Vaquita (Phocoena sinus). The worlds smallest porpoise, the vaquita has a gray back fading to a white belly, with black eye rings and dark patches surrounding its lips. This critically endangered species is restricted to the upper Gulf of California and is very rarely seen.
Credit: Conservation International/Aleja
© Conservation International/Alejandro Robles
Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). Listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, the present population numbers about 300. These seals are now found only in the eastern Mediterranean and northwest Africa.
Credit: Alex Aguilar/gBC University of B arcelona
© Alex Aguilar/gBC University of Barcelona
Defying ocean’s end offers global perspective on eve of pew report
For the first time ever, the world’s largest environmental organizations, working with scientists, the business community and international governments, met specifically to develop a comprehensive and achievable agenda to reverse the decline in health of the world’s ocean.
The five-day Defying Ocean’s End (DOE) conference marked the launch of a new, science-based international effort to restore and maintain the health of marine systems. The gathering resulted in several preliminary recommendations:
"The health of humankind is directly related to the health of the ocean - and the ocean and the marine life that calls it home is in real trouble," said Sylvia Earle, Executive Director of Conservation International’s Global Marine Program and DOE co-convener. "We couldn’t afford yet another meeting where we just sat around and created a wish list, so we formed Defying Ocean’s End to take unprecedented and bold steps forward."
To ensure the agenda from Defying Ocean’s End becomes reality, an anonymous donor today provided Conservation International, the coordinating organization of the DOE conference, a $5 million, five-year grant. The grant requires $4 million in matching funds, to bring the total to $9 million of funding.
The world’s ocean and the marine life it harbors are collapsing. A major study in Nature last month reported that fully 90 percent of large, predatory fish populations, including tuna and marlin, have disappeared, mostly due to over-fishing and destructive fishing methods. Other threats, such as coastal development, pollution and climate change, are also devastating marine life.
"It’s stunning to consider that in the past few decades, we have done away with the vast majority of large fish in the ocean and significantly altered the way marine systems operate," said Intel founder Gordon Moore, co-convener of the DOE conference. "By using sound science and implementing an achievable action plan, we still have a small window of opportunity to reverse these trends."
On Wednesday, the Pew Oceans Commission will release its long-awaited report, offering specific recommendations for the United States. Commission member Julie Packard presented the results to the DOE participants earlier today, who overwhelmingly supported the recommendations. Many top international priorities identified by DOE participants reinforce the recommendations issued by Pew.
"The world’s ocean is the last living frontier on Earth. Its diversity and productivity exceed that of any on land, but has barely been explored," said Graeme Kelleher, DOE conference chair. "We have an opportunity and obligation now to protect the ocean for the future welfare of humans, other animals, and marine plants. This conference was a major step toward defying ocean’s end. Prevention now is better than scrambling for a cure later."
The Defying Ocean’s End conference was convened to help reverse the decline in health of the world’s ocean. Leaders from Conservation International, Environmental Defense, International Seakeepers Society, IUCN-World Conservation Union, Natural Resource Defense Council, Ocean Futures Society, Seaweb, The Nature Conservancy, The Ocean Conservancy, Wildaid, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund attended among others, as did representatives from government, industry and academia. In total, more than 100 marine experts from 20 countries participated. The conference was convened by Sylvia Earle and Gordon Moore and was supported by The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Lisa Bowen | EurekAlert!
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At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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