Research News: December 2016

Tens of thousands of dead fish just washed up on a Cornish beach – here's why

This article by Prof Michel KaiserSchool of Ocean Sciences was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

It must have been an incredibly morbid sight. Walkers on Marazion beach in Cornwall, at the south-western tip of mainland Britain, recently discovered tens of thousands of dead fish had been washed ashore overnight. One eyewitness told the Plymouth Herald the fish stretched “as far as the eye could see”.

People speculated that pollution or natural predators such as dolphins or porpoises chasing the fish ashore may be to blame. But a much simpler explanation soon unfolded when the Cornish Sardine Management Association said that one of its vessels had been fishing close inshore and had had to release one of its catches for safety reasons.

Exactly what happened in this case remains unclear. But why would a ship ever need to dump fish for safety reasons? After all, catching lots of fish is surely the entire point. In any case, a European Union discard ban was first implemented in 2015 in order to stop this sort of thing.

Publication date: 22 December 2016

How the ‘Santa lie’ helps teach children to be good little consumers

It’s that time of year – the season when parents, schools and retailers sell one of the most magical lies to children: Santa Claus. But far from being a harmless way to fire children’s imagination at Christmas, the “Santa lie” undermines children’s understanding of the world, their savviness and their real imagination in favour of wrapping them up in cotton wool and consumerism.

This article by Anne-Marie Smith, and Nia Youngboth of the School of Education was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 20 December 2016

Arthur’s Camelot – possible location is revealed

The quest to find King Arthur’s Camelot has puzzled and intrigued scholars and fans for a thousand years. Now, the search may finally be over.  

A retired Bangor University English Literature Professor has revealed what he believes to be the location of Arthur’s Camelot- and it turns out to be a small Roman fort at Slack, outside Hebden Bridge in west Yorkshire.

Publication date: 15 December 2016

Why EU rules risk making Italy's banking crisis a whole lot worse

This article by Philip Molyneux, Professor of Banking and Finance, Bangor University Business School was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article

In the wake of the Italian constitutional referendum, the country’s banking crisis is going from bad to worse. The European Central Bank (ECB)‘s decision to refuse an extension to Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to raise €5 billion (£4.2 billion) has left the country’s third-largest bank facing a government bailout that looks likely to inflict severe pain on many ordinary Italian savers.

As if that were not enough, Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, announced a restructuring plan that requires a capital raising of €13 billion in the first three months of next year. Given the torrid time Monte dei Paschi has had trying to find sufficient private backing, will UniCredit need help from the Italian taxpayer, too?

Publication date: 15 December 2016

Planet Earth's adventure into cities cements its position as a pioneer of environmental film

With its depiction of sublime landscapes and unique creatures in a manner unsurpassed by other documentary series, Planet Earth II has been wowing millions over the last six weeks. Conversations overheard on the bus or in the supermarket queue have frequently featured prancing flamingos or those infamous snakes: a whole new generation have been introduced to the wonders of the natural world.

Planet Earth first debuted ten years ago, as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth attempted to engage the public on the urgency of solving global warming. Meanwhile, David Attenborough was fascinating Planet Earth’s audience with stories about endangered species and remote places – trying to raise environmental awareness with a very different approach.

Publication date: 9 December 2016

What 500-year-old clams can tell us about climate change

You probably don’t think clams are the most exciting animals on the planet. But anyone who dismisses these marine bivalve molluscs surely cannot be aware of just how important they actually are. Without knowing it, they have taught us so much about the world we live in – and how it used to be.

Publication date: 7 December 2016

Bangor University rewards staff for achieving Research Excellence

A new Research Excellence Awards event has just been held at Bangor University to celebrate the high standard of research at the University.

Publication date: 6 December 2016

Longest-living animal gives up ocean climate secrets

Analysis of the quahog clam reveals how the oceans affected the climate over the past 1000 years

A study of the longest-living animal on Earth, the quahog clam, has provided researchers with an unprecedented insight into the history of the oceans.

Publication date: 6 December 2016