Breaking Waves: Ocean News

09/19/2020 - 00:00
This year’s historic blazes and apocalyptic skies will become routine. Hope lies in rethinking how we live with fire California’s historic wildfires have served up astonishing scenes of destruction that have claimed several dozen lives, incinerated huge tracts of land and caused dystopian orange skies to loom over a populace choked by toxic smoke. But, in time, the sort of destruction and anguish suffered in 2020 may seem routine, even mild. The record scale of the flames, which have consumed an area larger than the state of Connecticut, is bringing scientists’ expectations of the climate crisis into reality. Rather than merely entering a new but stable era, the US west is on a moving escalator to further extremes. “In 20 years from now, the current circumstances will feel more normal,” said Waleed Abdalati, former chief scientist of Nasa. “It’s not that we are all screwed, but it’s too late to put a stop to it. We can slow it, but we can’t stop it now.” Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 16:56
Cloud of soot from fire heads towards São Paulo as nearly fifth of Pantanal wetland destroyed by blaze Fires that have devastated a Brazilian tropical wetlands region famed for its wildlife were started by humans and exacerbated by its worst drought in nearly 50 years, according to Brazilian authorities, firefighters and environmentalist groups. Images of cremated snakes, tapirs cooked to death, and jaguars with bandaged, burnt paws in the Pantanal region in Brazil’s centre-west have horrified Brazilians at a time when fires are also razing forests in the Amazon. A dark cloud of soot from fires is heading towards São Paulo. Continue reading...
09/18/2020 - 13:04
The best wildlife pictures from around the world, from golden frogs to homebound birds Continue reading...
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...