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New GPS tracker tech puts whales on the radar

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Experts say the GPS tracker will pave the way for less-invasive methods of wildlife tracking

Dr Olaf Meynecke from Griffith University’s Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) shows the new device.

An Australian researcher has developed a world-first GPS technology which will make it easier to track whales in real-time, right from their phone.

Dr Olaf Meynecke from Griffith University’s Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) led the study. He says the tech could provide important environmental insights. His team will be focusing on coastal and the fine-scale movement of the whales.

“One application will be in resting and breeding areas of species like humpback whales, which use coastal waters and link behaviour to today’s threats such as vessel traffic, water pollution and risk of entanglements,” he told Ticker NEWS.

Advancements in technology

“IT OPENS NEW WAYS OF TRACKING ANIMALS,” MEYNECKE TOLD TICKERNEWS LIVE.

This technology will be a far cheaper option than traditional satellite transmission, and will be able to work on a mobile network. This means the technology is suitable for both short-term and long-term tracking.

“I believe this technology to have a lot of potential as the mobile network is extending and we will undertake further modification to improve the tag design itself. We are planning more deployments along the east coast of Australia and have longer deployments aiming for several days.”

Customised Animal Tracking Solutions

MEYNECKE TELLS TICKERNEWS BRITTANY COLES, WHAT HE HOPES THE TRACKING DEVICE TECHNOLOGY WILL ACHIEVE.

It will monitor migrating humpback whales using a CATS (Customised Animal Tracking Solutions) suction cup tag. The CATs device temporarily attaches to the whale’s skin.

Suction cup tags do not have to penetrate the animals’ skin. Therefore, researchers can use them for short-term and small-scale studies. This GPS technology is usually used in cars and cargo ships.

“These tags are a more cost-effective method and capture more data locations and data points over time. The principle is the same as other suction cup tags. The tag sucks onto the whale’s skin and just falls off. The whales don’t seem to notice them at all,” Dr Meynecke said.  
“wE’RE INTERESTED IN NEAR SHORE WATERS” MEYNECKE TOLD TICKERNEWS LIVE.

The tags are about 20cm long and 10cm wide. They are hydrodynamic for minimal resistance, with water-tight protections.

“Ideally for future studies, we would like to modify the tag so that the antennae is out of the water enough to transmit after the tag comes off the whale,” Dr Meynecke said. 

Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

Climate

PM Johnson’s call to arms in a bid to combat climate change

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will join more than 100 Government and Foreign leaders at the 26th UN Climate summit.

British PM Boris Johnson at 2020 climate summit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken his message to the United Nations about the responsibilities the developed world has in helping developing nations address climate change.

Johnson is calling on wealthy countries to meet a pledge to spend $100 billion a year to tackle climate change as he prepares to host a UN summit.

It comes after the PM met at the high-level United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, according to Downing Street on Sunday.

There’s expected to be more than one-hundred Heads of State and Government as well as Foreign Ministers and diplomats attending the annual General Debate.

It will commence on September 21st and will run for six days.

A visit to the White House on the agenda

Prime Minister Johnson will also visit the White House for the first time since Joe Biden became US President.

The visit is a forerunner to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) UN climate summit, which the UK will host in Glasgow in November.

“World leaders have a small window of time left to deliver on their climate commitments ahead of COP26”, Johnson said ahead of the UNGA.

“My message to those I meet this week will be clear: future generations will judge us based on what we achieve in the coming months….We need to continue to make a case for a sustainable recovery from Coronavirus rooted in green growth.”

“And we have a responsibility to ensure the benefits of that growth extend to all, no matter where they are born.”

British PM Boris Johnson

Reports suggest Johnson intends to draw a strong focus on coal, climate, cars and trees.

A call to China

The PM also plans to call on China in efforts to persuade them to speed up their work in reducing carbon emissions.

However, it remains unclear if Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the summit, according to UK’s COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma.

“There is no doubt that China is going to be part of the key to all of this,” Sharma says.

“They have said to me they want the COP26 to be a success. The ball is in their court. We want them to come forward and make it a success together with the rest of the world.”

UK COP26 President-designate alok sharma

Carbon emissions must be cut by 45 percent by 2030 in order to avoid detrimental climate impacts, experts say.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Climate

Oil giant Shell ramps up sustainable jet fuel production

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Shell wants to produce SAF in scale by 2025

Oil giant, Shell has revealed bold plans to produce low carbon jet fuel for aircraft as the world continues to turn its focus on climate change

Shell plans to start producing low-carbon jet fuel at scale by 2025, in an attempt to encourage the world’s airlines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Aviation accounts for around 3% of the world’s carbon emissions an is considered one of the toughest sectors to tackle due to a lack of alternative technologies to jet fuelled engines.

Shell is one of the world’s largest oil traders and has confirmed it aims to produce 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2025.

That effort is a ten-fold increase from today’s total global output.

SAF is produced from waste cooking oil, plants and animal fats, and Shell says it could cut up to 80% of aviation emissions

Shell, currently only supplies SAF produced by other refineries, including Finnish refiner Neste.

Shell stated that SAF can be blended with regular aviation fuel with little need to change plane engines, to make up 10% of its global aviation fuel sales by 2030.

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Climate

Will’s weather – daily weather and climate coverage on Ticker

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We’re taking climate seriously at ticker NEWS – we’re adding weather and climate segments to our broadcasts every hour

The brilliant William Howard will host the segments from our studios at Ticker Park.

https://twitter.com/tickerNEWSco/status/1439728976625209345
Will’s weather features in every news bulletin on ticker news.

William Howard is an executive producer at ticker news and says he is thrilled to bring the latest weather happenings to ticker’s global audience.

“Weather events and issues surrounding the world’s ongoing climate challenge are topics we heavily cover at ticker. I often reach out to experts for commentary on these very matters and it’s privilege to enhance our focus on climate by bringing the latest every news bulletin,” he said.

The world is changing…and not always for the better! As the earth continues to send warnings to us there are those taking action to undo the damage done.

Will’s weather joins Ticker Climate each week where ticker’s Holly Stearnes and Scott Hamilton discuss the shifting sands, melting mountains, and scorching heat that climate change promises to bring.

Will’s weather will feature at the end of every news bulletin, with an overview of major cities weather forecast on the hour.

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