Earth. Water. Air. Space. Health. New wonders, improved technologies and fascinating discoveries about the world around us.
Enjoying the Backyard Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic
The deadly Covid-19 virus has most everyone staying home for social distancing to flatten the curve. Many national and state parks are closed, beaches are closed, and some states have stay-at-home orders.
The situation is stressful for the healthy--even more so for those who are sick, or have loved ones who are sick. And especially for those who have lost someone.
If you have a yard or a patio, try watching the backyard birds, lizards, squirrels, and other neighborhood critters. (Just be sure to stay at least 6 feet away from the neighbors). Enjoy the fresh air. Look up at the clouds.
Dolphin at Marineland, FL Photo by Donna Kaluzniak My last blog post was about The Ocean Cleanup , a massive project for removing plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). After successfully completing Pacific trials in September 2018, the long trip to the GPGP began. On October 16, 2018 System 001, nicknamed "Wilson," was deployed. After tweaking and testing Wilson through November and December, it appeared the system was attracting and concentrating plastic, but could not retain it. At the end of December, the crew found that an 18-meter end-section of the system became detached. The December 31, 2018 Project Update noted the crew planned to return to port earlier than planned, and as soon as weather permitted. This allows them to make necessary upgrades to the system. Even with the malfunction, Wilson and the crew are bringing back 2,000 kilograms of plastic recovered by the system and from ghost net fishing. Some setbacks are to be exp
Hurricane season started on June 1, but the real activity usually comes around this time of year--late August through September. Right now, Florida is getting soaked while awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Hermine . We see the devastation these storms create for people, pets, livestock and property. But how do birds, wildlife, and other aspects of the environment fare? I've always wondered and worried about the animals that get no warning of what's to come. It turns out, the impact to the natural environment severe. Extra nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from leaves and vegetation stripped by high winds and washed into receiving streams can lower oxygen levels as the debris decomposes. Low oxygen, called hypoxia, is the most common cause of fish kills after hurricanes according to HurricaneScience.org . Also, salinity changes as saltwater is pushed inward during a tidal surge--or as fresh water flows outward from flooding, can cause aquatic critters to relocate or die
I've been hearing a lot lately about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) State of the Climate Report for 2016 . This is an international, peer-reviewed, annual report summarizing global climate issues. It's assembled by NOAA at the National Centers for Environmental Information. Nearly 500 scientists from around the world contribute data for the report, including air and sea temperatures, ice pack conditions, humidity, number and strength of storms, drought conditions and more. The comprehensive report is then published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) . You can download the full report here, or from the link above you can download individual chapters if you prefer. A summary of the report is available on NOAA's BAMS site , plus copies of all the past reports for the last 27 years. An interesting PowerPoint presentation on the report contains good graphics that visually show the report