Breaking Waves: Ocean News

02/22/2019 - 08:39
Exclusive: birds and eggs from 70 species, some rare, have been licensed for destruction The government’s conservation watchdog has issued licences to destroy 170,000 wild birds, eggs and nests, including rare and declining species such as curlews and swifts, in the past five years. Natural England has given permission to kill birds of more than 70 species, or have their nests and eggs destroyed. These include peregrine falcons, barn owls, buzzards and red kites, alongside garden favourites such as robins, blackbirds and blue tits. A licence was even issued to destroy a wrens’ nest to “preserve public safety” in South Yorkshire. Continue reading...
02/22/2019 - 08:31
A cold, wet March could prove problematic for animals now out of hibernation Early spring: share your photographs and stories Spring is arriving early with swallows, frogspawn and unexpected perfume as temperatures soar up to 20C above this time last year when Britain was blasted by the “beast from the east”. Rooks are nesting, ladybirds are mating and dozens of migratory swallows have been spotted along the south-west coast – more than a month ahead of their normal arrival. Continue reading...
02/22/2019 - 02:00
Informed students are prompting adults to act on the issue I draw three circles on the board as my class watches. “So, what might this gas be?” Continue reading...
02/22/2019 - 02:00
In part two of our series, indigenous Siona people claim their health is being affected by apparent contamination of river María Isaura Cuaran, an indigenous Siona woman, is displaying a rash that has appeared at the base of her neck. It is barely visible, but there nonetheless. Pulling her turquoise top off her left shoulder and tugging down on her bead necklace, Cuaran talks about “the company” and how, she alleges, it has affected the local river. “Stomach problems, coughing, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, welts, little spots, little blotches, general malaise …” Continue reading...
02/22/2019 - 02:00
National cycle crime strategy set to launch after survey finds 50% of victims feel police don’t take the offence seriously For many people a bicycle is the only transport they can afford and the only exercise they get. These people are often among society’s most vulnerable, and the impact of the loss of their bike can be devastating. So why is cycle theft so often seen as a minor crime? According to the police, 96,210 bikes were stolen in 2018, and about one in 50 bicycle-owning households are victims of cycle theft each year, but it’s a crime disproportionately visited on the young and the poor. Continue reading...
02/21/2019 - 18:05
Plants, insects and organisms crucial to food production in steep decline, says UN The world’s capacity to produce food is being undermined by humanity’s failure to protect biodiversity, according to the first UN study of the plants, animals and micro-organisms that help to put meals on our plates. The stark warning was issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation after scientists found evidence the natural support systems that underpin the human diet are deteriorating around the world as farms, cities and factories gobble up land and pump out chemicals. Continue reading...
02/21/2019 - 15:20
Park safety director alleges buckets of uranium sat near exhibit for almost 20 years, but interior department says there’s no risk For almost 20 years, workers and visiting schoolchildren at a Grand Canyon museum may have been unknowingly exposed to radiation from three buckets of uranium sitting next to a taxidermy exhibit, according to allegations from a National Park Service safety director. The whistleblower says officials learned about the buckets last year and tried to hide the revelation, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper. This month, Elston “Swede” Stephenson emailed all park staff and brought the matter to the attention of the head of the interior department, which oversees the park service, and the agency’s internal watchdog. Continue reading...
02/21/2019 - 11:05
Nitrogen fixation is surprisingly high in the ocean's coastal waters and may play a larger role than expected in carbon dioxide uptake, a new study shows. The findings -- based on thousands of samples collected in the western North Atlantic -- upend prevailing theories about where and when nitrogen fixation occurs, and underscore the need for scientists to revisit the global distribution of marine nitrogen fixation and reevaluate its role in the coastal carbon cycle.
02/21/2019 - 09:00
Biologists discover single female Wallace’s giant bee inside a termites’ nest in a tree As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee, Wallace’s giant bee is not exactly inconspicuous. But after going missing, feared extinct, for 38 years, the world’s largest bee has been rediscovered on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. Continue reading...
02/21/2019 - 05:56
Centrica says it will take £300m hit on cap on energy bills and lowers 2019 cashflow outlook The owner of British Gas, Centrica, lost about three-quarters of a million customers last year and warned it will take a £300m hit from the government’s price cap on energy bills. Shares in Britain’s biggest energy company dropped more than 10% after the company lowered its cashflow outlook for 2019, leading investors to fear Centrica’s dividend could be cut. Continue reading...