Posted on March 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Earth hs often been marked by meteor impacts, and a new impact zone in Australia may the largest ever. Photo via USGS.
Geothermal exploration leads to unexpected discovery
FRISCO — Scientists exploring deep underground for geothermal resources in Australia got more than they bargained for when they found signs of an ancient 400-kilometer-wide impact zone from a huge meteorite that broke in two moments before it slammed into the Earth.
The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a team of geophysicists has found the twin scars of the impacts — the largest impact zone ever found on Earth — hidden deep in the earth’s crust. Continue reading
Filed under: astronomy, Environment | Tagged: Geology, Australia, meteors, meteor impacts, earth history | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A recent weather satellite image of Australia, via NASA.
‘The Millennium Drought was far from an exceptional event for eastern Australia during the past thousand years …’
FRISCO — Even without the added factor of global warming, eastern Australia is susceptible to climate extremes, including long-lasting droughts that could put a huge strain on water storage and delivery systems.
Researchers say a 1,000-year ice core record from Antarctica shows the recent “Millennium Drought” actually wasn’t all that unusual in the context of Australia’s long-term climate history. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, extreme weather | Tagged: Antarctica, Australia, climate change, drought, global warming, Ice core | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study presents new evidence of unsustainable fishing.
Catch rates down by 90 percent in 100 years
FRISCO — Australian ocean scientists say they’ve quantified a decline in Queensland’s pink snapper fishery that resulted in a drop almost 90 percent in catch rates since the 19th century.
To trace the decline, researchers with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the University of Queensland and the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry scoured thousands of newspaper articles dating back to1870 to reveal the historic catch rates for the iconic Queensland fishery. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Australia, fishing, sustainable fisheries | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Australian scientists say a government plan for the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t do enough to mitigate threats.
Global warming, coal port dredging seen as key threats
FRISCO — Leading Australian scientists said this week that the government’s business-as-usual plan for the Great Barrier Reef won’t prevent its decline.
While acknowledging a few positive steps in the plan, the Australian Academy of Scientists said the proposal “fails to effectively address any of the key pressures on the reef including climate change, poor water quality, coastal development and fishing.”
And, as is often the case with planning efforts in the U.S., the Australian government’s vision for the reef also doesn’t acknowledge the cumulative impacts that intensify pressure on one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems.
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment | Tagged: Australia, Australian Academy of Sciences, climate change, coal port dredging, Environment, Great Barrier Reef | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study findings to help inform coastal management
Dredging near coral reefs can lead to chronic disease and decline.
FRISCO — Along with the stress of global warming and the disappearance of reef-grazing fish, corals are also beset by the increasing pace of coastal development — specifically dredging — which can increase the frequency of diseases affecting corals.
Australian researchers with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies made their findings after studying a site near Barrow Island, off the West Australian coast, where an 18-month, 7-million cubic metre dredging project took place, developing a channel to accommodate ships transporting liquefied gas to a nearby processing plant. The site was in otherwise very good condition. Continue reading
Filed under: coral reefs, Environment | Tagged: Australia, coral reefs, Environment, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 29, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Australian study finds warmer ocean temps may be causing problems for coral trout and other large reef fish
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Warmer water temperatures in the southeastern Pacific Ocean are taking a toll on coral trout, according to a new study from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.
Fish rely on swimming for almost all activities necessary for survival, including hunting for food and finding mates, said Dr, Jacob Johansen, explaining that their research found that global warming may reduce the swimming ability of many fish species, and “have major impacts on their ability to grow and reproduce.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Australia, climate impacts, coral reefs, coral trout, global warming | Leave a comment »