"Castastrophic" hecatomb of corals in the Great Barrier (study)

Australia's Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage gem of humanity, suffered a "catastrophic" hecatomb of its corals during a heated heat wave in 2016, threatening a greater diversity of marine life than hitherto estimated , warns study Thursday.

About 30% of the corals of the vast ensemble died during the heat wave between March and November 2016, the first episode of two consecutive years of bleaching.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, the reef extends over approximately 348,000 square kilometers along the Australian coast and is the largest coral reef in the world.

Based on published survey by the scientific journal Nature, coral, which is home to other marine creatures, has been hard hit by the rise in water temperatures following global warming.

 The Great Barrier Reef (AFP - dmk / ahu, A. Leung / J. Saeki)

The Great Barrier Reef (AFP – dmk / ahu, A. Leung / J. Saeki)

Terry Hughes, co-author of the study and director of the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, told AFP that the most endangered species are branch corals such as coral reefs that provide hiding places for juvenile fish.

The corals most likely to hold the shock are smooth, melon-shaped, pursued the researcher. These corals do not have too much trouble building their skeleton but "they are not very useful for habitat," adds Hugues.

During the bleaching of 2016, corals from the northern part of the Great barrier suffered a wave of "catastrophic deaths," the study continues.

"This coral dieback has caused radical changes in species diversity in hundreds of individual reefs, where mature and diverse reef communities are turning into more degraded systems, where only a few enduring species survive," writes Andrew Baird, other scientist

Bleaching is a phenomenon of withering which results in a discoloration of corals. Under the pressure of factors such as warming, stressed corals expel the algae with which they have a symbiotic relationship, and give them color and energy.

The study calls for the protection of surviving corals, estimated at about one billion .

"These are the ones who will recharge and re-inhabit altered reefs," says Hugues, adding that water quality needs to be improved by reducing coastal pollution.

to limit global warming as in the Paris agreement are also crucial.

"We had four bleaching episodes (1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017) on the Great Barrier with an overall temperature rise of 1 ° C," says Hugues. "If we continue with our emissions as if nothing had happened, I do not think the Barrier will survive it."

Reefs cover less than 0.2% of the ocean surface but are home to 30% of animal species and marine plants, protecting them from predators and serving as their pantry. They contribute to coastal protection, human nutrition, and tourism.

Total takes control of more than 74% of Direct Energie

RECONCILIATION. The French oil and gas group Total made the announcement this Wednesday, April 18, 2018. In a statement posted on its website the company announced the signing of an agreement with the principal shareholders of the alternative electricity supplier Direct Energie for a proposed acquisition of 74.33% of its capital. All for an amount of 1.4 billion euros, said the group. " By this operation, Total is actively pursuing its development in the generation and distribution of electricity and gas in France and Belgium, and this project is part of the Integration Group's strategy. on the entire value chain of gas – electricity and development of low carbon energy, in line with our ambition to become the major of responsible energy ", said in the statement Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO General de Total

Objective: 6 million customers in France

This merger will allow Total to continue its development program in terms of electricity supply in France and Belgium. It will thus be able to represent an alternative to EDF – which still retains a market share of around 85.5% – and to Engie by combining its portfolio of 1.5 million with that of 2.6 million. Direct Energie, currently number 3 in France on this market. Objective: target more than 6 million customers in France and more than 1 million customers in Belgium by 2022, the statement said. At the end of 2017, Engie had a base of 3.8 million customers in France for its electricity supply.

The latter details that the installed capacity of Direct Energie is 1.35 GW, including 800 MW gas plant and 550 MW of renewable electricity. These capacities therefore complement the installed capacity of 900 MW of the Total group. A 900 MW reactor produces an average of 500,000 MWh each month, which corresponds to the consumption of about 400,000 households, EDF figure . Total has set itself the goal of having a total capacity of at least 10 GW over a five-year period, either in the form of a gas-fired plant or in the form of renewable electricity capacity.

"We We welcome this transaction with pride and enthusiasm, and are convinced that this merger with the Total group will be for the benefit of our customers ", Xavier Caïtucoli, CEO of Direct Energie.

Meeting on April 17, the Board of Directors of Direct Energie declared itself unanimously in favor of this project.

With AFP and Reuters

Americans throw 150,000 tons of food a day (study)

Americans waste nearly 150,000 tons of food a day, the equivalent of more than 400 grams per person, a study said Wednesday, noting that fruits and vegetables were the most commonly discarded products.

This food that went to trash was grown on nearly 7% of US farmland, and thousands of billions of gallons of water were used to produce it, according to an article in the newspaper PLOS ONE. It also corresponds to 30% of the calories consumed daily by each American.

Fruit and vegetables account for 39% of all these products, followed by dairy products (17%), meat (14%) and dairy products. cereals (12%).

Among the products least likely to be discarded are crisps, oil, sweets and non-alcoholic beverages.

"Better diets are based on larger proportions of fruits and vegetables, which are wasted in greater quantities than other products, "says Meredith Niles, co-author of the study and assistant professor at the University of Vermont.

" Eating healthy is important and is a source of many benefits, but the more we follow these regimes, the more we need to be aware of food waste. "

The study, based on government figures and surveys on food waste between 2 007 and 2014, reports a "significant" impact on the environment and on farmers.

"This wastes were crops produced" with more than 350 million kg of pesticides and almost billion pounds of fertilizer "each year", according to the same source.

Among the possible solutions to this problem, the study proposes to teach consumers to better prepare and store fresh fruits and vegetables, and suggests that integrating efforts to prevent food waste from government programs.

"Food waste is a multi-layered issue," said lead author Zach Conrad of the Canadian Agricultural Research Service. North Dakota, which depends on the US Department of Agriculture.

"Addressing them holistically will become increasingly important in finding sustainable ways to meet the needs of a growing world population," he said. -t he added.

A cooling of water destroys corals off Japan

Unusually low water temperatures in Japan have destroyed some of the world's most northerly corals, an official from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment said Wednesday.

The ministry has been inspecting corals off the Pacific coast of Japan and found that a large portion had bleached, with 90 to 100% of each of the six areas observed being affected.

In four of these, the researchers reported from 85 to 95% of the whitened parts, said Yuto Takahashi, a guard of the marvelous natural spaces of the region attached to the ministry.

These damages seem the consequence of an unusual fall of the temperature of the water this year, in part due to a change of course of the Kuroshio current that conveys warm tropical waters to the north, he said.

"Very powerful cold winter fronts helped cool The gap made by the Kuroshio has also brought down the temperature of the sea "off Wakayama and other parts of the Pacific coast.

The mighty Kuroshio passing through the Pacific Northwest a, making an unusual deviation, brings up cold waters from the depths. Scientists have little knowledge of the reasons for these novelties of which they have observed six cases since 1965, the most recent last summer. In addition to their effect on temperature, they modify fishing zones and affect navigation, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

The phenomenon recently observed in Japan "is different from the bleaching observed on the Great Barrier Reef or in Okinawa caused by a warming of the water, "says Takahashi.

The Japanese archipelago is home in its temperate zones, up to the Bay of Tokyo, the northernmost corals of the world, an aspect different from those further away from the poles. The magnificent reefs of an infinite variety of subtropical and tropical areas, such as the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, are whitening and dying as a result of global warming.

The regions closer to the poles, less hot but the climate is milder, could gradually accommodate the corals by the displacement generation after generation of their larvae.

The reefs, which cover less than 0.2% of the surface of the oceans, shelter 30% of the animal and vegetable species protecting them from predators and serving as their pantry. They contribute to the protection of the coasts, to the food of the men, to tourism.

NDDL: "the lines have not moved", says a delegation of opponents

"No line has moved" on the file of regularizations in Notre-Dame-des Landes, said Wednesday in Nantes a delegation of opponents, after a long meeting with the prefect of the Netherlands. de la Loire, Nicole Klein, chaired by the Minister for Ecological Transition Nicolas Hulot

"No line has moved, it is clear that the lines have not moved at all", the "requirements "the government remains the same, said at the exit of the prefecture Marcel Thébault, one of the four historic farmers NDDL and a member of the delegation.

According to him, the government has not proposed of "delay delay or anything".

"We had the idea to come see how things were moving to have grit to grind and seek serenity," he observed with regret.

Three months after the abandonment of the airport project, this crucial meeting, proposed by Ms. Klein and quickly accepted by the occupiers of the ZAD, was aimed at finding a way out of the conflict, on the tenth day of operations. gendarmerie on the site of 1,650 hectares, marked by clashes between opponents and police

The meeting lasted more than two hours. The delegation was composed of eight opponents of the former airport project, including three representatives of the ZAD.

The arrival of Nicolas Hulot was announced in the morning.

In the National Assembly, the Prime Minister Minister Édouard Philippe repeated Wednesday that "illegal occupants" who will not quickly regularize their situation "will leave the place" in Notre-Dame-des-Landes because "force must remain in the law."