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Climate
Offshore Staghorn coral nursery. Rescue-A-Reef, UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Gardening the Seas to Save the World's Corals

As ocean waters warm and acidify, corals across the globe are disappearing. Desperate to prevent the demise of these vital ecosystems, researchers have developed ways to "garden" corals, buying the oceans some much-needed time. University of Miami Rosenstiel School marine biologist Diego Lirman sat down with Josh Chamot of Nexus Media to describe the process and explain what's at stake. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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A flooded building in Fenton, Missouri. Jocelyn Augustino / FEMA

Trump's Rejection of National Climate Report Would Do More Harm Than Paris Exit

A scientific report done every four years has been thrust into the spotlight because its findings directly contradict statements from the president and various cabinet officials.

If the Trump administration chooses to reject the pending national Climate Science Special Report, it would be more damaging than pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Full stop. This is a bold claim, but as an economist and scientist who was a vice chair of the committee that shepherded the last national climate assessment report to its completion, I can explain why this is the case.

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Animals
Anchovies are eating plastic because it smells like prey, study finds. Photo credit: David Abercrombie/Flickr

Another Reason to Ditch Plastic—It Smells Like Food to Fish

We know that the massive amount of plastic that's continually dumped into our oceans can end up in the stomachs of marine species (and ultimately on our plates), but why would they want to eat it?

Well, new research suggests that fish are not just accidentally gobbling up our plastic trash—they could be actively seeking it out because they like how the debris smells and are confusing it for their natural prey.

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Animals
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Hong Kong's Palm Oil Spill Is Wreaking Havoc on Marine Life

On the night of Aug. 3 two ships collided south of Hong Kong in the approach waters to the Pearl River Delta. According to information obtained from the Tradewinds News, the Japanese GMS chemical tanker Global Apollon and the Pacific International Lines containership Kota Ganteng had a collision but details remain very slim. Details of the damage is also unknown however the Kota Ganteng containership has since sailed onwards to Singapore. The Global Apollon remains at anchor in the waters near the Chinese Guishan Islands just to the South West of Hong Kong's Soko Islands.

The Global Apollon was carrying 9,000 tons of raw palm oil and a substantial (unknown) amount of this was spilt into the surrounding waters. The Guangzhou authorities dispatched nine vessels to assist and contain from reports we have seen, yet the Hong Kong government claim that they were not told of the spill until Aug. 5. By the time the Hong Kong government found out, large amounts of this palm oil began washing up on Hong Kong's southern beaches.

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Animals
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Fighting for a Plastic-Free Ocean

By Pete Stauffer

Plastic pollution is suffocating the ocean and the animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean and the number grows every day. This pollution is ravaging our marine ecosystems, entangling and choking wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish and turtles. Plastic never biodegrades, it only spreads and it's now polluting every part of the ocean—from beaches, reefs and deep ocean trenches to the frigid waters of the Arctic.

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Animals
Dead whale shark buried at Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. @TOIChennai

Whale Shark Found Dead, Plastic Spoon Stuck in Digestive System

An 18-foot long whale shark washed up dead on Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.

"The cause of death is found to be heavy internal injuries it has suffered when it either hit a rock or a big vessel," local wildlife ranger S Sathish told the Times of India.

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Deafening Ocean Noise Threatens Marine Life

Marine life rely on sound to navigate, socialize, and find food and mates, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to hear each other. Noise caused by human activity is now an inescapable threat to their lives.

In the video above from Vox, we hear some of the amazing sounds that underwater creatures make, and learn how they're impacted by noise pollution.

From leisure boats to industrial seismic blasting, humans have created an extreme situation. It's hard not to compare it to sound torture, now banned for being cruel and unusual punishment!

If we wouldn't inflict such pain on our worst enemies, then why are we so ruthless to our neighbors in the sea?

Be sure to watch the video to the end to get to the good news!

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Climate
Cirrus clouds over Golden Gate Bridge. Brocken Inaglory / Wikimedia Commons

Is Geoengineering the Answer to Limit Global Warming?

By Tim Radford

Geoengineering, the deliberate alteration of the planet to undo its inadvertent alteration by humans over the past 200 years, is back on the scientific agenda, with a climate compromise suggested as a possible solution.

One group wants to turn down the global thermostat and reverse the global warming trend set in train by greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel combustion, by thinning the almost invisible cirrus clouds that trap radiation and keep the planet warm.

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Wow! Shocking Video Shows Astonishing Amount of Plastic Polluting Our Planet

The colossal mass of throwaway plastic—from straws to bags to bottles—has grown much faster than recycling and disposal efforts can contain it. You might even say this is obvious, no matter where you look.

As a result, places that were once considered pristine—such as Antarctica and the ocean floors of Australia—have become inundated with plastic waste.

Check out this video from National Geographic to watch underwater photographer Huai Su film a diver collecting an endless amount of plastic bottles that litter the seafloor off Xiaoliuqiu Island, Taiwan.

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