Archive for the ‘Ocean’ Category

Goodbye Galapagos, you’re too warm for us

Independent (UK): Marine scientists are reporting that a colony of sea lions, previously unique to the Galapagos Islands, has unexpectedly decamped 900 miles south-east to an island just off the coast of Peru in what may be another symptom of global warming. According to the Peru-based Organisation of Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, it is the first recorded instance of a colony of Galapagos sea lions abandoning their familiar waters around the archipelago, which belongs to neighbouring ...

86 percent of dolphins and whales threatened by fishing nets

Mongabay: A new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) finds that almost 9 out of 10 toothed whales--including dolphins and porpoises--are threatened by entanglement and subsequent drowning from large-scale fishing operations equipment, such as gillnets, traps, longlines, and trawls. These operations threaten the highest percentage (86 percent) of the world's toothed whales. "During the International Year of Biodiversity, the Convention on Migratory Species continues to ...

Whalers, activists clash again off Antarctica

Associated Press: Anti-whaling ship the Bob Barker and a Japanese harpoon boat collided in icy Antarctic waters in the second major clash this year in increasingly aggressive confrontations between conservationists and the whaling fleet. No one was injured in the clash Saturday, which each side blamed on the other. The U.S.-based activist group Sea Shepherd, which sends vessels to confront the Japanese fleet each year, accused the Japanese ship of deliberately rammed the Bob Barker -- named ...

Blue Whales Croon A New Tune

National Public Radio: Blue whales are updating their playlist, according to new research on the huge mammals. It's not quite West Side Story, but male blue whales use songs to warn away other males and attract females. It's a pulsing sound, more like a large piece of machinery than the Jets and the Sharks. But that song has been changing. John Hildebrand of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography studies whale sounds and says he's been hearing something new lately. "They've been ...

Arctic ice melt alarms scientists

Winnipeg Free Press: A Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker makes its way through the ice in Baffin Bay. A local researcher says the melt of sea ice surpasses even pessimistic forecasts. (JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES) Sea ice in Canada's fragile Arctic is melting more quickly than anyone expected, the lead investigator in the largest climate change study done in Canada said Friday. University of Manitoba Prof. David Barber, the lead investigator of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System ...

Whaler and Activist Ship Collide Off Antarctica

New York Times: The anti-whaling ship the Bob Barker and a Japanese harpoon boat collided in the icy waters off Antarctica on Saturday -- the second major clash this year in the increasingly aggressive confrontations between the two sides. No one was reportedly injured in the latest strike. The U.S.-based activist group Sea Shepherd, which sends vessels to confront the Japanese fleet each year, said a small hole was torn in the hull of its ship, but it was above the water line and the vessel was not ...

Arctic sea ice vanishing faster than ‘our most pessimistic models’: researcher

Vancouver Sun: Sea ice in Canada's fragile Arctic is melting faster than anyone expected, the lead investigator in Canada's largest climate-change study yet said Friday -- raising the possibility that the Arctic could, in a worst-case scenario, be ice-free in about three years. University of Manitoba Prof. David Barber, the lead investigator of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study, said the rapid decay of thick Arctic Sea ice highlights the rapid pace of climate change in the North and foreshadows ...

UN wildlife agency backs ban on bluefin tuna trade

Independent (UK): The UN's wildlife trade agency on Friday said it backed a proposed ban on the international trade in bluefin tuna, a prized delicacy in Asia, which is due to be examined by 175 countries next month. "We are recommending that the parties approve the proposals made by Monaco," said David Morgan, head of the scientific support unit at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Japan has opposed the ban proposed by Monaco, which would classify the ...

Explore the earth’s oceans without getting your feet wet

Independent (UK): A new feature on Google Earth lets you virtually dive with dolphins and follow the migratory paths of whales as they navigate their way through great blue oceans. Google launched their underwater tour, Ocean Showcase, on February 4. Google's Ocean Showcase opens up a whole new world of marine animals, shipwrecks, dive sites, and underwater terrain. "Dive into the ocean and discover who lives there - from a deep sea octopus to humpback whales. Explore lost shipwrecks, dive and ...

Netherlands Enters The Climate Fray

redOrbit: A claim made by the UN climate change panel in 2007 that half of the country of the Netherlands was below sea level, is being contested by the country itself. Dutch authorities estimate that only 26 percent of the country is below sea level and will be asking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to check its figures, environment ministry spokesman Trimo Vallaart told AFP. The IPCC's calculation that 55 percent of the Netherlands was below sea level came from adding the ...