Salesforce CEO Leads by Example, California Holds Global Climate Summit, Extinction in Australia, Shark Fin Battle, Jamaica Ditches Plastic, Straws Suck in California and More.
Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, is fond of saying that “the business of business is improving the state of the world.” Benioff and Salesforce have put these words into action. At last week’s Global Climate Action Summit, Salesforce led the Step Up Declaration, a series of commitments by several businesses (including Lyft, Cisco, and Bloomberg) to engage in actions that will greatly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
2. Ocean Issues Top Issue at California Global Climate Action Summit
The Ocean-Climate Agenda debuted at the ongoing Global Climate Action Summit earlier today, with a focus on the role oceans play in adapting to and mitigating the consequences of climate change. “We need a safe ocean for economic reasons, cultural reasons, and for our children to have a place to grow up in and thrive in,” said Mark Magaña, founding president and CEO of GreenLatinos. By absorbing 30% of the carbon dioxide that humans produce each year and over 90% of human-generated heat, the world’s oceans have demonstrated their irreplaceable capacity for buffering the effects of climate change.
3. Australia’s First Recorded Marine Extinction
We see the surface of the sea: the rock pools, the waves, the horizon. But there is so much more going on underneath, hidden from view. The sea’s surface conceals human impact as well. Today, I am writing a eulogy to the Derwent River Seastar (or starfish), that formerly inhabited the shores near the Tasman Bridge in Hobart, Tasmania. It is Australia’s first documented marine animal extinction and one of the few recorded anywhere in the world. Scientists only knew the Derwent River Seastar for about 25 years. It was first described in 1969 by Alan Dartnall, a former curator of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
Hong Kong Study – Global shark catch levels have more than doubled since 1960 and populations of some threatened species, such as hammerhead and oceanic whitetip, have declined by over 90 percent in recent years, according to a new paper published in Marine Policy. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Hong Kong, the Sea Around Us Initiative at the University of British Columbia and WildAid, reveals that fishing pressure on threatened shark populations has increased dramatically, and it is now more urgent than ever that consumers reject shark fin products.
Researchers may have unraveled an enduring mystery of why a population of great white sharks off the coast of California appears to migrate en masse to a large, seemingly barren stretch of ocean in the middle of the Pacific every winter and spring. A team from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Stanford University traveled to the 160-mile-wide region halfway between Baja California and Hawaii, which has come to be known as the “White Shark Cafe,” in order to understand why this annual pilgrimage occurs, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Researchers have long questioned what impact climate change has on the rate at which corals are growing and building reef habitats in the Florida Keys. A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explored this topic, finding both good and bad news. The rate of coral skeletal growth in the Florida Keys has remained relatively stable over time, but the skeletal density of the region’s corals is declining, possibly due to ocean acidification.