The Blue Files | Episode 8

[As Featured In Episode 8]

Fish Power

Could dead fish help make your cruise ship  holiday more Eco–friendly? Norwegian Cruise Lines hopes so.The third-largest cruise line operator in the world is in the process of converting its ships to use the leftovers of fish processed for food and other organic waste to generate biogas. The biogas will be liquefied and used in place of fossil fuels by the cruise line. The biogas is created from the decomposition of organic waste from Norway’s prolific fishing industry. Leftovers and off-cuts from production will be blended with methane and carbon dioxide to help make a liquid that can power the ships massive motors.The end product is cleaner than heavy oil, but is not carbon neutral. It is however, a step forward in reaching Norway’s target of implementing zero emission cruise shipsby 2026 as they navigate the country’s pristine fjords.In addition to the fossil free fuel conversion, the company will also refrain from using single-use plastics on its 17 cruise ships.

Measured Migration

A new study finds that bird migrations have evolved largely as a response to changing climate. It’s believed to be one of the first studies to examine climate change impact on the timing of bird migration on a continental scale. The study, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and published in Nature Climate Change, documented the nighttime migratory behaviours of hundreds of species, representing billions of birds. It revealed that spring migrants were likely to pass certain stops earlier now than they would have 20 years ago. Temperature and migration timing were closely aligned with the greatest changes in the timing of migration in regions that are experiencing the most rapid warming. Migratory birds play an important role in our fragile ecosystems. They eat and take insects off the land, disperse seeds and serve other significant function. During spring migrations, birds rely on food and other resources as they travel, but with climate change, the timing of blooming vegetation or emergence of insects may be out of sync with the passage of migratory birds, which is likely to cause negative consequences.

Electrified Flight

Engineers have taken flight to new heights as they have successfully completed the world’s first commercial flight in a fully electric airplane.
The plane was a 62-year-old, six-passenger seaplane was retrofitted with an electric motor. It was designed by Australian engineering firm MagniX and tested in partnership with Harbour Air, the world’s largest seaplane airline. 
Although the flight, which took off from Vancouver, only lasted 15 minutes, this is a huge step, since airplanes are one of the largest contributors to global carbon emissions. Harbour Air says it plans to electrify its entire fleet by 2022, pending safety and regulatory approvals. 
The broader, and perhaps bigger challenge, remains – a breakthrough in battery technology that would produce enough power for larger aircraft to fly greater distances.

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