Do the Australian fires impact the ocean? You bet they do.
Extinct – Chinese Paddlefish once swam alongside dinosaurs, grew up to 23 feet long, now gone. And more…
Read more from “Save Save Foundation”
Humanity has driven the Chinese paddlefish, one of the world’s largest freshwater species, to extinction, according to a new study. The Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) lived in the Yangtze River in China and could grow up to 23 feet long. The last known sighting of the species, named for its long, paddle-like snout, was in 2003, Mongabay reports. There is one other living species of paddlefish, native to North America. “Given that the Chinese paddlefish was one of the two extant species of paddlefishes, loss of such unique and charismatic megafauna representative of freshwater ecosystems is a reprehensible and an irreparable loss,” Qiwei Wei, co-author of the study, told Mongabay.
3. Earth posts second-hottest year on record to close out our warmest decade
The planet registered its second-hottest year on record in 2019, capping off a five-year period that ranks as the warmest such span in recorded history. In addition, the 2010s will go down in history as the planet’s hottest decade, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), a science initiative of the European Union. The service, which monitors global surface temperatures, determined Earth last year was a full degree warmer (0.6 Celsius) than the 1981-2010 average. This data provides the first comprehensive global look at the state of the climate in 2019, with U.S. agencies such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expected to announce similar results next week.
4. New study links daily weather patterns to climate change for first time
Scientists have for the first time linked human-induced climate change and global daily weather patterns in a new study. The report, released Thursday in Nature Climate Change, could mark a transformation in long-held beliefs about the separation between daily weather and long-term climate change. The study also suggests that measurements analyzing humankind’s role in producing incidents such as heatwaves and floods could underestimate the contribution people make to such extreme weather events. The study concludes that patterns of global temperature and humidity have human factors and are distinct from natural variability. It also determines that the long-term rise in global average temperature can be predicted with one day’s weather information worldwide.
The Trump administration has the highest number of unfunded construction projects at major hazardous waste sites of the last 15 years, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the holidays. The figures released by the agency focus on projects at Superfund sites, highlighting a backlog of work designed to clean up dangerous contamination. In 2019, the EPA did not have funding to begin work on 34 Superfund sites, a number more than 50 percent above the highest figures from the Obama administration.
Exposure to underwater pile driving noise, which can be associated with the construction of docks, piers, and offshore wind farms, causes squid to exhibit strong alarm behaviors, according to a study by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers published Dec. 19, 2019, in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. “This study is the first to report behavioral effects of pile driving noise on any cephalopod, a group including squid, cuttlefish, and octopuses,” says lead author Ian Jones, a student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography.
Several environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming several agencies in the Trump administration have failed to protect green sea turtle habitat as required by the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, says the turtles’ nesting beaches in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as their ocean habitat, face threats from sea-level rise brought on by climate change and plastic pollution, according to a news release from the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the plaintiffs.