Long newspaper article on whether the UK’s plans to generate more energy from wind farms are practical and realistic.
Not really a marine science story but this one made me smile. This is the story of two rats from Hawaii, Fin and Tofu, who are regularly taken surfing by their owner and, apparently, can now surf waves up to 4ft high.
Newspaper article describing new research by scientists from St Andrews University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that has suggested that the sound created by Navy sonar devices may be responsible for mass strandings of marine mammals. It is possible that the marine mammals confuse the sound of the sonar with killer whale calls and have a magnified anti-predator response which ends up with them becoming stranded in shallow water.
Article on the reported discovery of evidence for large releases of methane into the atmosphere from frozen seabed stores off the northern coast of Siberia. Methane is a powerful “”greenhouse gas” and so such releases could contribute significantly to global warming.
Article describing a new design for an underwater turbine, the Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine (Thawt) which promises to be more robust, more efficient and cheaper to build than more traditional turbine designs. A small-scale system (1m diamter) has been tested and the next stage in the research will be to trial a 5m diameter version.
News article on preparations in New Orleans ahead of the impending possible arrival of Hurricane Gustav (potentially the worst hurricane there since Hurricane Katrina struck three years ago).
[in the end Hurricane Gustav missed New Orleans]
Article drawing together recent observations and model outputs which are revealing that Arctic sea-ice is melting far more quickly than predicted, indicating that global warming is occurring far earlier than expected.
Front-page article describing the latest observations of sea ice coverage in the Arctic and discussing whether the North Pole could be ice free later in the summer season. A lack of Arctic sea ice would lead to greater absorption of solar radiation by the darker, ocean water (which less reflective than sea ice) and further increases in local temperatures.
Short article linked to other material on the aftermath of the summer 2007 UK floods which outlines how La Nina (unusually cool tropical waters in the Pacific) can change the path of high level winds in the northern hemisphere (the jet stream) thereby leading to poor summer weather in the UK. Although La Nina is now dying out, its influence will continue to affect summer weather in the UK in 2008.