James Nestor raises the possibility of full-on collaboration between human observers and wild whales in research on whale communication.
Nestor joined the DareWin Project in which free-divers enter the ocean to observe sperm whales and record their clicks — echolocation sounds and coda clicks that allow these mammals to investigate their world and talk to each other. In free diving, people enter the water with no equipment — and stay submerged for three to five minutes on the strength of one breath.
Nestor writes in language shot through with pleasure at the cross-species connections he has established – freed of the “limiting” nature of observing the whales from a boat — and at the possibilities to come in the future.
All parties agree: These whales are “extraordinarily intelligent, fully conscious beings,” to use Nestor’s words. I’m not totally free of concerns about this free-diving project. But the idea of collaborative research with wild animals is extremely exciting.
Global and local community leaders from more than 170 countries have pledged to “significantly reduce” the amount of single-use plastic products by 2030. Success would result in significantly less plastic pollution entering our oceans, lakes and rivers.
Today, societies around the world have a love affair with disposable plastics. Just like some love stories, this one has an unhappy ending that results in plastic bags, straws and takeout containers strewn about the global environment.
As researchers who study the contamination and effects of plastic pollution on wildlife, it would be nice if by 2030 we no longer heard about plastics showing up in the stomachs of dead whales, littering the beaches of distant islands and contaminating tap water and seafood.
It is time for some good news about the environment, including stories about how cities and countries are managing plastics and other waste materials in more sustainable ways, and how children will have cleaner beaches to play on.
Scientists discover Microplastics Carried Long Distances by the Wind
Microplastics have been found in some of the most remote aquatic ecosystems on earth, including in the deepest parts of the ocean. Now, scientists have discovered that these tiny pieces of plastic can also be carried by the wind into secluded terrestrial regions, such as the French Pyrenees not far from the Green Surf School and Surfcamp base in France.
The research, led by scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and EcoLab, a research center in France, involved measuring the amount of plastic pollution that fell into traps 4,500 feet up a mountain in the Pyrenees over a five-month period. On average, 365 plastic particles fell on a square-meter collector every day — levels comparable to the plastic floating through the air in megacities like Paris or Dongguan, China, despite the fact that are no major cities anywhere near the study site.
The microplastic collected, which scientists estimate traveled at least 60 miles, included fibers from clothing, fragments from plastic bags, plastic film, and packaging material. The findings were published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Deonie Allen, a researcher at EcoLab and the other lead co-author of the new study, told NPR. “They’re a brand new [type of] pollution, but there’s so much of it and it’s increasing so fast that it’s something we really need to start learning about.”
Scientists Say They Have Found a Viable Replacement for Petroleum-Based Plastic
Scientists at Ohio State University say they have developed a viable alternative to petroleum-based plastic food packaging by using natural tree-based rubber. According to the researchers, the new biodegradable material holds promise for fighting the world’s growing plastic pollution problem, as well as for helping curb our reliance on fossil fuels.
Finding a replacement for petroleum-based plastic food packaging has been a major challenge to date, with nearly all the solutions proposed either too expensive or too brittle to stand up to the demands of shipping, handling, and the stress of microwaving and freezing.
The new material developed by Ohio State scientists, detailed in a new study in the journal Polymers, involves melting natural rubber into a plant-based biodegradable plastic called PHBV, and then adding an organic peroxide and an additive called trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA). The scientists’ end product was 75 percent tougher and 100 percent more flexible than PHBV on its own.
The quest to keep plastic out of landfills and oceans, and simultaneously satisfy the needs of the food industry is filled with obstacles.
A biodegradable replacement for petroleum-based products has to meet all sorts of standards and, so far, attempts at viable replacements from renewable sources have faced limited success due to processing and economic constraints. Among the obstacles, products to date have been too brittle for food packaging.
But new research from The Ohio State University has shown that combining natural rubber with bioplastic in a novel way results in a much stronger replacement for plastic, one that is already capturing the interest of companies looking to shrink their environmental footprints.
Almost all plastics – about 90 percent – are petroleum-based and are not biodegradable, a major environmental concern.
Scientists in the UK and Malaysia have discovered the world’s tallest tropical tree, and possibly the tallest flowering plant, measuring over 100 metres high. Laid down, it would extend beyond both goals on a football pitch.
The team found the tree in the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, and have undertaken a novel three-dimensional exploration of the remarkable find to better understand how trees grow so tall, and what keeps them from growing taller.
The tree is a Shorea faguetiana (common name Yellow Meranti), of the Dipterocarpacae family that dominates the humid lowland rainforests of South East Asia. Previous record breakers have largely come from the same genus (Shorea) and region.
The team has given the tree the name of ‘Menara’, which is Malay for ‘tower’.
Cyclone Idai death toll might rise to more than 1,000 people.
When tropical cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira, Mozambique on March 14, it was called possibly the the worst weather-related disaster to hit the southern hemisphere. The massive, horrifying, storm caused catastrophic flooding and widespread destruction of buildings and roads in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi feared the death toll might rise to more than 1,000 people.
Cyclones, also known as hurricanes or typhoons, can take thousands of lives and cause billions of dollars in damage. They generate large ocean waves and raise water levels by creating a storm surge. The combined effects cause coastal erosion, flooding and damage to anything in its path. There is considerable uncertainty in predicting trends in extreme weather conditions 100 years into the future. Some computer simulations suggest possible changes in these storms due to climate change.
Although other storms have hit this African coast in the past, the storm track for cyclone Idai is fairly rare. Warmer-than-usual sea-surface temperatures were directly linked to the unusually high number of five storms near Madagascar and Mozambique in 2000, including tropical cyclone Eline. Warmer ocean temperatures could also be behind the intensity of cyclone Idai, as the temperature of the Indian Ocean is 2 C to 3 C above the long-term average.
Regardless of changes to the climatic conditions that cause hurricanes to form and intensify, the fact is that these storms already occur frequently. Each year, 80 to 100 tropical storms occur globally. Of these, 40 to 50 are hurricanes, with 10 to 15 classified as major hurricanes.
Surfers Dream Of The Greenroom – But What Is Green
In surfing, the green room is the inside of a barrel It is produced by light reflected into the barrel.
In post-classical and early modern Europe, green was the color commonly associated with wealth, merchants, bankers and gentry.
Green has a long tradition as the color of Ireland and Gaelic culture. It is the historic color of Islam, representing the lush vegetation of Paradise.
Green is considered positive and a symbol of fertility & happiness in China. Green is the traditional color of safety and permission; a green light means go ahead, a green card permits permanent residence in the United States.
The word green comes from the Middle English and Old English word grene, and has the same root as the words grass and grow.
Green can communicate safety to proceed, as in traffic lights Green is associated in Europe and the United States with youth. Green in China, is associated with the east, sunrise, life and growth. Green is considered auspicious for those born on Wednesday in Thailand. Green in Ancient Egypt; Osiris, king of the underworld, was green-skinned. Green is considered the color of hope and the color of springtime Green is often used to describe anyone the young and inexperienced. Green examples; green cheese and greenhorn, (an inexperienced person). Green is most associated with the calm, the agreeable, and tolerance. Green and Blue together symbolize harmony and balance Green is often associated with jealousy and envy. Green-eyed monster was first used by William Shakespeare in Othello. Green was the color of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Green for the troubadours, was the color of growing love Green clothing was reserved for young women who were not yet married.
In Irish folklore green was sometimes was associated with witchcraft, faeries and spirits. The Irish fairy known as a leprechaun is commonly portrayed wearing a green suit.
Green was connected with the dollar bill. Since 1861 the back side of the dollar bill has been green, hence greenback
Green politics is an ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy
Green cheese originally was that which is new or fresh. Green light in figurative sense of “permission” is from 1937. Green thumb for “natural for gardening” is from 1938. Greenroom “room for actors when not on stage” is from 1701.
Born Again Pagans believe the “Green Man” forest spirit has traveled the world for centuries
The name Green stems from the Old English word ‘grene’, which means village green. Green is one of the oldest names in England.
A Green was making aviation history before the Wright brothers were born. Balloonist Charles Green (1793—1841) flew from Vauxhall Gardens, London, to Weilberg, Germany (480 miles), in just under 18 hours (1836). He made 527 ascents, including one which exceeded 27,000 feet in height.
The popular English melody ‘Greensleeves’ is of Elizabethan origin (published 1581) and is mentioned in Shakespeare. It was initially described as ‘a new courtly sonnet of the Lady Greensleeves’.
A total of 109 towns and cities worldwide contain the word green Green tea was invented in China in 2737 BC during the reign of Emperor Shennong
Boston lays claim to having the first Green Beer parade in honor of Saint Patrick in 1737. Green wine (Vinho Verde in Portuguese) is a wine produced in Minho province in northern Portugal
Green Surf School and Surfcamp was created in 2019 and progresses in the Green Tradition