'First hint' of a puzzling change in Southern Ocean revealed by CSIRO

Researchers aboard an Australian ship undertaking pioneering work in the Southern Ocean have found the "first hint" of a shift in a decades-long trend towards fresher, less dense water off Antarctica. Teams of scientists on the RV Investigator have been profiling the salinity and temperature of water between Tasmania and Antarctica at 108 locations. Dr Steve Rintoul, chief scientist of the RV Investigator voyage, with one of the deep-sea floats. Photo: Peter Mathew They also released the first batch of deep Argot floats to measure conditions as deep as 4000 metres. But it is the early analysis of data on salinity in the so-called bottom waters near the seabed that may stir international debate. "Every time we've measured since the 1970s, [bottom water's] been becoming lighter and fresher," Steve Rintoul, the voyage chief scientist, told Fairfax Media on Monday as the ship took its final ocean profile. "We’ve got the first hint...
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New desalination technology turns the world’s oceans into unlimited lithium mine (+drinking water)

You know that argument that comes up when someone sees your electric car and says something like, “it is way worse to mine lithium needed for batteries than oil and what happens when the lithium runs out? I saw a Meme on the internet  so I know it is true.”  Well… Run your house off your car and an inverter Fun fact: The earth’s ocean water is full of lithium salts and getting at it will simply be a byproduct of desalinating drinking water from seawater. This process is growing by leaps and bounds, especially as climate change is putting cities like Capetown in water crisis . Sure there are downsides to desalination like scooping up marine life and the incredible energy it takes to produce fresh water as well as what to do with the byproducts. But these are solvable problems, especially as freshwater is dumped into our oceans...
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Queen bans plastic straws and bottles on royal estates after David Attenborough documentary

1/48 13 February 2018 England and Durham cricketer Ben Stokes, 26, leaving Bristol Magistrates' Court, where he was told he will face a crown court trial over an altercation outside a nightclub PA 2/48 12 February 2018 Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meets with local party supporters and residents in Penicuik, Midlothian, before speaking at a campaign rally at the town's Miners Welfare Hall PA 3/48 9 February 2018 Volunteers create a heart shaped collection of plastic bottles littering the foreshore of the River Thames at Queenhithe Dock in central London, in an event organised by the #OneLess campaign and Thames21 to draw attention to the impact that single-use plastic water bottles are having on the environment. PA 4/48 8 February 2018 Florist Hank Roling poses with a Vanda orchid during a press preview of the Thai Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens, London Getty 5/48 7 February 2018 A staff member...
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A Nearly Invisible Oil Spill Threatens Some of Asia’s Richest Fisheries

“This is an oil spill of a type we haven’t seen before,” said Paul Johnston, a scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter in England. “Working out the impact is actually a huge task — probably next to impossible.” For China, the disaster has become a test of its ambitions as a global and regional steward of the seas, especially at a time when it is reinforcing its territorial claims, including disputed territories with Japan in these waters. Given its proximity, China has taken the lead in investigating the disaster and monitoring the spill, but it has faced some criticism for what some see as a slow and inadequate response thus far. Officials in Beijing announced on Feb. 1 that samples of fish taken within four to five nautical miles of the sunken ship contained traces of petroleum hydrocarbons, suggesting possible condensate contamination; they pledged to expand...
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Finn Class launches sustainability and environmental objectives

by Robert Deaves 13 Feb 16:01 GMT Finn Class © Robert Deaves Finn Class © Robert Deaves To coincide with the start of the 2018 European sailing season, the Finn Class is pleased to announce the beginnings of an environmental and sustainability agenda that could impact on its events and sailors, and guide the class's own event strategy, in future years. The objectives are simple, minimise the impact of events on the local environment, and minimise the long-term impact of the sport on the global environment. At the moment this is purely a Finn Class Executive Committee proposal following a clear directive from the Finn Class Council at the 2017 AGM to make a proposal. The next stage is to take this to Council at the 2018 AGM, for discussion and hopefully, ratification. The new policy will encourage event organisers to adhere to the class's sustainability guidelines as well as...
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Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates

CLOSE Disputing the ice caps are melting, President Trump insists they're at a record level. He's right they're at a record, a record low. Nathan Rousseau Smith (@FantasticMrNate) explains. Buzz60 The Totten Glacier is the most rapidly thinning glacier in East Antarctica. (Photo: Australian Antarctic Division, AFP/Getty Images) Sea-level rise is accelerating around the world, thanks to ongoing melting of ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland, a new study suggests. At the current rate of melting, the world's seas will be at least 2 feet higher by the end of the century compared to today, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Such a rise could leave portions of the world’s coastal cities underwater. It would also increase high tides and worsen storm surges. "This acceleration ... has the potential to double the total sea level rise by 2100 as compared to projections that...
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25 Years of Satellite Data Uncover Alarming Error in Sea Level Measurements

T he Earth is changing in ways that could cause an actual mass extinction during our lifetimes. In recent years, scientists have made it abundantly clear that humans are driving climate change , but what they’ve only recently found out is how quickly we’re making the Earth more inhospitable. In a new study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they report that the rate at which the climate getting worse is actually increasing each year. In the paper , a team of climate researchers shows evidence that global sea levels are rising at an accelerating rate. Scientists previously thought that sea level rise was constant at 3 millimeters per year or even slowing, but this new study, first-authored by R. Steven Nerem , associate director of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, shows that the annual global average sea level rise has increased by about 0.08...
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Ozone layer continues to thin over Earth's populated areas

The ozone hole reached its largest size of the year on Oct. 2, 2015. (Photo: NASA) The ozone layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation continues to thin over populated areas of the world, a new study warns. Scientists say the layer is in better shape, however, over the North and South Poles. Ozone has been declining globally since the 1980s. While the banning of the chloroflourocarbons that cause the thinning is leading to a recovery at the poles, "the same does not appear to be true for the lower latitudes," study author Joanna Haigh of Imperial College in London said. Located in the stratosphere, the ozone layer blocks potentially harmful ultraviolet energy from reaching our planet's surface. Without it, humans and animals could experience increased rates of skin cancer and other ailments.  Scientists first discovered the dramatic thinning in Earth's protective sheet in the 1970s and determined the production...
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Earth's Greatest Extinction Event May Have Been Caused by Thinning Ozone

T he end-Permian extinction, also known as the Permian-Triassic extinction, is one of the greatest mysteries in the Earth’s entire history. Sure, the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, the one that (almost) wiped out all the dinosaurs , was bad, but it pales in comparison to the end-Permian extinction event . This mass extinction event, which began about 251.9 million years ago, wiped out over 90 percent of marine species and more than two-thirds of terrestrial species in about 500 thousand years. But aside from the theory that a massive volcanic eruption probably set this extinction event in motion, scientists don’t have a totally clear idea of what really happened on Earth during this event. Some tiny grains of evidence could change that, though. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, researchers from the Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley, provide...
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11 reasons to avoid supermarket seafood

Supermarkets may be convenient, but they just aren't the best place to shop for meat . And they may not be the best place to purchase seafood, either. Buy it from a reputable fishmonger if possible. If you don't live near a fishmonger, however, the supermarket seafood is probably safe. 11 Reasons to Avoid Supermarket Seafood Gallery We simply want to raise your awareness of a few factors that might influence your buying choices. We understand if you have no other option than to buy your fish at the supermarket; not everyone lives a short distance from a full-on fish market with knowledgeable fishmongers at the ready. The best consumer is an educated one, and when it comes to seafood, it pays to be educated. Do some research into the fish you're buying, and make your decisions based on what's sustainable, how it's caught or farmed, where it's from, and...
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