Breaking Waves: Ocean News

11/15/2018 - 21:05
Thursday saw air pollution levels climb to unhealthy levels, making San Francisco’s air worst in the world Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area have been cancelled for Friday and residents warned to stay inside as smoke descends from wildfires hundreds of miles away, producing air quality levels worse than notoriously polluted cities in India and China. “The Camp fire in Butte county generated a tremendous amount of smoke,” said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “That smoke is just pouring into the Bay Area right now.” Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 20:50
Ai Group expresses significant concern with the Morrison government’s controversial plan to underwrite new power generation A leading business group has expressed significant concern with the Morrison government’s controversial plan to underwrite new power generation, noting it could leave taxpayers exposed to liabilities “with a net present value of billions of dollars”. The Ai Group has used its submission to flag major problems with the proposal, ranging from its “extremely aggressive” administrative timetable, with projects being drummed up before the next federal election; a lack of obvious “strong independent governance” arrangements, and the lack of an overarching climate and energy policy. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 19:17
The ex-US secretary of state, speaking at a Guardian Live event, predicts mass movement from Africa Europe faces even deeper political turmoil and the possibility of mass migration from Africa unless the world urgently addresses the threat of climate change, the former US secretary of state John Kerry said on Thursday. Speaking at a Guardian Live event, at Central Hall in London, he said he was deeply disturbed at how issues such as climate change, cyber wars and the future of the oceans were not ballot box issues, admitting it was hard to translate these issues into an acceptable set of choices for voters. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 19:01
UK’s largest retailer falls short of removing palm oil from own-brand foods in sustainability drive Tesco and WWF have announced they are to collaborate on a long-running sustainable food effort, pledging to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket within 12 months. The four-year partnership between the UK’s largest retailer and one of the world’s leading environmental organisations is believed to be the first of its kind. They hope its scale will help drive the industry to eliminate food waste and packaging waste and encourage customers to eat more sustainably. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 12:13
Ernesto Araújo has called climate science ‘dogma’ and bemoaned the ‘criminalisation’ of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has chosen a new foreign minister who believes climate change is part of a plot by “cultural Marxists” to stifle western economies and promote the growth of China. Ernesto Araújo – until recently a mid-ranking official who blogs about the “criminalisation” of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex – will become the top diplomat of South America’s biggest nation, representing 200 million people and the greatest and most biodiverse forest on Earth, the Amazon. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 12:13
Toxic best captures ‘the ethos, mood and preoccupations’ of the year, according to the dictionary Oxford Dictionaries has steered clear of “big dick energy” and the derogatory term “gammon” to name “toxic” as its word of the year, citing the adjective’s use to describe everything from the debate around Brexit to the environment and masculinity. Defining the word as “poisonous”, Oxford said it had become a “descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics”. The dictionary pointed to a 45% rise in the number of times the word has been looked up on its website, and said it best captured “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations” of 2018, thanks to “the sheer scope” of its application. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 12:00
Heatwaves can limit generator capacity and lead to equipment failures, Aemo warns Extreme weather over summer could reduce the output of coal, gas and hydro power generators and cause problems with the reliability of electricity supply, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator. While there has been extensive political debate in Australia about the reliability of various forms of energy supply, the market operator will make the point on Friday that extreme weather imposes significant stress on the supposed ramparts of the system – thermal generators and transmission infrastructure. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 12:00
Under Greens policy, it would no longer be legal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal by 2030 The Australian Greens will propose a phase-out of thermal coal exports by 2030 in a significant strengthening of the party’s existing policy, which has focused on banning new mines. The Greens’ climate change spokesman, Adam Bandt, will outline the shift on Friday in a speech to the United Firefighters Union in Hobart. The speech focuses on the growing risk of wildfires as a consequence of climate change. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 12:00
Booming LNG sector is driving Australia’s carbon output, but industry claims revealing the details would damage international competitiveness The Australian oil and gas lobby is pushing to limit public information about greenhouse gas emissions from liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, a move that contradicts the global industry’s pledge to increase transparency about their impact on the climate. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has called for LNG plants to be able to apply for emissions data to be withheld from the public on the grounds that releasing it could help its competitors overseas. It has been backed by Chevron, which operates the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG developments in Western Australia. Continue reading...
11/15/2018 - 09:59
Ocean Leadership ~ (Prentice Danner/USCG) Equipping every ship that enters the Arctic with sensors could help fill critical gaps in maritime charts (From Arctic Today/By Melody Schreiber) Throughout world, the ocean floor’s details remain largely a mystery; less than 10 percent has been mapped using modern sonar technology. Even in the United States, which has some of the best maritime maps in the world, only one-third of the ocean and coastal waters have been mapped to modern standards. But perhaps the starkest gaps in knowledge are in the Arctic. Only 4.7 percent of the Arctic has been mapped to modern standards. “Especially when you get up north, the percentage of charts that are basically based on Royal Navy surveys from the 19th century is terrifying — or should be terrifying,” said David Titley, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who directs the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at the Pennsylvania State University. Titley spoke alongside several other maritime experts at a recent Woodrow Wilson Center event on marine policy, highlighting the need for improved oceanic maps. When he was on active duty in the Navy, Titley said, “we were finding sea mounts that we had no idea were there. And conversely, we were getting rid of sea mounts on charts that weren’t there.” […] “It’s hard to map the bottom of the ocean,” said Rear Admiral Jon White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “It’s like trying to map your backyard with ants, with the ships that we have.” However, he said, the technology to do so is improving. “There are great opportunities for the people who understand this technology, to make new ways, better ways to actually map it faster,” White said. Moving forward, he said, both federal investment and public-private partnerships should focus on “getting every ship to be a sensor in the ocean.” That effort will be crucial for accomplishing “all the things that we’re trying to do in the maritime environment,” he said. Read the full article here: https://www.arctictoday.com/ordinary-shipping-help-map-uncharted-arctic-ocean-seafloor/ The post How Ordinary Ship Traffic Could Help Map The Uncharted Arctic Ocean Seafloor appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.