News, Some Good

By Daniel de la Calle        

»Washington State became last month the first in the USA to create an expert panel on Ocean Acidification. The panel, convened by Gov. Chris Gregoire, is made up of scientists, seafood industry representatives and local and tribal officials.  It has set up three tasks:
1    Survey the latest science to find out what we know, and don’t know.
2    Set priorities for additional investment in research and monitoring.
3    Craft a set of practical, affordable policy recommendations to address the root causes of acidification or help businesses and natural communities adapt.  

»The Ocean Ark Alliance in collaboration with Melbourne Aquarium will be hosting the largest environmental art show in Australia this coming October.  There will be $50,000 in prize money to School Environmental Project Grants and Student Study Grants to any 9-12 year student in Victoria. OAA hopes in time this will become a national and international initiative.
Full entry details will be released before the end of the month HERE.

»The UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department of Energy and Climate Change is launching a £13 million center for carbon capture and storage research that will be coordinated at the University of Edinburgh and bring together in a virtual network over 100 of the best UK carbon capture and storage academics.
“The new state-of-the-art capture research facilities will allow UK scientists and engineers to uncover the complexities of carbon capture and work with industrial partners and SMEs to develop improved capture technologies. They include:
1    Pilot scale advanced testing facilities in Yorkshire, with a 1 ton CO2 per day amine capture facility
2    A mobile testing unit to allow a range of tests to be conducted on real power station flue gases
3    Advanced oxy-fuel fluidized bed and chemical looping pilot facilities.”
“The UK has a target to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a significant task that requires systemic changes to every sector of energy generation and use, including in industrial applications.”

»A fungi capable of degrading and utilizing common plastic polyurethane has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest.  The Yale University team responsible for the discovery has published its findings in the article “Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi” for the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.

»If you live in California you might want to download Why Ocean Acidification Matters To California.

»Not many prominent political leaders include the environment and the state of the world’s oceans in their speeches and agenda.  That is why we want to mention in this blog the work and words of Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, who recently visited the UN headquarters in New York to meet with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a group of UN ambassadors to discuss a plan to protect and manage the oceans.  During a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald he had no difficulty mixing the discussion on problems in Afghanistan and between the West and Islamist countries together with over-fishing, the danger of Acidification and “the emergence of huge dead seas”.  ”I’m just nagged by the worry that we might be with the oceans where we were in 1975 or 1980 with awareness of what we were doing to the Earth’s atmosphere,” he said. ”We don’t know how quickly a tipping point might be reached.”

»NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program Office, the University of Washington and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Regional Association are preparing an invitational workshop on defining a global network for Ocean Acidification monitoring.  It will be held June 26-28, 2012 in Seattle, WA, and will include representatives from around the world.  The principal goals of this international workshop are:
1    To design the components and locations of an international ocean acidification observing network that includes repeat hydrographic surveys, underway measurements on volunteer observing ships, moorings, floats, and gliders, leveraging existing networks and programs wherever possible.
2    To identify measurement parameters and performance metrics for each major component of the observing system.
3    To develop a strategy for data quality assurance and distribution.

»World map time lapse about the history of human global CO2 emissions.

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