Breaking Waves: Ocean News

05/13/2021 - 10:00
Research says discharge of untreated sewage and wastewater during dry spells to blame Water companies are causing high levels of microplastic contamination in UK rivers by discharging untreated sewage and wastewater into the water system, new research reveals. As pressure builds on water companies, the Environment Agency and ministers to tackle the way water firms release untreated effluent into rivers, scientists have for the first time linked the practice to microplastic pollution. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 09:28
Move comes after campaign by New Forest national park authority in wake of fire in Wareham Forest last May Disposable barbecues have been banned across a swath of open countryside in Hampshire and Dorset after a campaign led by the New Forest national park authority. The move to ban the sale of disposable barbecues began last May in the wake of a catastrophic fire in Wareham Forest, Dorset, which burned slow worms and lizards alive and damaged more than 200 hectares (500 acres) of the site of special scientific interest. The fire was thought to have been caused by a disposable barbecue or a campfire. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 08:09
Colonial pipeline carries 100m gallons per day of gas and diesel Widespread fuel shortages across east coast in wake of attack The top US fuel pipeline on Thursday moved some of the first millions of gallons of motor fuels after a six-day outage following a crippling cyber-attack led to fuel shortages across east coast states. Related: Liz Cheney refuses to rule out run for president in bid to thwart Trump Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 06:00
In states like Kansas, energy companies want to impose charges on people who produce their own power with rooftop arrays Kevin Good is the president of a small solar power company in Kansas – a state that tends to be so sunny you’d think he’d have it made. “I got into solar at maybe the worst point to do so in the last 50 years,” said Good, who runs Good Energy Solutions in Lawrence, a town of about 100,000. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 05:00
Undocumented immigrants are doing the backbreaking farm work that keeps the US food system running but struggle to feed their families Photographs by Encarni Pindado In the piercing midday heat of southern Texas, farmhand Linda Villarreal moves methodically to weed row after row of parsley, rising only occasionally to stretch her achy back and nibble on sugary biscuits she keeps in her pockets. In the distance, a green and white border patrol truck drives along the levy beside the towering steel border wall. For this backbreaking work, Villareal is paid $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage since 2009, with no benefits. She takes home between $300 and $400 a week depending on the amount of orders from the bodegas – packaging warehouses which supply the country’s supermarkets with fruits and vegetables harvested by crews of undocumented mostly Mexican farmworkers. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 04:58
Indonesia’s capital Jakarta – plagued by pollution, flooding and heatwaves – tops risk assessment ranking Of the 100 cities worldwide most vulnerable to environmental hazards all but one are in Asia, and 80% are in India or China, according to a risk assessment. More than 400 large cities with a total population of 1.5 billion are at “high” or “extreme” risk because of a mix of life-shortening pollution, dwindling water supplies, deadly heatwaves, natural disasters and the climate emergency, the report found. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 04:45
Officials on Vancouver Island say at least 100 trees have been illegally chopped down, leaving one stump with a face carved into it Two tree stumps signaled to Larry Pynn that something was wrong. Jutting from a mossy forest floor in western Canada, the fresh stumps were the final remnants of two western red cedars that had been chopped down by chainsaw. Nearby, a set of deep tire tracks ran for nearly a kilometer in the mud before terminating at the main road. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 02:50
NSW government lodges emergency request to deploy powerful bait currently outlawed for use in fields Leading rodent experts say they “aren’t convinced” a new poison spruiked by the New South Wales government as “napalm” for mice will significantly impact the state’s plague, and warn it comes at a vastly higher risk of killing native and domestic animals. Rodents are still running rampant across large tracts of inland NSW and southern Queensland, costing some farmers more than $100,000 in destroyed crops and damage to stored hay and grain. Cases of leptospirosis – a potentially deadly disease that can transfer from mice to humans – have almost doubled in Queensland this year, with health authorities citing the increased rodent numbers as a possible cause. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 00:00
While its doors have been closed to the public, scientists have been busy digitising its vast archive – from 100-year-old insects to rare minerals The main exhibition room at the Natural History Museum in London is cathedral-like, with Hope the blue whale suspended mid-air like a demigod. Filled with specimens collected by explorers, this remarkable place teaches us about the evolution of life on our planet. There is a “great unlocking” happening in this building, home to one of the world’s largest natural history collections. Insects on pins and old minerals that have been sitting in mahogany display cases for hundreds of years are being re-examined, digitised and brought into the 21st century. Continue reading...
05/13/2021 - 00:00
Toxic chemicals known as PFAS found in all 50 samples tested at levels nearly 2,000 times what is considered safe in drinking water A new study that checked American women’s breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water. The findings “are cause for concern” and highlight a potential threat to newborns’ health, the study’s authors say. Continue reading...