New study reveals plastic pollution in the Antarctic is 5x worse than expected

June 19, 2017 by  
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We know about plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean , and even in the Arctic Ocean . But scientists thought the Antarctic was relatively free of that particular type of pollution until a recent study from the University of Hull , Científica del Sur University , and the British Antarctic Survey . Researchers discovered the levels of microplastics in the area are much greater than expected. Microplastic levels in the Antarctic are five times greater than anticipated, according to the international team. Microplastics are those tiny particles less than five millimeters in diameter found in personal care items like toothpaste and shampoo, but they can also come from clothing fibers or be created as larger pieces of plastic in the ocean break down. Related: One of the world’s most remote islands is also the most polluted The researchers found the plastic around the Antarctic continent and in the Southern Ocean , which is around 8.5 million square miles large. They think plastic originating outside the area may be coming in over the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which scientists in the past considered nearly impassible. University of Hull scientist Catherine Waller, lead author on a study published this year in Science of the Total Environment , said the ecosystem of the Antarctic is very fragile, and the area was thought to be isolated. It’s populated with krill that might eat the microplastics, and in turn be consumed by larger marine mammals like whales . Co-author Claire Waluda of the British Antarctic Survey said in a statement, “We have monitored the presence of large plastic items in Antarctica for over 30 years. While we know that bigger pieces of plastic can be ingested by seabirds or cause entanglements in seals, the effects of microplastics on marine animals in the Southern Ocean are as yet unknown.” The scientists called for urgent international monitoring of the plastic in the Antarctic. Via British Antarctic Survey Images via Catherine Waller and Claire Waluda

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New study reveals plastic pollution in the Antarctic is 5x worse than expected

Ingenious hand-pumped Scorkl lets you breathe underwater for 10 minutes

June 19, 2017 by  
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Scuba  diving may seem like too much of a hassle, what with all the equipment, training and money you need to make it happen. A new product – that’s like something straight out of a James Bond movie – called  Scorkl  opens up the underwater world by combining the best of scuba diving with the ease of snorkeling. A hand pump refills the underwater breathing device that’s roughly the size of a water bottle, giving you 10 minutes of uninhibited exploration. The Scorkl is a lightweight device you put to your mouth to breath in air while underwater – no scuba diving certification necessary. The Australia -based company says their cylinder is manufactured to the same standards and specifications as a cylinder you’d use to scuba dive, but it can be refilled with a Scorkl hand pump. The device also comes with a scuba tank refill adapter so it can be refilled from a scuba tank. A pressure gauge on the Scorkl lets users know how much air they have left – they’ll be able to swim freely through the water for around 10 minutes. Related: The Easybreath Snorkel Mask Lets You Breathe Comfortably Through Your Nose Underwater Scorkl is crowdfunding on Kickstarter , and it appears there are a bunch of people out there who are drawn to the freedom offered by the device – the company set their goal at $22,765 but have already raised over $370,000. One Scorkl costs $199 – that’s 33 percent off the retail price. A Scorkl and pump are being offered at a discount price of $398. At this point you’re probably wondering about safety . The company says the Scorkl is safe and can be used by anyone, but untrained divers should be cautious when swimming with it, and shouldn’t go below 9.8 feet in depth or use it more than five times in a single day. Trained divers should be able to go further than 9.8 feet drawing on what they learned during their certification process. The device is accompanied by an information kit warning users and offering tips to avoid pulmonary damage. The company says the Scorkl is designed for shallow diving , and they recommend not using it below 32 feet, even though it technically can go to depths of around 65 feet. You can check out the campaign here . + Scorkl Images via Scorkl Facebook

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Ingenious hand-pumped Scorkl lets you breathe underwater for 10 minutes

Worlds largest marine park established in Antarcticas Ross Sea

October 28, 2016 by  
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It’s an agreement five years in the making, but a deal has finally been struck to protect more than 1.5 million square kilometers of the Ross Sea surrounding Antarctica . The area, home to most of the planet’s penguins and whales, will become the largest marine park in the world . Fishing of any kind will be prohibited, protecting the most delicate coastal habitats and food supplies for wildlife. A collection of 24 nations and the European Union came to an agreement to designate the area a “general protection zone,” which will expire in 35 years. Not only will the marine park be the largest in the world, but it is also the first established in international waters. “We’ve been working towards this for many years,” US state department representative Evan Bloom told The Guardian . “It’s taken time to get consensus but now we have established the world’s largest marine protected area.” Related: Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc The Ross Sea is considered to be one of the last complete ecosystems on the planet, where three quarters of oceans’ water-sustaining nutrients are produced. This draws plenty of researchers, who will conduct studies on krill and toothfish in designated zones in the park. Research in these areas could provide clues for how climate change is affecting vulnerable parts of the world. The negotiations did not come easily, as there were objections from nations who have a stake in Antarctic fishing industries. Russia’s opposition of the 50-year protection proposal threw a wrench in the operation and China’s fishing presence made the final deal difficult to broker. However, there are many, like Andrea Kavanagh, director of Antarctic and Southern Ocean work for the Pew Charitable Trusts , who are confident the protections will be renewed at the end of the expiration period. She said, “I’m positive that in 35 years, the conservation values that come out of the Ross Sea, the protections will be renewed. The world will be a different place in 35 years.” Via The Guardian Images via  Pixabay , Wikipedia

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Worlds largest marine park established in Antarcticas Ross Sea

International Court of Justice Orders Temporary Halt on Japanese Antarctic Whaling

March 31, 2014 by  
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) this week declared that Japan’s Southern Ocean whale hunt was illegal under international law. After a three week hearing, the court said that Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program in the Antarctic failed to meet the conditions for scientific whaling under regulations set by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and ordered a temporary halt. Read the rest of International Court of Justice Orders Temporary Halt on Japanese Antarctic Whaling Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: illegal whaling , International Court of Justice , international fund for animal welfare , International Whaling Commission , japanese whaling , Southern Ocean , Southern Ocean Sanctuary , whaling        

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International Court of Justice Orders Temporary Halt on Japanese Antarctic Whaling

25 Countries and the European Union Fail to Agree to Protect Antarctic Waters

November 1, 2012 by  
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A coalition of 25 countries and the European Union have  failed to reach an agreement to protect critical areas of the Antarctic Ocean from overfishing and other concerns related to pollution and climate change. Environmentalists were very disappointed at this lack of resolution and largely blame Russia, China and Ukraine for not stepping up to bolster the consensus needed to make progress on the proposed protective measures. Read the rest of 25 Countries and the European Union Fail to Agree to Protect Antarctic Waters Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Antarctic , antarctic ocean alliance , china , commission for the conservation of antarctic marine living resources , marine protected area , protecting the antarctic ocean from overfishing , ross sea , russia , Southern Ocean , tasmania , ukraine

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25 Countries and the European Union Fail to Agree to Protect Antarctic Waters

Josep Lluís Mateo’s Spectacular Filmoteca de Catalunya is a Modern Cultural Center in Barcelona

November 1, 2012 by  
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Situated in the middle of a bustling plaza and surrounded by apartment buildings, the concrete construction is a colossal cube monument that transforms the area. With the two cinema screens housed in the basement, the final size of the building was reduced dramatically to allow the rest of the plaza to remain filled with bars and cafes for its neighbors and passers-by. The structure is solid and continuous, and the form, with its strict angles and straight lines, is a stunning addition to the surrounding buildings. In sharp contrast with the crumbling walls of the nearby houses, the structure is a neat grey mass that appears illuminated under sunlight. Inside, the ground floor of the building is dominated by colored glass windows that distort the image of passers-by. It is modern and metallic, creating a sleek finish. Beyond the beauty of the contemporary design, the Filmoteca is an affordable space for the public to use, offering a creative range of movie cycles, talks and film festivals for affordable rates to library-card holders. + Filmoteca de Catalunya + Josep Lluís Mateo Lead image by Adrià Goula, all others by  René Pascal Siebel

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Josep Lluís Mateo’s Spectacular Filmoteca de Catalunya is a Modern Cultural Center in Barcelona

CZWG Incorporates Rain Harvesting Technology into Maggie’s Centre in Nottingham

November 1, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of CZWG Incorporates Rain Harvesting Technology into Maggie’s Centre in Nottingham Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cancer Centre , cancer support , czwg , eco design , green design , Maggie’s , Maggie’s Nottingham , sustainable design

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CZWG Incorporates Rain Harvesting Technology into Maggie’s Centre in Nottingham

Natural CO2 Funnels Suck Harmful Emissions Deep Under the Southern Ocean

August 7, 2012 by  
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Scientists have long thought that the the world’s oceans play a key part in reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, but a team of British and Australian scientists recently discovered precisely how this process works. The team found that naturally occurring funnels suck carbon dioxide deep into the Southern Ocean, where it is safely stowed away – however the team believe that this process may be threatened by the onset of climate change . Read the rest of Natural CO2 Funnels Suck Harmful Emissions Deep Under the Southern Ocean Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon dioxide , carbon funnels , carbon products , CO2 emissions , CO2 sucking funnels , Jean-Baptiste Sallee , Southern Ocean , UK team

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Natural CO2 Funnels Suck Harmful Emissions Deep Under the Southern Ocean

Track Happy Feet’s Progress as He Swims Back Home

September 5, 2011 by  
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Screengrab via OurFarSouth.org The world’s most beloved wayward penguin , Happy Feet, was released today back into the Southern Ocean — two months after waddling ashore in New Zealand, hundreds of miles from home. It was a bittersweet send-off for the the bird’s tireless rescuers, though everyone was happy to do their part in helping the Emperor penguin find his way back to the chilly Antarctic climes. But for those not ready to say goodbye just ye… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Track Happy Feet’s Progress as He Swims Back Home

Giant Icebergs Break Free, Threaten Ocean Currents and Oxygen Levels

February 26, 2010 by  
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A giant iceberg in the southern Atlantic.

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Giant Icebergs Break Free, Threaten Ocean Currents and Oxygen Levels

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