The Beacon

Ocean Roundup: Methane Seeping from U.S. Atlantic Seafloor, Iceland’s Caught Scores of Endangered Fin Whales, and More

Methane rising from the seafloor off Virginia. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a new report by the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, California is “woefully unprepared” for sea level rise. The report projects that agriculture, tourism, and fishing industries will be most impacted by sea level rise. Think Progress

- Scientists have discovered 570 locations off the U.S. Atlantic Coast where methane is seeping from the seafloor—a discovery that surprised scientists because this normally only occurs in tectonically active areas. Scientists say this could affect localized acidity of ocean water or hint at larger gas deposits in the seafloor. The New York Times

- When a seven-year-old orca became trapped in a fisherman’s nets last week off British Columbia, her pod stayed with her the entire time, even submerging themselves underwater alongside her. Fortunately, the whale was cut free and scientists say she looked healthy hours after her release. CBC News

- Iceland has caught 88 endangered fin whales since its whaling season began in mid-June. While that number is lower than its catch at this point last season, it violates the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on whaling. The Dodo


- Plastics have become such a staple in the modernized world that we often overlook just how much it surrounds us, but if you ventured to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or other areas in the world’s oceans where plastic accumulates, you would see that it now covers about 40 percent of the oceans’ surface. The best method to reduce plastics, says the author, isn’t in the clean-up, but instead is by reducing our plastic use. The New York Times

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