Now hear this: ‘Sonic Sea’ on ocean noise is tonight in Environmental Film Series

Today, there’s more than just the sound of waves and whales in the ocean. There’s tremendous underwater noise from shipping, oil and gas exploration, and naval sonar training, and it’s causing stress, deafness and even death in marine animals, especially whales and dolphins, which have sensitive hearing.

The next screening in Ohio State’s 2017 Environmental Film Series, “Sonic Sea,” looks at that problem and at cooperative efforts — involving scientists, industry, the navies of nations and others — to solve it. It shows at 7 p.m. tonight — Monday, Nov. 13 — in Room 130 in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry (CBEC) Building on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Admission is free and open to the public; free pizza and beverages at 6:45 p.m.

Continue reading

Oceans awash: Why ‘biodegradable plastic’ often isn’t

A new report from the United Nations “finds that biodegradable plastics, commonly found in plastic bags and bottles, degrade at extremely slow rates,” according to a story in the Christian Science Monitor. CFAES scientist Fred Michel is quoted in the story among others. The issue relates to the growing amount of plastic polluting our oceans. The authors of the report, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, wrote: “There is a moral argument that we should not allow the ocean to become further polluted with plastic waste, and that marine littering should be considered a ‘common concern of humankind.’”