“Advances in Atmospheric Sciences” publishes data showing 2018 hottest record, Antarctica cleaving gigatons of ice, CITES unveil proposals for 2019 conference, DOW moves to fight plastic waste, Florida red tide devastates sea turtle population, and much more…
Antarctica is hurling its guts into the ocean. And it’s happening six times faster now than it was even four decades ago. The southern, frozen continent lost an average of 252 gigatons of ice a year to the sea between 2009 and 2017. Between 1979 and 1990, it lost an average of just 40 gigatons per year. That means that ice loss on Antarctica has accelerated by 6.3 times in just four decades, according to new research published yesterday (Jan. 14) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dow Chemical Co. is forming a global alliance with 30 other companies to focus on reducing plastic waste that ends up in the oceans and the environment. The global nonprofit called the Alliance to End Plastic Waste includes companies like Dow, Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp. along with Proctor & Gamble Co., Chevron Corp. and others. They plan to finance the work with $1 billion and a goal of raising $1.5 billion over the next five years.
5. Desalination Pours more Toxic Brine into the Ocean than Previously Thought
7. New Orca Calf Seen Among Puget Sound’s Critically Endangered Killer Whales
9. Marine mammals and sea turtles recovering after Endangered Species Act protection
More than three-quarters of marine mammal and sea turtle populations have significantly increased after listing of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), according to a study published January 16 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Abel Valdivia of the Center for Biological Diversity in California, and colleagues. The recovered animals were those that were protected for 20 years or more. The findings suggest that conservation measures such as tailored species management and fishery regulations, in addition to other national and international measures, appear to have been largely successful in promoting species recovery, leading to the delisting of some species and to increases in most populations.
New research suggests that humpback whale populations in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are picking up musical ideas from one another, and incorporating the new phrases and themes into their songs. According to the study, published November 28, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Royal Society Open Science, humpback whale populations in different Southern Hemisphere ocean basins (the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans) sing similar song types, but the amount of similarity differs across years. This suggests that males from these two populations come into contact at some point in the year to hear and learn songs from each other.
The Key West City Commission on Tuesday unanimously voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain two ingredients — oxybenzone and octinoxate — that a growing body of scientific evidence says harm coral reefs.“This ordinance is just one other thing we can do to help improve and protect our water quality,” said Mill McCleary, of the nonprofit environmental protection group Reef Relief. The measure, which passed 7-0, isn’t law yet, though. The commission must review it a second time and pass the measure again before it would become law. The second vote is scheduled for Feb. 5