When one goes on a seaside vacation, one looks forward to a relaxing time complete with a stroll on idyllic beaches. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case during a weekend visit to Block Island where an invigorating walk turned into a beach cleanup.
Paul Scope, President, who conceived of the idea over two years ago hopes that BERMEPA will serve as a consolidator for marine environment actions in Bermuda, “…we are excited to introduce an industry driven umbrella organisation for engaging regulators, governments, conservation groups, educators. We look forward to forming strategic alliances with existing institutions in the marine environment protection space and encouraging effective compliance of our members with national and international laws and regulations adopted for the protection of the marine environment from pollution”.
“What defines an invasive species? Are humans an invasive species?”, one of my students asked me during lunch. Earlier that day he had asked a similar question in front of the whole group, but I had responded that we didn’t have enough time to get into a long debate about the contentious definition of an invasive species. I said that if he wanted, we could debate whether or not humans were an invasive species over lunch.
In the KNect365 blog post last year: “12 experts evaluate the shipping industry's potential to go green” we discussed shipping’s potential to meet the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap. 2020 isn’t very far away, so the question arises - what are shipping companies actually doing right now? How many ships are actually using LNG? Are any commercial ships using biofuels, or wind?
Luckily, the answer comes to us from Dr. Nishatabbas Rehmatulla. In a paper published in January 2016, Dr. Rehmatulla and his team at University College London Energy Institute along with IMarEST, RINA and the MEPC surveyed 275 shipping companies representing 5,500 ships (or 20% of the wetbulk, drybulk and container industry). Just 1.5% of shipping companies said they were using LNG, .2% Biofuels, and .1% Solar. None of the companies that responded were using Wind Power, Kites, Sails or Flettner Rotors.
I asked several experts in the industry, including Dr. Rehmatulla, which alternative fuel they thought would see the largest growth by 2050. Will LNG remain on top of the heap – or will the recent highly publicized Norsepower/Maersk Tankers wind propulsion collaboration lead the way for commercial shipping to embrace wind shipping?
268,940 tons of plastic float through the world’s oceans, spreading, accumulating, and being swallowed or absorbed. A group of researchers led by Markus Eriksen of the Five Gyres Institute in LA made this estimate in 2014. 5.25 trillion plastic particles are sitting in the ocean, they wrote in their paper, which was the first ever estimate for the total amount of plastic in the ocean.
Carbon sequestration, ocean acidification, and global climate change: these are just a few complex processes associated with the carbon cycle and ultimately, the future of our environment. More familiar and accessible to the general public, however, is the fact that the amount of atmospheric carbon, a primary driver of climate change, is steadily on the rise in today’s world. Questions and concerns on the future of our planet develop when we begin to contemplate what consequences will arise as a result of this increased carbon. How will nature react?
One of the things we all have in common as citizens of Earth is our dependence on the it and on fully functioning ecosystems. Earth Day is about making sure that we can continue to depend on these processes, both for their intrinsic and their economic value. In the age of climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, an age scientists have literally termed the anthropocene, which means “the age of the human”, Earth Day is more important than ever.
Each year, April 22nd is a reminder of the responsibility we have to be stewards of the planet on which we live. Earth Day reminds us of the environmental issues that may not always be at the forefront of all conversations. But how did it start? And who do we have to thank for bringing environmental issues into the national spotlight?
The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed to limit Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from ships' exhaust gases during its meeting last week.