Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/20/2020 - 15:30
Scientists are hoping that research into Dendrocnide excelsa could lead to new painkillers It sounds like something out of The Day of the Triffids: a stinging nettle the size of a large tree, with a sting so vicious it inflicts excruciating pain that can last for days, weeks or even months. But this is no science fiction, these are the stinging trees of Australia.Dendrocnide excelsa can grow up to 35 metres tall in tropical rainforests in Queensland, one of a gang of six Dendrocnide tree or shrub species found in Australia. These thugs of the plant world belong to the same family as common stinging nettles, with leaves covered in similar tiny needle-like hairs that act like hypodermic syringes, injecting their poison at the slightest touch of the skin, although the poison is far more powerful than a nettle’s. Related: Australia's stinging trees: if the snakes and spiders don't get you, the plants might | Irina Vetter, Edward Kalani Gilding and Thomas Durek Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 12:14
A team of geologists believes they have found the lost plate known as Resurrection in northern Canada by using existing mantle tomography images.
10/20/2020 - 12:13
For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes.
10/20/2020 - 10:11
Locals say loss of 250-year-old pear tree in Cubbington is ‘absolutely devastating’ Residents have spoken of their “utter devastation” after a 250-year-old pear tree in Warwickshire, a famous local landmark and England’s tree of the year in 2015, was felled to make way for the HS2 rail line. The tree, thought to be the second-oldest wild pear tree in the country, had become a focal point in the protest against HS2, a high-speed rail line that will connect London and Birmingham, and which protesters say will cause huge environmental damage. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 09:55
Over the past three decades, the depths of the Antarctic Weddell Sea have warmed five times faster than the rest of the ocean at depths exceeding 2,000 meters.
10/20/2020 - 07:17
Mussels, barnacles, and snails are declining in the Gulf of Maine, according to a new article by biologists. Their 20-year dataset reveals that the populations' steady dwindling matches up with the effects of climate change on the region.
10/20/2020 - 05:00
Researchers say Black infants may be more at risk while about 80% of homes had detectable levels of lead in tap water This story is co-published with Consumer Reports Not long after Peter and Erica Finin moved from Michigan to Pittsburgh, they had the tap water in their new home tested for lead. It was 2017, and “the whole [lead] situation in Flint was very much in the news”, Peter says. They’d been thinking about starting a family, and wanted to be safe. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 02:00
Some of the solutions sound fantastical – but their proponents argue that there are precious few other options Time is running out for the Arctic. The region continues to warm at two or three times the global rate and scientists now predict that we could see Arctic summer ice disappear as early as 2042. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 01:00
Critics say move an example of ‘cosy relationship’ between industry and regulator One of the most senior executives at the Environment Agency is leaving to join a water company that is under criminal investigation by the watchdog. The departure of Dr Toby Willison, the director of operations for the EA, to take up a role at Southern Water has angered campaigners seeking to reduce pollution in rivers and coastal waters. Willison has previously been the acting chief executive of the environmental watchdog. Continue reading...
10/20/2020 - 00:28
Authorities step up sandbagging amid drop of several metres from top of crumbling dunes down to the beach in NSW tourist town Australia’s famous Byron Bay beach has been closed to swimmers and surfers as authorities carry out emergency sandbagging to prevent further damaging erosion. Escalating erosion at Main Beach and Clarkes Beach in the northern New South Wales town has left a drop of several metres from the top of crumbling dunes down to the beach. Continue reading...