YOUR WEEKLY BRIEFING FROM PARLEY
 

Photo by Luke Shadbolt

Photo by Luke Shadbolt

 

WAVES

According to a new study from the UC Santa Cruz Institute of Marine Sciences, waves are crashing onto coastlines with more force than ever before — and this increase in wave strength is directly correlated to ocean warming. As reported in the East Bay Times, the study found that wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year from 1948 to 2017. This may seem like an insignificant number, but it can mean big changes when it comes to coastal damage and flooding. The energy in most ocean waves comes from the wind. When winds hit the ocean’s surface, they create a ripple effect that eventually forms a wave. The stronger the wind, the bigger the wave.

“This is a new signal of climate change that was previously unknown,” says Borja Reguero, a researcher at UC Santa Cruz and lead author on the study. “It has a great impact on our adaptation and future planning in coastal regions.”

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SHARKS

Scientists have mapped the full genome of the great white shark for the first time. The major scientific milestone is a boon for conservation biologists seeking to better understand population dynamics of the great white and other shark species, nearly all of which are in steep decline. The massive genome (41 pairs of chromosomes compared to our 23) holds clues about how these ancient animals have for so long ruled Earth’s oceans.

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MARINE LIFE / FISHING

Vegan 'Tuna' is now available and “it's actually good” according to reports. A team of chefs and entrepreneurs spent years working on a six-legume blend that contains 14g of protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids from sea algae oil, giving it a similar health profile to real fish. They see it appealing to a wide audience of vegetarians and vegans, and those with seafood allergies. We’d also add ocean lovers to that list – given the many problems with real tuna.

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INNOVATION

Scientists have created a way to convert plastic bags into carbon chips that could be used in the batteries powering our smartphones and other devices. Previous methods to upcycle polyethylene into pure carbon have been inefficient or required expensive, complex processes. Instead, the team at Purdue University were able to develop a simpler yet efficient approach to converting plastic waste into useful carbon-containing materials.

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CLIMATE CHANGE

Meanwhile, in another grim milestone, Australia officially declared a Great Barrier Reef rodent species extinct on Tuesday, making it the first mammal believed to have been killed off by human-induced climate change. A key factor in the disappearance of the Bramble Cay melomys was “almost certainly” repeated ocean inundation of the cay — a low-lying island on a coral reef — over the last decade, which had resulted in habitat loss.

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