Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/24/2019 - 18:01
Major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all aid for fossil fuels G20 nations have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis. The bloc of major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies. Continue reading...
06/24/2019 - 12:29
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Tom Ward/NOAA Teacher at Sea Program) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing titled, “Short Sea Shipping: Rebuilding America’s Maritime Industry.” Why It Matters Maritime transportation accounts for 20.6 percent of the gross domestic product in the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy; however, America’s transportation system — on both land and water — is struggling to keep up with the amount of commercial freight being transported domestically. To increase shipping capacity and alleviate pressure on road and rail infrastructure, there is a need for innovative solutions to enhance the efficiency of domestic transportation. Short sea shipping, a mode of moving commercial freight between domestic ports through inland and coastal waterways, holds the potential to revitalize a domestic waterway economy. Key Points Chairman Sean Maloney (NY-18) pointed out that European countries have placed more emphasis on short sea shipping, moving over 40 percent of all European freight on ocean and inland rivers, while America has instead focused on land transportation for domestic freight. As the nation’s road and rail systems become increasingly crowded, subcommittee members and witnesses agreed that short sea shipping will be a necessary alternative to trains and trucks for moving freight in the future. Mr. Jon Nass (Chief Executive Officer, Maine Port Authority) stated that establishing a maritime route, in parallel with the congested I-95 highway system, would connect northern New England to ports to the south and revitalize several coastal communities by making them part of a thriving coastal freight transportation network. Short sea shipping not only reduces volume of traffic on the road but is a more environmentally friendly alternative to trucks and trains. Mr. James Weakley (President, Lake Carriers’ Association) stated that U.S. flag “laker,” ships specifically designed for the Great Lakes trade can move 2000 pounds of cargo 607 miles using only one gallon of fuel, compared to trucks and trains that would move the same amount of cargo using about 59 and 202 miles per gallon, respectively. Addressing some barriers to short sea shipping, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, USN, Ret. (Administrator, Maritime Administration) stated that the main challenge is awareness of and education about this alternative method of transportation. Additional barriers include adapting domestic ports to handle large short sea shipping vessels, the reluctance of freight shippers to move to new modes transportation, and a shortage of mariners to complete the workforce. Quotable “An invigorated short sea shipping industry would not only increase the state of good repair of the U.S. roads and bridges by reducing maintenance costs from wear and tear and improve air quality and emissions but would help to address the critical shortage in our merchant mariner workforce. Administrator Buzby and other government officials have repeatedly stated that we have 1,800 fewer mariners than what is needed to address America’s sealift needs. That gap would quickly begin to close if we fully utilized America’s marine highways and began shipping cargo on coastwise ships.”— Chairman Sean Maloney (NY-18) “Increased use of waterborne transportation of commercial freight between domestic U.S. ports – short sea shipping – could expand the limited, and increasingly crowded, freight transportation capacity of the nation’s rail and road system without large additional public investment.”— Ranking Member Bob Gibbs (OH-7) Next Steps Chairman Maloney and Ranking Member Gibbs indicated they would like to see further development of short sea shipping in both the Maritime Administration’s comprehensive national maritime strategy and the America’s Marine Highway Program, a program intended to incorporate the nation’s navigable waterways into the overall U.S. transportation system. Find Out More Watch the full hearing Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership      Setting Sail On Maritime Security Ocean Policy Roundtable: What’s Marine Transportation Got To Do With It? Smooth Sailing For Autonomous Surface Vehicles And Port Optimization In Transportation Hearing Buoying Our Nation’s Economy: The Role Of Ocean Data In Supporting The Blue Economy Second Place America? Tapping Into Our Blue Economy A Sea Of Change The State Of Our Ocean The Arctic: A New Maritime Frontier Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post Short Sea Shipping Shake-Up appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
06/24/2019 - 12:21
Treasury proposes rise from 5% to 20%, while the tax on coal will stay at lower rate Homes hoping to shrink their carbon footprints by installing a solar-battery system face a steep VAT increase from October under new laws proposed by HMRC. The Treasury put forward legislation on Monday to raise VAT for home solar-battery systems from 5% to 20%, on the same day that MPs are debating the government’s new net zero carbon target for 2050. Continue reading...
06/24/2019 - 11:44
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Kevin Lino/NOAA/NMFS/Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Blog) (From University of Delaware/ By Adam Thomas) — A new study published in the journal Science finds that the world’s marine fisheries form a single network, with over $10 billion worth of fish each year being caught in a country other than the one in which it spawned. While fisheries are traditionally managed at the national level, the study reveals the degree to which each country’s fishing economy relies on the health of its neighbors’ spawning grounds, highlighting the need for greater international cooperation. Led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the London School of Economics, and the University of Delaware, the study used a particle tracking computer simulation to map the flow of fish larvae across national boundaries. It is the first to estimate the extent of larval transport globally, putting fishery management in a new perspective by identifying hotspots of regional interdependence where cooperative management is needed most. “Now we have a map of how the world’s fisheries are interconnected, and where international cooperation is needed most urgently to conserve a natural resource that hundreds of millions of people rely on,” said coauthor Kimberly Oremus, assistant professor in UD’s School of Marine Science and Policy. The vast majority of the world’s wild-caught marine fish, an estimated 90%, are caught within 200 miles of shore, within national jurisdictions. Yet even these fish can be carried far from their spawning grounds by currents in their larval stage, before they’re able to swim. This means that while countries have set national maritime boundaries, the ocean is made up of a highly interconnected network where most countries depend on their neighbors to properly manage their own fisheries. Understanding the nature of this network is an important step toward more effective… Read the full article here: https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2019/june/ocean-currents-connect-worlds-fisheries-kimberly-oremus-science-journal/ The post Member Highlight: New Study Maps How Ocean Currents Connect The World’s Fisheries appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
06/24/2019 - 10:15
Increased solar radiation penetrating through the damaged ozone layer is interacting with the changing climate, and the consequences are rippling through the Earth's natural systems, effecting everything from weather to the health and abundance of sea mammals like seals and penguins.
06/24/2019 - 10:06
Greater Manchester’s Bee Network has just £160m of the cash it needs, unlike a junction near Bedford Almost exactly a year ago, Chris Boardman – the Olympic champion turned walking and cycling commissioner – unveiled a bold vision: Greater Manchester was to turn itself into a Dutch-style cycling paradise by building a 1,000-mile network of walking and biking routes called Beelines, after Manchester’s civic symbol, the worker bee. A year on, the scheme has changed its name to the Bee Network after a rather embarrassing copyright infringement, and has expanded to cover 1,800 miles. Yet so far, work has only begun on one tiny section – a bit of towpath in Wigan known as the “muddy mile” – and the first wodge of money has already gone. Continue reading...
06/24/2019 - 07:57
Maarten van der Weijden tackles daunting course not used for skating in 22 years As Europe braces for a heatwave this week, a Dutchman is swimming the route of the country’s most famed ice skating race, which has not been held for two decades as the climate crisis bites. Instead of skating the 121 miles (195km) of the daunting Elfstedentocht (11 cities race), the Olympic gold marathon swimmer Maarten van der Weijden is ploughing his way through its canals. Continue reading...
06/24/2019 - 07:53
John McDonnell says Bank would monitor City firms’ progress on carbon emissions Labour plans to give the Bank of England powers to help check the readiness of City firms to cut carbon emissions and invest responsibly to tackle the climate emergency. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, announced proposals for an unprecedented expansion of the central bank’s role at the heart of policymaking, with officials at Threadneedle Street supporting the Treasury in checking on progress towards carbon targets. Continue reading...
06/24/2019 - 07:00
Washington governor’s campaign centers on climate crisis Announcement to be made in threatened Florida Everglades Washington governor Jay Inslee will set his sights on powerful fossil fuel interests on Monday, by introducing a new portion of the presidential campaign he has centered on addressing the climate crisis. Related: Mike Pence repeatedly refuses to say climate crisis is a threat to US Continue reading...
06/24/2019 - 02:21
Chain will charge 5p, 7p or 10p for various sizes of paper bag, with profits going to charity Boots will phase out all plastic bags from its stores by 2020, replacing them with brown paper bags. The health and beauty chain will remove 40m plastic bags a year from use, amounting to more than 900 tonnes of single-use plastic. Continue reading...