Breaking Waves: Ocean News

09/18/2020 - 10:35
Rise in scenic round-trips by air in Australia and Asia is ‘insanity,’ say environmentalists Environmental campaigners have condemned the rise of scenic “joy flights” aimed at passengers “missing the excitement of travel”. Tickets for a seven-hour round trip from Sydney with Qantas sold out within 10 minutes, making it one of the airline’s fastest selling flights ever. Seat prices on the 10 October flight range from A$787 (£607) economy to $3,787 for business class. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 10:00
Researchers say loss of 1.9m square kilometres of intact ecosystems will have ‘profound implications’ for biodiversity Wilderness across the planet is disappearing on a huge scale, according to a new study that found human activities had converted an area the size of Mexico from virtually intact natural landscapes to heavily modified ones in just 13 years. The loss of 1.9m square kilometres (735,000 sq miles) of intact ecosystems would have “profound implications” for the planet’s biodiversity, the study’s authors said. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 07:00
Warming temperatures make pinot noir a staple of English winemakers although unpredictable weather threatens quaffability On a hot morning in Devon, a single field stands as a barometer of climate change. Charlie Brown, 30, an assistant winemaker at Sandridge Barton vineyard, explains that the site in which they will soon start planting pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunièr wine grapes would once have been considered unsuitable for growth. “The climate has changed. When you are the top of that brow the wind does rip through it a bit but we can plant here now,” he says. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 06:57
Wild Justice accuses UK government of breaching duty to protect conservation sites Conservationists are suing the UK government over the release of millions of game birds on to land that is home to rare and threatened species. The campaign group Wild Justice has accused ministers of breaching their legal duties to protect sites of high conservation value in England by failing to control the use of large areas of countryside to shoot pheasant and red-legged partridge for sport. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 06:30
For decades David Attenborough delighted millions with tales of life on Earth. But now the broadcaster wants us to face up to the state of the planet Sir David Attenborough’s soothing, matter-of-fact narrations have brought the natural world to our living rooms for nearly seven decades and counting. From Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the jungles of central Africa, the 94-year-old broadcaster has dazzled and delighted millions with tales of life on Earth – mostly pristine and untouched, according to the images on our screens. But this autumn Attenborough has returned with a different message: nature is collapsing around us. “We are facing a crisis. One that has consequences for us all. It threatens our ability to feed ourselves, to control our climate. It even puts us at greater risk of pandemic diseases such as Covid-19,” he warned in Extinction: The Facts on BBC One primetime, receiving five-star reviews. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 05:23
Larch Maxey and Eli Rose’s HS2 Rebellion protest enters its third week Sixteen days ago, two HS2 campaigners climbed the trees in Parliament Square to protest against the controversial high-speed rail project, and their feet haven’t touched the ground since. Larch Maxey, 48, and Eli Rose, 26, sleep, eat and wash 15 metres (50ft) up in the air above the constant stream of buses, cars and lorries that loop around the square in the centre of London at all times of the day. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 04:32
Councils have put off plans for zones in Birmingham, Leeds and elsewhere owing to Covid Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Health experts have warned that delays to proposed clean air zones in cities including Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds pose a risk to the nation’s wellbeing. Clean air zones (CAZs) are areas in which drivers of polluting vehicles are charged to enter city centres in an effort to improve air quality. With air pollution at illegal levels in many locations for the past decade, causing thousands of deaths a year, local authorities nationwide had announced plans to introduce the zones. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 04:30
Cities like Los Angeles, Seattle and New Orleans are aiming to tackle another, longer-term emergency – the climate crisis The cars that typically throng the huge highways weaving through Los Angeles are such an established part of the city’s fabric that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, their sudden absence felt bizarre to locals even eerie. But many Angelenos have now discovered a new sort of relationship with their streets. “People have felt they own their neighborhood again, they feel connected to it again,” Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’s mayor, told the Guardian in reference to streets that have reduced traffic, or even had it closed off, as offices, retailers and restaurants shut down. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 04:00
Guafo, a 50,000-acre island, is a hotspot for marine biodiversity and part of the ancestral land of the Mapuche people The island of Guafo sits on the route taken by blue whales heading into the fjords of Chilean Patagonia. It is a hotspot for marine biodiversity, home to rare flora and sacred to the indigenous Mapuche people. And now it is up for sale. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 01:58
Noxious nettles with venom similar to that of scorpions are helping scientists understand pain and how to control it Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous wildlife. Anyone who spends time outdoors in eastern Australia is wise to keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, swooping birds, crocodiles, deadly cone snails and tiny toxic jellyfish. But what not everybody knows is that even some of the trees will get you. Continue reading...