wednesday to express confidence that Snowy “will be a fundamental part of our future energy needs for many generations”. The board is due to decide in mid-December whether to proceed with additional generation capacity of 2,000MW. Continue reading...
11/13/2018 - 11:03
Marine fishes rely on their sensory systems to survive. A study is the first to quantify the physiological effects of whole crude oil on the olfactory function of a marine vertebrate -- the Atlantic stingray. Results of the study, confirm that exposure to crude oil, at concentrations mimicking those measured in coastal areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, significantly impaired olfactory function in the Atlantic stingray after just 48 hours of exposure.
11/13/2018 - 11:03
As an indicator of the impacts of climate change, Arctic sea ice is hard to beat. Scientists have observed the frozen polar ocean advance and retreat at this most sensitive region of the Earth over decades for insight on the potential ripple effects on assorted natural systems: global ocean circulation, surrounding habitats and ecosystems, food sources, sea levels and more.
11/13/2018 - 11:03
Rising global sea levels may actually be beneficial to the long-term future of coral reef islands, such as the Maldives, according to new research. Low-lying coral reef islands are typically less than three meters above sea level, making them highly vulnerable to rising sea levels associated with climate change. However, research has found new evidence that the Maldives -- the world's lowest country -- formed when sea levels were higher than they are today.