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 why microplastic debris may be the next big threat to our seas
why microplastic debris may be the next big threat to our seas

Plastic, metal, rubber and paper are some of the materials that pollute the world's oceans, often in the form of soda cans, cigarette butts, plastic bags and bottles, and fishing gear.

why microplastic debris may be the next big threat to our seas

Credit: Dr. Krista KamerPlastic, metal, rubber and paper are some of the materials that pollute the world's oceans, often in the form of soda cans, cigarette butts, plastic bags and bottles, and fishing gear.
Environmental and marine science specialists call it "marine debris," which, simply put, means anything in the ocean that wasn't put there by nature.Recently, though, a new type of trash—microplastics—has become a focus for marine researchers, and they fear the impact of this type of debris may be especially dire. Microplastics are particularly problematic for the planet's seas since they're a lot harder to see with the naked eye. Measuring less than five millimeters and often requiring magnifying technology to view, these are particles of broken-down plastic fibers that end up in t

logging threatens breeding turtles | eurekalert! science news

Debris from logging in tropical forests is threatening the survival of hatchling leatherback turtles and the success of mothers at one of the world's most important nesting sites in Colombia.
New research by the University of Exeter and the Doñana Biological Station in Seville, Spain, has found that debris on beaches caused by logging activity is impacting both young turtles and their mothers during the key periods of their life cycles.
Leatherbacks are at particular risk of being caught up in fishing nets and longlines as bycatch, because they are migratory, travelling long distances worldwide.
Many breeding sites are already under pressure from tourism.
But now, research published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series has revealed that the logging is an additional, previousl

china says sc jurisdiction to cover all seas under its control

China's Supreme Court has extended its maritime jurisdiction to cover all seas under the country's 'sovereign control', as Beijing firmed up its hold over the disputed South China Sea. China will resolutely safeguard maritime rights and interests, a work report of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) submitted to the country's legislature the National People's Congress (NPC) today said.China's maritime jurisdiction extends to cover all jurisdictional seas, a regulation contributed to China's strategy of becoming a major maritime power, Supreme Court Chief Justice Zhou Qiang said in his report, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.According to the regulation in effect since last August, jurisdictional seas not only include inland waters and territorial seas, but also cover regions, including c

can't allow our seas to turn into zones of contention: india

Seas cannot be turned into zones of contention, India has said as it reiterated the importance of freedom of navigation on the high seas and resolving maritime disputes by peaceful means."The rapid and sustained economic growth across oceans is proof that the world's economic engines are purring to a new tune in the 21st century. We must turn this into the harmony of a great choir, where each of us is an equal voice," Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said yesterday, addressing the UN Ocean Conference in the General Assembly here.The Ocean Conference, which opened at the world body’s headquarters on June 5 and will wrap up today, is the first ever such summit convened by the UN.The conference focuses on the targets outlined in the 2030 Agendafor Sustainable Development, adop

space debris becoming more dangerous

Experts are concerned about space debris and are urging measures to rid the space of man-made garbage as the boundless black becomes more crowded.Scientists have highlighted the dangers of millions of pieces of defunct objects floating in space. The mentioned space junk is comprised of dead satellites, spent rocket stages and fragments from collisions or erosion that come in different sizes with some large enough to be seen with a telescope. But experts say even the pin-sized ones can cause catastrophic damage.Collisions are rare but half of all near-misses today are reportedly caused by debris from only two incidents. The moving waste pieces also complicate the inspecting capability of on-earth telescopes adding more urgency for a clean-up strategy.

eye-opening numbers on space debris

Still image taken from a movie, Space debris ? a journey to Earth, to be released April 18th, 2017. Credit: ESAOrbital debris, otherwise known as "space junk", is a major concern. This massive cloud that orbits the Earth is the result of the many satellites, platforms and spent launchers that have been sent into space over the years. And as time went on, collisions between these objects (as well as disintegrations and erosion) has created even more in the way of debris.
Aside from threatening satellites and posing a danger to long-term orbital missions – like the International Space Station – this situation could pose serious problems for future space launches. And based on the latest numbers released by the Space Debris Office at the European Space Operations Center (ESOC), the problem

scientists investigate debris disk in a nearby planetary system

ALMA band 7 (0.86 mm) continuum image of 61 Vir with natural weights and corrected by the primary beam response (FWHM∼ 1700). Credit: Marino et al., 2017.(Phys.org)—Astronomers have recently presented new results of observations of a nearby planetary system known as 61 Virginis (or 61 Vir for short). The observations were focused on investigating the system's debris disk, which could hold many clues to the nature of planetary formation beyond our solar system. The study is available in a paper published May 4 on the arXiv pre-print repository.
61 Vir is a G-type, 4.6-billion-year-old main-sequence star about the size of our sun, located approximately 28 light years away. The star is known to be orbited by at least three planets that are five, 18 and 23 times more massive than Earth. One

alma eyes icy ring around young planetary system

IMAGE: Composite image of the Fomalhaut star system. The ALMA data, shown in orange, reveal the distant and eccentric debris disk in never-before-seen detail. The central dot is the unresolved emission...
view more Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. MacGregor; NASA/ESA Hubble, P. Kalas; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth.Earlier ALMA observations of Fomalhaut -- taken in 2012 when the telescope was still under con

presstv-china ‘strongly dissatisfied’ with g7 statement

A senior Chinese official says his country is “strongly dissatisfied” with the mention of ongoing disputes in regards to the South and East China Seas in the final communiqué of the recent G7 summit in Italy.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the remark in a statement published on Sunday after the G7 countries expressed concern over territorial disputes and rising maritime tensions in the East and South China Seas.In their final statement, the seven wealthy nations, in a gathering on the Italian island of Sicily, expressed their opposition toward “any unilateral actions that could increase tensions,” and urged all parties to the conflict to start the demilitarization process.Kang said, “We noticed this situation. We express strong protest in relation to the G7 summit’s communi

mars may one day have a ring made from its own destroyed moon

One day in the very distant future, Mars may develop a ring composed of its own destroyed moon. Such a notion was recently put forth by a new study looking at its moon Phobos in particular, stating that in about 70 million years the moon could be close enough to the planet to break apart. When that happens, the debris will be pulled into a sort of field around the Red Planet, giving it its own ring.The entire matter revolves around something called the Roche limit, which is the distance from a planet in which tidal forces will shred another space object being kept together with gravity. In the Red Planet’s very distant past, it is possible a ring already existed composed of debris unleashed when a massive asteroid slammed into Mars.That debris forming the ring would slowly move out into sp

new pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

IMAGE: The buckling-induced cubic patterned kirigami sheet can be folded flat.
view more Credit: (Image courtesy of Ahmad Rafsanjani/Harvard SEAS)Origami-inspired materials use folds in materials to embed powerful functionality. However, all that folding can be pretty labor intensive. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are drawing material inspiration from another ancient Japanese paper craft -- kirigami.Kirigami relies on cuts, rather than folds, to change the structure and function of materials.In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, SEAS researchers demonstrate how a thin, perforated sheet can be transformed into a foldable 3D structure by simply stretching the cut material."We find that applying sufficiently

malaysia, india urge nations to resolve scs dispute

Malaysia and India today urged countries to resolve the South China Sea dispute without resorting to threat, by exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoiding unilateral actions that may increase tensions.They also emphasised that all parties should show utmost respect to the United Nations Convention on Laws of Seas (UNCLOS), 1982 which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans.Malaysia is one of the claimants to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.The two leaders reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and overflight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law and UNCLOS.Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two sides were conscious of their role and responsibility in prom

irish sun - a 320 million-year-old shark tooth fossil found at north clare coast

Shark tooth discovered by geologist Dr Eamon Doyle Doyle said that the fossil was probably exposed by winter stormsThe shark is believed to have once hunted in the ancient seas of the Carboniferous periodCLARE, Ireland - The tooth of a 320 million-year-old shark, that is believed to have once hunted in the ancient seas of the Carboniferous period in the waters off Ireland has been discovered.The shark tooth fossil was found on the north Clare coastline at Doolin, Co Clare by geologist Dr Eamon Doyle.The shark reportedly once hunted in the ancient seas at a time when Ireland was located close to the equator, reports noted.Doyle has said in an interview that the fossil was probably exposed by winter storms.In a report in TheJournal, he said, “They were found on one of our geo-sites. It’s som

laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, dna into cells without harm

IMAGE: This is a scanning-electron microscope image of chemically-fixed HeLa cancer cells on the substrate. The tips of the pyramids create tiny holes in the cell membranes, allowing molecular cargo to...
view more Credit: (Image courtesy of Harvard SEAS)The ability to deliver cargo like drugs or DNA into cells is essential for biological research and disease therapy but cell membranes are very good at defending their territory. Researchers have developed various methods to trick or force open the cell membrane but these methods are limited in the type of cargo they can deliver and aren't particularly efficient. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new method using gold microstructures to deliver a variety of

rex tillerson's asia trip shadowed by north korea threat

In this March 7, 2017 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department in Washington. Susan Walsh—AP(TOKYO) — On his first trip to Asia as top U.S. diplomat, Rex Tillerson wants to forge cooperation with Japan, South Korea and China against the nuclear threat from North Korea and demonstrate "America First" does not mean a U.S. diplomatic retreat from the volatile region.Tillerson will find shared anxiety at the North's saber-rattling but less agreement about how to deal with it, and unresolved questions about how the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, can manage growing differences.Japan and South Korea, which host American troops and are already within range of North Korean missiles, support U.S. efforts to increase diplomatic and economi

donald trump: climate march held on 100th day

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of people across the U.S. are marking President Donald Trump's hundredth day in office by marching in protest of his environmental policies.In Washington, D.C., large crowds on Saturday were making their way down Pennsylvania Avenue, where they planned to encircle the White House. Organizers say about 300 other protest marches are expected around the country.Participants in the Peoples Climate March say they're objecting to Trump's rollback of restrictions on mining, oil drilling and greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants, among other things.In Augusta, Maine, protesters outside the statehouse said they wanted to draw attention to the damage climate change can cause marginalized communities. A demonstration stretched for several blocks in downtown T

pair rescued after yacht caught in rough seas on great barrier reef

Two people have been rescued after their yacht broke down on the Great Barrier Reef early Thursday morning.The sailors put out a distress call over the radio after the engine failed on their 13.5 metre yacht and only one sail was in working order.
The LifeFlight rescue helicopter managed to find the yacht within an hour of their distress call. Photo: RACQ LifeFlight RescueA LifeFlight rescue helicopter dispatched about 7am found the vessel near Lady Elliot Island, north-east of Bundaberg, within the hour."They were struggling to deal with rough seas and strong winds that kept pushing them back out. They were very concerned," LifeFlight pilot Michael Thomas said.The Bundaberg Volunteer Marine Rescue towed the yacht and transported the sailors, who were not hurt, to shore.Stay informed. Li

ferries between denmark and sweden, germany paused due to 'threat'

A Scandlines ferry. Photo: DPA
Ferry services between Denmark and neighbouring Sweden and Germany were briefly suspended on Wednesday because of an unspecified "threat", police and the ferry operator said.
"Police have checked out the first ferries and after inspection they have been authorised to start again," Danish police said in a statement.
Ferry operator Scandlines had said on its website earlier that services had been halted because of "a threat", without giving further details.
"We received a threat by telephone and we didn't have any more information than that so we suspended all traffic," Scandlines spokeswoman Anette Ustrup Svendsen told AFP.

body found near penguin island as frantic search for another man continues

A frantic search is under way for a man missing off the coast of Rockingham after locating a body and boat debris in the area on Monday.Police spokesman Andrew Maher said police found the body of an 81-year-old man on a beach near Penguin Island after discovering debris from a boat floating in the water about 5pm.
Water police are searching for a man in his 70s missing off Rockingham. Photo: SuppliedWater police have resumed the search for the companion of the deceased man on Tuesday morning, who is believed to be in his 70s.It is still unknown what happened to the pair, but police believe both were aboard a 4.5 metre aluminium dinghy when the tragedy unfolded.Volunteer Marine Rescue personnel, aerial support, the SES and water police are part of the search operation.

'harder, better, faster, stronger'-tethered soft exosuit reduces metabolic cost

What if running the 26.2 miles of a marathon only felt like running 24.9 miles, or if you could improve your average running pace from 9:14 minutes/mile to 8:49 minutes/mile without weeks of training? Researchers at the Wyss Institute and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University have demonstrated that a tethered soft exosuit can reduce the metabolic cost of running on a treadmill by 5.4% compared to not wearing the exosuit, bringing those dreams of high performance closer to reality. "Homo sapiens has evolved to become very good at distance running, but our results show that further improvements to this already extremely efficient system are possible," says corresponding author Philippe Malcolm, Ph.D., former Postdoctoral Research Fellow at th

researchers gather on mount stromlo to tackle 'space junk' issue

Researchers from across the globe are gathering in Canberra to coordinate one of the biggest clean-up efforts the universe has seen.Mount Stromlo's Space Environment Research Centre is hosting the consortium, focused on clearing millions of pieces of man-made "space garbage" from the Earth's orbit.
Researchers Paul Sibley, Moriba Jah, Ben Greene and Michael Copeland gather in front of Mount Stromlo's satellite laser station.  Photo: Sitthixay DitthavongIt is estimated that 170 million pieces of debris are circling the Earth at speeds in excess of 27,000 km/h, putting A$900 billion worth of satellites and space infrastructure at risk.Dr Ben Greene, the Space Environment Research Centre's chief executive, described why it was so important to clear the skies of this cosmic clutter."There is

researchers gather on mount stromlo to tackle 'space junk' issue

Researchers from across the globe are gathering in Canberra to coordinate one of the biggest clean-up efforts the universe has seen.Mount Stromlo's Space Environment Research Centre is hosting the consortium, focused on clearing millions of pieces of man-made "space garbage" from the Earth's orbit.
Researchers Paul Sibley, Moriba Jah, Ben Greene and Michael Copeland gather in front of Mount Stromlo's satellite laser station.  Photo: Sitthixay DitthavongIt is estimated that 170 million pieces of debris are circling the Earth at speeds in excess of 27,000 km/h, putting A$900 billion worth of satellites and space infrastructure at risk.Dr Ben Greene, the Space Environment Research Centre's chief executive, described why it was so important to clear the skies of this cosmic clutter."There is

presstv-iran navy to send flotilla to indian ocean

A flotilla of Iranian warships will set sail for the Indian Ocean next month in a bid to ensure security for the country's cargo ships in the high seas.Iran's 47th naval fleet is scheduled to depart for the Indian Ocean in early June, Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Rear Admiral Peyman Jafa’ari Tehrani said on Saturday.“The 46th flotilla, which was dispatched [to the high seas] some time ago, is now halfway through its mission and will return to Iran within the next days,” he added.The commander said that Iranian warships have a mission of providing security for the country's oil tankers and trade cargo ships sailing in the high seas, including in the Gulf of Aden, the Bab el-Mandeb and the Indian Ocean.Iran's 46th naval fleet, comprised of Sabalan destroyer and Lavan logistic warsh

dramatic footage shows woman escaping mudslide in peru

Dramatic footage shows a woman in Peru fighting to climb free of a mudslide, which was thick with debris. A woman has narrowly escaped a fast-moving mudslide near Lima, Peru, which nearly claimed her life.Video footage captured the moment Evangelina Chamorro Diaz pulled herself from the churning of mud by grabbing on to debris and scrambling to safety in Punta Hermosa, 40 kilometres outside the Peruvian capital.The woman, covered in mud from head to toe, clambered over wooden crates and branches to reach the banks of the river, where she was helped by a crowd of onlookers.The 32-year-old and her husband were taken to hospital and are both recovering, according to Peruvian media.Mudslides have claimed the lives of 18 people, and more than 35,000 people have been displaced as a result of hea

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