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Global overfishing: what is the world’s true catch?

Two leading marine biologists, Prof Daniel Pauly and Dr Dirk Zeller from the University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us project, published findings last year that challenged fundamental assumptions about global fisheries. read more

microplastics: what are they and why are they a problem?

There is growing concern about the environmental impact of microplastics in the ocean and waterways. They are widespread and persistent in the environment, and there is some emerging evidence that they may also pose a biological threat to a variety of organisms as well. Some concerns have even been raised that microplastics could potentially pose a threat to human health via the contamination of food. However, the exact impact of microplastics in this way is still unclear. Lots of attention has focused on plastic microbeads, used in cosmetic products, and many are calling for them to be banned in the UK, as they have been in the US. But what does the evidence show, are there other microplastics that are of even greater concern and what can we do about them? read more

ice2sea – final report on projected sea level rise

Ice2sea is an EU-funded project whose goal is to produce state of the art projections of sea level rise. Four of the lead UK scientists came to the SMC to discuss the project’s conclusions, including global mean sea-level rise to 2100 and beyond and the impact on Europe’s coastline. read more

expert reaction to Antarctic sea ice paper

A study published in Nature Geoscience suggests climate warming has led to Antarctic sea ice expansion, due to cool freshwater from melt beneath the Antarctic ice shelves insulating offshore sea ice from the warming ocean beneath. read more

our nutrient world: food, pollution and agriculture

A new report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) highlights how humans have massively altered global cycling of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients. While this had huge benefits for world food and energy production, it has also created a web of water and air pollution that is damaging human health, causing toxic algal blooms, killing fish, threatening sensitive ecosystems and contributing to climate change. read more

the state of the poles

Five leading UK scientists briefed journalists on the state of the world’s polar ice and how the landscape is really changing across Greenland, Arctic sea ice and the Antarctic. read more

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