Tag Archives: east coast

Great Barrier Reef in Gefahr: Australien gibt grünes Licht für Versenkung von Erdaushub

Umweltschützer protestieren: An der australischen Nordostküste sollen rund drei Millionen Kubikmeter Meeresboden abgeladen werden. Die Entscheidung folgt auf einen Beschluss der australischen Regierung, die im Dezember den Ausbau eines Kohle-Hafens unweit des weltberühmten Korallenriffs genehmigt hatte. Der Erdaushub soll etwa drei Kilometer vor der Küste abgelagert werden. Umweltschützer reagieren empört, für Greenpeace ist es eine “Peinlichkeit von internationalem Ausmaß”.

Es geht um drei Millionen Tonnen Schlamm, die in das Meeresreservat gekippt werden sollen, das zum Unesco-Weltkulturerbe zählt. Laut der zuständigen Behörde sei nur ein Drittel des Naturparks – der etwa so groß ist wie Deutschland – streng geschützt. Die übrige Fläche dürfe daher für andere Zwecke verwendet werden. Der erweiterte Hafen soll der Erschließung von Kohle im Volumen von 28 Milliarden US-Dollar dienen. (more…)

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Weltnaturerbe in Gefahr

WWF-Report: Australien schützt das Great Barrier Riff nicht genug/ Verlust des Welterbetitels droht

Das weltberühmte Great Barrier Reef läuft Gefahr, seinen Status als Weltnaturerbe zu verlieren. Die Umweltschutzmaßnahmen der australischen Behörden sind trotz Vorwarnung des UNECO Welterbe-Komitees weiterhin unzureichend. Teile der Korallenriffe und angrenzender Lebensräume sind in schlechtem Zustand – mit fatalen Folgen für die Biodiversität und „Riff-Bewohner“ wie Haie, Rochen und  Meeresschildkröten. Ein aktueller Report des WWF und der Australian Marine Conservation Society, präsentiert die Verfehlungen und mangelnden Fortschritte, das größte Korallenriff der Erde zu schützen. Demnach wurde keine der sieben UNESCO Empfehlungen erfüllt oder mit gutem Fortschritt umgesetzt, besondere Defizite gibt es bei Hafenausbau und Schiffahrt. Morgen läuft die Frist, binnen derer Australien  ein besseres Umweltmanagement für das Riff nachweisen soll, aus. (more…)

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Powerful Animal Tracking System Helps Research Take Flight

Call it a bird’s eye view of migration. Scientists are taking a fresh look at animal movement with a big data approach that combines GPS tracking data with satellite weather and terrain information.

The new Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) system, featured in the journal Movement Ecology, can handle millions of data points and serve a hundred scientists simultaneously, said co-founder Dr. Roland Kays, a zoologist with North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. (more…)

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UMass Amherst Nuclear Physicist, with Hundreds Worldwide, Tracks Huge Magnetic Ring across Country for Muon Experiments

Massive device to travel by barge and truck this summer

AMHERST, Mass. – Nuclear physicist David Kawall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is among scientists from 26 institutions worldwide who are waiting patiently for an electromagnet 50 feet in diameter to be transported from New York to Illinois, where they plan to launch an experiment in 2016 that could open new realms of particle physics.

Kawall’s responsibility will be to measure very precisely the magnetic field inside the ring-shaped magnet when it arrives at its new home sometime in late July. “It’s definitely new territory,” he says, “because we need to measure the field accurately to 70 parts per billion in this huge magnet. The payoff is enormous, however, because we expect the new experiment to yield results four times more precise than the previous effort was able to attain.” (more…)

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Before Dinosaurs’ Era, Volcanic Eruptions Triggered Mass Extinction

Increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming, ocean acidification killed 76 percent of species on Earth

More than 200 million years ago, a massive extinction decimated 76 percent of marine and terrestrial species, marking the end of the Triassic period and the onset of the Jurassic.

The event cleared the way for dinosaurs to dominate Earth for the next 135 million years, taking over ecological niches formerly occupied by other marine and terrestrial species.

It’s not clear what caused the end-Triassic extinction, although most scientists agree on a likely scenario. (more…)

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Making Health Fun

Get Up and Do Something is source for optimal health

Mike Peterson believes that the best way to bring about changes in health behavior is to take an approach that’s fun, positive, and motivational.

So the website he developed and runs with the health promotion master’s students at the University of Delaware is “not about ‘guilting’ people into doing things — it’s about playing to their better angels.” (more…)

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New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes

Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances

Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.” (more…)

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Shark Social Networking

Shark migrations studied with underwater robot along Delmarva Peninsula

University of Delaware researchers are using an underwater robot to find and follow sand tiger sharks that they previously tagged with transmitters. The innovative project is part of a multi-year partnership with Delaware State University to better understand the behavior and migration patterns of the sharks in real time.

“In the past week our new, specially equipped glider OTIS – which stands for Oceanographic Telemetry Identification Sensor – detected multiple sand tiger sharks off the coast of Maryland that were tagged over the past several years,” said Matthew Oliver, assistant professor of oceanography in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “This is the first time that a glider has found tagged sharks and reported their location in real time.” (more…)

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