Environmental News November 1 to November 30, 2016

Quote for the week

"The care of the earth is our most ancient
 and most worthy and . . . most pleasing responsibility.
To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal,
is our only legitimate hope."
— Wendell Berry

2,300 Leading Scientists Send Trump A Clear Warning: We’re Watching You
Date: November 30, 2016
An open letter signed by America’s top minds hopes to counter the influence of climate change deniers and oil execs.
More than 2,300 scientists, including 22 Nobel Prize recipients, have a warning for Donald Trump: Respect science or prepare for a fight.
In an open letter Wednesday to the president-elect and Congress, scientists representing all 50 states called on the incoming administration to sufficiently fund scientific research as well as “support and rely on science as a key input for crafting public policy.”
Anything short of that, they stressed, is a direct threat to the health and safety of Americans and people around the world.
“The consequences are real: without this investment, children will be more vulnerable to lead poisoning, more people will be exposed to unsafe drugs and medical devices, and we will be less prepared to limit the impacts of increasing extreme weather and rising seas,” the letter reads. 
Read more here.

How did this Japanese theme park try to create the feel of the ocean?
Date: November 29, 2016
By: South China Morning Post
An amusement part in southwestern Japan has closed its ice-skating rink after public outrage over the rinks key feature: 5,000 dead fish frozen into the ice itself.
Read more here.

Earth Has Huge Ocean 620 Miles Under the Surface: If it Dries, Life will End!
Date: November 29, 2016
By: Sam D, Science world report
It is a known fact that water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, and now researchers have found that there is also a massive reservoir of water inside the planet. Water is present at a greater depth in Earth than previously believed.
Read more here.

Producing Wind Energy in the Ocean, no Turbines in Sight
Date: November 29, 2016
By: Ben Schiller, fastcoexist.com
Accio Energy gets its name from the Harry Potter series, where an “accio” spell summons something to a character (a broomstick, for instance). In the open ocean, Accio Energy summons something almost as powerful as one of Harry’s charms: the physics of a thunderstorm.
Read more here.

Toxic ‘Marine Snow’ Can Sink Quickly, Persist At Ocean Depths
Date: November 28, 2016
By: North Carolina State University
A specific neurotoxin can persist and accumulate in “marine snow” formed by the algae Pseudo-nitzschia, and this marine snow can reach significant depths quickly, report investigators.
Read more here.

We are the walruses! Stunning pictures show mass gathering of the marine mammals piled on top of each other on a Russian beach
Date: November 27, 2016
By: Thomas Burrows for Mailonline
These breathtaking photos show an incredible gathering of walrus piled on top of each other on a shore facing Alaska. The sight of Walrus at Chukotka is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of sea ice as the climate has warmed.
Read more here.

SpaceX to launch ocean-monitoring NASA satellite in 2021
Date: November 25, 2016
By: Nick Summer, engadget
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been awarded a new contract to launch a NASA satellite in 2021. NASA will conduct “the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water,” taking detailed recordings that should explain how our oceans change over time.
Read more here.

Researchers Ask Important Questions on What Happens to Oil after a Spill
Date: November 22, 2016
By: Wiley, AlphaGalileo
Very little is known about what happens to oil in the ocean after an oil spill and what happens to it once a chemical dispersant has been applied. New research summarizes what is known and what important knowledge gaps remain.
Read more here.

How to monitor global ocean warming – without harming whales
Date: November 21, 2016
By: Hannah Hickey, University of Washington
Most of the head trapped by human generated emissions is ending up in the oceans. But tracking the temperature of the world’s oceans to monitor the change is trickier than it might seem. Now an oceanographer has proposed a method to cheaply monitor temperature throughout the depths of the world’s oceans without harming marine mammals.
Read more here.

Microalgae create green fuel, reduce food insecurity
Date: November 21, 2016
By: Blaine Friedlander, Cornell Chronicle
Taken from the bottom of the marine food chain, microalgae may soon become a top-tier contender to combat global warming, climate change, and good insecurity.
Read more here.

Climate Warming and Melting Sea Ice Impacts on Arctic Whales
Date: November 17, 2016
By: Gisele Galoustian, Florida Atlantic University
FAU Harbor Branch study shows the relationship between changing sea ice and beluga whale migration and habitat patters of several populations over two decades of dramatic sea ice changes in the Pacific Arctic.
Read more here.

Sportswear companies make fashion statement out of ocean trash
Date: November 14, 2016
By: Taylor Hill, the CSMonitor
This month, Adidas is selling shoes made mostly of plastic collected off the coast of the Maldives, and a swimsuit line from Volcom is largely made from recycled nylon materials, including abandoned fishing nets.
Read more here.

Try to Wrap Your Head Around How Mind-Bendingly Deep the Ocean Is
Date: November 14, 2016
By Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics
Less than one measly percent of all the known shipwrecks in the world have actually been explored. There are a whole multitude of reasons for this but not the lease among them is that the ocean is unfathomably huge. Not only does it cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface, it also stretches far further down than anything on dry land stretches up. Do you understand the real magnitude of this?
Read more here.

Ocean Conservation Series Coming to Animal Planet
Date: November 13, 2016
By: Andrew R. Chow, New York Times
Robert Redford and Paul Allen are the executive producers of a new Animal Planet series on ocean conservation. Entitled “Ocean Warriors,” the series traces activists, journalists and scientists working to fight poachers and organized crime in oceans across the globe.
Read more here.

Why Do Seabirds Eat Plastic? The Answer Stinks
Date: November 9, 2016
By: Kat Kerlin, UC Davis
If it smells like food, and looks like food, it must be food, right? Not in the case of ocean-faring birds that are sometimes found with bellies full of plastic. But very little research examines why birds make the mistake of eating plastic in the first place.
Read more here.

Study Finds Major Ocean Current is Widening As Climate Warms
Date: November 9, 2016
By: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
A new study found that the Indian Ocean’s Agulhas Current is getting wider rather than strengthening. The findings, which have important implications for global climate change, suggest that intensifying winds in the region may be increasing the turbulence of the current, rather than increasing its flow rate.
Read more here.

Coastal cities at risk from rapid sea-level rise with warming above two degrees
Date: November 8, 2016
By: National Oceanography Centre
The first predictions of coastal sea level with warming of two degrees by 2040show an average rate of increase three times higher than the 20th century rate of sea level rise, report scientists.
Read more here.

The global climate 2011-2015: hot and wild
Date: November 8, 2016
By: World Meteorological Organization
The World Meteorological Organization has published a detailed analysis of the global climate 2011-2015 – the hottest five-year period on record – and the increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts.
Read more here.

New Understanding of Rip Currents Could Help to Save Lives
Date: November 7, 2016
By: University of Southampton
A new link between breaking waves and the hazard posed by rip currents has been uncovered by a new study. The research could result in more lives being saves, say authors.
Read more here.

Justin Trudeau announces $1.5B ocean protection plan
Date: November 7, 2016
By: CBC News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the governments $1.5 billion ocean protection plan in Vancouver today for responses to tanker and fuel spills in the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
Read more here.

My contribution to Arctic sea ice melt
Date: November 4, 2016
By: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Measurements reveal the relationship between individual CO2 emissions and the Arctic’s shrinking summer sea ice. For each ton of carbon dioxide that any person on our planet emits, three square meters of Arctic summer sea ice disappear.
Read more here.

Bioluminescence Breakthrough
Date: November 2, 2016
By: Karen B. Roberts, University of Delaware
100 feet below the surface of the ocean is a critical depth for ecological activity in the Arctic polar night – a period of near continuous winter darkness. There, atmospheric light diminishes and bioluminescence from marine organisms become the dominant light source.
Read more here.

WHOI study reveals previously unknown component of whale songs
Date: November 2, 2016
By: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, EurekAlert
Researchers have known for decades that whales create elaborate songs, sometimes projecting their calls for miles underwater. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, however, has revealed a previously unknown element of whale songs that could aid this mode of communication, and may play a pivotal role in locating other whales in open ocean.
Read more here.

West Coast record low snowpack in 2015 influenced by high temperature
Date: November 1, 2016
By: Oregon State University
The western-most region of the continental United States sets records for low snowpack levels in 2015 and scientists, through a new study, point the finger at high temperatures, not the low precipitation characteristic of past “snow drought” years.
Read more here.

Will new agreement to protect marine life be a success?
Date: October 28, 2016
By: Al Jazeera
Twenty-four countries and the European Union signed a historic agreement to protect ocean life near Antarctica. The agreement covers more than 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean.
Read more here.

Arctic Found to Play Unexpectedly Large Role in Removing Nitrogen
Date: October 26, 2016
Areas of the Arctic play a larger role than previously thought in the global nitrogen cycle – the process responsible for keeping a critical element necessary for life flowing between the atmosphere, the land and oceans.
Read more here.