Breaking Waves: Ocean News

07/09/2020 - 17:05
Exclusive: Backlog of cases awaiting determination – including first one lodged under land rights act in 1984 – labelled a ‘betrayal’ There are 37,000 unresolved Aboriginal land claims in New South Wales awaiting determination by the government, including the first claim lodged under the land rights act in 1984. The backlog has been described as “a national disgrace” and a form of institutional racism. According to research seen by Guardian Australia, the backlog has built over decades. Continue reading...
07/09/2020 - 15:54
Class action aims to force city with one of country’s most expensive water rates to institute affordable payment plan A coalition of civil rights groups have filed a landmark class action to permanently ban water shutoffs for Detroit residents and force the city to implement an affordable payment plan. Detroit, which has one of the most expensive water rates in the country, has disconnected more than 140,000 households since 2014, as part of an internationally condemned debt collection scheme which has left thousands of vulnerable residents without running water for months or years. Continue reading...
07/09/2020 - 13:41
Trump’s energy secretary Dan Brouillette promotes ‘all fuels’ free-market strategy at climate and sustainability summit The US has argued for less regulation of the world’s energy systems, speaking out against the policy interventions promoting clean energy that are central to a “green recovery” from the coronavirus crisis. Dan Brouillette, the US energy secretary, told a global summit of energy ministers, focused on sustainable recovery, that democracies should choose the free market over policies such as taxes, regulations and climate risk assessments on companies that would “steer people away from some energy sources and in the direction of others”. Continue reading...
07/09/2020 - 13:16
A new study argues that deep-sea mining poses significant risks, not only to the area immediately surrounding mining operations but also to the water hundreds to thousands of feet above the seafloor, threatening vast midwater ecosystems. Further, the scientists suggest how these risks could be evaluated more comprehensively to enable society and managers to decide if and how deep-sea mining should proceed.
07/09/2020 - 13:15
Scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.
07/09/2020 - 12:56
Microbes found deeper in the ocean are believed to have slow population turnover rates and low amounts of available energy. But a new examination of microbial communities found deeper in seafloor sediments and around hydrocarbon seepage sites has found they have more energy available and a higher population turnover. The deeper sediments in the seepages are most likely heavily impacted by the material coming up from the bottom, which means that the seep could be supporting a larger amount of biomass than previously thought.
07/09/2020 - 12:30
Testing facility for zero-emissions four-passenger electric aircraft expected to be built in Narromine within the year The New South Wales government has awarded almost $1m from a regional grants fund to a company developing what deputy premier John Barilaro describes as an electric flying car. Andrew Moore, the chief executive of start-up AMSL Aero, says the company is building what is better described as an electric aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but travels with the efficiency and speed of a plane. Continue reading...
07/09/2020 - 12:30
Environment minister Matt Kean says the push to build 8,000 megawatts of wind and solar is part of a plan to replace coal-fired power The New South Wales government aims to back renewable energy plants in the New England region with the capacity to power 3.5m homes, with the state’s environment minister saying enough will be built to replace most of the state’s coal-fired power stations earlier than scheduled. Matt Kean, the minister for energy and the environment, will on Friday announce a second renewable energy zone for the state, following a previously planned designated area in the state’s central west. Continue reading...
07/09/2020 - 11:04
Fish and Wildlife Service had sought to strip safeguards, which would have allowed a limited number to obtain hunting licenses In a stunning victory for wildlife conservationists and indigenous tribes – and for bears – a US court ruled on Wednesday that grizzly bears living in the vast Yellowstone ecosystem will remain federally protected and not be subjected to sport hunting. The US Fish and Wildlife Service had sought to strip Yellowstone-area grizzlies of safeguards conferred by the Endangered Species Act. This would have allowed the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to permit a limited number of people to obtain hunting licenses, though sport hunting would have remained prohibited within Yellowstone itself. Continue reading...
07/09/2020 - 07:45
Update to IUCN red list warns of hamster’s falling birth rate and high demand for fungus Hamsters and fungi may not be poster species among those threatened with extinction but are no less important in ecosystems, according to an updated list of the world’s most fragile species. The European hamster once scurried across much of Europe and Russia but has now vanished from most of its original range and on current trends will go extinct within 30 years, according to the update of the IUCN red list, the global database of species on the brink. Continue reading...