YOUR WEEKLY BRIEFING FROM PARLEY
 

Photo by Kyle Mills

Photo by Kyle Mills

 

JELLYFISH

Scientists have discovered that jellyfish provide crucial habitat and space for developing larval and juvenile fish. The young fish use their jellyfish hosts as means of protection from predators and for feeding opportunities, helping to reduce fish mortality and increase recruitment. Jellyfish have long been described as ‘arguably the most important predators in the seas’, but this new research suggests they might be much more beneficial to marine life than previously thought.

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GREEN ENERGY…

Around three-quarters of US coal production is now more expensive than solar and wind energy, according to a new study. Coal plants have been hit with rising maintenance costs, including requirements to install pollution controls. Meanwhile, the cost of solar and wind has plummeted as the technology has improved. Cheap and abundant natural gas, as well as the growth of renewables, has hit coal demand, and half of all US coal mines have shut down over the past decade.

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… VS COAL

Despite this, global energy experts released grim findings on Monday, saying that not only are planet-warming CO2 emissions still increasing, but the world’s growing thirst for energy has led to higher emissions from coal-fired power plants than ever before. Energy demand around the world grew by 2.3% in 2018, and to meet that demand, countries turned to an array of sources. This included renewables but was mostly fossil fuels, which were used to power nearly 70% of the new demand.

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SHARKS

The world’s fastest shark is hurtling towards extinction following years of hunting for its prized meat and fins. Experts have announced that shortfin makos are now officially at high risk of being wiped out for good. Overfishing of these beautiful sharks, which take a long time to reproduce, has led to many global populations collapsing. The shortfin mako, which can swim at speeds exceeding 40mph, is not currently subject to any international fishing restrictions.

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GLACIERS

Greenland's largest and most critical glacier is gaining ice, according to NASA researchers. Although this finding is surprising and temporarily good news for the Jakobshavn glacier, limiting its contribution to sea level rise, the reason for the ice accumulation might spell disaster in the long run. Scientists attributed the ice gain to localized ocean cooling. Between 2014 and 2016, waters up to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit cooler entered Disko Bay, where Jakobshavn glacier enters the water.

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