Prince Charles is to call for better protection of the world’s forests at the UN climate conference in Paris. —> Read More
Under the new program, Japan will kill 333 minke whales each summer. This is down from 850 minke whales, 50 fin whales, and 50 humpback whales under the previous whaling program, JARPA II. Anti-whaling nations and non-government organizations have condemned the decision.
In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that JARPA II was not “for the purposes of scientific research” after Australia and New Zealand challenged Japan’s whaling program.
The decision was widely-lauded as the end of whaling in the Antarctic. However, since the decision Japan has revised its program and decided to continue whaling in the Southern Ocean.
Japan’s new whaling program
Whaling is regulated under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Article VIII of the Whaling Convention allows for a country to issue permits to itself to undertake lethal scientific research.
The 2014 court judgment didn’t ban scientific whaling. It simply stated that the scientific whaling program, JARPA II, was not for the purposes of scientific research. This left open the option of a new scientific whaling program.
Following the decision, Japan announced a new scientific whaling proposal: “Proposed Research Plan for New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean” or NEWREP-A.
In February, an expert panel of the International Whaling Commission under the convention advised Japan that there was not enough detail in the proposal to justify the program. Japan has now responded that “it does not require any substantial changes to the contents of NEWREP-A”. It is on this platform that their whaling program will proceed.
On December 1, Orlando Health will release the results of a national survey about weight loss barriers, which finds 90 percent of respondents discounted one of the most important factors — your mind. Neuropsychologist Diane Robinson, PhD says the most crucial factor is your psychological relationship with food and exercise, yet the majority (60 percent) listed diet and exercise to be the biggest barriers of weight loss, and only 10 percent of people thought psychological well being was the biggest barrier to weight loss. —> Read More
Researchers have developed software for the Microsoft Kinect gaming console that measures body part thickness and checks for motion, positioning and beam adjustment immediately before X-ray imaging, according to a new feasibility study. —> Read More
Athletes who engage in the extreme sport of free diving, descending hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean while holding their breath, undergo significant cardiovascular changes, according to a new study. These changes can pose potential dangers, particularly to inexperienced or cardiac untrained divers. —> Read More
An interventional radiology technique shows promise for helping morbidly obese patients lose weight, according to the preliminary results of a new study. —> Read More
Shankar speaks with Noah Charney, author of The Art of Forgery, about what motivates art forgers. Also this week on Hidden Brain: why we love studies that prove wine connoisseurs wrong.
The effectiveness of permethrin, an important mosquito-fighting insecticide, may be impaired by global warming, according to a recent study. People involved in mosquito-control efforts should take temperature into account when choosing a pest-control product, according to Peterson. —> Read More
The crescent of Saturn’s moon Enceladus hangs above the planet’s rings in this image from the Cassini spacecraft. Water jets that spew from the moon’s south pole region are also visible. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing pictures of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, with those captivating water jets and plumes at its South Pole. And this new images from the Cassini mission is just stunning – and intriguing. Carolyn Porco, the Cassini imaging team lead described the image on Twitter: “Be moved by crescent Enceladus with its ghostly geysers floating above Saturn’s glowing rings.”
Read the rest of Enceladus, the Jet-Powered Water World (330 words)
Scientists set out this week to drill a hole into the Indian Ocean floor to try to get below the Earth’s crust for the first time, testing theories about the make-up of the crust on the way down. —> Read More