Category News

Crucial system of ocean currents is heading for collapse

sunset over the ocean surface

A vital system of ocean currents could collapse within a few decades if the world continues to pump out planet-heating pollution, scientists are warning – an event that would be catastrophic for global weather and “affect every person on the planet.” A new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature, found that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current – of which the Gulf Stream is a part – could collapse around the middle of the century, or even as early as 2025.

Scientists uninvolved with this study told CNN the exact tipping point for the critical system is uncertain, and that measurements of the currents have so far showed little trend or change...

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US refuses climate reparations for developing nations

The US says it will not “under any circumstances” pay reparations to developing countries hit by climate change-fuelled disasters. Climate envoy John Kerry made the remarks at a Congress hearing before flying to China to discuss the issue. Some countries want major economies – which produce the most greenhouse gases – to pay for past emissions. A fund has been established for poorer nations, but it remains unclear how much richer countries will pay. 

Mr Kerry, a former secretary of state, was asked during a hearing before a House of Representatives foreign affairs committee whether the US would pay countries that have been damaged by floods, storms and other climate-driven disasters. 

“No, under no circumstances,” he said in response to a question from Brian Mast, the committee cha...

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Record temps on Florida coast threaten severe coral reef bleaching

Rising temperatures in Florida’s waters due to climate change have sparked an extreme stressor for coral reefs causing bleaching, which has scientists concerned. “In the last year, it’s been really depressing because we’ve seen a lot of changes, and we’ve been monitoring sites from Miami for five years now, and we’re starting to see changes in those sites,” said Michael Studivan, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Health and Monitoring Program.

Just within the last week, as the U.S. South struggles under a heat wave, NOAA has reported Florida water temperatures in the mid-90s Fahrenheit (35 C). Normal water temperatures for this time of year should be between 73-88 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA.

The extreme heat has triggered coral ...

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Dolphins, whales and seals not protected by UK 

Seeing dolphins and whales in the sea enjoying their natural environment is a dream for most animal lovers. But a new report by MPs has found some marine wildlife is being failed by the UK government. Protections for these species are poorer compared to other countries, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Efra) found. Some of the threats to these animals includes underwater noise, pollution in the water and climate change.

But these creatures play a key role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and help support economies which rely on coastal tourism.

The findings come as government efforts to scale up climate action have been described as “worryingly slow” by government watchdog, the Climate Change Committee.

Politicians on the Efra committee have suggested the UK ...

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Sudden heat increase in seas around UK and Ireland

Some of the most intense marine heat increases on Earth have developed in seas around the UK and Ireland, the European Space Agency (Esa) says. Water temperatures are as much as 3 to 4C above the average for this time of year in some areas, according to analysis by Esa and the Met Office. The sea is particularly warm off the UK’s east coast from Durham to Aberdeen, and off north-west Ireland.

The Met Office says the reason is partly human-caused climate change.

But other, less-understood natural and man-made factors appear to be driving temperatures up further.

The Esa data shows sea water around virtually the entire coastline of the British Isles is warmer than usual.

map showing heating oceans

Scientists warn that intense heat like this can kill fish and other sea life, sometimes on a huge scale.

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El Niño planet-warming weather phase has begun

A natural weather event known as El Niño has begun in the Pacific Ocean, likely adding heat to a planet already warming under climate change. US scientists confirmed that El Niño had started. Experts say it will likely make 2024 the world’s hottest year. They fear it will help push the world past a key 1.5C warming milestone.

It will also affect world weather, potentially bringing drought to Australia, more rain to the southern US, and weakening India’s monsoon.

The event will likely last until next spring, after which its impacts will recede.

For months, researchers have been increasingly confident that an El Niño event was set to emerge in the Pacific Ocean. 

“It’s ramping up now, there have been signs in our predictions for several months, but it’s really looking like i...

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Good News for Olive Ridley Turtles

Bangladesh has recorded the highest number of olive ridley turtle eggs laid on the country’s beaches this nesting season, thanks to extensive conservation actions. A survey by the NGO Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) found 7,528 eggs at 58 spots on three different islands — Pachar, Shilkali and Shahpari — off the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar. That’s a 30% increase from the 5,763 eggs found in 54 spots in 2022, which in turn was a 22% increase from the 4,713 eggs recorded in 2021.

Of the seven sea turtle species, five occur in the waters off Bangladesh: the olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)...

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Global warming set to break key 1.5C limit for first time

Our overheating world is likely to break a key temperature limit for the first time over the next few years, scientists predict. Researchers say there’s now a 66% chance we will pass the 1.5C global warming threshold between now and 2027. The chances are rising due to emissions from human activities plus the El Niño weather event expected this summer. If the world passes the limit, scientists stress the breach, while worrying, will likely be temporary.

Hitting the threshold would mean the world is 1.5C warmer than it was during the second half of the 19th Century, before fossil fuel emissions from industrialisation really began to ramp up.

The 1.5C figure has become a symbol of global climate change negotiations...

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Coastal Lights Damage Coral Reefs

For the history of life on Earth, organisms have relied on the light of the sun, moon, and stars to navigate their way and schedule their lives. While the onset of electric lighting in the late 19th century may have been a boon to humans, it has wreaked havoc on the natural world. Among the more notorious impacts of artificial light at night (ALAN), light pollution lures migrating birds to cities with devastating consequences, contributes to the alarming decline in insect populations, and convinces sea turtle hatchlings to amble away from the water instead of towards it.

Now, a new study from the University of Plymouth adds another dismal finding about how ALAN is affecting the creatures with whom we share the planet: Light pollution from coastal cities can trick coral reefs into s...

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Life in ocean ‘twilight zone’ at risk from warming

Climate change could dramatically reduce life in the deepest parts of our oceans that are reached by sunlight, scientists warn. Global warming could curtail life in the so-called twilight zone by as much as 40% by the end of the century, according to new research. The twilight zone lies between 200m (656ft) and 1,000m (3,281ft). It teems with life but was home to fewer organisms during warmer periods of Earth’s history, researchers found.

In research led by the University of Exeter, scientists looked at two warm periods in Earth’s past, about 50 million years ago and 15 million years ago, examining records from preserved microscopic shells. 

They found far fewer organisms lived in the zone during these periods, because bacteria degraded food more quickly, meaning less of it reached ...

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