Breaking Waves: Ocean News

04/04/2020 - 04:30
Scientists, farmers and volunteers are looking for ways to lessen the impact of climate change as experts warn a third mass bleaching has taken place Photographs by Jonas Gratzer One of the dive instructors points out two blacktip reef sharks circling a docile green turtle busy grazing on algae. Stingrays of various sizes, colours and shapes pass beneath us. Suddenly, a pod of dolphins appears, swimming over the hard corals. The dive takes place on what appears to be healthy and pristine coral reef surrounding Lady Elliot Island, at the very southern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef off Queensland. Continue reading...
04/04/2020 - 03:00
Scientists race to halt spread of pungent insect species after it sweeps eight cities The world’s hazelnut supplies could be threatened by a stinkbug that has recently invaded Turkey, scientists have warned. The brown marmorated stinkbug, which is native to north-east Asia, has been spreading across the world in shipping containers, breeding freely thanks to warmer temperatures and a lack of natural predators. Continue reading...
04/04/2020 - 01:00
The presenter’s daily Self-Isolating Bird Club draws on wildlife footage caught by enthusiasts on mobile phones in their gardens. Packham calls it ‘Dad’s Army makes TV’ Lockdown day 10 in south-east London. A loud rhythmic tweeting is emanating from the cherry plum tree in my back garden. A great tit? Blue tit? I catch a glimpse; too small for a great tit, not as colourful. I don’t know my birdsongs beyond the basics, but I remember a friend imitating calls to coax birds nearer so he could identify them. I have an idea and grab my phone and Google “coal tit song”. I press play and the rival tweeting produces instant results. Hopping from branch to branch towards me a delightful but agitated coal tit emerges and alights on a branch barely two metres away (I think it knows). Is it angry or amorous? My exhilaration at our proximity turns to doubt and guilt – I’ve used gadgetry to disrupt the natural world. What was I thinking? The coal tit flies off, its song tinged with irritation. Continue reading...
04/03/2020 - 14:00
Activists says resolution shows strong support for fossil fuel companies to set limits on their own emissions and those that result from their products Oil and gas giant Santos faces increased pressure over its stance on climate change after nearly half its shareholders backed resolutions that it should strengthen emissions targets and review its membership of fossil fuel lobby groups. Ethical investor group the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility said the level of support for a shareholder-led climate resolution was unprecedented, and showed large institutional investors had “woken up to the damage a growing gas industry is wreaking on the planet”. Continue reading...
04/03/2020 - 14:00
High court to hand down George Pell verdict, water flows into the Menindee Lakes and Victoria renews logging As Australia’s coronavirus outbreak continues – but with the cautious optimism of a slowing rate of infection – a lot of important news has slipped under the radar. Here are the stories you may have missed over the past week. Continue reading...
04/03/2020 - 11:26
The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including a veiled chameleon and other animals enjoying the quieter streets Continue reading...
04/03/2020 - 09:34
High court has decided there was ‘no real prospect of success’ for judicial review The clearing of ancient woods for HS2 is to proceed this month after the high court refused an emergency injunction and judicial review of the government’s decision to proceed with the high-speed railway. HS2’s felling of woodlands in spring when birds are nesting has been widely condemned by wildlife charities but the conservationist Chris Packham’s attempt to halt “enabling” works was rejected after the court decided there was “no real prospect of success” for a judicial review. Continue reading...
04/03/2020 - 07:42
Research into North Atlantic plankton likely to lead to negative revision of global climate calculations The North Atlantic may be a weaker climate ally than previously believed, according to a study that suggests the ocean’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide has been overestimated. A first-ever winter and spring sampling of plankton in the western North Atlantic showed cell sizes were considerably smaller than scientists assumed, which means the carbon they absorb does not sink as deep or as fast, nor does it stay in the depths for as long. Continue reading...
04/03/2020 - 07:28
A new study found that human-induced environmental stressors have a large effect on the genetic composition of coral reef populations in Hawai'i. They confirmed that there is an ongoing loss of sensitive genotypes in nearshore coral populations due to stressors resulting from poor land-use practices and coastal pollution. This reduced genetic diversity compromises reef resilience. 
04/03/2020 - 06:48
Motor traffic and air pollution decline steeply, with walking and cycling in cities also down Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The coronavirus outbreak has brought Britain to a near standstill, with road travel plummeting by as much as 73%, to levels not seen since 1955. All forms of travel have plunged in urban areas. Walking, cycling and car and van journeys are all down by about three-quarters, while bus numbers have fallen by 60%. The number of large lorries has declined by just 40% as essential supplies continue to be transported. Continue reading...