The cutest robo-jelly you ever did see

Plus how did the crab cross the road?

Oh hey there - it’s good to see you on this snowy Monday morning!

I’m delighted by how many people have subscribed to Baleen and all the lovely feedback so far. Y’all are the best! (Constructive criticism welcome too, of course: I can’t make the newsletter better if I don’t know what you need).

Anyhoo, it’s a new week and we’ve all got lots to crack on with so let’s get going.

Top stories you don’t want to miss

Without getting too political, there was one pretty big piece of news over the last week: the spring clean of the White House…

Seriously, though, the new Biden administration comes at a critical moment for our oceans. President Biden acknowledges that “climate change is the existential crisis of our time.” Now “the real work” has begun to build back better. On day one, he started the process of rejoining the Paris agreement (if you aren’t totally sure what the Paris agreement is, this BBC overview is handy). Given that the United States has the second biggest carbon emissions after China (Forbes), this American commitment to cut carbon can’t come soon enough. Biden also revoked the Keystone oil pipeline permit (The New Yorker) among other environmental actions (QZ).

Conservation charities are hopeful for this new era but stress the urgency of taking action.

Marine conservation charity Oceana applauded President Biden “for prioritizing science-based policies and taking the first steps to undo more than 100 rollbacks of environmental protections.”

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) stated that “the world is at a crossroads” and stressed the need for the USA to “….reengage in advancing environmental and conservation solutions as the world faces existential crises all caused by humankind: the loss of biodiversity, climate change, and the threat of pandemic disease.”

Oh and Greta wished the outgoing President well too (lol) ;)

What else happened?

So, what else is going on that will have impacts (good or bad) on the environment?

  1. Robo-cod: tiny robots that mimic the movements of jellyfish could save coral reefs ( The vid of this lil’ fella swimming in its tank is giving me a cute headache and I soo want to write about it (*cougheditorscommissionmecoughcough*)!

  2. Seal you later! This sea lion was nursed back to health and released into the wild after being attacked by a shark. Nice vid for the warm and fuzzies. (USA Today)

  3. Plans for a coal mine near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is strongly opposed by experts who have “extreme concerns” about risks to coral reefs (ABC)

  4. Whale, that’s not good news: The number of humpback whale calves seems to be declining as a result of climate change (The Conversation)

  5. Plastic (petition) fantastic: Nine-year-old Lizzie’s plastic waste petition gained over 80k signatures in a week; proof that each one of us can make a positive difference! (Global Citizen)

  6. Batty new discovery: Scientists found a ‘spectacular’ new species of orange-furred bat which looks remarkably like me before my first coffee! (Mongabay)

  7. Baby sharks (doo doo do do doo doo): In worrying news, warming ocean temperatures are causing baby sharks to be born earlier and weaker (Telegraph)

  8. Animal crossing: Authorities in Sweden are building reindeer bridges to help them cross the road safely. These aren’t the world’s only wildlife bridges - there’s an impressive (albeit slightly freaky) one for red crabs among others! (Guardian)

  9. Spot the inbred zebra: A study has found zebras with abnormal patterns may show how habitat fragmentation is causing poor genetic diversity (Nat Geo)

  10. Something to bee worried about: According to GBIF, 25% fewer species of bees were found between 2006 and 2015 compared to pre-1990. (New Scientist)

Diving deeper

Still want more? Here are a couple of longer reads to check out…

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Have a lovely week and see you next time!


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