Nature

6 Reasons Why This Week’s ‘Our Ocean’ Conference In Malta Was So Important

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World leaders, EU representatives and the Prince of Wales were among those attending The Our Ocean conference is a major annual event aimed at encouraging countries and businesses to make concrete commitments to protect the marine environment. David Grech Urpani  Lovin Malta This year, it was Malta’s turn to host the global summit for its fourth edition, and very important points were raised. Among leaders from more than 100 nations and a large number of local and international NGOs in attendance, ... Read More »

Monsanto banned from European parliament

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MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller Arthur Nelsen The Guardian Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or ... Read More »

Why India’s farmers want to conserve indigenous heirloom rice

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India was once home to 100,000 rice varieties, but high-yield, less hardy hybrids have taken over encouraging farmers to safeguard more resistant strains Chitrangada Choudhury The Guardian India is rice country: the cereal provides daily sustenance for more than 60% of the population. Half a century ago, it was home to more than 100,000 ricevarieties, encompassing a stunning diversity in taste, nutrition, pest-resistance and, crucially in this age of climate change and natural disasters, adaptability to a range of conditions. Today, much of this biodiversity is ... Read More »

Cassini crashes into Saturn — but could still deliver big discoveries

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Data from spacecraft could help determine the age of Saturn’s rings and the persistence of its magnetic field Alexandra Witze Nature At 4:55 a.m. California time on 15 September, hundreds of scientists watched their life’s work go up in flames. The Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in Saturn’s atmosphere in a mission-ending move meant to keep the probe from contaminating the planet’s moons, including Titan and Enceladus, that could harbor signs of… Cassini’s final images, transmitted in the hours before its death, included ... Read More »

Pope Francis slams ‘stupid’ climate change deniers

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Pontiff calls on politicians to take scientists’ advice as he raises alarm over global warming after major storms. Al Jazeera and news agencies Pope Francis has sharply criticised climate change deniers as “stupid” in the wake of a spate of powerful hurricanes that have wreaked havoc in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. “Those who deny it [climate change] should go to the scientists and ask them,” the pontiff said on Monday during an in-flight press conference on the return leg of ... Read More »

The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court

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It is possible to determine which nations and companies are responsible for damaging the climate. It’s only a matter of time before courts decide they must pay for global warming. Editorial The Guardian Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate ... Read More »

Master plan to protect sea

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HÀ NỘI — A master plan on the use of Việt Nam’s sea is being built by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, a necessary move according to experts. Viet Nam News The plan will map out sea-based socio-economic activities until 2035 in line with integrated management of sea and island resources and environment. It focuses on marine environment and resources, the value of marine ecosystems and appropriate exploitation of the sea. The plan is being built in accordance ... Read More »

Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us

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The victims of Hurricane Harvey have a murderer—and it’s not the storm. Mark Hertsgaard The Nation The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands in late August were heartbreaking—but also infuriating. How many times must we see this disaster movie—titled Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, along with many lesser-known foreign releases—before we intervene and change the ending? And how long before we hold the ultimate authors of such climate catastrophes accountable ... Read More »

EU Commission bans Baltic Sea eel fishing, while increasing quotas for herring and salmon

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The European Commission proposes a decrease for the Baltic fishing opportunities by 7% compared to 2017, offering a highly differentiated proposal by the type of fishery for 2018. Irene Kostaki NewEurope The proposal, which is a part of a long-term approach, aims to adjust and maintain the level of fishing at long-term sustainable levels, ensuring a stable fishing pressure, higher quotas and hence an improved income for fishermen and their families. Decisions taken on the Baltic fishing opportunities over the ... Read More »

Participation in the Seoul International Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

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The Cyprus Institute and the Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre will feature data and research on the challenges facing cities in MENA nations at an upcoming exhibition in South Korea. Future Earth This page will be updated following the opening weeks of the Biennale. The Cyprus Institute (CyI) and the Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre will participate in the upcoming Seoul International Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in South Korea. ... Read More »

Eclipse tests the power grid’s mettle as solar energy goes dark

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The total eclipse of the sun Monday is expected to prompt fossil fuel generators to ramp up quickly to fill in the gaps as solar power goes dark from Oregon to the… John Siciliano Washington Examiner  Grid operators and watchdogs say the biggest effects from the loss of solar-generated electricity will occur in California, which represents 40 percent of the nation’s solar… Other states expected to be especially hit by the loss of solar include North Carolina, Utah, and… For ... Read More »

Researchers at UNH help National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map sea floor

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DURHAM – Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are working with employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to map the sea floor. So far, between 10 and 11 percent of the sea floor is mapped. Plans are to have the entire floor mapped by 2030. NH1.com Larry Mayer, who is a co-director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and Joint Hydrographic Center at UNH, said the primary reason for sea floor mapping is for safety ... Read More »

Elephant and tiger attacks highlight India’s wildlife conflict

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Members of the Paharia tribe living in the upper hill regions of India’s Jharkhand state have been spending sleepless nights. A marauding elephant has trampled at least 15 local people to death in the past few months. Anbarasan Ethirajan BBC Further north, villagers living around the Pilibhit Tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh are up in arms after three people were killed by a tiger within a week. At least 16 people have been killed in tiger attacks near the reserve ... Read More »

Treaty to enable high seas marine protected areas takes step forward

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The NZ deep sea trawler West Bay does a fast turn after hauling its catch from international waters in the Tasman Sea. Greenpeace  along with more than a thousand scientists are supporting the call for a moratorium  on high seas bottom trawling, because of the vast amount of marine life that is destroyed by this fishing method.
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The United Nations has advanced a step closer to an international treaty to protect marine life on the high seas, with an aim of setting up a mechanism for creating marine protected areas in areas beyond national jurisdictions. Aaron Orlowski SeafoodSource International waters outside countries’ exclusive economic zones make up 60 percent of the ocean and cover almost half of the surface of the earth. The waters are rife with marine life, including many threatened species, but are subject to ... Read More »

Microbeads ban: Government to outlaw microplastics in cosmetic products

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Any kind of ‘rinse-off’ personal care and cosmetic products are affected, but not ‘leave-on’ make-up or sunscreen after industry complaints about the cost Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent Independent The Government is to go ahead with a ban on “rinse-off” plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products following a public consultation, it has announced. The proposal comes amid increasing evidence that tiny plastic particles are damaging marine life and could even pose a serious risk to human… Microbeads ban: Government… Read More »

Politics podcast: Anna Krien on the climate wars

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Melbourne-born author Anna Krien’s latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting. Michelle Grattan The Conversation She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into “climate change nihilism”. Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a… Politics podcast: Anna… Read More »