Saturday, 6 December 2008
Scientists are now suggesting that growing crops in seawater could be an end to the worlds food shortage. Freshwater makes up only 1% of the Earths water coverage and shortages mean there is not enough to keep crops as moist as needed. It is thought that the world is becoming more saline and therefore, like in years gone by, we must adapt in order to change along with it. Scientists are suggesting that we make use of barren saltwater areas and start growing more crops. It is suggested that around the mouths of rivers would be best as this is where freshwater and saltwater mix, and brackish plants would be ideal. Plants like sea kale and asparagus-like samphire grow along the coastline and are fine for consumtion. Samphire itself is actually very complimentary of seafood.
The suggestions come almost 30 years after genetic modification began on wheat and rice to try and make it more tolerant of salt. So far these experiments have proved futile as scientists now believe that technology is not advanced enough yet to achieve such a complex modification.
Saltwater plants are also in the limelight this week as scientists suggest that those which row naturally may be useful as biofuels, it has been suggested that alone these plants could provide more than 35% of Americas biofuels. One species of samphire, a subtropical desert coast plant, especially is being looked into as its seeds produce more oil that sunflowers and soya beans put together.
The suggestion was made by biologist Robert Glenn, University of Arizona. Glenn believes that halophytes, slatwater plants, could be suitable for the production of biofuels, especially as they are unusable in the food industry. This would open up nearly half a millions square mils for cultivation of biofuels.
If it is possible to beign using these sorts of plants for biofuels, it is important that sustainibility is implemented from day one so that these sorts of materials are managed and not used in the same fashion as many amenities before.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
The coalition concluded that it would be helpful to give clear and consistent guidelines in order to assist vets who may be on the beach making the final decisions and who may not have extensive experience of cetacean strandings. The following amendment to the large whale triage therefore was agreed for beaked and sperm whales (triage for baleen whales unaltered):
On the basis of available information, the presumption is that stranded beaked and sperm whales will be euthanased. However, this will be judged on a case by case basis because there may be exceptional circumstances where the situation merits a refloat attempt. This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis.
 i.e. possibility of a successful refloat close to deep water habitat within a very short period of time (<1>
Monday, 24 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Dr Armstrong believes eco-tourism could be a happy solution to the problem, "It seems as if the only way we could look after the problem there is by encouraging investment in eco-tourism. The kind of savannah environment that tourists like would be ideal for our migrant birds as well".
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Photoshop? or for real? Sadly, I cant find any information on this picture so for now it will remain a mystery!
One thing to remember about Shark attacks is that most surfers and divers who suffer from shark attacks and live, go back in the water. Why? Because they know that statistics for shark attacks are actually very low and have been over hyped by the media. Sharks only attack due to a natural respose and while we don't know for sure why sharks attack humans, many believe it is a case of mistaken identity as it is rare that sharks will continuously attack a human being for food. In most cases, the sharks bites, realises it's mistake and then leaves well alone.
-At least 30 species of sharks can be found in British waters, over half these species are threatened with extinction.
-An EU Shark Plan is in its final stages; your support is key to protecting sharks in Europe and beyond.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
'NERC-funded researchers have travelled to the Pacific to search for life in the deepest parts of the ocean, known as the Hadal zone.'
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Dear BDMLR Supporter,
Over the past 4 days we have received several reports of oiled sea birds being washed up beachs around the country. Two main areas seem to be affected - Caithness and Northumberland to Middlebrough.
We are not setting up any formal patrols or anything but would like to make anyone spending time on the coast aware and to keep an eye open for oiled birds. If you find an oiled bird please report it to the RSPCA on 0300-1234-999 or SSPCA on 03000-999-999.
Please see this link.
BDMLR medics have been involved with the RSPB and SSPCA checking sections of the coast around Caithness and medics in the NE England have also been involved with the RSPCA and local vets in dealing with oiled birds too.
Please remember that if you find an oiled bird please do not take it home and start washing it. It is very important that it receives medication internally as soon as possible and only experienced people should do this. Please call the RSPCA,/SSPCA, local wildlife rescue centre or local wildlife friendly vet if you need help with an oiled bird.
Trevor WeeksNational Co-ordinatorBritish Divers Marine Life RescueReg Charity 803438www.bdmlr.org.uk
Sunday, 5 October 2008
One way in which dolphins suffer is for our entertainment. Dolphins are often caught and bred into captivity. Captive dolphins often die through bad treatment, care and lack of space but the stories rarely make the headlines as they are covered up. The following report states many case studies of bad treatment and death: http://www.iridescent-publishing.com/rtm/ch5p1.htm Many people will flock to see dolphins in large public aquariums such as Orlando and Sea world and, like Free Willy, the film Flipper has not helped.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
There have been many whaling laws put in place over the years (you can view the international lists here: http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ovuswhalelaws.htm) but those who are still whaling get around it. The japanese justify their use of whale products by claiming research into sustainable whaling. Alot can be read from the ear canal of a dead whale, so the Japanese are using this to continue their slaughter of the animal - research needed therefore whales have to die - but why waste the carcuss? This is an awful excuse with which to continue whaling but it cannot be stopped as animal murder is often excused for research.
So, do your bit, support Save the Whales, sign those petitions and check your products before you buy them, because as Melville said:
Monday, 15 September 2008
1. Shore Crab
2. Jewel Anemones
3. Grey Seal
4. Tintagel Coast, Cornwall.
For further information and pictures of beautiful British Marine Species and Coastal Areas:
http://www.marinephoto.co.uk/ (click on images)
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Thursday, 10 July 2008
The couple are trying to gain compensation from the Government, saying something is needed for those in this situation who face losing their homes and their assets with it.
Back in 1987, the house cost £20,000 and stood over 400 years from the beach. Now, 21 years later it stands a mere 60 yards from the coastal line.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Thursday, 5 June 2008
The end test for Coastal Zone management was a summery of the subjects studied over the past two years.
The assignment looked at global issues affecting the coastal zone and those involved in it. There are a large amount of issues which impact the coastal zone, from sea level rise to exploitation of resources and loss of species to pollution. It is difficult to put factors which have a negative impact of the coast into numerical order of the most important, as different issues have different impacts on different areas and it is hard to say who is the most important and who deserves the most benefit/attention. Many of these factors interlink with each other to create a whole web of coastal issues, for example, expolitation of resources and fishing lead to destruction of habitats and loss of species.
To review the people affected by these issues; the answer is pretty much everyone. No matter whether you are by the coast or inland, factors affecting the coast will touch you in some way. Whether it be via a job or just simply that you eat fish, there will be something that affects your life indirectly. There are, of course, many people who are affected directly, such as those who live and work by the sea - fishermen, people in the watersports industry, people in the boating industry, people in the tourist industry, coastal dwellers, organisations such as DEFRA, MCA, English Nature, Cornwall Wildlife Trust etc.
The final part of the test focused on the workings of the Devon Maritime Forum. This is an organisation set up to raise marine and maritime issues to help gain sustainability and give evryone a voice on Coastal issues. It invites everyone to take part in marine matters in order to try and safeguard one of our greatest resources; the coast.
The forum has been active since 2005 and holds meetings with representatives to discuss important issues. It is open to the public to become members and also liasons with Devon Council, National Trust, Natural England, South West Water, Environment Agency, Plymouth University and Wildlife Trust Devon.
The question discusses certain conflicts of the Coastal zone and how an organisation such as the Devon Maritime Forum is useful to resolve these conflicts. The forum gets people involved in issues together to have their say and try and come to agreements over particular issues. It also considers how organisations such as the Devon Maritime Forum can best get its message out to try and raise awareness and interest in the coastal zone so that it is a consensus, and everyone gets their own say.
Please visit the Devon Maritime Forum at http://www.devonmaritimeforum.org.uk/ for more information and membership.
As this was the end test for the foundation degree, it is now time to start considering the future and career aspects. On a personal note, I am unsure of areas which to go into. Originally, I wanted to go into marine research, but as the two years have progressed and I now realise that Coastal issues are the most important and interesting aspect to me. I wish to stay in Cornwall and try and have some use in the County as I do not believe it gets the work and funding needed. Plus, I believe working in the UK is more important to me than going abroad and taking work there. There are many organisations in Cornwall which do good work who always require more staff and volunteers such as Cornwall Wildlife Trust, English Nature and the National Trust. All these organisations need people to work to try and make a difference to the coastal zone. As there is still a third year to go, I am hoping that a future career will become more clear after the third year of the degree and that something will submerge as being the aspect I want to go into. As the third year steers away from Marine and starts to look at Conservation and the Environment as a whole, the career path I go down may not be necessarily in the Marine industry, although I hope that it is. I am looking forward to studying the marine mammal part of the course and having previously worked with Seals and enjoyed it, am considering that this may be a future career path. If this is the case, there is a Masters degree at Bangor specifically desgined to study marine mammals.
As I still have no concrete ideas about what my future holds the most important thing for me to look into right now is continuing volunteer and part-time work which is linked to areas I am interested in, to try and expand my areas of interest and knowledge, and try and find a path which is right for me.
Jobs currently available from some organisations:
Sunday, 11 May 2008
The photograph (above) shows a road near the Sukarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta on the 8th May.
Police officials say that the flooding seen here is being caused by the increase rise in sea level and is causing major disruption for those travelling to and from the airport.
(Although this could be considered rather ironic!)
Photograph courtesy of uk.msn.com
Friday, 9 May 2008
Campaign against Climate Change
DEMONSTRATE at HEATHROW
Saturday MAY 31st
Say NO to Heathrow’s 3rd Runway
Say NO to Runaway Airport Expansion
Say YES to saving millions from climate catastrophe
Join a Spring Carnival of Resistance to Airport Expansion
Find out about the Carnival/demo here : http://www.make-a-noise.org
Also more info here : http://www.campaigncc.org/heathrow.shtml
Organised by Campaign against Climate Change, HACAN, NOTRAG , the 2M group, Greenpeace and EnoughsEnough
Supported by: Airport Watch, Campaign for Better Transport, Friends of the Earth, People & Planet, Plane Stupid, Practical Action, Sustrans, Womens Environmental Network, World Development Movement, WWF and Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lewisham, Merton. Richmond, South Bucks, Sutton and Wandsworth councils.
Assemble at Hatton Cross Underground Station (Picadilly Tube Line) at 12 noon.
Join a ‘Carnival March’ around the airport perimeter to Sipson – the village which would be wiped out by a 3rd runway.
Help make a giant ‘NO’ and join the fun at the festival in Sipson village
On Monday 25th February there was an indoor Rally against Heathrow expansion in the Central Hall, Westminster, with around 3,000 attending (a second Hall had to be used). This was after many local meetings around West London up to a thousand strong. The movement against the Third Runway at Heathrow is gathering pace….and snowballing exponentially…..
This is not just about Heathrow, this is about drawing a line in the sand against big investment decisions that are locking us into a headlong plummet into climate catastrophe. The huge expansion in aviation, of which the Heathrow expansion is the flagship component, is totally incompatible with winning the battle against climate catastrophe, totally incompatible in fact, with the Government’s own Climate Bill.
This is a battle we need to win – and a battle we can win ! We want to see people coming from all over the country to join the tens of thousands who will be protesting in West London. We want a massive show of force to make sure we win our first big victory in the war to redirect Britain towards a low carbon future. Come and be part of it – join a Spring Carnival of Resistance to the Third Runway, Airport Expansion and the insanity of government decisions that would lock us into climate catastrophe.
We can stop the third runway ! We will stop the third runway !
Please pass this email on
Sunday, 4 May 2008
German scientists are now predicting that the climate will not rise for the next 10 years due to the Earth naturally cooling itself down.
It is all related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) which runs on a cycle of every 60 years. the scientists predict that this will keep temperatures down for the next 10 years, although they say that they will begin to rise again dramatically in 2020.
Scientists are very excited about the new findings as little is know about the cycle and how it works, so the discovery will help to build a proper model of our ocean and our climate.
BBC report - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7376301.stm
Science mag article - http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5731/41
Paper studying impacts of AMO - http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006.../2006GL026242.shtml
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Train at Dawlish
Rise in Sea Levels have meant Railway developers having to rethink building plans and certain rail lines in the South West. Train lines run right along the coast of Cornwall and into Devon but some areas are already being affected by the sea, particularly in bad weather. Developers are suggesting possibly reopening of the old line between Okehampton and Plymouth. This would be to move away from the line which runs the Dawlish seafront, as bad weather often means difficulaties. Train operators are hoping to make this development a reality over the next 50 years in preperation of SLR. Measures to open the line between Tavistock and Plymouth are already underway, although it is estimated to cost around £10m.
Some are protesting the changes, as the route along the coast is a much more pleasent one to travel, but measures must be taken to ensure that future journeys are safe and on time.
Friday, 28 March 2008
Also, it's another reminder to sign their petition, with information on the Marine Bill and what you can do to help. Podcast available.
('Save Our Seas' Campaign main page - http://news.uk.msn.com/save-our-seas.aspx)
Read it here:
On a sadder note; the seal hunt. As the seal hunting season in Canada has begun, this years debate is well under way between animal rights activists and Canadain hunters. Every year the argument kicks off over the seals and so far little has changed. This year, the canadian government have put a 275,000 catch limit upon the seals. Hunters, who are claim that the seals bring in the a 5th of the countries income, are likely to suffer a hit as the EU looks to join the USA in banning the sale of seal pelts from Canada.
Pro-hunters claim that seals are the same as fish but even so, are always killed humanely. But despite this claim shocking images of the mammals bleeding slowly to death and suffering much pain are released every year, displayed in the hope of raising more public interest in ending the hunt. This year though, as the hunt begins, the Canadian government have interestingly banned the media from 'interefering' and filming the hunt, which makes many wonder what they are trying to hide....the fight continues.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Help by signing the petition now:
Monday, 17 March 2008
After recently being part of a conversation between a large group of people, containing 3 different generations, the views and fears of the future do not appear to be overly optimistic.
There seems to be a belief among some of the public that the world is going to collapse into complete disorder over the next years. People are considering crazy future models of our earth, based upon reports (possible scaremongering), obvious changes in weather and predictions of sea level rise. These predictions, such as the loss of Greenland, is sparking fear in many that there will not be a world to save for much longer. Ideas that as sea level rises, war will break out over territory and there will be a recession to an almost prehistoric time; that all we have created and invented will be lost and people will be forced to live by nature alone. But there are two opposite sides to the coin. Some are looking forward to a future full of space age style technology and a super human race whereas others it seems are predicting cavemen and spear hunting? It seems that some of the general public are geniuinely worried that situations such as those in films like ' The Day After Tomorrow' could be a reality. Recent weather is supporting these fears with massive changes from one year to the next, freak storms and spells of extreme sunshine or rain. Although many will claim that there is evidence to back up these fears, aren't we just always afraid of something? New disease epidemics that would resemble the plague come forth nearly every year such as SARS, bird flu and BSE, fears over natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions that would give Pompeii a run for its money, unfounded worries of Y2K...we have to wonder whether once again we are expecting the worse because we are conditioned to?
Just a link to back this up, written in 2003, this report claims that our beaches will be gone in just 100 years - extreme much?
Is this really the future we are facing or are we suffering from scare mongering by the media and those wanting to kick push the world into change?
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Statistics are claiming that there has been a total decrease of 50% of all species over the last 30 years. The decline is being blamed upon fishing and it has been estimated that around 100 million sharks are killed every year for this. This is mainly due to an increase in demand for shark meat, especially fin, but many also die due to being the product of by-catch. Shark fins are considered a delicacy, reaching up to as much as £150 per kg. Finning is a cruel process and usually means a slow death for the shark. The fins are removed and the fish is replaced back in the water, rendering it helpless and eventually causing death through suffocation or blood loss. Many are now calling for a ban to be placed upon finning.
Julia Baum, a member of the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group, said that few regulations and catch limits on shark fishing are causing the concern that in few years to come, many species could be facing extinction. Overfishing has already caused the scalloped hammer-head to be placed on the 2008 IUCN Red List as being globally 'endangered' after it is said to have suffered at 95% loss in recent years, along with the tiger, bull and dusky species.
Sonja Fordham, of the Shark Alliance, said that the general public can help by alerting ministers to the sharks' plight and letting them know they support methods to conserve shark populations. It is thought that letters and petitions will soon come into action to try and enforce new government regulations for shark fishing.
(Click below the photograph)
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
The Environment Agency are taking measures to try and prevent the depletion of Salmon stocks in rivers in the South West area.
The E.A put Salmon breeding numbers at a big loss over the past 10 years:
1996 - 5, 213
2006 - 1,098
Salmon are being bred and 'raised' bfore being released into the rivers. The hope is that they will then return to the same river in order to breed.
The environment Agency's action plan for the River Wye in Wales:
A minister is being forced by the MCS (Marine Conservation Society) to put a ban on Scallop fishing in the Fal Bay and Helford River. Although the ban was originally to concentrate on dredging, it has been suggested that the only way to really bring it into force would be to ban all types of scallop fishing; including diving and collecting scallops by hand. The MCS say they are hoping to replenish the scallop stocks, letting them breed and get back to a healthy number. Although in theory this is a positive move for fishermen, more scallops means more stock, there are fears among the fishermen that if the replenishment is successful, it could mean more bans across the country and put many, temporarily or possibly even permanently, out of work. The only way the ban could be lifted is if the fishermen can prove their methods of fishing are not damaging, to either the stocks or the sea bed; an impossible task.
This brings about a debate which has long plagued the marine industry; is there ever a way to comprimise? The replenishment of fish stocks and their health is essential but constant bans and rules is causing negative press for fishing and putting many fishermen and their jobs in jeopardy. So is sustainable fishing the answer? And if so, how can we encourage fishermen to stick to sustainable methods? Also, will these methods be enough for them to maintain decent lifestyles? One thing that should be considered is, if this is a step in the right direction, how come the government won't step in and bring in better measures for all concerned? Banning unsustainable methods of fishing and educating all fishermen would surely help to bring about a happier medium, but sustainable methods often mean more work for the fishmermen. This would likely lead to a more expensive market - is this the right price to pay? How would consumers react? And could this mean fishermen being put out of jobs anyway?
In a time where we are constantly being told our seas are in crisis, long term plans need to be devised to ensure all parties involved will benefit and that quick-fix botch jobs are not made to try and simply plaster over the cracks.
For more information on the Falmouth Scallop ban - An article from the telegraph:
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Companies involved in regulating fishing and fish protection:
- Cornwall Sea Fisheries
- Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) - controlled by DEFRA
- Environment Agency
- Police (Comes under wildlife Crime)
the Recreational Angling Market is huge, creating 19,000 jobs for the sector and £1 billion is spent on the sport each year. Kayak fishing growing more popular. Recreational Anglers are often friends of those concerned about the environmental welfare of the see as it is important that the fish stocks are plentiful and healthy. Recreational anglers are fairly useful for research as they give good information on catches and the quality which can be useful for monitoring health of fish stocks.
A selection of minimum size catches for fish and shellfish:
Black bream 23
Conger eel 58
Grey Mullet 20
Red Mullet 15
Red Bream 25
- Male 16
- Female 15
Lobster (carapace) 9
- Male 13
- Female 12
- Farmed 4.5
- Pickers 5.5
There are 2 different types of fishing styles; rod fishing and net fishing. Each of these methods has its own set of ruls and regulations set up by the environment agency.
Rod fishing legislation includes rules regardingrestrictions of seasons, especially regarding particular fish and restrictions of bait types. For the Fal estuary, there are particualr restrictions regarding Bass, Salmon and Sea trout. For example, 'Rod and line angling for Bass from a boat and hand lining for Bass are prohibited in the Fal area from 1 May to 31 December' (order by DEFRA)
Net Fishing has stricter laws regarding particular species of fish, net size and types. the main species targeted in net fishing are Bass, Salmon, sea trout and Sand eel. For example, 'All forms of trawling is prohibited in the Fal area' (Bylaw of the Environment Agency)
If fishing for recreational activities, licences are not needed but laws regarding fishing must be followed, espcially catch sizes. For those wishing to sell their catches, particular licences are needed depending on what is being sold and who to.
There are several agencies committed to ensuring that the sport continues as it is today, ensuring Government policy supports recreational angling . The National Federation of Sea Anglers is one of the biggest supporting agencies, representing 'more than 30,000 sea anglers and 300 angling clubs'. It also claims to work with other related organisations such as Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (BASS) and Sea Anglers Conservation Network (SACN)
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
First published 13 March 2007, The Climate Change Bill was designed to help the United Kingdom cut carbon emissions and help contribute towards the worlds total climate change. The main point of the bill is to cut the UK's carbon emissions down by 26% - 32% by 2020 and finally reach a reduction of 60% by 2050.
As well as this there are to be five-year carbon budgets that will be set in advance to limit total emissions. The first is set to run between 2008 - 2012 and will be running for the 15 years after that. The country's climate and carbon emissions will be decided by both a climate committee and the government, so any amendments to the bill have to be passed by the committee, whom will be made up with its own appointed staff and executives. The bill doesn't outline how carbon emissions are going to be cut, but there is a strategy document drawn up by the government which discusses how the UK can start to lower energy costs and emissions. Ideas include new trading schemes for businesses, new technologies such as solar power, reductions in energy useage - personal and business.
Amendments to the bill are still in progress and the full version is expected before Easter so that it can come into law as soon as possible.
Updates as and when.
Many are now calling for a Marine Bill to be introduced to the UK to try and start to save some of the destruction that is occuring in our seas. Many have been campaigning for such a bill for nearly 7 years and finally, the Government seems to be start to take action. The idea of the marine bill is to try and protect our marine wildlife and secure the sustainable future of our oceans.
The marine bill hopes to introduce:
- More marine protected areas and more protection for those already established, to prevent dumping and unsustainable fishing.
- Stonger laws to protect rare or threatened species
- Ways to prevent exploitation of resources such as fishing, oil and gas, shipping and coastal development
- Ways to protect fish stocks and sustainable fishing methods for fishermen
To sign it:
(Also, animation rather sweet - Fish almost looks happy after its signed!)
The London International Climate Forum, Saturday-Sunday 14th-15th June 2008
At the South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, Kings Cross / Mornington Crescent tubes
2 days of seminars and workshops on a broad range of climate-related topics. 2 major plenary sessions.
Speakers from all around the world – including politicians, scientists, journalists, campaigners and activists from environmental, development and conservation NGOs and grass roots groups.
Stalls, exhibitions, performances
Music / entertainment Saturday night
Speakers to include Michael Meacher MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Colin Challen MP, Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute, Ginting Longenna of Friends of the Earth International (ex Director WALHI, Indonesian Friends of the Earth), Ichin Cheng of Taiwan Environmental Action Network, Wael Hmaidan of the League of Independent Activists (Lebanon), Mark Lynas author & journalist, Larry Loman from Corner House, Joss Garman from Greenpeace, Dr David Fleming of the Lean Economy connection, John Stewart of HACAN, Derek Wall Green Party Principal Speaker, Dr Stuart Parkinson, Director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, Dr Marion Birch of MEDACT, Professor Andy Haines from the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medecine, Oliver Sylvester-Bradley from Solar Century, Mike Edwards from CAFOD, Muzammal Hussein from the London Islamic Network for the Environment, Mark Dowd from Operation Noah, Will Howard from Cap and Share, Steve Stretton from the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research ……….and many, many more (see www.campaigncc.org for updates)……….
For last years “International Climate Conference” on May 12th-13th at LSE see here :
Put this date in your diary now !
Submissions for self-organised seminars, stalls, exhibits, performances etc : please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Discuss the likely impacts on the Cornish coastline and evaluate appropriate management techniques to contain the challenge.
Author: Alexandra pearce, February 2008
Impending Sea level rise means big impacts and therefore big changes to our landmasses and, more importantly, our coastal towns. It is essential therefore to come up with plans to manage this future sea level rise and prepare for its effect on the region.
This study investigates the impacts that sea level rise will have on communities across Cornwall, for both the natural world and humans, and what courses of action should be taken. It examines sea level rise, its relation to climate change and past and future predictions for Cornwall, the UK and the rest of the world. It analyzes 3 different strategies of management plans for Cornwall; No action, Short term action plans and long term action plans. An estimated outcome is then predicted to determine what the best course of action would be to take.
Monday, 4 February 2008
Surveys of the Camel and the Fal which started in 2007 have revealed that several rare fish appear to have become locals. These include the Norwegian topknot (Phrynorhombus norvegicus), gilthead bream (Sparus aurata), and seahorse. A total of 43 species of fish have been recorded in the Fal so far. the survey is being carried out by the European Water Framework Directive and is part of a study into the health of the estuary as a whole. Water quality, phytoplankton, saltmarsh ans seagrass habitats will also be checked at later dates.
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
What to expect in our region
South West Climate Change Impacts Partnership predictions:
- Summers becoming hotter and drier
- This could mean the alteration of natural habitats and a strain on the regions water resources
- Wetter winters
- This could mean flash flooding and damage due to storms
Much of the South West relies on its natural resources; mainly its coastal and inland landscape as this attracts its biggest source of income - tourists. Not just this but the South West has some of the most beautiful areas in the country and much of this is untouched. Lots of areas of inland are farmed and the coast provides jobs and recreational activities for residents and holiday makers alike. There is a worry that sea level rise will affect the South West greatly, especially Cornwall, cutting off certain areas and creating islands i.e. Land's End.
Back on the nature side of things, the Sotuh West is said to have around 20% of the countrys untouched ancient woodland some of which, such as along the Helford River, will suffer greatly with sea level rise. This may mean the loss of certain species and a decrease in biodiversity.
The South West is also one of the hotter areas of the country but as temperatures increase with climate change, it is thought the region will get 1.0 to 2.5°C warmer and the winters will get significantly wetter. (Although at current 2007/2008 has not proved this point!) These 2 factors will mean an increase in storms and flooding which could mean problems along the coast with more erosion and weathering. There are also fears that the increasing temperatures will bring huge amounts of tourists to the South Coast, even dubbing it the 'Costa del Cornwall'. Although tourism is the main industry relied upon in the area to bring in revenue, it would have a massive impact upon the wildlife here and could lead to the increase of fuman impact on the area. Scientists are worried that Britain is not considering this as a serious problem.
Cornwall Country Council addressing the problem of Climate Change:
FACTORS TO CONSIDER:
-National Trust maintained
-Water quality - nearby sewage outfall - 2 combined sewage outfalls. Is currently MCS recommended but no Blue flag status
-Erosion - Sand dunes/cliffTourist facilities/ access
-Wildlife - Marine and TerrestrialLitterAdaptaion to sea level rise
-Nat. Trust/ SSSI maintained
-Awareness and Education
1. Preserve Ecosystem
Planned retreat - with regards to sea level rise i.e - no defences to be set up. General improvements.
1. Improve Sewage treatment to improve water quality
2. No beach defences
3. Move tourist facilities and car park - create new access routes
4. Provide litter bins
5. Monitor erosion of coast, sea level rise and any other factors affecting (to monitor changes for wildlife and also in case of change for future plans)
Coastal Arosion and Acretion
IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Research into SLR
Records since 1915 - 20cms rise in 90 years
The National Trust:
- Mean Sea Level Rise
- Tides and Surges
- Winds and Waves
- Ocean Temperatures and Currents
Long term processes-
- Sea Level Rise
- Wave height/ Wave energy/ surge
- Sediment supply
- Coastline retreat
Short term processes-
- Breakdown human intervention
- Coastal Squeeze
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Friday, 4 January 2008
'They are to the oceans, what CO2 is to the air'
This is a quote from a scientist regarding plastic particles in the ocean known as 'mermaids tears' which are fragments and grains of plastic which could be poisoning our seas and killing off some of our marine life. 80% of this plastic comes from the land.
Jan Van Franeker claimed: 95% of Fulmar birds found dead had ingested plastic. He also stated that sea turtles mistake plastic bags/sheeting for the jelly fish they normally eat and seals are also often caught up in fatal accidents with plastic.
The biggest worry relating to this is the toxic chemicals given off by plastic in the ocean. Plymouth University have been studying plastic particles and have discovered grains of plastic smller than grains of sand in over 20 beaches across the UK. This has also been discovered abroad, in North and South America, Africa, Australia and the Arctic. One Dr. Thompson estimaed there are currently 300,000 items of plastic per sq km of seabed. Toxic chemicals are worrying because of ingestion of marine animals. Many animals at the lower end of the food chain feed by filtering food through and plastic is being ingested by these animals in this way; absorbing the dangerous chemicals. Studies by the team at Plymouth Uni show that these toxins are now travelling along the food chain and are being ingested by anything that eats these invertebrates. This could mean coming back and reaching humans.
Spokeswoman for the plastics industry has claimed that there is no evidence for absorption of plastic by animals actually happening in nature, only theroetically. Also claimed it is 'the people's problem' for it is they whom discard of the rubbish.
Further studies are being done to find out how detrimental this problem could be. But as most plastics found on the beach are post-consumer, we should start looking at ourselves to try and clean the problem up.
For more information see the following BBC news article:
Thursday, 3 January 2008
Over 50 countries participated in rallys to protest no action being taken against climate change as the UN talks take place in Bali. In the UK, nearly 8,000 people turned out for the protest, taking part in talks, pickets, a cycle ride and walk through london. 8,000 is a small number in comparison to the millions who live in London alone (especially consiering there was over 1 million for Iraq march).
UN talks were said to be 'a breakthrough' in actioan against climate change. Although experiencing much resistence from the US, an agreement was reached and will be fine tuned between now and 2009 in order to begin 'post-2012'
In relation to Climate Bill and Britain meeting its climate targets:
As of today, Thursday 3rd January, a new coal power station in Kent is being built - the first in nearly 25 years. Council is supporting this decision as E.ON claim another power station would be demolished and it's replacement will be 20% cleaner. Ben Stuart, Greenpeace, claims the new plant will produce 8.5 million tonnes CO2 per year. Even though there has been nearly 10,000 complaints, E.ON claimed today they had still only received only around 8 complaints and with no council objection, the plant is likely to go ahead. (info heard on radio 5L)