Breaking Waves: Ocean News

05/22/2018 - 01:16
Market shift to renewables means scheme’s economic case stacks up, senators told The head of the government’s Snowy 2.0 project says the expanded scheme would be able to “out-compete” any new coal-fired power. Snowy Hydro’s managing director and chief executive, Paul Broad, told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday the project would perform better than any new coal plants, including those being pushed for by government backbenchers , because of the increasing market shift toward renewables. Continue reading...
05/22/2018 - 00:01
Consultation proposes reducing pollutants, including particulates from wood burners and ammonia from farms – but does little to tackle diesel emissions A new clean air strategy published by the UK government has been criticised as “hugely disappointing” by the Labour party. Other groups said it did little to tackle the dirty diesel vehicles that are the main source of toxic air in urban areas. The new strategy, announced on Tuesday by environment secretary, Michael Gove, aims to crack down on a wide range of pollutants. These include particulates from wet wood and coal burning in homes, ammonia emissions from farms and dust from vehicle tyres and brakes. Continue reading...
05/21/2018 - 22:09
Alpha North, which would be bigger than Adani’s Carmichael mine, to be examined under federal environment laws A proposal by the millionaire former MP Clive Palmer to develop the biggest open-cut coalmine in the southern hemisphere in Queensland will be scrutinised by the federal environment department, including its impact on the Great Barrier Reef. The federal government announced late on Monday it intended to fully assess the Alpha North project under federal environmental laws and would require detailed assessments on the impact on the reef, world heritage properties, threatened species, migratory birds and several other matters. Continue reading...
05/21/2018 - 22:00
Exclusive: UK capital has the most expensive public transport, second-worst air quality and is one of most dangerous to walk and cycle, study of 13 EU cities reveals London is trailing behind other major European capitals in its effort to create a clean, affordable and safe transport system, according to a new report. The study of 13 EU cities found London has the second worst air quality after Moscow, as well as the most expensive public transport and the highest number of cycling accidents. Continue reading...
05/21/2018 - 15:15
Ocean Leadership ~ On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $62.5 billion Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill for FY 2019. While I referenced available numbers last week (proposed increases for NSF and NASA, a decrease for NOAA), the detailed committee report was released just prior to Thursday’s full committee markup and indicates that many of the eliminations and reductions proposed in the president’s budget request were not included in the House bill. Notably, Sea Grant, the National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management funding, and NOS competitive research were not terminated, and IOOS funding was increased by 7 percent (rather than receiving the 44 percent cut proposed by the president). The bill also includes support for three regional class research vessels for NSF to replace the aging academic fleet. You can find more details in our write-up below and on our funding charts. Speaking of funding, a few weeks ago, I talked about how sustained federal investment is needed to keep the NOSB from coming to an end after more than two decades. Help us show Congress and the federal ocean agencies the value of the NOSB and the need to recommit to funding ocean science education. Please sign and share this letter—your voice matters! Member Highlight IoT, Data Visualization Warn Coastal Residents about Flooding The sound of the ocean waves may be relaxing when you are on a beach vacation, but for coastal communities dealing with increasing risks of flooding rising water can be costly and dangerous. The StormSense project, spearheaded by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, uses Esri ArcGIS server and software to provide visual flood model forecasts, and then is shared with emergency management services. The project combines IoT sensors, cloud systems, predictive analytics modeling, and data visualization mapping to predict flooding impacts and deliver warnings to residents in the Virginia Beach area. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 05-21-2018 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
05/21/2018 - 14:43
For decades, scientists have conducted research centered around the five major mass extinctions that have shaped the world we live in. The extinctions date back more than 450 million years with the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction to the deadliest extinction, the Late Permian extinction 250 million years ago that wiped out over 90 percent of species.
05/21/2018 - 14:00
Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity’s surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet. The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds. Continue reading...
05/21/2018 - 12:49
Ocean Leadership ~ From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was The House Appropriations Committee held a markup on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 commerce, justice, and science (CJS) appropriations bill, which passed with some bipartisan support. Why It Matters Ensuring our nation’s security and prosperity relies in part on education, scientific discovery, competitive advantage, abundant resources, regulations and legal structure, and a healthy population. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2019 allocates federal funding to programs that promote Americans safety (e.g., weather forecasting, law enforcement), health (e.g., seafood management, toxic algae monitoring), and well-being (e.g., resource transportation, technology innovation, prohibiting counterfeit goods). Key Points Members of the House Appropriations Committee spent over four hours debating the FY 2019 spending bill that would fund several key science agencies National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as others in the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Justice. Several amendments were offered ranging from immigration and census questionnaire to gun control and climate change. Democrats offered three amendments related to ocean science and research but withdrew them all as part of an agreement with Republicans to work together to incorporate the concepts before the House floor vote. NSF The committee rejected Trump’s budget recommendation to slash NSF funding by 11 percent by increasing topline funding by 5 percent. The committee’s funding proposal ($8.174 billion) is $407 million above FY 2018 levels ($5 million above the president’s budget request). The ocean science, technology, and education community will be glad to see a number of items in the  appropriations bill, including NSF’s Research and Related Activities (R&RA) funding proposal ($6,652 billion) increased $317 million above FY 2018, and $501 million above the president’s request; report language directing NSF’s Geosciences Program to continue to support and enhance its new program with NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research; and Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) funding ($268 million) proposed to have an almost 50 percent boost over current funding levels ($173 million over the president’s budget request), including $127 million “for the construction of three RCRVs required to replace aging academic research vessels.” The committee believes that the investment they have provided in NSF shows their “support of science, the academic community, and the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, and engineers across the country.” The Committee underscored “the importance of basic research that both improves the lives of Americans and expands our understanding of the Earth, the depths of our oceans, our Solar System, the Universe, and oceans on other planets” through this funding. Additionally, the committee reiterated the abstracts and national interest component of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (Public Law 114–329) and directed NSF to implement those actions. House appropriators highlighted their support of “infrastructure investments that expand our understanding of the universe and inspire students to pursue careers in the sciences,” while attempting to balance the needs of current and future large scientific facilities with the wise administration of such a large investment of federal resources. To this end, they directed NSF to allocate “no less than fiscal year 2018 levels to support its existing research laboratories, observational networks, and other research infrastructure assets, including the astronomy assets, the current academic research fleet, federally funded research and development centers, and the national high performance computing centers, so they may provide the support needed for cutting edge research.” NOAA FY 2019 funding for NOAA showcases the committee’s prioritization of weather forecasting, ocean exploration, weather research, and fisheries management. While topline funding ($5.158 billion) falls 14 percent short of current FY 2018 levels ($6.001 billion), the proposal is nearly $600 million more than the president’s budget request. Many of the cuts fall to NESDIS and OMAO. The ocean science, technology, and education community saw evidence that the House is listening. Many organizations, individuals, and institutions have weighed in with Congress urging them to reject the draconian cuts and termination of programs proposed by the Trump administration. The committee rejected the president’s proposed elimination of many programs, including the Sea Grant program, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management Grant, NOS competitive research as well as reductions to ocean acidification research and the Integrated Ocean Observation System. Additionally, we are pleased that the committee highlights their support of extramural research through report language – “The Committee continues to believe that NOAA benefits from collaboration with academia and the private sector through cooperative institutes and competitive research.” NASA The committee prioritized space research and exploration in their proposed FY 2019 funding for NASA ($21.545 billion), stating they “believe that additional investment is needed to maintain American leadership in space exploration and science, and for NASA to successfully execute all of its activities and missions.” This translates to NASA’s Science Mission allocation of $6.681 billion ($459 million above FY 2018 and $786 million above the president’s request). Across NASA, the committee directs the agency to prioritize the activities outlined in the decadal surveys for Earth Science, Planetary Science, Astrophysics, and Heliophysics.  For the ocean community, the Earth Science Mission Directorate sees a small reduction (1 percent below FY 2018). The committee reiterated its support for the National Academy of Sciences Earth Science and Applications from Space Decadal Survey report and directs NASA to implement its findings. Quotable “From encouraging scientific innovation to supporting economic development, to enforcing laws and fighting crimes, the commerce, justice, science bill provides funding for programs that make our nation safer, stronger, and more prosperous.” – Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) “The funding that is provided for [NOAA’s] coastal grant program is not adequate to support the more than 30 coastal states and U.S. territories that are really struggling to address the challenges [of sea level rise].” – Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-6) “This bill supports critical medical and scientific research so that we’re able to tackle the economic and technological challenges of the digital age. Additionally, it continues NASA’s record-level funding, setting the agency on the trajectory to rise above and beyond the glory days of Apollo.” – Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson (TX-7) “We need NOAA to be more robust, to be smarter— to cut $751 million is not in the national interest.” – Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) Next Steps The bill will now head to the house floor for vote. The Senate has scheduled a markup of their CJS appropriations bill for the week of 11 June. Congress has until September 30 to pass identical bills through both chambers and be signed into law. Find Out More Watch the full hearing Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership Detailed funding tables are available on the COL’s policy documents webpage and on the science funding webpage Draft House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Includes Increases For NSF And NASA And Cuts For NOAA Congress Concerned About President’s Proposed Cuts For NOAA In FY 2019 Budget Questions For Commerce Omnibus Spending Bill A Win For Ocean Sciences Investments In Ocean Science and Technology That Underpin Our Nation’s Security Left Out Of President’s Budget Trump’s 2019 Budget Released Focus on Justice, Not Climate Science, In House Commerce, Justice, and Science Bill — Which Drastically Cuts NOAA Funding Earth Science Given “Low Priority” Status In House Appropriations Bill That Would Also Reduce NOAA Funding? Skinny Science Budget: Not a Good Model Senate Appropriators Find Science Funding Appropriate Sea Grant Supports A Culture Of Success The post CJS Appropriations Bill Favoring NASA Space Science Flies Towards House Floor appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
05/21/2018 - 12:42
Clothes moths | Salvator Mundi | The Four Counties Ring | Liam Rosenior | Roman Abramovich Oh no: an article about how we can be kind to insects (G2, 21 May). Does this go for clothes moths too? They have just eaten through my only ever cashmere sweater. When he sees them, my husband says: “It’s no use killing them – I should torture them and ask where they are coming from.” The Indian tapestry, I suspect. What do they eat in the wild? Is our house “the wild” for them? Do I have to be kind to them?Margaret SquiresSt Andrews, Fife • If Noah Charney wishes to include the recently sold Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo, in his forthcoming book (Raiders of the lost art, G2, 21 May), he should first look at the many representations of the same subject by Bernardino Luini, in all of which the same error in the depiction of the sphere is made. Luini was a painter from Leonardo’s circle and worked in a similar idiom.Deirdre ToomeyLondon Continue reading...
05/21/2018 - 11:57
Up to 10 provinces, mostly in west of country, affected by mass fungi poisoning At least 11 people have reportedly died in Iran after eating toxic mushrooms. Emergency services in up to 10 provinces, mostly in the west of the country, reported that more than 800 people had become ill after mushroom poisoning and scores had been taken to hospital. It is unclear what kind of mushroom those affected had eaten. Continue reading...