Breaking Waves: Ocean News

12/15/2019 - 04:45
Edinburgh zoo stays silent on prospect of a final bid to produce cubs before Tian Tian and Yang Guang return to China For a couple of years, Scotland’s two giant pandas were the biggest celebrities in the land. Now, as they prepare for their final scheduled year in captivity on Scottish soil, before returning to their native China, Tian Tian and Yang Guang are largely forgotten after a decade of failed and increasingly desperate attempts to coax them into producing offspring. They arrived at Edinburgh zoo in 2011 and made headlines for months as the nation waited for the first giant panda to be born in Scotland. Record numbers of visitors followed, and at one point the then first minister, Alex Salmond, joked that the country had more pandas than Tories. Continue reading...
12/15/2019 - 03:33
Trees for Cities, one of the four groups we are supporting in the 2019 charity appeal, helps schools in deprived areas create inspiring green spaces• Please donate to our appeal here Headteacher Clare Higgins was concerned when a 10-year-old student told her “something had gone wrong” during a recent lunch break. But she was quietly relieved to see the student was talking about the carrots the school had been growing in their allotment, which to everyone’s shock had turned out purple. There have been countless moments like this since the charity Trees for Cities transformed an unused concrete square at Holy Cross Catholic primary school in Birkenhead into a beautiful allotment where staff and students grow strawberries, rhubarb and pumpkins. Continue reading...
12/14/2019 - 15:50
Partial agreement at COP25 that countries must be more ambitious to fulfil Paris goals Climate talks in Madrid have ended with a partial agreement to ask countries to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the terms of the 2015 Paris accord. Few countries came to this year’s talks with updated plans to reach the Paris goals, though the EU finally agreed its long-term target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Experts say more ambitious emissions cuts are needed globally if the Paris pledge to hold global heating to no more than 2C is to be met. Continue reading...
12/14/2019 - 14:00
Martijn Wilder says more companies are talking about the climate crisis but not moving quickly enough – and his new firm Pollination aims to improve that A growing number of governments, including of every Australian state, Britain and the European Union, have set targets of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Few have mapped how to get there. It is a similar story in the corporate sector. Businesses are under increasing pressure from investors and shareholders to back up claims they are committed to the goals of the Paris agreement. Take BHP, one of the world’s 20 big emitters: it has set a mid-century net-zero emissions target but is yet explain how it will reach it, and plans to invest more in oil and gas than climate solutions. Continue reading...
12/14/2019 - 14:00
Large deposits of sediment and ash in reservoir which supplies 80% of the city’s drinking water creates ‘serious situation’ Sydney’s drinking water supply is at risk of the same “worst-case scenario” facing some New South Wales regional communities, where large amounts of bushfire ash has been swept into dams by heavy rainfall, a water expert has warned. Stuart Khan, a water quality security expert and environmental engineer from the University of NSW, said recent bushfires had left large deposits of ash in the Warragamba Dam catchment, which supplies 80% of the city’s drinking water. Continue reading...
12/14/2019 - 13:31
Decision on Moorside Fields in Lancaster makes it harder to stop public space being developed It is not the most attractive piece of land in Lancashire. But for Janine Bebbington and her friends, Moorside Fields was where all the important things in life happened. “It was our playground, it was where we went and climbed trees, used the running track from the nearby school, played rounders, explored, kissed people in the bushes, drank cider, did all the things that people get up to in green spaces.” Continue reading...
12/14/2019 - 08:05
Tougher limits on pollutants could cut dangers of heart disease, cancers and poor brain development in children The UK’s failure to meet World Health Organisation standards limiting the amount of ultra-fine particles in the air represents a major danger to health that is only now being recognised, experts claim. Studies published this year link the particles to cancers, lung and heart disease, adverse effects on foetal development, and poor lung and brain development in children. They are considered a key threat to health because they go deep into the lungs and then reach other organs, including the brain. But European standards allow the levels of particles in the air to be 2.5 times higher than those stipulated by the WHO. Continue reading...
12/13/2019 - 19:25
Erisvan Soares Guajajara’s body was found with knife wounds in Maranhão region A 15-year-old indigenous boy has been murdered in Brazil on the edge of a heavily deforested indigenous reserve in the state of Maranhão, on the fringes of the Amazon. The murder, the fourth from the Guajajara tribe in recent weeks, came as a wave of racist abuse against indigenous people swept social media in the state. Continue reading...
12/13/2019 - 18:17
Government-dominated committee calls for partial lifting of nuclear ban and for greater work on nuclear technology The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, has described the call from Coalition MPs to lift a longstanding ban on nuclear energy as “fantasy”. A 230-page report released on Friday by the chairman of the parliament’s energy committee and Liberal MP Ted O’Brien said nuclear energy should be considered as part of Australia’s future energy mix. Continue reading...
12/13/2019 - 15:41
Brazil, India and China singled out in UN talks as acting to block agreement on article 6 of Paris agreement Poor countries have accused a handful of richer nations of holding up progress on tackling the climate crisis at UN talks in Madrid, as demonstrators and activists vented their frustration in the final hours of two weeks of negotiations. The talks, which had been due to end on Friday, dragged on with negotiators still battling on Saturday to salvage a result, as governments wrangled over the details of a seemingly arcane issue: carbon markets, governed by a provision of the 2015 Paris agreement known as article 6. Continue reading...